Libraries are an iconic feature of American civic life. For many, libraries have introduced them to the joy of learning and the magic of books; have offered a safe and productive haven for study, research and reflection; and have transformed user’s lives through educational programs and community resources. Not only have America’s libraries changed the lives of many of their users, they themselves have transformed as societal needs, technology, and other forces in the economy have dramatically reshaped the role and nature of libraries. Libraries have adapted to the digital age and are committed to meeting the evolving needs of their communities.
The American Library Association (ALA) seeks a dynamic, innovative, enterprising, and experienced leader in the library and information resources field to serve as its next Executive Director. Founded in 1876, the ALA is the world’s oldest and largest library association and promotes the work of libraries, librarians, and the value of professional library and information science education. It advocates for issues and values that are important to the field and to a free and open information society. ALA achieves these goals through its programs, publications, annual conferences, professional development and outreach work. The Association, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, represents over 58,000 members, has a staff of 260, and an annual budget of $52 million. ALA also has an office in Washington DC that represents libraries on Capitol Hill, and consists of the Office of Government Relations (OGR) and the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP).
The position of Executive Director of the American Library Association offers an extraordinary and exciting opportunity to champion, represent and support one of the most trusted and valuable institutions in American society. The next Executive Director will be able to leverage the organization’s strong reputation and the passion and dedication of the Association’s members, staff and elected leaders to build even stronger support for libraries, those who work in them, and the millions of users who benefit from them.
The ALA has engaged Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist with this important search. Candidates will be considered only if they possess an ALA accredited Master’s Degree or a CAEP accredited Master’s Degree with a specialty in School Library Media.
Inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed in confidence to:
Nanette M. Blandin and Marc St. Hilaire
The American Library Association is an equal opportunity employer: Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran
The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world.
Founded on October 6, 1876 during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the mission of ALA is “to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.”
On June 28, 2015, the ALA Council adopted a new Strategic Plan (2017 Update) and the Association’s new strategic directions for the next three to five years. Building on the Council-adopted Key Action Areas, three strategic initiatives have been identified as priority areas of focus for the Association. At the 2017 Midwinter Meeting, ALA Council approved a fourth direction on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The four strategic directions are:
In pursuing our mission, the Association’s core value statements define our deepest aspirations and how we approach our work together. They are:
Eight Key Action Areas, refined over time by the ALA Council as the Association’s annual programmatic priorities, have defined the broad scope of our work and where we seek to have significant impact:
Within this broad framework, the new strategic directions have been identified as areas of intense focus for the next three to five years. For each of these strategic directions, there are goals that articulate the outcomes we would like to achieve and answer the question: “what would success look like?” For each direction, there are also strategies articulating how we would move toward the achievement of these goals.
For more information on the ALA Strategic Directions and Key Action Areas, see the Strategic Plan (2017 Update) . For more information on strategic planning at ALA and the detailed Advocacy, Information Policy and Professional and Leadership Development implementation plans, see ALA Strategic Planning.