ALA announces retirement of ORS Director Mary Jo Lynch

Contact: Larra Clark

Press Officer


For Immediate Release

October 3, 2003

ALA announces retirement of ORS Director Mary Jo Lynch

The American Library Association (ALA) has announced the retirement of Mary Jo Lynch, director of the ALA Office for Research and Statistics (ORS).
Lynch will leave the association in early December 2003. She has led ORS since 1978 and has worked at the ALA since 1976.

“Mary Jo’s fingerprints are on almost every major piece of library statistical information produced in the last two decades, and she will be sorely missed,” said ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels.
“Her contributions have supported ALA’s advocacy, media and educational efforts at the ALA as we have worked to communicate the value of libraries and librarians. The statistics she has provided have been quoted by millions and have helped to define and dramatize the issues facing libraries of all types.”

Lynch is a national authority in the area of library statistics.
She was a major force in the establishment of the federal state cooperative system for public library data (FSCS) and served on its steering committee for 20 years.
She also developed the design for the annual Statistical Report of the PLA Public Library Data Service and has directed the ALA Survey of Librarian Salaries since l982.

Lynch served on numerous committees providing advice to the National Center for Education Statistics, most recently on
the State Library Agency Survey Advisory Committee and Academic Library Survey (IPEDS) Advisory Committee. She also coordinated creation of content for ALA's popular "Quotable Facts about America's Libraries"

In the last 20 years, Lynch published more than 80 articles and research reports, primarily relating to public library service, academic library service, reference work, research about libraries and library statistics.

She has authored “Research on Libraries and Librarianship in xxxx” in the Bowker Annual Library and Book Trade Almanac since 1979 and edited the spring 2003 issue of
Library Trends on “Research Questions for the Twenty-first Century.”

Before joining the ALA, Lynch taught at the University of Michigan School of Library Services for two years and served as reference librarian at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) and the University of Detroit.

Among her awards are Distinguished Alumna Awards from both the University of Michigan, where she received her A.M.L.S., and from Rutgers University, where she received her Ph.D. in library service.

“My 27 years at ALA have been very rewarding,” Lynch said. “Libraries have always been an important part of my life, and I have treasured the opportunity to be part of what ALA does to support libraries and librarians. I will miss working with many wonderful members and staff. But I'm a life member, so I won't be far away.”