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The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) provides a forum for the discussion of activities, programs, and problems in intellectual freedom of libraries and librarians.

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Leslie Burger Appointed as ALA Interim Executive Director

  • 1.  Leslie Burger Appointed as ALA Interim Executive Director

    Posted Nov 15, 2023 09:40 AM

    The ALA Executive Board is pleased to announce that Leslie Burger has been selected as our Interim Executive Director. Her first day is today, November 15, 2023.

    Burger brings years of experience as a leader in our field, from her service as president of the American Library Association from July 2006 to July 2007, where she had a depth of involvement in ALA operations, to her position as executive director of the Princeton Public Library, where she helped plan, design, and secure funding for a new 55,000-square-foot library that opened in 2004. During 2015–16, she led efforts to redesign and fund the library's adult services department, resulting in more space for meetings, co-working technology, and collaboration. A proven fundraiser, she raised more than $27 million during her 16 years at the Princeton Public Library. She is also the founding partner of Library Development Solutions, which has a long list of clients, including urban, suburban, and rural public libraries, academic and special libraries, and library cooperatives.

    Burger is an adjunct professor at Rutgers University. She has an MLS from the University of Maryland in College Park and a master's degree in organizational behavior from the University of Hartford. She received her BS from South Connecticut State College. She's won many honors and awards, including the New York Times Librarian of the Year 2005.

    The Executive Board was thrilled with the high caliber of candidates, and we are confident Burger will embody the qualities we look for in such an important position: deep knowledge of our community and the urgent issues we face, a commitment to libraries and to the association, and enthusiasm for facilitating the strategic agenda of our members.

    The Executive Board expresses our deep gratitude to the ALA Associate Executive Director team for their leadership during this transition. We also want to thank you, our members, and ALA staff, who continue to inspire us in your commitment to upholding our mission, "to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all."

    As Burger steps into the leadership role at ALA, we will continue the search for our next Executive Director. We look forward to sharing more details as they become available. With this strong leadership in place, we know we have the breathing room to find our next Executive Director.

    Thank you again for your support during this period. Together, we will continue to support the work of libraries now and in the future.


    With gratitude,


    Emily Drabinski, President

    Cindy Hohl, President-Elect

    Lessa Pelayo-Lozada, Immediate Past-President

    Peter Hepburn, Treasurer

    Ana Elisa de Campos Salles, Executive Board

    Sam Helmick, Executive Board

    Christina Rodriques, Executive Board

    Kathy Carroll, Executive Board

    Sara Dallas, Executive Board

    Amy Lappin, Executive Board

    Karen Schneider, Executive Board

    Stephanie Chase, Executive Board

    Sophia Sotilleo, Executive Board

    Steven Yates, Executive Board

    Deborah Caldwell-Stone
    Director, Office for Intellectual Freedom
    American Library Association