Barbara A. Macikas named PLA executive director

Contact: Kathleen Hughes

Public Library Association

(312) 280-4028


For Immediate Release

November 10, 2009

Barbara A. Macikas has been named executive director of the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Macikas, who was chosen from a nationwide pool of candidates, will assume her responsibilities at PLA on Nov. 23, 2009.

Macikas brings extensive association management experience to the position. She served as executive director of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) and the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), divisions of the ALA, from May 2007 to May 2009. In that position, she worked with the boards of directors of two divisions, managed two budgets, directed all day-to-day operations, and facilitated the work of volunteers in both divisions. She also managed a grant-funded project and served on several internal task forces. She left this position in May 2009 to focus on association management projects and consulting.

Prior to assuming leadership of ASCLA and RUSA, Macikas served as deputy executive director of PLA from 2000-2007. In that position, she directed major programs such as the national conference and membership marketing and new initiatives in such diverse areas as pre-school literacy, public library advocacy and recruitment to the profession. She also was responsible for fundraising via the PLA Partners Program and oversaw collaborations with several external organizations. Before assuming the deputy executive director position, she served as Conference Manager for PLA from 1997-2000.

“The pace of change and the economy we face today present public libraries and associations with serious challenges but also with opportunities for meaningful change. PLA has a rich tradition of leadership, innovation and responsiveness and I am absolutely delighted and very honored to be re-joining my colleagues at PLA and ALA to continue that tradition, and to once again have the opportunity to work together for public libraries," said Macikas.

Before joining the PLA staff, she worked as a consultant managing trade shows, conferences and special events for the Illinois Library Association, the American College of Sports Medicine and for ALA's Executive,

Development, and International Relations offices. She has had a rich and varied ALA career. From 1985-1992, she worked in ALA Conference Services, serving as director from 1988-1992. She began her ALA career as a program coordinator (1981-1985) in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

In addition to her active career, she was elected trustee of the Homewood (Illinois) Public Library District, serving as president in 2008-2009, and has served as a volunteer for her local school district's Learning Resource Center. She is a graduate of UIUC, in political science.

“On behalf of the PLA Executive Director Search Committee and the PLA Board of Directors, let me express how pleased we are to welcome Barb Macikas back to PLA,” said Sari Feldman, PLA President. “She brings to the job a history of excellence and innovation and a valuable combination of experience in association management and libraries that will ensure the continued success of PLA."

Search committee members included: Sari Feldman (president, PLA), Carol Sheffer (immediate past president, PLA), Clara Bohrer (past president, PLA), Mary Ellen Davis (executive director, ACRL), Michael Jeffers (editor, ALA Editions), Miguel Figueroa (director, Office for Diversity), Cynthia Vivian (director, ALA Human Resources), and Mary Ghikas (senior associate executive director, ALA).

PLA is a division of the American Library Association. For more information about PLA visit .