2021 TLA Elections
The Texas Library Association elects leaders at the beginning of each year. In 2021, members will elect a president-elect, two representatives-at-large, and an ALA Councilor to serve on the Executive Board, and many board positions at the district, division, and round table levels. To participate in TLA’s online election, units are required to have at least one of the positions on the ballot to be contested, and they have to meet TLA’s timeline. Units not participating in the online election will hold their annual elections during their business meetings at conference or make alternative arrangements.
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”.)
The 2021 Election will open February 18 and close March 11. 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, 2021.
Meet the Executive Board Candidates
TLA asked Executive Board candidates to share their statement of concern. In addition, the candidates for President-Elect were asked to share a video response to the question “How will your candidacy advance the work of TLA on behalf of Texas libraries?”
Martha (Marty) Rossi
Project Manager, Digital Resources & Library Services, Education Service Center, Region 20
Now is the time to come together as members to strengthen and mold our professional organization and meet challenges in support of all libraries and all those that count on us. Collaboration and partnership, tenets of our profession, empower us as we anticipate and brave potentially difficult times ahead.
As we begin feeling the full force of the many facets of a global pandemic on our patrons, students, users, and ourselves, we must remember that confidence and resiliency are best generated when we design and work in tandem towards common goals. A strong and resilient TLA is critical to crafting a bright and successful future for libraries in Texas. I am committed to do my level best to lead and support you in this effort.
Director of Library Services, Mesquite ISD
This is a time of great uncertainty in our world. Things are changing all around us, and while it can be scary, it can also be exciting as we all figure out new and different ways to get things done. A changing world brings us the opportunity at TLA to re-examine our role, refresh people’s perceptions of libraries, and reinvent the way we do things.
As an institution that is over a century old, some of TLA’s processes and procedures have become cumbersome and outdated. As president-elect, I will work with the president, the Executive Board and our Executive Director to update procedures so that we have an organization that is nimble in responding to the professional learning and advocacy needs of its membership.
Library Director, McAllen Public Library
Texas is a big state with libraries both large and small, but the goals are the same: to provide excellent and equitable services to our communities; to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in who we are as professionals and what we do; and to form alliances that encourage and support.
This unprecedented pandemic has caused us to pivot as professionals to the virtual world, and to re-imagine and transform ourselves to continue traditional services in new ways while creating whole new vistas of networking and service. My focus will be to inspire public librarians and paraprofessionals to step into confident service leadership, no matter what position they hold.
Director of Libraries, Austin Public Library
Libraries are faced with many challenges in the coming years. Funding, navigating in a post COVID-19 environment, racial and social unrest, and changing perception of libraries are just a few of the challenges that we must overcome. As we face these external and internal forces, we must be flexible, innovative, and nimble in order to survive and flourish.
We can no longer do business as usual, as we provide services and programs to our customers. We must address the inequities and social justice issues that are inside and outside of our libraries.
The library can play an important role in making sure all voices are heard and programs/services are provided in an equitable fashion. We can do this when we work together as one.
Representative at-Large (Academic)
Director, Eunice & James L. West Library, Texas Wesleyan University
Budgets are cut, and patronage is down. This is not a permanent state, but one that is affecting the majority of us as well as our beloved Texas Library Association. At this time, the value of membership and the returns it brings to the Association are critical issues facing both the Association and our membership.
The executive board will be making some challenging decisions in the upcoming years. I am committed to supporting and growing the Association and having those difficult conversations about how we can best serve our members in the future. I want to listen to what you have to say and be there to help you understand how, together, we will continue to grow and support all of our members.
Instruction Librarian, Lone Star College-CyFair
In the midst of a pandemic and looking ahead to recovery, the issues facing TLA and the Texas library community are the same many of us face individually: need for connection, financial constraints, and uncertainty about the future. TLA’s strength is its membership and the knowledge we share when we come together. We should broaden TLA’s reach through accessible virtual learning and networking, attracting new members and providing ongoing opportunities to connect.
Outreach must involve units and districts, who foster essential collegial and local relationships. There will be fewer institutional and personal resources for memberships and professional development. We must help TLA be an essential Association for library workers who want meaningful and affordable connection to the Texas library community in times of change.
Advocate, Students Need Libraries in Houston
Currently, TLA and ALA face enormous organizational challenges. The TLA Executive Board must apply its collective knowledge, talent, and experience to consider paths forward to strengthen and rebuild our library communities. I will take TLA concerns to the ALA Council and return to TLA with new insights into problems shared by many state associations.
Two previous terms on ALA Council and my experience leading the ALA Library Ecosystem Task Force will inform my future work on the TLA Exec Board and ALA Council as all library types work to negotiate our challenging times. I am excited to apply my experiences in ALA leadership for the benefit of the TLA Exec Board. I know that we can find a way to meet the issues we face.
Division Director, Collections & Technical Service, Harris County Public Library
Libraries are facing increasing challenges as we adapt to pandemic life. Traditional measurements are on the decline, but the digital divide remains real and becomes even more impactful for our patrons as services transition to digital.
ALA and TLA advocacy will be a key component in supporting Texas libraries and Texans through this crisis, as will the professional partnerships that enable us to flexibly rethink library services during this time.
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