ALA goes green for ALA election

Contact: Steve Zalusky

Manager of Communications

ALA Public Information Office



For Immediate Release,

March 24, 2010

CHICAGO – For the second year in a row, the American Library Association is holding its election exclusively online.

For the ALA, the reasons for dispensing with paper are related in one way or another to the color green: green in an environmental sense as well as green in a monetary sense.

“The decision to hold an exclusively online election is good for the association and the environment, especially when every organization is looking at ways to reduce consumption of energy and adopt greener approaches,” said ALA President Dr. Camila Alire. “Funds that would have been directed toward the production of paper ballots can now be diverted toward the support of critical member services and advocacy activities on behalf of libraries.”

But the ALA’s decision was motivated as well by the numbers. In deciding to discontinue paper ballots, the ALA recognized the success of the electronic balloting initiative it started six years ago. Since 2004, the number of online voters has grown, and member participation in the election process has increased.

Although the 2010 election is being conducted online, there remains one exception. Members with disabilities and without Internet access may obtain a paper ballot by contacting ALA customer service at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5. Those without Internet access at home or work can easily access the election site by visiting their local public (or in many instances academic or school) library.

For AL Focus videos featuring candidates answering questions at this year’s Midwinter Meeting, visit

“Voting is one of the most important things you do as a member,” said ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. “The President and Treasurer represent all of us as members, whether doing hundreds of media interviews each year or helping to guide the association through financial opportunities and challenges. They are our spokespeople - and that of libraries around the country.”

Fiels made his comments in a video that can be viewed by visiting

The polls opened on March 16 and the ALA notified voters by e-mail, providing them with their unique passcodes and information about how to vote online. Polls will close on April 23 at 11:59 p.m. CST.