Maurice J. (Mitch) Freedman elected ALA president for 2002-2003

Contact: Larra Clark


ALA News Release

For Immediate Release

May 3, 2001

Maurice J. (Mitch) Freedman elected ALA president for 2002-2003

Maurice J. (Mitch) Freedman, director of the Westchester (N.Y.) Library System, has been elected president of the American Library Association (ALA) for the 2002-2003 term. Freedman won over Ken Haycock, professor and director at the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and William W. Sannwald, assistant to the city manager, library design and development, for the city of San Diego.

As ALA president, Freedman will be the chief elected officer for the oldest and largest library organization in the world. Celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, ALA has a membership of more than 61,000 librarians, library trustees and library supporters. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

Freedman will become president-elect in July 2001, and will assume the ALA presidency in July 2002, following the ALA Annual Conference in Atlanta. He will serve a one-year term as president.

"I am very, very pleased to be elected ALA president," Freedman said. "The three key positions of my campaign were to fight externally imposed filtering software; to work vigorously to support diversity in the organization, librarianship and our society; and to improve the salaries of librarians and library workers and achieve pay equity.

"I will take the results of this election as a validation of these important initiatives. I will devote particular attention to diversity and salary issues since the ALA already is so well-organized to fight UCITA (Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act) and legislation requiring public libraries to install filtering technology," he added.

A five-term member of the ALA Council and past president of the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), the "youthful" 61-year-old Freedman has chaired or served on several committees. He chaired the ALA Pay Equity Committee and the Public Library Association (PLA) Committee on Cataloging Needs of Public Libraries and has been a member of the Social Responsibilities Round Table and the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) Planning Committee. LITA, PLA and ALCTS are divisions of ALA.

Freedman led automated cataloging efforts at the Hennepin County (Minn.) Library and was recognized with the LITA Award for Achievement for his efforts to utilize technology to serve library users. He also has chaired the intellectual freedom committees in Minnesota and New York and received the ACLU/Westchester Chapter Award for participating in a lawsuit to overturn New York State's "harmful to minors" Internet law.

Freedman has served as an associate professor in the School of Library Service at Columbia (N.Y.) University and the head of Tech Services at Hennepin County Library. He also is the current publisher and editor-in-chief of The U*N*A*B*A*S*H*E*D Librarian™ and has served as a consultant on four continents, including libraries in Latvia, Korea and Kenya.

A 35-year ALA member, Freedman received his MLS from the University of California/Berkeley, and his doctorate from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.