For immediate release | February 5, 2013

Michelle Harrell Washington appointed director of ALA's Office for Diversity, Office for Literacy and Outreach Services

CHICAGO — Mary W. Ghikas, senior associate executive director, ALA, has announced that Michelle Harrell Washington has been appointed the new director, Office for Diversity (OFD) and Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS), the American Library Association, effective Feb. 11, 2013.

Currently public services librarian at the Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries, where she has been since 2009, Michelle Washington brings strong library experience to her new ALA role. She served as director of library services at the University of Wisconsin–Washington County in West Bend, Wis., and prior to that spent a number of years as the multicultural services librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries.

She has a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was co-recipient of an ALA OFD Diversity Research Grant (2003-2004) for the project “Promoting Information Literacy Through Coalition Building.”

The director of ALA OFD/ALA OLOS is responsible for a broad range of policy, service and member engagement areas. ALA OFD manages the ALA Spectrum scholarship and Diversity Research grants programs; provides active consultation, facilitation and training on diversity issues; and serves as a key resource on professional issues related to the value and impact of diversity. The director works directly with and supports the ALA Committee on Diversity and related groups. ALA OLOS identifies, promotes and provides training and information resources on library services that support equitable access to knowledge and information in libraries, including adult and family literacy and services inclusive of traditionally underserved populations. The director works directly with the OLOS Advisory Committee and related subcommittees. OLOS also provides liaison to the ALA Literacy Committee, the Committee on Rural, Native and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds, the ALA Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT), the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) and the ALA Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT), which includes the Coretta Scott King Book Award and banquet.

As director-designate, Michelle Washington attended the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. She had an opportunity to meet with the ALA Committee on Diversity, the OLOS Advisory Committee and other committees and groups that work with the ALA Office for Diversity and Office for Literacy and Outreach Services.

Thanks go to the search committee for their thoughtful work: Fantasia Thorne (chair, OLOS Advisory Committee), Learning Commons Librarian, Syracuse University; Alexandra Rivera (chair, Committee on Diversity), Student Enrichment and Community Outreach Librarian, University of Michigan; Lorelle Swader, director, ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR) and ALA-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA); Charles Wilt, executive director, Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS); Cynthia Vivian, director, ALA Human Resources; and, Mary W. Ghikas, ALA senior associate executive director.


Mary W. Ghikas

Sr Associate Executive Director

Member Programs & Services (MPS)

800-545-2433 ext. 2518