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JoAnne M. Kempf (staff)'s picture

Executive Director Search

Posting on behalf of Jim Neal --
Council Colleagues:

In November, Council voted, in accordance with the ALA Bylaws, to change the educational requirement for the ALA Executive Director position from requiring to preferring an ALA-accredited Master’s degree or CAEP-accredited Master’s degree with a specialty in School Library Media.  

Following the announcement of the vote, a petition was posted to put a measure on ALA’s spring 2018 ballot to overturn the Council action. In order to place the measure on the spring 2018 ballot, 1% of ALA’s voting membership must sign the petition.  The petition closes on February 13 and requires  479 signatures based on the August 31, 2017 membership count. As of December 19, 2017, the required number of signatures had been received.    

To overturn a Council action, 25% (approximately 11,975) of ALA’s voting membership must vote; a simple majority of those voting then determines the outcome. For purposes of determining the 25%, paid membership as of January 31, 2018 will be used.  Note that ALA’s “voting membership” includes those who are members in good standing, i.e., have paid their dues by January 31, 2018. The ballot opens on Monday, March 12 and closes Wednesday, April 4. Results will be announced on Wednesday, April 11.

At this time, the ALA Executive Board has made a decision to place the search on hold pending the outcome of the spring 2018 vote process.  Because of this, the job ad has been removed from the ALA and the Isaacson Miller (search firm) web sites.  The Board’s concern, given the somewhat uncharted territory, was to ensure due process.  The earliest the search would begin again would be May 2018. Mary Ghikas continues to serve as Interim Executive Director.

 A full report on the work of the search committee, on the search process, and on the member process to determine the educational requirements for the executive director position will be provided at the Council/Membership Information Session at Midwinter in Denver.                                                      

With best wishes for the new year, Jim Neal.

Dorcas Hand's picture

NEVER MIND - I re-read Jim's note and realize it is a MEMBERSHIP vote rather than a Council vote this time. Apologies.

I just have to ask why this vote will be taken online rather than at the meetings during MidWinter in Denver. I will vote either way, but it seems that voting online slows the process even further at a time when voting sooner could have benefits.

Dorcas Hand 
School Library Advocate

Dorcas Hand
School Library Advocate
ALA Council Member-at-Large

James Neal's picture

Dorcas, the ballot on the educational requirements  for the executive director position will be an all member vote, and not a vote of Council. Therefore, it will be part of the ballot for the election of the various ALA officers, and any by-laws changes. Jim. 

Sent from my iPhone

On De

Stephanie Tolson's picture

Where is the Executive Director job description posted?  

James Neal's picture

Several individuals have contacted me to ask questions about the delay until May of the ED search process. It would be inappropriate to proceed with the search as members vote on the educational requirements. And there is also concern whether candidates would step forward under these conditions. This decision of the Executive Board is respectful of the governance process, and it is respectful of prospective candidates. It also provides time to assess the job announcement and the search process. Jim. 
Sent from my iPhone

On Dec 22,