For immediate release | February 23, 2017

American Library Association gears up for 2017 ALA election

CHICAGO – The American Library Association is gearing up for its upcoming election. Polls will open at 9 a.m. Central time on March 13, 2017 for the American Library Association’s annual election and will close on Wednesday, April 5 at 11:59 p.m. Central time.

The American Library Association elections take place exclusively online. On February 23, members began receiving notification by email confirming their eligibility to vote. To be eligible to vote, individuals must be members in good standing as of January 31, 2017.

When the polls open, the ALA will notify voters by e-mail, providing them with information about how to vote online. E-mails will be sent over a three-day period, March 13 – 15.

On April 12, the Election Committee will meet at the ALA offices to certify the election. Election results will be released following that meeting.

Although the election is being conducted online, there remains one exception. Members with disabilities and without Internet access may obtain a paper ballot by contacting ALA customer service at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5. Those without Internet access at home or work can easily access the election site by visiting their local public (or in many instances academic or school) library.

This year members are asked to vote for the next ALA president-elect and for 33 Councilor-at-Large candidates to serve a three-year term (2017-2020).

“Voting is one of the most important things you do as a member of the American Library Association,” said ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. “The officers you elect will make a real difference. The president serves as the public voice of the Association, libraries of all types and all across the nation, and of American libraries around the world. The treasurer helps chart the financial future of the Association, and the 186 councilors are responsible for setting the broad policies that shape our Association’s public positions and direction.”


Loida Garcia-Febo, International Library Consultant and President of Information New Wave in Brooklyn, New York, Terri Grief, School Librarian at McCracken County High School in Paducah, Kentucky, and Scott Walter, university librarian, DePaul University, Chicago, are the candidates for the 2018-19 presidency of the ALA.


Garcia-Febo has been an ALA member for 15 years and has served the library profession both domestically and internationally. Her organization, Information New Wave, is a non-profit organization seeking to bring access to information to underserved populations.

Garcia-Febo has served on the ALA Council from 2011-present and was elected to the ALA Executive Board 2015–18. In addition, she has held numerous committee appointments within ALA including the Committee on Diversity, Intellectual Freedom Committee, and Nominating Committee; she has chaired the International Relations Committee, the Intellectual Freedom Round Table and the Committee on Membership meetings, and is currently the chair-elect of the International Relations Round Table.

She is also very active in IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations) and currently sits on their governing board, and REFORMA (The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking) where she co-chairs its 2017 National Conference Committee, and served on the executive board from 2008-11, including president from 2009-10.

“Libraries save lives,” said Garcia-Febo. “More than ever, we need strong libraries to foster stronger communities. I hold almost 20 years of library work and leadership experience. I have worked in a variety of libraries, including academic, public, school, and special libraries. As ALA president, I would bring focus to four important pillars: Advocacy, Diversity & Inclusion, Career Development, and Information Policies. I am committed and energized to collaborate with ALA, its members, divisions, and partners for the advancement of our profession and the future of libraries. I look forward to working together with you as we take action to advance library concerns on the national agenda.”

Garcia-Febo is the recipient of the 2015 REFORMA Elizabeth Martinez Lifetime Achievement Award. She was named a Notable Member on ALA’s International Relations Round Table, received the Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award in 2010 and was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker Freedom Fighter in 2007. She was also awarded an ALA/IFLA Fellowship for the 2004 IFLA Congress where she co-established the IFLA New Professionals.

Garcia-Febo is a frequent speaker, consultant and published author in the areas of human rights, access to information, diversity, new professionals, and continuing professional development.

She received both her MLS degree and BA in Business Education from the University of Puerto Rico, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Information Sciences at the Long Island University.


An ALA member for 19 years, Grief served as the 2013-14 president of the American Association for School Librarians (AASL) and has been a member of ALA Council as the Kentucky chapter councilor 2003-05, AASL division council 2010-13, and councilor-at-large 2016-present. She served on the ALA Executive Board 2005-09.

Her numerous ALA activities include serving as a member of the Committee on Literacy, Intellectual Freedom Committee, Nominating Committee, and chair of the Training, Orientation, and Leadership Development Committee. She has also served the AASL National Conference Committee in various capacities, including co-chair of the committee in 2011 and she was the AASL Affiliate Assembly chair 1999-00.

In addition, Grief served as the 2001-02 president of the Kentucky Library Association, and the 1997-98 president of the Kentucky Association of School Librarians.

Grief received the Kentucky Library Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, the Barby Hardy Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kentucky Association of School Librarians in 2013, the McCracken County Education Association Teacher of the Year in 2002, and the Kentucky Association of School Librarians Outstanding School Librarian in 2001.

"I am humbled by this nomination,” Grief stated. “The American Library Association has been such an important part of my life and I would be honored to serve it as president."

Grief holds an MA in Educational Administration and Supervision and an MA in History, both from Murray State University, as well as a School Library Media Certification from Murray State. She also holds a BA in Library Science and History from Western Kentucky University.


An ALA member for 20 years, Walter served on the ALA council 2013-16. He served on the ALA Publishing Committee 2014-16, as well as numerous committees within the Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL). Between 2013-16, he served as editor-in-chief of the ACRL journal of record, College & Research Libraries.

Walter is also an active member of OCLC, the Online Computer Library Center where he has held various positions, including as a current Americas Regional Council Delegate to Global Council.

He is a 2016 participant in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies Senior Fellow Program, and received the ACRL Distinguished Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian Award in 2012.

Walter recently provided leadership for the design and launch of Chicago Collections, a unique consortium of academic libraries, public libraries, museums, historical societies, and others dedicated to the preservation, discovery, and use of materials and expertise related to the City of Chicago. As an elected representative to a Chicago Local School Council, he collaborates with K-12 librarians, teachers, principals, and parents to advocate for school libraries and librarians in Chicago public schools.

Walter has been engaged in professional education programs for librarians for more than a decade, and has served as an adjunct member of the faculty in LIS programs at the University of Illinois, San Jose State University, and Dominican University.

Walter is a frequent speaker and published author in areas such as information literacy instruction, library assessment, and the future of library services.

“Libraries, archives, museums, and the people who work in them have a critical role to play in a world where challenges to intellectual freedom, equitable access to information, and informed citizenship seem greater than they have in decades,” said Walter. “ALA has a unique opportunity to bring people together in support of the core values of our profession with an eye toward empowering our members and their allies to advocate for libraries, library staff, and the people who depend on the library to make a difference in their lives. I will bring strong experience in libraries and a commitment to values-centered leadership, member empowerment, and activism at the grassroots level to the ALA presidency. I will make it my mission to work with members across the country and around the world to answer the key questions of how ALA makes a difference in their lives, and how, through ALA, our libraries can be the force for good in our communities that they need to be today.”

Walter holds a PhD in higher education administration from Washington State University, an MS in History and Philosophy of Education from Indiana University Bloomington, an MLS also from Indiana University Bloomington, an MA in Education from American University, an MA in Russian Area Studies, a BS in Russian, and a BS in Linguistics, all from Georgetown University.

Watch excerpts of the Presidential Candidates’ Forum that took place at the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting.

Biographical information about the Councilor-at-Large candidates can be found on the ALA website.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 58,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

For more information on the election, call (800) 545-2433, ext. 5, or e-mail


JoAnne Kempf

Director, Office of ALA Governance

Office of ALA Governance