Roberta Stevens elected ALA President for 2010-2011

Contact: Steve Zalusky
Manager of Communications,
ALA Public Information Office
(312) 280-1546

For Immediate Release,
May 1, 2009

CHICAGO – Roberta Stevens, outreach projects and partnerships officer at the Library of Congress and project manager for the National Book Festival, has been elected president of the American Library Association (ALA) for the 2010-2011 term, defeating Kenton L. Oliver, executive director of the Stark County District Library in Canton, Ohio.

As ALA president, Stevens will be the chief elected officer for the oldest and largest library organization in the world. The ALA has a membership of more than 67,000 librarians, library trustees and library supporters. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

Stevens will become president-elect in July 2009, and will assume the ALA presidency in July 2010, following the ALA Annual Conference. She will serve a one-year term as president and a one-year term as Immediate Past President.

“Being elected vice-president/president elect of the American Library Association is an extraordinary honor,” said Stevens. “I’d like to express my gratitude to ALA’s members for their confidence in my ability to lead the association and I pledge to advocate tirelessly for all libraries and library employees during these challenging economic times. Like our nation, we as an association have the opportunity to map a course that reflects the new ways in which we work and communicate. I look forward to working with everyone in ALA to ensure that all Americans have access to the library collections and services that they have come to rely on as a critical component of our dynamic democracy.” Â

“As we saw in the campaign, Kent Oliver has a long history of contributing to the profession on a national and local level. I know that he will continue to contribute his spirited support for ALA and our core value of intellectual freedom.”

Stevens previously served as the Library of Congress Bicentennial Program Manager, which included major nationwide projects in partnership with the American Library Association. Prior to joining the Library of Congress, she was the Director of Technical Operations for the Fairfax County Public Library. She also worked as a school librarian and as head of media services for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (at the Rochester Institute of Technology).

Stevens is currently completing her three-year term on the ALA Executive Board and as a  member of its Finance & Audit Committee and its representative to the Seven Measures of Success Working Group. Previously, she was elected to the ALA Council for two successive terms and served on the Committee on Legislation, chairing its Privacy and Telecommunications subcommittees.

For nearly a decade, Stevens managed the Library of Congress exhibit booth at the ALA Annual Conference and Midwinter Meetings. She organized the All Conference Reception at the 1998 Annual Conference and the program of tours, presentations, workshops and seminars at the Library of Congress for attendees at the 1998 conference and the 1997 Midwinter Meeting in Washington, D.C.

She was recently named the recipient of the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Graduate School of Education at the University at Buffalo. The award will be given next week as part of the commencement ceremony.

Stevens received a bachelor’s and an MLS degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and an MA in English from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She also took courses in the MBA program at George Mason University. She was the first former graduate of the MLS program at Buffalo to be invited as the commencement speaker.