For immediate release | September 22, 2014

Banks and Ford named 2014-2015 co-chairs of planned giving campaign

CHICAGO — Coming on board to lead the next phase of the 15 x 15 planned giving campaign are new co-chairs Robert Banks and Barbara Ford. In June 2012, ALA launched an ambitious campaign to raise $15 million in future support to the Association by Dec. 31, 2015.

As of Sept. 1, 2014, 51 individuals have committed, recommitted or increased their gift amount to more than $5.2 million in support of their areas of interest across the association.

Rob Banks and Barbara Ford are both members of the ALA Legacy Society. The ALA Legacy Society honors individuals who participate in the Association’s planned giving program by including ALA, a division, office, round table or program such as the Spectrum Scholarship Program in their wills or estate plans.

"Both Barbara and Rob bring tremendous experience to the campaign as well as a strong commitment to our professional community," said ALA President Courtney Young. "There are unprecedented opportunities ahead for the Association, as a leading national institution and around the globe. They will do a great job engaging people in our mission to create more future opportunities for individuals and programs. I look forward to working with both of them over the next year."

New members of the ALA Legacy Society from June 2012 to September 2014 include: Robert Banks, Anne Beaubien, Katharina Blackstead, Irene Briggs, Trevor Dawes, Janice Feye-Stukas, Julia Gelfand and David Lang, Carolyn Giambra, Ken Haycock, Richard Huffine, Virginia Moore, Jim and Fran Neal, Joyce Ogburn and Steven Eichner, Mary Jane Petrowski, Larry Romans and Mike Morgan, Roberta and George Stevens, William Turner and Patricia Wand.

Robert Banks said, “These gifts made by ALA members and friends and those still considering making a gift will ultimately give the Association the ability to plan with confidence, recognizing that resources will be available to achieve long-range goals in the areas of advocacy, professional development and policy. ALA Legacy Society members are committed to extending ALA’s transformational impact for decades to come.”

Banks and Ford succeed Carole Fiore and J. Linda Williams, 2013-2014 co-chairs. Jim Neal, vice president for information services and university librarian at Columbia University, served as founding chair.

“Rob and I are supporting this campaign because we have seen the impact that prior legacy gifts have had on our members throughout the Association, and each of us hopes our gifts will do the same,” said Barbara Ford. “We are excited about the Association’s future, and encouraged by generosity of ALA members and friends as we work together to continue our dash to the finish line of the campaign and beyond.”

Robert Banks, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library chief operating officer, currently serves on the ALA Executive Board and as a Kansas councilor on the ALA Council. Banks has been a leader in libraries for more than a decade and has represented Kansas libraries on the local, state and national level. Locally, he is active on the Safe Streets Task Force and Teens Taking Action and former member of the Topeka Landmarks Commission, TurnAround Team and Topeka Symphony Orchestra. Banks is a past president of Mountain Plains Library Association, addressing the needs of libraries in Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Barbara J. Ford, Mortenson Distinguished Professor Emerita, retired from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library at the end of May 2014. ALA, the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have recognized Ford with awards for her significant contributions and dedication to international librarianship. Ford was the 1997-1998 president of the ALA; her theme was “Libraries: Global Reach, Local Touch.” She was president of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of ALA, and she served as an elected member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Governing Board. She served on the U.S. National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Ford previously worked as assistant commissioner at the Chicago Public Library and in leadership roles in libraries at Virginia Commonwealth University, Trinity University in Texas, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama and Nicaragua.

To learn more about the ALA 15x15 planned giving campaign and becoming a member of the ALA Legacy Society to help ensure the long-term strength of the Association, please visit

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 57,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association 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.


Michael Gallego

Development Associate

ALA Development Office