Meet the PLA Board

Meet Veronda J. Pitchford, Director-at-Large

Veronda J. Pitchford

I’m the assistant director of Califa Group, a nonprofit library membership consortium representing over 200 California public libraries. As part of that role, I serve as a strategic partner for several national grant projects, manage new business development, and manage Infopeople, Califa’s national training arm. I also serve on ALA’s Business Advisory group, and the Center for the Future of Libraries Advisory board. I also do national consulting and presentations on various library topics. Right now, I want to learn more about co-creation, design thinking, and futuring. I’m proud to be a member of PBS POV Documentaries Library Advisory Board and the Reading Between the Lines Executive Board, which is committed to supporting the justice-impacted community with facilitated discussion-based programming that inspires conversation, connections, and critical thinking. Above all, I am and will always be a die-hard library chick.

In my spare time, I collects subversive teacups, phrases that express sentiments with no English translation, learning Tarot, making Spotify playlists*, and reading (duh!).

*Playlist example: The Imposter No More! playlist I created for a talk for a group of ALA Emerging Leaders participants: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4b6Y9keIMxrlY1WLm5jrOa?si=b3d86e79110e448band.

Why I wanted to serve on the PLA Board

My personal mission has always been to support libraries in becoming the rock stars in the communities they serve. My superpowers include connecting, convening, and collaborating. PLA’s work directly aligns with my mission, and I am honored to be a part of the PLA Board serving PLA members supporting the connecting, convening, and collaboration magic that happens through PLA membership and activities.

My vision for the future of public libraries

Public libraries are expert in connecting people to ideas, lived experiences, and information. I would love to see public libraries of the future as the conduit to deeper connections for community members to cultivate more empathy and understanding of each other’s lived experiences, ideas, and struggles.

My favorite book

Picking my favorite book is like picking my favorite kid!

Here are my top three (right now):

A Round Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance by Jane Juska

This Bridge Called my Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, a feminist anthology edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa

White Boy Shuffle by Paul Beatty

Somewhere I love to frequent in my community

In second place after poking around any library I happen to walk by is my favorite wine bar and fromagerie in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood: Uvae Kitchen and Wine Bar and Fromagerie Tasting Room (https://uvaechicago.com).

Photo: Andrew Medlar, president and director, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and Veronda J. Pitchford on their way to the 2023 Coretta Scott King Book Award Breakfast during the American Library Association Conference in Chicago, IL.