Metropolitan New York Library Council Interview
April 10th, 2015 5:16 pm
The following interview is posted at

Thank you for you for speaking with us! What questions have been the most frequently asked of you during your campaign?

Todaro.jpgThere are a number of issues raised – no matter the question set – and they are underlying all of the answers I provide. And while I am sure different candidates interpret issues differently I find the three most frequently asked are:

  • What will you do to solve (insert issue here) in the short time you are ALA president? The emphasis here is on “short time,” that is you have two years what can you really do in that short period of time? And I think that the question is right on target because we really only have two years and maybe even a little less. So, for my initiative I deliberately chose a single focus of leadership and more specifically leading with the value of “us” and our expertise and credentials. In addition to a single focus, which means more can be accomplished,  I am not starting from scratch. That is, I am building on content the profession already has on the value of libraries. This provides a foundation of relevant information we can expand upon as librarians and library workers. Because of these reasons, I think my topic is critical and very doable in the short period of time.   Are ALA and the profession diverse enough? And of course the answer is no, neither ALA or the profession are diverse enough. I have focused on this issue in a number of other question sets and the answers are linked from my website(look for the BCALA posting under “About Julie” and “Blog Postings”). In addition, I have a number of very specific ideas in Culture Keepers VI: Preserving the Past, Sustaining the Future. This was written as a 2007 companion piece to "Achieving Racial and Ethnic Diversity among Academic and Research Librarians: An ACRL White Paper" and it suggests a plan for addressing the lack-of-diversity issues in the association and articulates the need for increasing our commitment to diversity. These ideas are broad enough for the organization as a whole, even though the response was initially only for ACRL. I am also going to include an issue that has been pointed out to me by a number of people, even though it isn’t typically part of the question sets I am getting as a candidate. This issue is hard to   Read more...
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Statement to LSSIRT
April 10th, 2015 5:08 pm

The following statement appears in teh Library Support Staff Interest Round Table's April 15 issue of their newsletter ( :

The American Library Association has the very big job of representing our profession for every library, every library worker (over 50k members) and every library stakeholder on every library issue! Annually, each ALA president selects an initiative or focus that supports ALA's strategic initiatives for addressing issues - advocacy, information policy, and professional and leadership development. My choice for my presidential initiative is to focus on leadership and specifically - leading with who we are- that is, leading by focusing on library worker expertise and value. And - I deliberately chose "library worker" to be inclusive in my initiative and to illustrate my commitment to the breadth of library employees in the field.

This commitment; however, isn't new for me. For the past fifteen years, I have been a presenter in the Texas State Library and Archives Commission Small Library Management program, designed to educate librarians and other stakeholders in the smallest Texas public libraries, most of whom do not have library master's degrees. My current state association service is the design and delivery of a webinar series (with almost 1,000 registrants) A 2 Z: Diverse and In-depth Training for Library Support Staff. In addition, I created extensive training curriculum to educate frontline staff on their advocacy roles and responsibilities for Camila Alire's ALA presidential initiative.

Challenges to library workers in library and information settings are great and all support staff employees, critical to the organization, must be actively involved in the profession to be successful in applying their knowledge and experience to our systems and processes. ALA’s support and commitment must reach to all of these library employees and stakeholders and presidential initiatives must be broadly based to reflect the breadth of the profession. My initiative on leading with a focus on the expertise and value of ALL employees will represent this breadth of the field and will require partnerships with all of ALA’s membership – and especially – the membership of LSSIRT to articulate roles and responsibilities of today's and tomorrow's library support staff.

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INALJ Blog Post
March 24th, 2015 8:22 am
The following post was published at (

I Needed A Library Job, Too!

Julie TodaroDo I want you to vote for me for ALA President? Yes, I do. And I could spend a great deal of time articulating why I think I am the best candidate, but instead let me just say that my presidential initiative focuses on the value of librarians and how we need to lead with that message. And while I think we have extraordinary content in the profession on the value of libraries we have much less – if any – on the value of librarians. To meet this need I want to provide a body of work that explains what our professionals do in general, the unique aspects of what librarians do, the value of that work, correct terminology for articulating in the variety of job environments today, and specific ways to link librarians to the value of libraries. This content will encompass all types and sizes of libraries. Please visit my candidate website also referenced below for links to articles to help you in your job search. BUT…since I needed a job too and I can’t resist the opportunity to help others….here are my recollections with some guidance for today based on my first job search.

