May 17, 2022

Mary Ellen Davis Announces Retirement As ACRL Executive Director

From an ALA Statement/ACRL Blog Post:

Mary Ellen Davis

Today Mary Ellen K. Davis, executive director of the Association of College & Research (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced her retirement effective April 24, 2020.

Since 2001, Davis has led the division and inspired innovation and the development of programs that have empowered academic and research librarians to advance learning, transform scholarship, and document their contributions to the broader campus and higher education communities. She leaves office as the longest serving executive director in ACRL’s more than 75-year history.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the academic and research library community through my various roles at ACRL,” Davis reflected. “I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish working together with passionate members and a dedicated staff.”


“Mary Ellen is a visionary and tireless leader,” said ACRL President Karen Munro. “She has combined an exceptional service ethic, boundless creativity, and top-notch management skills to motivate and empower members and staff in the work of the association. Thanks to Mary Ellen’s leadership, ACRL is today the pre-eminent North American professional association for academic and research librarians, with a strong culture of innovation, and a focus on advocacy, professional development, and equity, diversity, and inclusion.

“The ACRL Board and its members are grateful for her superlative service to ACRL and ALA, and we wish her all the best in her well-earned retirement.”

ACRL will celebrate Davis’ significant accomplishments in leading the profession at the 2020 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

Kara Malenfant, ACRL senior strategist for special initiatives, will serve as association interim executive director. Details about the search for a new executive director will be announced this spring.

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.