Mitch Freedman leads American Library Association

Contact: Larra Clark/Paige Wasson


For Immediate Release

June 2002

Mitch Freedman leads American Library Association

Mitch Freedman, director of the Westchester Library System (WLS), becomes president of the Chicago-based American Library Association (ALA) at the close of its Annual Conference in Atlanta on June 18. He will serve a one-year term.

Founded in 1876, ALA has more than 64,000 members, and is the voice of American libraries and the people who depend on them.

Two central issues Freedman will concentrate on during his presidency are improving the salaries of librarians and library workers and achieving pay equity; and supporting and increasing diversity within ALA and its leadership.

Freedman will celebrate 20 years as director of the Westchester Library System in July. He is a five-term member of the ALA Council and past president of the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA). 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.