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Executive Director Search Task Force

The Executive Director Search Task Force (EDSTF) was appointed by the TLA Executive Board to:

  • Develop a timeline for the recruitment process
  • Prepare and distribute a position announcement
  • Actively seek and recruit a qualified pool of candidates that represents the diversity of TLA’s membership
  • Develop an applicant review screening tool, review applications, and select candidates for interviews
  • Develop interview questions, and schedule and conduct interviews
  • Make a final recommendation to the Executive Board

EDSTF Charge

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, with preference given to applications received by September 3, 2019. 

Application review will begin on the first week of September, followed by screening interviews in late September or early October.

Latest News

Executive Director Selected
December 18, 2019 – After conducting an extensive search and thoroughly vetting candidates, the task force recommended Shirley Robinson, CAE to the Executive Board. The Executive Board met, and discussed the input from the task force on the final three candidates, and the qualities and experience which led to the recommendation. The Executive Board determined that Ms. Robinson’s experience aligned with the board’s and members’ vision for TLA’s future growth, and and offered her the position. Her first day is January 9, 2020. LEARN MORE

Second Round Interviews
November 5, 2019 -The Executive Director Search Task Force selected three candidates for in-person interviews. Those individuals will meet in Austin with members of the task force, and with TLA staff. Then, the task force will meet and make a final decision on a candidate to recommend to the Executive Board.

First Round Interviews
October 10, 2019 – The Executive Director Search Task Force is making great progress! We received 41 applications from candidates across the country. After carefully reviewing and scoring the applications with a standard rubric based on the position’s required qualifications, six candidates were selected for virtual interviews. Those interviews were completed last week, and the task force is meeting to discuss next steps.

Survey Results
August 21, 2019 – Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to the TLA Executive Director Search Survey. The information provided will be extremely valuable to the task force and the Executive Board as this process moves forward. Members of the search task force are reviewing resumes and actively meeting on a regular basis.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, with preference given to applications received by September 3, 2019. We will begin reviewing those applications the first week of September, and plan to schedule screening interviews in late September or early October.

If you know of any outstanding potential candidates, please share the job announcement with your professional network.

Membership Survey Summary Results | Additional Priorities & Key Concepts

Membership Survey
August 1, 2019 – As part of the Executive Director search process, the search task force developed a short survey which asks members to rank what you expect and want from TLA over the next decade, and what characteristics are most important in an executive director. What should TLA look like in 10 years, and what type of individual will be the best leader to help us achieve that vision? Survey results will be shared with TLA members, and used by the Executive Board  as part of their evaluation process. The survey closed Monday, August 12.

Job Announcement Posted
July 19, 2019 – The TLA Executive Board approved the executive director job announcement at Annual Assembly and it is posted on the American Library Association (ALA), American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), TLA, and Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE) job boards.

Job Announcement


Cecilia Barham, TLA President
North Richland Hills Public Library | Email
TLA Affiliation: Public Libraries Division

Cecilia Barham has worked in libraries, if you include her year as a 4th grade library aid, for 28 years. She has worked in both academic and public libraries, and was a member of the 2006 TALL Texans class. She has served on TLA’s Technology Task Force, the Texas Topaz Reading List Committee, and the 2013 Conference Program Committee. Cecilia was co-chair of the 2017 Conference Program Committee and has served as chair of District 7 and the Public Libraries Division. Currently she is director of library services at North Richland Hills Library, and 2019-2020 TLA President.


Steve Brown, TLA Past-President (2007 – 2008)
Retired | Email
TLA Affiliation: Public Libraries Division

Steve Brown is an independent library consultant specializing in library management, needs assessments, long range planning, and library facilities design. He retired as Director of the North Richland Hills Public Library after serving from 1996 – 2012.  He has over 40 years experience in a range of public library services. Steve is a Past-President of the Texas Library Association.  He is also past-president of the Texas Municipal Library Directors Association, the Public Library Administrators of North Texas, and the TLA Public Libraries Division .  He served two terms on the Texas Municipal League’s Board of Directors, and is a former Trustee for Amigos Library Services.


LaMoya Burks
Texarkana College | Email
TLA Affiliation: College & University Libraries Division

LaMoya Burks is the Head Librarian/Adjunct Instructor/Faculty Advisor at Texarkana College. She has served  TLA as District 5 Chair,  and District 5 Nominating Committee Chair. LaMoya has been a member of the College and University Libraries Division (CULD) Legislative Committee, 2018-2019 Program Committee, New Members Round Table, Black Caucus Round Table, and Library Instruction Round Table. She has lead TLA panel discussions, seminars and poster presentations for district meetings and state conferences, and has contributed to TALL Texan Selection committee. LaMoya was selected as Member of the Month for August 2017. Currently, she is a member of the Bylaws Committee and CULD secretary/treasurer. She recently completed an internship for 2017-2019 with the Chapter American Library Association Chapter Relations Committee, and has been appointed to serve on the YALSA committee.


