LaRue, Todaro seek 2016-17 ALA presidency

For Immediate Release
Fri, 09/26/2014


JoAnne Kempf


Office of ALA Governance

CHICAGO — James LaRue, CEO of LaRue & Associates, Castle Rock, Colo., and Julie Todaro, Dean of Library Services at Austin (Texas) Community College, are the candidates for the 2016-17 presidency of the American Library Association (ALA).

LaRue has been an ALA member since 1994 and has served as a member of the ALA Digital Content Working Group from 2010-14.

Recently retired from the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries, he has also held offices on the Bibliographic Center for Research Board of Trustees, the OCLC Membership Council, and has served on numerous committees of the Colorado State Library and the Colorado Library Association, including a stint as its president (1998-99).

"This is a time of both extraordinary opportunity and extraordinary challenge,” said LaRue. “Librarians have a vital role to play, right now, at the birth of an unparalleled explosion of local, national, and international content creation. We are also urgently needed to help our communities thrive, and to promote literacy for the young, which itself solves many community problems before they begin. I am honored to have the opportunity to speak on behalf of our profession as a candidate for ALA President."

In 1998, LaRue was named Colorado Librarian of the Year, and received the Colorado Library Association’s Julie J. Boucher Award for Intellectual Freedom in 2000 and again in 2007. Other honors include the John Cotton Dana Award for the Douglas County Libraries for the 2006 project “Page to Stage” and the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce’s 2003 Business Person of the Year.  Upon his retirement in January 2014, the Board of Trustees of the Douglas County Libraries renamed the former Highlands Ranch Library to the James H. LaRue Library.

He led the establishment of an independent public library district in Douglas County, Colo., which went from the worst ranked public library in the state in 1990 to the top ranked library in the nation in 2006. For over 20 years he wrote a weekly newspaper column connecting the public library to the community, and most recently has written an eContent blog (2011-14).

LaRue holds a Master of Science degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Science degree in Philosophy and English from Illinois State University.

Todaro has been an ALA member since 1972.

Her activities—which focus on all types of libraries—include co-chair of President Stripling’s “Libraries From Now On” summit; co-chair of President Alire’s “Frontline Advocacy” initiative; member of President Kranich’s “Information Literacy Partnerships” initiative; member of President Somerville’s “Kids Can’t Wait” initiative and lead authorship of Alire’s ACRL presidential initiative “The Power of Persuasion.” Todaro is the 2007-08 past-president of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the 2000-01 Texas Library Association (TLA) past-president and 2012 chair of the Texas Council of Academic Librarians. She has been active in ALA divisions and round tables including ACRL, the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA), the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT). Todaro was the chair for Texas School Library Standards, Public Library Development, and Transforming Texas Libraries committees.

”My professional commitment has been to the communication of the role and value of libraries, librarians, library workers and library supporters,” said Todaro. “Although ‘role and value’ is typically an easy sell to our loyal constituents, our challenge has been and continues to be creating awareness, illustrating outcomes and proving worth to decision makers and funders. It would be an honor to serve ALA members and stakeholders to advance the vision and mission of libraries.”

Todaro received the TLA 1996 Librarian of the Year Award, the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award and received the 2005 Austin Business Journal Profiles in Power Award.

She is the author of “Library Management for the Digital Age: A New Paradigm, Rowman and Littlefield, 2014; “Emergency Preparedness for Libraries,” Government Institutes, 2009; co-authored “Training Library Staff and Volunteers to Provide Extraordinary Customer Service,” Neal-Schuman, 2006 and authored the columns “Truth is Out There” (LLAMA) and “Nothing but Net” (Community & Junior College Libraries).

Todaro is the Dean of Library Services for Austin Community College in Austin, Texas. She earned her DLS from Columbia University’s School of Library Service, a MLS from The University of Texas Graduate School of Library Science (including school librarian all-level certification) and her BS in English and History from The University of Texas.

LaRue and Todaro will engage in a candidates’ forum from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31, during the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago.  The candidates will each have an opportunity to make a statement and will answer questions from the audience.

Ballot mailing for the 2015 ALA Election will begin on March 24.  The election will close on May 1, 2015.