American Library Association announces leadership changes in Core

For Immediate Release
Tue, 10/17/2023


Raymond Garcia

Communications Specialist

Communications, Marketing, and Media Relations Office

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce that Julie Reese, with full support of the board of directors of Core, has been named executive director of Core, a division of ALA.  Reese began serving as interim executive director of Core in September 2022.  Since that time, she has worked closely with Core's board of directors and members to ensure Core's mission, programs, and services align with strategic goals. She has worked to develop new relationships across ALA units and external stakeholders and peer organizations holding mutual interests. This October, Reese will oversee the highly successful second annual Core Forum in New Orleans, LA.  

Reese has been with ALA for 22 years, beginning with former divisions Library Leadership & Management Association (LLAMA) and Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) and now in Core. She quickly grew the continuing education offerings from ALCTS and the LLAMA regional institutes and ALCTS National Conference in the years to follow. During her tenure with ALCTS, she saw the birth of web courses—then webinars—and created ALCTS’s first-ever week-long virtual forum, the ALCTS Exchange. Reese has been a leader among her peers at ALA and beyond for producing online continuing education programs. Her dedication to members and customer service is evident, and she has always operated with the best interest of members in mind.

In 2020, Reese moved into the role of deputy executive director of leadership and learning for Core. Despite the challenges of starting a new division and planning events during a pandemic, she has successfully established the Core CE program and is building a strong suite of CE products including webinars, web courses, classrooms, as well as virtual and in-person conferences. In September 2021, she stepped into the role of Interim Executive Director.  During her interim year, Reese oversaw the development and implementation of Core’s first in-person conference, Core Forum, which was held in Salt Lake City in October 2022. With Reese in the lead, Core has been able to achieve a balanced budget for FY23, a first for Core, which was the goal for year three of the division.  

Reese earned an ALCTS Presidential Citation in 2007 for her work on ALCTS continuing education and programs, and again in 2017 for her efforts in the creation and production of the virtual ALCTS Exchange. She also earned resolutions from the ALCTS Board on her anniversaries in 2010 and 2015 in honor of her excellent ongoing contributions to ALCTS and its members. Reese is the proud mother of two daughters, Evelyn (age 21) and Shannon (age 18). She enjoys staying active by playing sports with friends and running with her dog, Rocky.

Core Executive Board President Wendy Tressler said, "I am very excited that Julie is the next executive director for Core.  Our board has been continually impressed by her guidance regarding strategy, operations, and innovation, as well as her dedication to the work of our division and ALA. Her excellent leadership skills and understanding of associations and ALA led to a successful merger of LLAMA, LITA, and ALCTS. Core is successfully working as a key division of ALA due to her leadership." 

Reese began her position in late May.

With the promotion of Reese, ALA is pleased to welcome current Core interim deputy executive director leadership & learning, Thomas Ferren as Core deputy executive director of learning and events.

Previously, Ferren has been in the role as Core program officer of professional development. He has been successfully managing the Core continuing education program and his commitment to maintaining Core CE products including webinars, web courses, classrooms, pre-conferences, tours, virtual conference, Annual Conference programs and Core Forum. Ferren’s dedication to Core members and committees makes him an excellent choice to be Director of Learning & Events.

Prior to Core, Ferren joined ALCTS as the program officer for continuing education in 2019. He came to ALCTS from being ALA's senior registration coordinator, a position he held from 2007-2011 and 2016-2019. In this position, was handling registration for nearly 200 face-to-face meetings, affiliate conferences, online courses, and webinars. In addition, he was very involved with the ALCTS continuing education.

Prior to working at ALA, Ferren worked for Compusystems as ALA's event manager on ALA's Midwinter and Annual Conferences. Also, he worked at the American Academy of Periodontology as the program and meetings coordinator. Ferren’s previous experience will be a great asset as he takes on his new role.  

About Core

Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures is the national association that advances the profession of librarians and information providers in central roles of leadership and management, collections and technical services, and technology. Our mission is to cultivate and amplify the collective expertise of library workers in core functions through community building, advocacy, and learning. Core is a division of the American Library Association. Follow us on our BlogTwitterInstagram, or LinkedIn.

About the American Library Association

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, the 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. For more information, visit