Leo S. Lo has been elected vice-president/president-elect

For Immediate Release
Wed, 06/28/2023


David Free

Senior Communications Strategist



CHICAGO ⎯ Due to an unforeseen circumstance the recently elected ACRL 2023 Vice-President/President-Elect, Elisandro (Alex) Cabada, will be unable to serve in this position. Therefore, a special election was held in June 2023 to fill this vacancy. The runner-up, Leo S. Lo, Dean and Professor of the College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences at the University of New Mexico has been elected ACRL Vice-President/President-Elect. Lo will become president-elect in July 2023 and assume the presidency in July 2024 for a one-year term. 

"I am honored to have been elected as the new Vice-President/President-Elect of ACRL," Lo said. "This opportunity to serve the academic library community is a privilege, and I am committed to advancing our profession. I look forward to collaborating with my fellow ACRL members, the Board, and our partners to make a positive impact. Together, we will champion access to information, foster innovation, and empower our libraries to meet the evolving needs of our communities. I am excited to embark on this journey and grateful for the trust placed in me." 

During his 14 years of ACRL membership, Lo has served as co-chair of the ACRL President's Program Planning Committee (2021-2023); a member (2017-2019), chair, ACRL College and Research Library News Editorial Board (2021-2023); a member (2017-2021), vice-chair, ACRL Publications Coordinating Committee (2022-2023; a member (2021-2022), a member, ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award Committee (2020-2022), a member, ACRL ULS Public Service Directors of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group (2019-2022) and a member of the ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Awards Committee (2018-2020). 

"I would like to express my gratitude and congratulations to Leo Lo for his election to the ACRL Board of Directors,” said ACRL Interim Executive Director Allison Payne. “Leo's valuable contributions to ACRL, including serving on and chairing many committees and membership groups, will be an asset in the Board's work supporting the ACRL strategic plan, the Plan for Excellence. Leo's deep knowledge of the association and higher education will help the Board meet member needs and advance strategic priorities.” 

Lo’s experience with ALA includes being a councilor-at-large of the ALA Council (2015-2018) and re-elected for another term (2018-2021). Lo has also served as a member on the ALA Training, Orientation, and Professional Development Committee (2011-2013), chair-elect, chair and past-chair of the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) Library Organization and Management Section (2013-2016), a member of LL&M Editorial Board (2011-2013), the LL&M editor of the column, “New Perspectives in Leadership”, Board of Directors new leader’s representative (2010-2013), chair of the LLAMA/NMRT Joint Committee on Collaboration (2011-2012) and chair of the Diversity Task Force (2010-2011).  

Lo has also served as the assistant chair of the ALA New Members Round Table (NMRT) Liaison Support and Coordination Committee (2011-2012), chair of the Student Chapter Award Committee (2010-2011); a member (2009-2010), a member of the Membership, Promotion, Diversity, & Recruitment Committee (2010-2011) and a member of the Newsletter Committee (2009-2010). 

Lo’s activity with state, regional and other national associations include serving on the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), 2023 Association Program Planning Task Force (member, 2022- 2023), Research and Analytics Committee (member, 2021-2023), The New Mexico Consortium of Academic Libraries (member representative, 2021-present), IMLS Advisory Board for CALA/APALA "Path to Leadership" (Board member, 2021-2023), The Journal of Open Educational Resources in Higher Education (JOERHE) Editorial Advisory Board (member, Open Peer Reviewer, 2022-present). Lo has also served on the Future Information Professionals (FIP) Advisory Board (member, 2022-present) - An IMLS-funded internship program coordinated by Old Dominion University to introduce undergraduate students to the library profession, Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) (member representative, 2021-Present), Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) (member representative, 2021-present), Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) Heads of Public Services Group (member, 2019-2021) and the Chinese American Librarian Association (CALA) Publication Committee (member, 2009-2010). 

Notable accomplishments for Lo include being selected as an ALA Emerging Leader and sponsored by LLAMA in 2010. As a scholar-practitioner, Lo's two co-authored papers, "You’re Hired! An Analysis of the Perceptions and Behaviors of Library Job Candidates on Job Offer Negotiations", and “Recent Changes to Reference Services on Academic Libraries and Their Relationship to Perceived Quality: Results of a National Survey", were awarded the first and second prizes respectively of the 2016 EBSCO/Alabama Library Association Research Paper Award.  

As a strategic-minded leader, Lo led the strategic planning for the Pennsylvania State University Libraries, an organization with over 500 librarians/staff, culminating in a comprehensive 5-year plan in 2021. Since becoming the Dean of the College of University Libraries and Learning Science at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in September 2021, Lo has raised over $1.2 million for the college, and created a prestigious endowed librarianship position to focus on student success. He currently leads the institution-wide Open Educational Resources initiative at UNM to help make college more affordable and enhance student success. Lo believes in using storytelling with data to advocate for libraries and library employees and uses his training in screenwriting (Master of Fine Arts) and survey research (Master of Arts) to develop such culture at his organizations. His MFA thesis screenplay was selected as a Finalist in 2010 Creative World Awards International Screenwriting Contest and the 2009 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards.  

His publications include: “Collegiality and tenure: Results of a national survey of academic librarians", Journal of Academic Librarianship, Lo, L. S., Coleman, J., and Pankl, L. (2022); “What Makes a Leader? An Exploratory Study of Academic Library Employees’ Perceptions of Leadership, Organization Vision, and Job Engagement,” Lo, L. S., Mallon, M., and Coleman, J. (2022); "The Factors Significant to the Introduction Institutional Open Access Policies: Two Case Studies of R-1 Universities", Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, Lo, L. S. (2021). 


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for academic libraries and library workers. Representing nearly 8,500 individuals and libraries, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products, and services to help those working in academic and research libraries learn, innovate, and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning, transforming scholarship, and creating diverse and inclusive communities. Find ACRL on the webFacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube