ALA Presidential Candidates (2013)

Steve speaks with the two candidates for president of the American Library Association for 2013.

Read the transcript.

Courtney L. Young is currently Head Librarian and Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Penn State Greater Allegheny. She is an active leader in the American Library Association (ALA), serving on the ALA Executive Board (2009-2012) and as a past President of the New Members Round Table (2009-2010). In 2011, Courtney was named a Library Journal “Mover& Shaker”, recognized as a Change Agent for her ability to successfully make connections among a diversity of duties in her library, on campus, and in the profession. She graduated from the College of Wooster in Ohio with a B.A. in English and minors in Black Studies and Women’s Studies. She received her M.S. in Library Science from Simmons College.

Before coming to Penn State Greater Allegheny, Courtney worked at The Ohio State University, Michigan State University, where she received a Staff Achievement Award as the assistant instruction librarian, and Penn State’s University Park and Beaver campuses. Courtney frequently presents and publishes on issues related to academic librarianship, diversity, virtual reference, and professional development.

Barbara Immroth has worked as a free-lance indexer, an instructor for the State Library of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh, an assistant in the Brown University Library, a librarian for the University of Denver Library, a children’s librarian at Carnegie Library, and a high school librarian in Pittsburgh. Her research interests center on children’s services, children’s health and children’s literature. She is the author of Texas in Children’s Books and co-author of Teaching Texas History: An All-Level Resource Guide. She edited, with Viki Ash-Geisler as co-editor, Achieving School Readiness: Public Libraries and National Education Goal No. 1; and Library Service for Youth of Hispanic Heritage with Kathleen de la Pena McCook. Her most recent books, written with Bill Lukenbill, are Health Information for Youth: The Public Library and School Library Media Center Role and Health Information in a Changing World: Practical Approaches for Teachers, Schools and School Librarians. She is a past President of the Association for Library Service to Children, a former Trustee of the Freedom to Read Foundation, a past President of the Texas Library Association and a past national President of the Beta Phi Mu LIS honorary society. She is the P.I. for two grants that received IMLS funding: “Youth, Community, Libraries: Empowerment for Success” for Ph.D. student recruitment and “Promoting Information Literacy & Teacher Collaboration through Social Marketing Strategies” for a study of librarian-teacher collaboration. She was the first woman in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, now School of Information, at The University of Texas to direct a dissertation.

Please note that these election episodes are done to be informational, not necessarily as an endorsement of one or more candidates.

One thought on “ALA Presidential Candidates (2013)

    When I looked at the ballot for ALA Council, I was stunned to see that it has a whopping 76 candidates for 33 seats. The accompanying candidate’s statement booklet is over 150 pages long. And that is only for 1/3 of the total at-large Council contingent! As they say in the world of internet memes, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

    Not even the U.S. Congress in all its dysfunction expects voters to evaluate, track, and hold accountable 100 representatives at the ballot box. There’s a reason why each U.S. voter only votes for one House seat and two Senate seats — to “guard against the confusion of a multitude,” as James Madison wrote in the Federalist papers.

    What’s more, no other professional association of ALA’s size even comes close to having 100 at-large reps in its governing body. All other associations have less than 20 general governance reps elected at-large. Many have none. Check out this chart of similarly sized professional associations with structures and missions similar to ALA’s:

    Why does ALA have so many at-large council seats? Why are ALA’s ballots so flooded with excess candidates? Why does ALA do it this way, when no other professional association does it this way?

    The ALA Council voted to raise member dues in the future WITHOUT a vote of the membership. That is on the ballot of the upcoming election. Should ALA Council also vote to make itself more transparent and accountable to the members? Tell us what you think!

    Thanks for your time!

    —Sean Reinhart
    ALA Councilor

    P.S. NEW! — “Ain’t nobody got time for that” ALA meme!

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