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TLA Candidates

2022 TLA Elections

The Texas Library Association elects leaders at the beginning of each year.

In 2022, members will elect a president-elect and a representative-at-large to serve on the Executive Board.

TLA elections will open on February 16 and close March 16, 2022.  Your participation in the election process is critical as these leaders will help set the course for the association for the coming year. To vote, you must be a current TLA member by January 31, 2022.

Candidate bios and statements of concern for those running for all offices are found by logging into the Members Only website and clicking on View Candidate Biographies. (On the Secure Membership Area page, “View Candidate Biographies” is at the bottom of the first column on the left, under “Misc. Forms”.)

Meet the Executive Board Candidates

TLA asked Executive Board candidates to share their statement of concern.

President-Elect

Rhea Lawson

Executive Director, Houston Public Library

 

We have clearly demonstrated our worth, strength, innovativeness, agility, and tenacity by navigating recent challenges like fiscal instability, insufficient digital access, social justice and anti-racism, and the pandemic crisis. We now face a pivotal moment with still much work to do to advance our core values and re-envision our future.

Working together we can combine our talents and strengths to move forward an exciting future for TLA which includes increasing financial vitality, embracing diversity and inclusion, attracting new members, strengthening advocacy, reinvigorating member engagement, and rebranding our image. As TLA president-elect, I will engage members on all levels of the association to accomplish the work needed at this important juncture. Working together we can transform TLA’s landscape to ensure inclusivity, transparency, sustainability, and resiliency.

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Gretchen Pruett

Director, New Braunfels Public Library

The library’s role in our communities as the source of credible and relevant information is being eroded by the continuing onslaught of misinformation. When the information-seeking public needed us the most, the unprecedented pandemic closed our doors. We are still recovering, and we must speak with a unified voice to be heard above the noise.

The Texas Library Association is that voice for all our state libraries — it is local, it is relevant, and it amplifies members’ concerns to the stakeholders of Texas libraries and the people they serve. I have advocated for libraries and TLA throughout my career — and I will be honored to continue this work as president-elect. Libraries are more relevant than ever before to build strong communities and citizens.

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Representative-at-Large (School)

Nora Galvan

Nora Galvan, Director of Library Services, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD

The pandemic has helped demonstrate the importance of school librarians and the essential role they play as educators in our schools. However, Texas does not mandate that school districts hire certified librarians, and school librarians are paid at the same level as classroom teachers despite the very different roles they play.

School librarians must continually advocate on their own behalf to raise awareness among their fellow educators and administrators of how they support student learning and success. TLA and TASL have many resources to assist school librarians in these efforts. However, with increasing efforts to restrict education related to racism, and organized challenges to books and other resources, it is critical that TLA do even more to support school librarians as they face these complex issues.

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Melissa Rippy

Director of Libraries & Instructional Materials, Pasadena ISD

School Librarians continue to struggle with imbalances in access, budgets and staffing in schools across Texas during a pandemic, reduced budgets, and virtual learning. Now more than ever before, we need a supportive community for those facing similar obstacles.

TLA and TASL have the ability to help make connections among librarians so that they are able to work together to find solutions to these common obstacles while still meeting the various needs of students and teachers. The pandemic has changed the way that we interact with each other in our world; as a “living” organization, TLA has the opportunity to adapt and evolve so that it may serve as a source of community and guidance meeting the needs of all librarians.

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