Young becomes first Penn State librarian elected president of ALA

MCKEESPORT, Pa. — Courtney Louise Young, head librarian at the J. Clarence Kelly Library at Penn State Greater Allegheny, has been elected as 2014-15 president of the American Library Association (ALA).

Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications at Penn State, noted, "Courtney Young is the first Penn State librarian to hold this honor and will bring our University to the table of this policy-making body of the ALA."

Blannie Bowen, vice provost of Academic Affairs, added, "We are indeed proud of Courtney Young for this major accomplishment. She is a significant credit to our University. It speaks volumes that one of our outstanding faculty members will assume this major leadership role."

As ALA president, Young will be the chief elected officer for the oldest and largest library association in the world. She will become president-elect at the close of the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago July 2 and will assume the ALA presidency at the close of the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

The ALA, founded in 1876 and headquartered in Chicago, provides leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. Its core mission centers on advocacy for libraries and the profession, education and lifelong learning, intellectual freedom, organizational excellence, diversity, equitable access to information and library services, literacy, and transforming libraries.

“It is truly an honor to be elected by members of ALA to serve as president. I am excited to continue working with ALA members and ALA staff to demonstrate the value of membership through diversity, career development and engagement and outreach,” Young said.

Her activities have included serving as a member of the ALA Executive Board and ALA Councilor-at-large, as well as the Awards Committee, the Planning and Budget Assembly and the ALA-APA Fundraising Committee. She has also been a member of the ALA Resolutions Committee and the ALA Task Force on Electronic Member Participation. She has served as New Members Round Table president, councilor, Diversity Committee chair and Student Chapter of the Year Award chair.

For the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), Young was a member of the WSS Instruction Committee, Women’s Studies Section; the AFAS Conference Program Planning Committee; and the Scholarship Committee at the 2009 ACRL National Conference. She also has been chair of the Michigan Library Association Electronic Publishing Committee. 

Her honors include a Certificate of Distinguished Service, ALA Executive Board; Library Journal Mover & Shaker; Plaque of Appreciation from the NMRT; and a Staff Achievement Award, Libraries, Michigan State University.

Her publications include “ ‘Lifelong Skills.’ Room for Debate,” (2011, New York Times); and “Incorporating Undergraduate Advising in Teaching Information Literacy: Case Study for Academic Librarians as Advisors” (2008, Journal of Academic Librarianship).

Young received a bachelor of arts degree in English from the College of Wooster and a master of library science degree from Simmons College.

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Last Updated May 08, 2013