Texas Library Association Elects 2023-2024 Executive Board
The TLA Executive Board met and verified the results of the election which was conducted via Election Buddy (a secure, third-party election platform) and is confident in the integrity of the results.
Congratulations to the winners of our recent election and thank you to all of the candidates. The Texas Library Association is pleased to announce the new members of our executive board. TLA’s new executive board members, including incoming President Gretchen Pruett, Director of the New Braunfels Public Library, will take office at the close of the TLA 2023 Annual Conference in April in Austin.
Elizabeth Anne Martinez Howard, Director of the West Library, Texas Wesleyan University, is President-Elect.
“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.”
Jill Bellomy, Lead Librarian, Highland Park Middle School, Highland Park ISD, was elected as Representative-at-Large (School.)
“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.”
Valerie Prilop, Senior Librarian, MD Anderson Cancer Center, was elected as Representative-at-Large (Special).
“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.”
Due to candidate withdrawal, the current Treasurer, Dianna Morganti, Science and Engineering Librarian and Instructional Associate Professor, Texas A&M University, will serve as Treasurer for 2023-2024 per Bylaws Article IV – Officers, Section 2 – Terms of Office.