William R. Gordon to retire as ALA executive director effective August 31, 2002

Contact: Larra Clark


ALA News Release

For Immediate Release

August 2001

William R. Gordon to retire as ALA executive director effective August 31, 2002

William R. Gordon, executive director of the American Library Association (ALA) since March 1998, will resign August 31, 2002, to begin his retirement. Speaking on behalf of the ALA Executive Board, ALA President John W. Berry made the announcement at an all-staff meeting at ALA headquarters in Chicago on Tuesday, September 4.

"Mr. Gordon's tenure as executive director has been a very successful one, characterized by steady membership growth, financial health, and many achievements on behalf of the association that will have an impact well into the future," Berry told ALA staff. "The Executive Board looks forward to working with Bill Gordon over the next 12 months as we begin the process of finding an executive director to continue his fine work on behalf of libraries and librarians," Berry continued. The ALA Executive Board will announce a search process for executive director in the next few weeks.

Gordon indicated that he takes great pleasure and pride in serving as ALA's executive director. "The opportunity to serve member leaders, the membership at large, and to work with such a fine ALA staff is a truly extraordinary experience," he said

Under his leadership, the American Library Association increased its membership to an all-time high in excess of 63,000 members. ALA is the world's largest and oldest library association and is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

Last April, with the help of First Lady Laura Bush, ALA launched the largest and most far-reaching public education campaign in its history with @ your library,™ The Campaign for America's Libraries. "I am particularly proud to be a part of ALA's five-year initiative to speak loudly and clearly about the value of libraries and librarians in the 21st Century," Gordon said.

"We've formed partnerships with several organizations, most recently with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), which will allow us to take the best ideas from the American campaign to libraries all around the world.

"I look forward to another challenging, productive and exciting year at ALA," Gordon concluded.