2019 Public Library Association Election results

For Immediate Release
Wed, 04/10/2019


Laurence Deutsch

Manager, Communications

Public Library Association (PLA)


CHICAGO — Today, the Public Library Association (PLA) announced the results of its 2019 Election. Voting was available from Mar. 11 through Apr. 3, and open to all PLA members in good standing.

The members elected Michelle Jeske, city librarian and executive director of Denver (Colo.) Public Library, to the office of 2020-2021 PLA president. Originally elected to PLA's Board of Directors in 2017, Jeske will serve a three-year term beginning this June and including one-year stints as president-elect (2019-2020), president (2020-2021), and immediate past-president (2021-2022). 

"I’m thrilled and honored to be elected 2020-2021 president of the Public Library Association, an organization that has demonstrated remarkable leadership and support for the public library profession for 75 years," said Jeske upon learning the outcome of the election. "I look forward to working with the stellar staff and passionate board of directors to continue implementing PLA’s Strategic Plan with a special focus on supporting leadership development and equality, diversity and inclusion so that public library staff—and especially the communities they serve—can thrive."

Jeske has worked for Denver Public Library since 2001, serving in various roles before being appointed city librarian in 2015. Prior to joining Denver Public Library, she worked for the TCL CARL Corporation, San Antonio (Texas) Public Library, and New York Public Library. She has been named a PLA Leadership Fellow, Colorado Librarian of the Year, and a Library Journal "Mover and Shaker." Jeske holds a Master’s of Librarianship degree from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Political Science from Trinity University of San Antonio, Texas. In addition to the PLA Board of Directors, Jeske also serves on the association's Family Engagement Task Force and as a coach for PLA's Leadership Academy. She chairs the board of the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries and is active in numerous Denver city and community groups focused on youth and community engagement. Click here to learn more about Michelle.

Also elected to the PLA Board, as directors-at-large, were Amita Lonial, assistant library director of the Tacoma (Wash.) Public Library and Toby Greenwalt, director of digital strategy at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (Penn.). Each will serve a three-year term beginning at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference.

The ballot measure, which proposed adding a new position, fiscal officer, to the PLA Board, was approved by an overwhelming 97% majority. To incorporate the addition of a fiscal officer on the PLA Board of Directors, minor edits will be made to four sections of the PLA Bylaws: Article IV, Section 2; Article V, Section 1; Article VI, Sections 1; and Article VI, Section 5. The first fiscal officer will be appointed by Immediate Past-President Pam Sandlian Smith to a three-year term beginning July 2019. The fiscal officer will serve as chair of the PLA Budget & Finance Committee and as liaison to the American Library Association (ALA) Budget Analysis & Review Committee.

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. Special thanks to the 2019 Nominating Committee, chaired by Felton Thomas, Jr. of Cleveland (Ohio) Public Library, producing an outstanding slate of candidates. 

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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.