Christina Gola, TLA President-Elect
University of Houston | Email
TLA Affiliation: College & University Libraries Division

Christina Gola is Director of Recruitment and Organizational Learning, and Associate Librarian at the University of Houston Libraries. She is a long-time TLA member, currently serving as President-Elect. Christina has held leadership positions in the Innovation and Technology Round Table, Library Instruction Round Table, Bylaws and Resolutions Committee. She’s been a member of the 2011 and 2016 Conference Program Committees and the Disaster Relief Committee, and most recently was the Representative-at-Large (Academic) on the TLA Executive Committee.


Mike Mendez
Fort Worth ISD | Email
TLA Affiliation: Texas Association of School Librarians (TASL)

Mike Mendez is the librarian at Rosemont Middle School in Fort Worth ISD. He has been a librarian for twelve years and was a special education teacher for eight years prior to that. He is a member of the Texas Association of School Librarians (TASL) and has held leadership roles in several areas of TLA. In 2013, Mike was selected to attend the TALL Texans Leadership Institute. Since then, he has served on the Lone Star Reading List committee, as secretary of the Young Adult Round Table (YART), and the chair of the TALL Texans Round Table. He has also been a member of the Conference Program Committee three times, including a term as co-chair in 2019.


Gloria Meraz
Texas State Library & Archives Commission | Email
TLA Affiliation: Special Libraries Division

Gloria Meraz is the Assistant State Librarian at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. She has been a TLA member since 1997 and had the privilege of working as TLA Director of Communications from 1997 – 2016. She has been involved in all areas of TLA operations and governance, and is currently chair of the Nominating Committee. Gloria continues working with the association’s various groups on programs, government affairs, and planning.


Janice Newsum
University of Houston – Clear Lake | Email
TLA Affiliations: Texas Association of School Librarians (TASL), College & University Libraries Division

Janice Newsum is an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston – Clear Lake. She has been an active TLA member since 1999, serving the library profession through her leadership. Janice has served as chair of the Black Caucus Round Table and the Upstart Innovative Programming Award Committee. Her service as co-chair includes the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Strong Libraries, Strong Scores Conference Committee, and the TLA Local Arrangements Hospitality Committee (Houston, 2009). She has been a TALL Texans mentor. Janice most recently ended a 3-year term as the Representative-at-Large (Schools) on the TLA Executive Board. She has been the Councilor-Alternate for the Distance E-Learning Round Table and is the current Councilor for the Library Instruction Round Table. Additional service to TLA includes membership in the Conference Program Committee, Texas Book Festival Committee, and Local Arrangements Committee (Houston, 2020).


Tuan Nguyen
Mackin Educational Resources | Email
TLA Affiliation: Texas Association of School Librarians (TASL), Special Libraries Division

Tuan Nguyen has been a member of TLA since 2004 and helped co-found TLA’s Maverick and Little Maverick Graphic Novel Committees.  He was a member of the TALL Texan Class of 2015 and was a member of  the Maverick Reading List Committee from 2009-2012, serving as chair from  2013-2015. Tuan served on the Little Maverick Reading List Committee from 2015-2018, the Conference Program Committee in 2014, 2017, 2019,  and is currently a member the By-Laws Committee.


Wendy Woodland
Texas Library Association | Email
TLA Affiliation: Staff

Wendy Woodland, who has more than 20 years of experience in non-profit membership organizations, joined the Texas Library Association as director of advocacy and communications in 2016.  She provides strategic and management oversight of the association’s federal and state advocacy efforts, and leads a management team to create and implement a communications strategy to articulate the mission, vision, and goals of the organization.


Latest News
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Edward Smith, Abilene Library Consortium Director, Appointed to Gov. Broadband Council

TLA News

Edward Smith, director of the Abilene Library Consortium (ALC), and long-time Texas Library Association member (TLA), has been appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to serve on the newly formed Governor’s Broadband Development Council. “ We appreciate that the library community will have a seat at the table as the Council works to identify barriers to […]

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Between the Lines: January Member Spotlight

Between the Lines: Member Spotlight

Kathy Jones Hoffman Former Executive Director (retired) Research Medical Library, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center What inspired you to become a librarian? I started working in my neighborhood public library when I was a junior in high school. When I started college, I needed a part-time job, so I worked in the university […]

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