Mary Ellen Davis named ACRL executive director

Contact: Larra Clark


ALA News Release

For Immediate Release

July 2001

Mary Ellen Davis named ACRL executive director

The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce that, effective August 1, Mary Ellen Davis is the executive director of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). A veteran of the largest ALA division, Davis replaces Althea Jenkins, who will join Florida State University staff as director of the University Libraries.

Employed with ACRL since 1985, Davis has served as senior associate executive director of the division since 1993. In this position, she has managed all aspects of ACRL's last four biennial National Conferences, adding programming at each conference and setting new attendance and exhibitor records at the 2001 conference.

Davis also has been responsible for all professional development programs and ACRL's monthly news magazine,
College & Research Libraries News. Under her direction,
C&RL News underwent a major redesign, increased advertising revenue and became the first ALA magazine on the Internet in 1993.

"Mary Ellen Davis has proven that she has outstanding abilities as an association leader. Mary Ellen's extensive knowledge and her breadth of experience will serve the Association of College and Research Libraries extremely well," said ACRL President Mary Reichel.

"Best of all, I have watched Mary Ellen work with members and staff in ACRL and ALA and have admired her genuine ability to get along well with others and to move forward priorities and goals. ACRL is indeed fortunate to have Mary Ellen Davis as its new executive director."

Davis also has served as the director of communications and systems and the publications program officer during her tenure with ACRL. She joined the ALA in 1984 as the assistant director of "Let's Talk About," a national $1.5 million reading and discussion program sponsored by the ALA and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Davis came to the ALA from Central Michigan University, where she worked as a reference librarian and bibliographer. She received her master's in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her master's in education from Central Michigan University. Her honors include Beta Phi Mu, Phi Kappa Phi and the Girl Scouts Outstanding Volunteer Award. She is a member of various professional organizations, including the Professional Convention and Meeting Planners Association, Society of Scholarly Publishing, and the American Society of Association Executives.

Reflecting on the search process, ACRL immediate past president Betsy Wilson said, "The Association of College and Research Libraries enjoyed the superlative leadership of Althea Jenkins as its executive director for the past 10 years. When Althea announced her resignation to become the Director of Libraries at Florida State University, the ACRL Board launched a process to find a worthy successor and leader.

"We were delighted, but not surprised, to identify an outstanding candidate in Mary Ellen Davis. With Mary Ellen's extraordinary talents, in-depth knowledge of ACRL member needs, record of program innovation and effectiveness, and leadership and management capacity, ACRL will continue its momentum as the premier association of academic librarians into the 21st century," Wilson concluded.

ACRL, with 11,000 members, is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic librarians. It is dedicated to enhancing the ability of academic library and information professionals to serve the information needs of the higher education community and to improve learning, teaching and research.