Wanda Brown: Director of Library Services, O'Kelly Library, Winston-Salem (N.C.) State University: Wandaforala2019.Com

American Libraries, March-April 2018 | Go to article overview

Wanda Brown: Director of Library Services, O'Kelly Library, Winston-Salem (N.C.) State University: Wandaforala2019.Com


The American Library Association's (ALA) presidential election comes at a challenging time for libraries, librarians, and library workers. Our libraries are under fire.

Many of our funders and constituents do not understand the role of the modern library and the tremendous impact we have on the communities we serve. As members of a profession that has so much influence and shares in the dissemination of information, librarians and library workers need to demonstrate the value and relevance of libraries to our stakeholders. We can do this by leaning on our member associations on the national, state, and local levels.

Our ability to demonstrate value is essential to our survival. Educating and teaching others how to advocate for our patrons, our communities, and our profession is critical for future success. As a candidate for ALA president, I am passionate about working to bring about that change. I recognize that our strength is our willingness to work together and to partner in building a stronger future.

Here's where I will concentrate my efforts to ensure this future:

Education. Libraries are built around the desire to enable the success of others and to support lifelong learning. We must take responsibility for our role in educating and defining what teaching looks like--including mentoring and coaching new professionals on our values and ideals--for all different learners.

Inclusiveness. When we truly welcome and value all the voices we bring to the table, we practice what should be at the very heart of our profession. Inclusion should be seen to broadly encompass multiple characteristics from different perspectives to ensure that social justice prevails. …

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