March 17, 2018

Ghikas, What ALA Needs: The Perfect Model for the Search Committee | Blatant Berry

The Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA) recently appointed Mary Ghikas ALA executive director (ED) through January 2020. Ghikas has been interim ED since last August 2017, when previous ED Keith Fiels retired. Before that she was senior associate ED of member programs and services. After my last column (“A Librarian Must Lead ALA”), the news was deeply reassuring.

A Librarian Must Lead ALA: Be Sure You Vote in March | Blatant Berry

If this headline seems familiar, there’s a good reason: one year ago I said something very similar in “The Devalued MLIS.” At the time, I was addressing the upcoming vote of the American Library Association (ALA) Council on whether ALA should require candidates for its open executive director spot to hold a master’s degree in library science.

ALA Full Membership to Vote on Executive Director Qualifications

Update: On January 25, the ALA Executive Board appointed interim executive director Mary Ghikas as executive director through January 2020, effective immediately. The session at ALA Midwinter will continue as scheduled, and the qualification question will remain on the upcoming all-member ballot. The search process for the executive director will begin in spring 2019 after the position description requirements have been finalized. The ALA Executive Board plans to name a new executive director after the board meeting in October 2019.

The Devalued MLIS: ALA’s Leader Must Be a Librarian | Blatant Berry

For nearly all 140 years of the existence of the American Library Association (ALA), its Executive Director (ED) has been a professional librarian. Today, the credential required to ensure that the ED is a librarian is the Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) degree. However, a group of ALA councilors and Executive Board members apparently wanted to change that.