I want to thank everyone who supported me as a candidate for the Presidency of the American Library Association (ALA). During the campaign, I had the opportunity to talk with many people. Some of these people are current members, some once were, and some have never been.
Each person who shared their story gave me an amazing gift – the opportunity to learn from their experiences. I heard some wonderful stories about how ALA is a community that nurtures and supports library workers. Unfortunately, I also heard many stories from people who feel alienated from ALA and who shared their pain at being disconnected from the association and their community of practice.
I end my experience as a candidate with the conviction that we have a lot of work to do if ALA is to achieve its vision of Prioritizing Diversity and Inclusion. It is my hope that my campaign focus on creating An Ethos of Hospitality in ALA has started a conversation that will find its way to action. While I would have been pleased to lead that process, it is more important to me that it happen than that I am leading it.
As I close this short reflection on the chapter of my life that was being a candidate for ALA President, I would like to invite everyone who is making committee appointments in ALA over the coming year to make the pledge that I made during the campaign. For whatever your scope of appointing authority, challenge yourself to appoint at least one person who has not previously served in your section, interest group, round table, division, association, etc. to every committee, task force, working group, etc. You have the ability to intentionally create space at the table and invite people in.
It was a great honor to stand for election to the ALA Presidency and an experience that I won’t ever forget. I wish the best to Jim Neal and ALA during his presidency.