Here’s the ALA announcement that includes brief bios of each candidate.
Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, professor and coordinator for information literacy services and instruction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Sara Gaar Laughlin, retired director of the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington, Indiana, are the candidates for the 2017-18 presidency of the American Library Association (ALA).
Hinchliffe has been an ALA member since 1993 and served as the 2010-11 president of the Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL).
She has held numerous other positions within ACRL and also served on various ALA and division committees, including the International Relations Committee, School Library Implementation Task Force and the Digital Literacy Task Force for the Office for Information Technology Policy. She also served on the National Expert Panel for the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services’ Libraries, Literacy, and Gaming Initiative.
“I am honored to be nominated as a candidate for President of ALA. I joined ALA as an MLS student and have been a continuous member since that time,” said Hinchliffe. “I have learned so much from so many colleagues in the association. It would be a privilege to give back to the profession by serving in this role. As ALA President, my goal will be to enable all ALA members to benefit from their connection with the association in order to better serve their communities and strengthen our libraries. Together, we can improve and transform people’s lives and our society.”
In her role as ACRL president, Hinchliffe’s initiative on the Value of Academic Libraries catalyzed a national conversation and has positioned libraries as leaders in higher education on assessment of student learning and success. It generated multiple open access reports and resources and garnered two IMLS grants.
Hinchliffe is the recipient of the 2015 ACRL Instruction Section Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award as well as the 2009 ACRL Special Presidential Recognition Award for Information Literacy Immersion Program. She was also awarded the University of Illinois GSLIS Library School Alumni Association Leadership Award in 2003 and the University of Illinois GSLIS Jane B. and Robert B. Downs Professional Promise Award in 1995.
Hinchliffe holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas, an MS in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois and an EdM in Educational Psychology, also from the University of Illinois.
An ALA member since 1980, Laughlin served as the 2013-14 president of the Association for Special and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) and was a member of ALA Council from 1991-1995.
In addition to her numerous past ALA and ASCLA committee positions, Laughlin is the current president of the Bloomington (Indiana) Rotary Club and is a past president of the Indiana Library Federation and past president of the Friends of Indiana Libraries.
She was awarded the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Franklin Initiative, and the IU School of Library and Information Science awarded her the 2006 Beta Phi Mu Outstanding Service Award. Laughlin also received the ASCLA Service Award in 2004.
In 2014, Laughlin won the Indiana Library Federation Programming Award for Monroe County Public Library’s efforts to improve services to people with disabilities. As an independent consultant, she has facilitated planning in public libraries, school districts and nonprofit organizations that have resulted in new facilities, enhanced funding and improved public support. She co-authored two books on continuous improvement, published by ALA Editions and endeavored to apply continuous improvement principles in her consulting and in other leadership roles. Her public awareness campaigns resulted in two John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards and two awards from Friends of Libraries USA (now United for Libraries).
“I look forward to helping ALA continue to be a powerful voice for libraries and librarianship,” said Laughlin. “With the new Strategic Directions as our guide, we will focus on our customers’ needs and preferences, tell our stories well, leverage key partnerships, and keep learning and questioning everything.”
Laughlin holds an MA in art history and an MLS, both from Indiana University, and a BA in American history from the University of Cincinnati.
Hinchliffe and Laughlin will engage in a candidates’ forum from 4:30 – 5:30 pm on Saturday, Jan. 9, during the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston. The candidates will each have an opportunity to make a statement and will answer questions from the audience.
Ballot mailing for the 2016 ALA election will begin on March 15, 2016 and will run through April 22, 2016. Individuals must be members in good standing as of Jan. 31, 2016 in order to vote in the ALA election.