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TLA Candidates

Meet the 2023 Executive Board Candidates

TLA thanks the 2022 Nominating Committee members for their work on the 2023 Executive Board slate: Dean Hendrix (academic), UTSA, chair; Kelly Gonzales (special), UT Southwestern; Robyn Reid (academic), TCU; Kristi Starr (school), Lubbock ISD; and Becky Sullivan (public), retired.

TLA elections will open in mid-February and close mid-March. You must be a current 2023 member by January 31 to be eligible to vote in the elections. TLA membership join/renew will open in early November.

Policies governing the Nominating Committee’s activities may be found in the Standing Rules ,  Rule 3 and Rule 9. Policies governing elections may be found in the Bylaws, Article V.

TLA uses Survey and Ballot (SBS) an independent, third party platform that offers extensive configuration testing and election results validation to ensure election integrity and security. The Executive Board and Nominating Committee receive proof of validated results prior to the public announcement of the results.

The TLA Executive Board has approved the following slate of candidates:


David Baca, Director of Library Services, Texas A&M University, Galveston

Every time I talk to librarians, I feel the incredible energy of our profession as we re-engage with our cities, schools and universities. We are busy, we are excited, we are charging ahead and we are, at times, angry. We have challenges: censorship attacks, hiring woes, threats to tenure and intellectual freedom. But we also have opportunities: to educate our community, to bring them into the world of knowledge and freedom, and to channel our energies for support, innovation and progress.

TLA is what connects us. As President, I will listen to you and collaborate with you to continue our good work, support our staff, strengthen our programs, take our voice to those who are not hearing us and to celebrate all that we do. 

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Elizabeth Anne Martinez Howard, Director of the West Library, Texas Wesleyan University

My work with the executive board has emphasized intentional Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The Coalition of Texans for the Right to Read helps librarians to do the same in their communities. We must help all librarians sustain academic and intellectual freedom. Challenges in school libraries have repercussions across public and academic libraries as well. All library types and areas need spaces to collaborate more effectively.

With challenges like COVID, censorship, and other unforeseen events, librarians are leaving the field unexpectedly, highlighting our need for better succession planning. We must supplement this with more effective recruitment to fill roles that have been vacated.

Finally, considering the impact these challenges have had on libraries across Texas, I will focus on rebuilding our confidence and empowering our library workers.

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Peace Ossom-Williamson, Associate Director, National Center for Data Services, Network of the National Library of Medicine

The freedom to access information is a right that has been trampled on for various groups and at various points in history. The ability to access materials is a vital issue now in any context, be it school, academic, public, or medical. As a library worker since 2006, I have worked in a variety of libraries (law, public, academic, and medical), and my work has centered on studying and advocating for libraries, access to information and scholarly communication, and teaching information literacy and data literacy.

As candidate for Treasurer, my efforts will center on these aims including equipping our association, libraries, and library staff and faculty with the resources to be successful in challenging the barriers we face as we work towards greater freedom of information.

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Representative-at-Large (School)

Jill Bellomy, Lead Librarian, Highland Park Middle School, Highland Park ISD

What an interesting time to be a librarian! Across the nation, we are experiencing an unprecedented attack on the freedom to read, and, regrettably, Texas has removed more books from library shelves than any other state. Librarians need the support of a strong professional organization now more than ever.  As a body, we must stay informed and vigilant in defending the right to read at all ages. TLA must continue growing and providing support, resources, advocacy strategies, and bold position statements for our membership.

We must also maintain concerted efforts in recruiting and retaining professionals in the field. It is an interesting time to be a librarian, but our role is as vital as ever in furthering individual knowledge and protecting the foundations of democracy.

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Stacy Cameron, District Librarian, New Caney ISD

The most critical issue currently facing the Texas Library Association and Texas library community is the weariness many of us are experiencing after a challenging few years of COVID restrictions and censorship attempts. Through all of it, TLA has responded with strong support for members and the library community. How we continue this support and combat fatigue is with a laser focus on implementation of TLA’s strategic plan. Embedded throughout the plan are strategies that provide sustained support and advocacy. From communicating the value of libraries to targeted professional learning opportunities, the plan’s priorities and strategies encompass the work that must happen to demonstrate to members that the executive board and association staff always have everyone’s best interests in mind and are working to advance our profession.

Of greatest significance is the focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion which is threaded throughout the plan. The work at hand for the executive board over the next three years is monumental. As part of the executive board, I will dedicate my time to ensure progress towards implementation of the strategic plan and do my best to represent the school library community and your needs.

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Representative-at-Large (Special)

Valerie Prilop, Senior Librarian, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Special libraries are not so different from other library types represented by TLA and face many of the same challenges, including those related to budgets, staffing, collection development, and providing top-notch service. We are all library staff and supporters first and foremost, and TLA is a unique organization in how it brings together such professional diversity under one umbrella. The voices of the “specials” can be an asset to our fellow libraries during these troubled times, and vice versa: we have much to learn from each other.

The association and executive board can work to make that umbrella as encompassing and strong as possible so that all librarians, library staff, and supporters have a place of refuge, support, and learning.

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Andrea N. Schorr, Associate Director for Resource Management, UT Health San Antonio Library

Where do we go from here? This is a question that many of us have likely grappled with over the past couple of years. We’ve been through a myriad of changes that have no doubt left us re-evaluating our roles and services. One thing we’ve learned is that libraries must evolve to meet the changing needs of our user communities. At the heart of our profession is service: service to our communities that drives change and brings clarity.

Now is the time for libraries of every kind to get involved and work together. Re-envisioning our roles and demonstrating our value through new innovative ideas, technology, outreach, and advocacy. TLA is the perfect vehicle to drive this effort and provide the support needed to achieve progress.

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