May 17, 2022

The Search for a New ALA Executive Director Gets Underway

From the American Library Association:

The American Library Association (ALA) announced today it has opened its search for an executive director, in partnership with corporate executive search firm Isaacson, Miller, to succeed current ALA Executive Director Mary W. Ghikas. The search will be led by a new ALA Executive Director Search Committee comprising various member leaders and senior association staff.

The job description and information for interested parties is now available on Isaacson, Miller’s website.

“This is an exciting time for members, ALA leadership and staff as we work together to transform the association, profession and the diverse communities we serve,” said ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo. “Change is never easy, but the decades of collective professional experience offered by our new ALA Executive Director Search Committee members and Isaacson, Miller brings peace of mind in our search for a dynamic leader.”

ALA Executive Board plans to name a new executive director after its fall board meeting in October 2019. The new executive director will officially assume leadership after the ALA Midwinter Meeting 2020 in Philadelphia. Ghikas will support the orientation and transition process as Deputy Executive Director through the 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago.


Members of the ALA Executive Director Search Committee include:

  • Chair Courtney L. Young, university librarian, Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y
  • ALA Executive Board Rep., Tamika Barnes, department head, Perimeter Library Services at Georgia State University, Dunwoody, Ga.
  • ALA Executive Board Rep., Trevor Dawes, vice provost, Libraries and Museums and May Morris University librarian, University of Delaware, Newark, Del.
  • ALA Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC) Rep., Carl A. Harvey II, assistant professor, School Librarianship, Longwood University, Farmville, Va.
  • ALA At-Large Councilor Rep., Peter Hepburn, head librarian, College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, Calif.
  • Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) Rep., Dora Ho, young adult librarian, Los Angeles Public Library
  • ALA Staff Liaison Rep., Daniel Hoppe, associate executive director, ALA Human Resources, Chicago
  • ALA Chapter Councilors Rep., Susan Jennings, dean of library services, Chattanooga (Tenn.) State Community College
  • ALA Round Tables Rep., Charles Kratz, dean of library anf information fluency, University of Scranton (Pa.) Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Memorial Library
  • ALA Staff Rep., Barb Macikas, executive director, Public Library Association, Chicago
  • ALA Divisions Rep., James (Jim) Neal, university librarian emeritus, Columbia University, New York
  • ALA Staff Rep., Sheila O’Donnell, director, ALA Development Office, Chicago
  • ALA Emerging Leaders Rep., Melissa Stoner, Native American studies librarian, Ethnic Studies Library, University of California, Berkeley, Calif.
  • ALA Divisions Rep., Steven Yates, assistant director, University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Science, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Read the Complete Announcement


ALA Full Membership to Vote on Executive Director Qualifications (Library Journal; January 25, 2018)

American Library Association (ALA) Appoints Mary Ghikas as Executive Director Through January 2020 (January 25, 2018)

Update on the Search for the Next ALA Executive Director (via YALSA Blog (December 13, 2017)
Includes information about the “failed search” attempt to find and hire a new executive director that took place in 2017.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.