May 23, 2018

Wanda Brown Wins ALA Presidency

After votes for the American Library Association (ALA) election were tallied on April 11, the organization announced that Wanda Kay Brown would be ALA’s 2019–20 president-elect. Brown, director of library services at the C. G. O’Kelly Library, Winston-Salem State University (WSSU), NC, received 6,066 votes; her opponent, Peter Hepburn, head librarian of the College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, CA, received 4,066 votes, with about 22.1 percent of eligible members voting.  The 11,037 ballots cast were up from last year’s total of 9,748, which represented approximately 20.5 percent of ALA membership.

Brown will serve as ALA president-elect for one year, and step into the role of president at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC. She will succeed Loida García-Febo, who will assume the presidency at ALA Annual in New Orleans in June of this year.

“It is truly an honor to be elected as the next ALA president,” Brown said in a statement. “I thank you for the opportunity to lead. I look forward to working closely with the membership in advocating for libraries, fostering diversity and inclusion, and demonstrating our profession’s value.”

Brown holds a BA in English from Winston-Salem State and an MLS from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). She was awarded the 2009 UNCG Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement and a 2013 UNCG School of Education Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award. Before returning to WSSU to work, Brown served as the associate dean of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University, also in Winston-Salem.

She has been an ALA member for 30 years, as well being an active member of—and holding a number of leadership roles in—the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, and the Library Leadership and Management Association. She is currently serving her second term as treasurer of the Black Caucus of ALA (BCALA), after having served the first from 1992–96 and a term as BCALA president from 2014–16. She also served as president of the North Carolina Library Association from 2011–13.

BCALA has bestowed a number of accolades on Brown over the years, including the 2015 DEMCO/ALA Black Caucus Award for Excellence, the 2013 BCALA Leadership Award, and the 2012 BCALA Distinguished Service Award.

“My vision for libraries is that we remain at the heart of the communities we serve, connecting people with ideas, resources, and support. We are an essential link to developing and sustaining informed and well educated communities,” Brown told LJ in a Q&A as the polls opened in March. “We are social hubs where great minds come together. We are constantly evolving as our users and their needs change. I embrace the challenge of defining our next phase.”

MORE ELECTION RESULTS

ALA members voted 7,663–2,684 to increase personal member dues in September. Depending on membership type, dues will increase by between $1 and $5. An increase in Association dues over the next five years was also approved, subject to the review and approval of the Executive Board.

The proposed amendment to ALA Policy A.4.1.1, which would require the next ALA executive director (ED) to hold an ALA-accredited master’s degree, was not approved. Although a total of 6,515 members voted that the degree should be a requirement, with 3,890 voting that it should only be preferred, the total of 10,405 votes cast only represented 20.79 percent of eligible voters; a total of 25 percent was required for the vote to carry the amendment forward. The Executive Board will proceed with planning for its search process, which will begin in spring 2019; interim ED Mary Ghikas will continue to serve as acting ED through January 2020.

LJ will update further election results here as they are announced.

Lisa Peet About Lisa Peet

Lisa Peet is Associate Editor, News for Library Journal.

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Comments

  1. Murrell Thompson says:

    Congratulations on your post.

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