Will Shorter named 2021 ALA Trustee Citation recipient

For Immediate Release
Mon, 05/03/2021


Trish McFadden

Program Coordinator

United for Libraries

United for Libraries



ALA and United for Libraries have named William A. Shorter, Jr., Anne Arundel County Public Library (Md.) Board of Trustees Chair, a recipient of the ALA Trustee Citation.

The ALA Trustee Citation, estab­lished in 1941 to recognize public li­brary Trustees for distinguished service to library development, honors the best contributions and efforts of the esti­mated 60,000 American citizens who serve on library boards. William A. Shorter, Jr. will be highlighted as the recipient of the ALA Trustee Citation at the Opening Session of the ALA Annual Virtual event on June 24.

Before graduating from the University of Baltimore in 2018, Will Shorter served on the Board of Regents for the University of Maryland System with titans for education twice his age. He joined the Board of Trustees of the Anne Arundel County Public Library in May 2019. At the October 2019 Board meeting, Shorter was elected 2nd Vice Chairman. He served in this role as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board until he was elected Chairman in June 2020, making him the youngest Board of Trustees Chairman in the United States at age 23.

Shorter initiated a review of board governance by hiring Maureen Sullivan as a consultant to review all governance and management aspects of the library system. He worked closely with the Board’s ad hoc Cybersecurity Committee, which was formed in 2019, to review the fallout from a severe malware attack on the library’s IT infrastructure in 2018. That committee encouraged staff to hire an outside firm to conduct a cybersecurity audit that was completed in November 2020.

As a result of the Sullivan report, Shorter is overseeing a restructuring of Board committees and meeting schedules to make it more effective and agile. He is working to review and act upon the recommendations for (a) board governance, (b) administration, and (c) relationships between the Board of Trustees and the AACPL Foundation Board of Directors.

Shorter has served on two panels for the American Library Association. In September 2020, he addressed an audience of several hundred on the United for Libraries webinar Responding When COVID Comes to Your Library: Learning from Real Stories. At the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January 2021, he spoke on a panel about The Road Ahead: Libraries in an Uncertain Future. 

Will Shorter grew up a lifelong resident of Glen Burnie in northern Anne Arundel County. He and Anne Arundel County Public Library CEO Skip Auld are working closely to plan for two new libraries to replace the Glen Burnie branch, his childhood library.

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. To join, please visit www.ala.org/united or call (800) 545-2433, ext. 2161.