Jim Rettig inaugurated 2008 ALA president

Contact: Macey Morales Manager

ALA Media Relations

(312) 280-4393


For Immediate Release

July 2, 2008

Jim Rettig inaugurated 2008 ALA president

ANAHEIM, CALIF. – Today Jim Rettig, university librarian, Boatwright Memorial Library University of Richmond, began his term as 2008-2009 president of the American Library Association (ALA).

As ALA president, Rettig is the chief elected officer of the oldest and largest library organization in the world. Established in 1876, the American Library Association has more than 65,000 members. Its mission is to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

“I am honored to serve ALA’s members as their president,” Rettig said. “I look forward to promoting the value of libraries and their unique, unequalled role in providing lifelong learning opportunities to people of every age, income, and race. Our libraries create connections between people and the information they need to make the most of their lives in our ever changing and increasingly diverse society.”

Rettig served on the ALA Executive Board from 2003 to 2006 and was elected to three terms on the ALA Council. He also served as chair of the ALA Committee on Organization (2000-2003) and ALA Publishing Committee (1997-1999). Rettig is a past president of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) and chaired the College & Research Libraries News Editorial Board, a publication of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) from 1986 to 1988.

Before joining the University of Richmond in 1998, Rettig held administrative and public service positions at the College of William and Mary, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Dayton and Murray State University. He wrote the monthly "Current Reference Books" review column in Wilson Library Bulletin, continued online as "Rettig on Reference, " for 18 years. He also served as a member of the OCLC Reference Services Advisory Committee from 1992 to 1995.

Rettig has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies. He also has received ALA's G.K. Hall Award for Library Literature, RUSA's Mudge Citation and Shores-Oryx Press Award, and Online magazine's author award. He holds a master's degree in English from Marquette University and a master's in library science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

RUSA is a division of the American Library Association.

Camila Alire, dean emerita at the University of New Mexico and Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., today also began her term as ALA president-elect. She will assume the ALA presidency in June 2009 at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.