Magazine article American Libraries

President-Elect Long Wants to Boost the Public's View of Libraries

Magazine article American Libraries

President-Elect Long Wants to Boost the Public's View of Libraries

Article excerpt

Sarah Long, who won the 1999-2000 ALA presidency in May with 57% of the votes cast (AL, June/July, p. 8), told American Libraries in a June interview that though she has yet to fully formulate her presidential theme, "it will be partly based on looking outward, that libraries have so much to give." She believes ALA should take a leadership role in addressing people's perceptions of the library.

"We have changed; yet very often when we stop people on the street and ask them about the library, their perceptions are rather sweet and old-fashioned," she said. "I think we have much to do in showing the possibilities for the future of the library."

Long would like to see ALA partner with other associations and focus on commonalities with such groups as the American Association of Law Librarians. "There are things we can do together for our mutual benefit that either one of us working alone could not accomplish with the same maximum impact."

The 55-year-old president-elect is particularly convinced of the importance of continuous education. She said "the environment we work and live in is so challenging that we of necessity need to be learning every day because our environment, our publics demand that of US."

Since 1989 Long has directed the North Suburban Library System in Wheeling, Illinois, where she oversees an organization of 680 academic, public, school, and special libraries. She previously directed the Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon, the Dauphin County Library System in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and the Fairfield County District Library in Lancaster, Ohio.

A native Georgian, Long stayed in Atlanta to earn both a bachelor's degree in education from Oglethorpe University and an MLS from Emory University. …

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