American Library Association Congratulates Two Past Presidents on Appointment to National Museum and Library Services Board

For Immediate Release
Fri, 08/19/2022


Raymond Garcia

Communications Specialist

Communications and Marketing Office

Two Past Presidents of the American Library Association (ALA), Julius C. Jefferson Jr., and James G. Neal, were among 11 new appointees to the National Museum and Library Services Board. The five-year appointments were announced this week by President Biden. The board advises the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) on policy as well as the annual selection of National Medals honorees. 

ALA President Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada congratulated the two Past Presidents on their appointments, saying, “Their commitment to ALA’s core values has been demonstrated time and again over the years. As we continue to build a socially just and equitable profession and society, I am appreciative of the leadership and responsibility to our shared commitments that they will bring to libraries and museums nationwide through IMLS.” 

Jefferson served as 2020-2021 ALA President and currently works for the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress. Of his appointment, he said, “It is an honor to be appointed by President Biden to the National Museum and Library Services Board.  At this critical moment museums and libraries can have an impact advancing and supporting the needs and services to all in our communities, my service to the Board will be an opportunity to support the important mission of IMLS, help realize the vision of IMLS Director Crosby Kemper and work with a talented and committed Board of museum and library champions." Jefferson is also supporting the development of a new national public awareness campaign for libraries as co-chair of the ALA Branding Workgroup.  

Neal served as 2017-2018 ALA President and was awarded this year with honorary membership in the Association, ALA's highest honor. It is conferred in recognition of outstanding contributions of lasting importance to libraries and librarianship. Neal is University Librarian Emeritus at Columbia University and is a consultant, published author, and frequent speaker at national and international conferences, with focuses in the areas of scholarly communication, intellectual property, digital library programs, and library cooperation. In discussing his appointment to the board, Neal said, “I am honored to be appointed to the National Museum and Library Services Board. I look forward to working with my IMLS and Board colleagues as we invest in these two vital cultural and educational organizations, support library and museum workers, and advance research and leadership projects.” 

IMLS awarded more than $200 million in grants to U.S. libraries last year. To learn more about its work, see: 


The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. Visit for more information.