American Library Association elects new President for 2021-22

The American Library Association (ALA), the oldest library association in the world, just elected its latest President.

Patricia "Patty" M. Wong is a city librarian in the Santa Monica Public Library in California, United States. She won 6,718 votes while her contender, Steven Yates of the University of Alabama School of Library and Information Science, got 2,448 votes.

She began her librarianship career as a children's librarian of Oakland Public Library. Currently, she is a part-time faculty at the San Jose State University iSchool. She is the former director of library services of Yolo (California) County Library.

She studied MLIS and BA in Women's Studies in University of California Berkeley. She also received many awards such as the 2012 ALA Equality Award, Member of the Year of California Library Association in 2012, and the CALA Distinguished Service Award in 2014. (Source)

She will serve as a president-elect for a year before assuming her role as chief elected officer at the closing of the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago on 2021.

This is her statement:

“First of all, I want to acknowledge the leadership and talents of my colleague, Steven Yates. He is a strong ALA advocate, and I look forward to working with him toward a strengthened association. 
This is a great honor for me personally. This election has brought to fruition a longtime aspiration to serve my profession and my association as ALA president. I am both excited and eager to help lead the ALA with our great staff, member leaders, affiliate organizations, and allies. 
We all need to work together to advance and build on the success of our 143-year-old institution. Our immediate challenges rest with the impact of COVID-19 on libraries, library workers, advocates, and library users in this country and throughout the world. These outcomes remain to be determined, but ALA will continue to support our members and libraries everywhere through its continued support of innovation and the evolution of library service. 
Our ALA finances need to be rightsized with fiscal controls and practices that reflect transparency and accountability. We need to develop diversified business models that are revenue positive and sustainable and attract and maintain the interest of new and existing members. And as our national population continues to grow and expand, ALA’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion will require the collaborative support at all levels within the organization and with our many partners. 
Thank you for your confidence in me and for the support I have received from so many. It takes a village to create a thriving ALA. I am ready as one of those villagers to accept these great responsibilities and invite you to join me.”

"Wong Wins 2021–2022 ALA Presidency." (April 8, 2020). Retrieved April 9, 2020 from American Libraries Magazine at

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