ALA endorses Kansas City Public Library Director Crosby Kemper III as new IMLS director nominee

For Immediate Release
Wed, 11/13/2019


Shawnda Hines

Asst. Director, Communications

Public Policy and Advocacy Office

(202) 628-8410

WASHINGTON - Today the American Library Association (ALA) endorsed the nomination of Crosby Kemper III to be the next director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. 

ALA President Wanda Brown said, “The next leader of IMLS needs to highlight the many ways America’s libraries and museums bring opportunity for all. ALA believes Crosby is the right person to shine that spotlight, and we are pleased to endorse him to be the next IMLS director.”

Kemper, a member of both ALA and the Public Library Association, has served as executive director of Kansas City Public Library since 2005. During his tenure the library received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for institutions that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Kemper recently served as chair of the board of directors of the Schools, Health, & Libraries Broadband Coalition, which supports open, affordable broadband connections for local community organizations. Prior to his service in libraries, Mr. Kemper worked as an executive in the financial services sector.

“Libraries and museums are community anchors across America; to thrive, they require strong leadership that will represent the interests of everyone,” said Brown. “One thing is certain: Crosby knows his community and has done a good job bringing in a diversity of programs so there is something for everyone in Kansas City. He will bring that community work, along with his business acumen and extensive museum experience, to bear at the national level. ALA supports a swift and unanimous confirmation in the Senate.”

The IMLS Director is an executive appointment of four years, with each leadership term rotating from library to museum professional. Kemper’s nomination will be reviewed by members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, who will then refer the nominee for confirmation by vote on the full Senate floor.