Public Library Association members elect Salazar as 2019-20 president; Fesemyer and Watson to board

For Immediate Release
Wed, 04/11/2018


Laurence Deutsch

Manager, Communications

Public Library Association (PLA)

CHICAGO — Ramiro S. Salazar, director of the San Antonio (Texas) Public Library, has been elected 2019-2020 president of the Public Library Association (PLA). He will serve a three-year term beginning after the 2018 ALA Annual Conference this June, including one year as president-elect (2018–2019), president (2019–2020) and past-president (2020–2021).

“I am honored to have been chosen by my peers to serve as the 2019-2020 president of PLA," said Salazar upon learning the outcome of the election. "I look forward to working with the leadership, the membership, as well as PLA staff to start exploring ways to facilitate platforms where we can collectively address how we can bring down barriers to access and to identify and promote competencies and skill sets needed to keep our public libraries relevant as service institutions.”

For more than 35 years, Mr. Salazar has dedicated his public service career to increasing availability and accessibility of library resources and services to all segments of the community. As director of the San Antonio Public Library, he has led efforts to complete vast capital improvements, including expansion and/or renovation of 13 existing branches and the opening of ten new library locations. Before joining the San Antonio Public Library, Mr. Salazar served as interim assistant city manager for the City of Dallas, and director of the Dallas Public Library and the El Paso Public Library. Outside of work, he enjoys playing golf and organizing golf outings.

PLA members also elected two new directors-at-large: Cindy Fesemyer, director of the Columbus (Wisc.) Public Library* and Kelvin Watson, director of the Broward County (Fla.) Libraries Division. Each will serve a three-year term beginning after the 2018 ALA Annual Conference.

PLA thanks all the candidates who stood for election as well as all the members who voted. Their efforts to impact and enhance PLA are extremely valuable to the future of the organization.

*Per an August 2017 board resolution (PDF, 2 pgs.), for PLA to better represent the needs and interests of library staff from public libraries of all sizes, the 2018 slate included two candidates from small/rural libraries (those with service area populations less than 25,000 people), who will run opposite each other to ensure one PLA board member represents that constituency.

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About PLA
The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 10,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders.