ALA Announces New Endowment Trustees

For Immediate Release
Wed, 09/01/2021


Holly Robison

Governance Associate


ALA Members Brett Bonfield and Shali Zhang have been selected to serve as the American Library Association’s (ALA) newest Endowment Trustees.  The ALA Executive Board made these selections during their sessions at the 2021 Virtual Annual Conference. The three-year terms of the newly selected trustees begin immediately.

Brett Bonfield is the Chief Operating Officer for the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library. He is a board member with Code Equal, Health Care Access Now, Local Initiatives Support Corporation Greater Cincinnati, the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, and a member of the Jewish Foundation of Greater Cincinnati’s Think/Action Lab. He is also a member of the Public Library Association’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Task Force, and a liaison to the Freedom to Read Foundation, an ALA Affiliate. His previous volunteer work includes serving on ALA’s Budget Analysis & Review Committee and PLA’s Budget & Finance Committee, chairing ALA’s Future Perfect Task Force, and co-founding In the Library with the Lead Pipe. He earned his undergraduate degree at Rutgers University and his master’s at Drexel University’s library school.

Shali Zhang is Dean of Libraries at Auburn University since 2019. Prior to that, she served as Dean of Libraries at University of Montana for seven years. Shali is an ALA life member, and a life member with APALA, Black Caucus of ALA, CALA, and REFORMA.  She is currently serving on ALA President Patty Wong’s Advisory Committee and on Committee of Accreditation. In the past, Shali served on the ALA Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness (2018 -2020), Chaired the ALA Committee on Organization, ALA/APA Certification Program Committee, International Relations Committee, International Relations Round Table (IRRT), and was an ALA Councilor-at-Large. Shali Zhang has been active in IFLA and served on IFLA’s Standing Committee of Acquisitions and Collection Development and most recently chaired IFLA Journal Editorial Committee. Shali also led the fundraising efforts with IRRT for its first endowment in 2016, Mission Enhancement Fund, to support ALA members’ international endeavors.

The Endowment Trustees are charged with the management of the ALA Endowment Fund with the responsibility for acting on behalf of the Executive Board, within the established policies, procedures, and guidelines according to the ALA Endowment Trustees Investment Policy.  Additionally, they have the authority to hold, invest, reinvest, and disburse endowment funds and otherwise deal with endowment funds in accordance with such directions as may be given them by the Executive Board of the Association.

The Trustees must also be members of the ALA and have a working knowledge of investment opportunities available to endowment funds and the various benchmarks used to judge fund performance.  Trustees must also have experience in the management or oversight of investment funds in a business setting.  There are currently seven trustees, which includes the ALA Treasurer.