My dreams of a first job in libraries were – literally – all over the place. Although I had a mentor in the profession and she was a library school educator specializing in children’s literature and children’s services, I explored the idea of a librarian on a military base (See the world!,) a public librarian for a small West Texas town where the librarian was given an apartment OVER the library (…no kidding…), a large Midwest public library children’s librarian in a branch library setting, and school librarianship where I would be the only high school librarian in my library in a large system. The interviews were very different and while I prepared for each interview by reviewing information on that type of library and library setting, I didn’t explore the environment or setting of the library until after the interviews. And I didn’t do thatbecause no one suggested it and, initially, my focus was the job – not the location. (Of course, I NOW recommend that people explore the location as much as the institution!) My first set of “interviews” were incredibly varied (with my follow up comments in italics below each interview): Someone who spent the entire time  Read more...

Candidate Q's and A's - HiringLibrarians.Com
March 15th, 2015 12:43 pm

Hiring Librarians


  1. In broad strokes, what do you think the ALA’s role is in library hiring and employment?

Professional associations have a responsibility to both lead and support professionals in hiring and employment and ALA has long been committed to providing members and potential members with a depth and breadth of hiring and employment information. I first experienced this years ago when I was asked to serve on ALA’s Office of Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR) Advisory Committee. It was one of my most enjoyable service roles in ALA as we learned about not only what the office did but also what ALL of ALA’s groups did for our membership. HRDR’s website today should be visited by everyone to not only see what HRDR does but what else is available throughout the Association and in related library areas. The office brings it all together – literally – online and everyone from stakeholders to potential employees as well as employers can find what they need. In addition, those needing assistance in interviewing – for example – should search to find the most recent guides and program content. So…”yes,” ALA should have a significant role in hiring and employment and “yes” ALA does have a significant role in hiring and employment. How can ALA serve unemployed (or underemployed) librarians?  (Please name specific programs or services that exist, or that you would like to see enacted.) It seems odd to answer question #1 with “we’re doing a great job” and then answer #2 with “we could do more.” It makes sense; however, that we recognize the fact that bringing resources together is critical but opportunities for illustrating navigation and identifying successes never seem to be enough. Two wonderful articles identifying processes (and comments from others) articulate different and excellent approaches to seeking employment. These articles - coupled with the HRDR website I identified in the answer to #1 - offer insight to not only the programs and services of ALA (AASL’s with links everyone can use, ALAJoblist) but also to working through what is available at state level and through library education – an organization that should have paramount interest in and commitment to finding employment for the unemployed. Now – my idea is to pilot a program (By division? T  Read more...

My post for ALA's GLBTRT newsletter
March 9th, 2015 1:46 pm
This article was originally posted at GLBT News:

We have had an unusual campaign and we have the rare opportunity to expand our reach to groups by using blogs, newsletters and virtual and actual presentations to Boards and officers of groups. In talking with past candidates, there has NEVER been a time when there have been so many Q’s and A’s as well as publications and events when we can speak of our campaign and ongoing initiatives. My challenge has been to make sure I stay true to my original initiative direction throughout this process. That may sound odd, but there are many needs in the profession and in the membership and although ALA’s strategic initiatives are well defined (Advocacy, Information Policy and Professional & Leadership Development) Presidential initiatives can either get lost or morph into the issue of the day or the emergency situation that must be handled.

That being said, I have announced that I am focusing on leadership development but specifically with the focus of leading with a spotlight on the professional – that is the competencies, expertise, education and experience that the members of our profession – YOU - possess and exhibit every day. My contention is that we can have the perfect library facility, the most in-depth collection, wonderful programs, the greatest amount of technology, and the newest of everything and still not appear relevant to our constituents. In fact, without a focus on the critical role of the individual, we may not even “appear” to our constituents at all. So -we need to spend time and “ink” on “us”…and I want to work with ALL areas of ALA to expand the awareness of the uniqueness of our members in terms of what they do every day to find out what their constituents need and then what they do to create and deliver that perfect facility, the most in-depth collection and perfect set of programs. So why me? There are – literally – dozens of ways Presidents can make a difference. And that’s what voters need to realize…a president’s initiative is certainly the “biggest” way, but the ALA President also testifies before legislative bodies on general library and information issues as well as issues related to our infrastructure; they guest write columns for both general press as well as specific press (NYT vs higher education j  Read more...