February 17, 2018

New Executive Board Members Elected to ALA

By LJ Staff

In elections to seats the American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board, the top four vote-getters came clustered in two pairs, which was unfortunate for one of that group, since only three seats were open. Terri Kirk, a librarian at Reidland H.S., Paducah, KY, who was filling out President Michael Gorman’s expiring term, was elected for another three years. Both she and Roberta Stevens of the Library of Congress got 76 votes from the ALA Council. Mario Gonzalez, director of Greenwich PL, CT, and Em Claire Knowles, Assistant Dean at Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Boston, both got 57 votes, and Gonzalez won the seat after the tellers committee drew lots.

Other candidates were JoAnn Pinder, director of the Gwinnett County Public Library, Lawrenceville, GA, 33 votes; Ismail Abdullahi, associate professor, North Carolina Central University School of Library and Information Sciences, Durham, 32 votes; Ling Hwey Jeng, dean of School of Library and Information Studies, Texas Woman’s University, Denton; 30 votes; and Al Kagan, African Studies bibliographer and professor of Library Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 26 votes. There was little evidence that explicit policy positions influenced voters more than experience in libraries and ALA. Two starkly opposed candidates, Pinder and Kagan, fell short of election. Kagan, a representative of the Social Responsibilities Round Table, declared, "My vision of librarianship is broad." Pinder, a former president of the Public Libraries Association, said, "We cannot afford to take our political capital and use it in ways that don’t directly impact library service to customers."