Candidates announced for 2020 Public Library Association board election

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/06/2020


Laurence Deutsch

Manager, Communications

Public Library Association (PLA)

CHICAGO – The Public Library Association (PLA) Nominating Committee has unveiled the slate of candidates for the Association’s 2020 Election. This year seven nominees will stand for four positions on the PLA Board of Directors: 2021-2022 president, ALA division councilor and two directors-at-large. The candidate elected in each race will serve a three-year term from July 2020 through June 2023. The candidate elected to the office of president will serve one year as president-elect (2020-2021), one year as president (2021-2022) and one year as immediate past-president (2022–2023). Because there are two available seats for directors-at-large, voting PLA members will select two of the four available candidates. 

The candidates and the offices for which they are running are listed below. Please click on the name of each candidate to learn more about them.

Board Candidates


Melanie Huggins; Executive Director; Richland Library (Columbia, S.C.)

Kent Oliver; Library Director; Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library

ALA Division Councilor

Stephanie Chase; Director; Hillsboro (Ore.) Public Library [unopposed]


Kevin King; Head of Community Engagement; Kalamazoo (Mich.) Public Library

Brandy A. McNeil; Associate Director, Tech Education; New York (N.Y.) Public Library

Steven V. Potter; Library Director & CEO; Mid-Continent Public Library (Independence, Mo.)

Dara Hanke Schmidt; Library Director; Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library

Individuals must be members in good standing as of Jan. 31, 2020, to be eligible to vote. Online voting will be available from Monday, Mar. 9, through Wednesday, Apr. 1. Each eligible PLA member will receive an email containing voting instructions and their unique ballot URL. Paper ballots will be made available upon request; the deadline to mail a paper ballot is Monday, Mar. 23.

PLA sincerely thanks the members of its 2020 Nominating Committee, for their service: Pamela Smith, Douglas A. Crane, Kevin A. R. King and Carrie N. Willson. Running for the board of directors is just one of several ways for members to become more closely involved with PLA. Click here to learn more.

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About the Public Library Association
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. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or