As ALA and LITA members prepared for the opening of the 2018 Election on March 12, the LITA Board discussed the issue of whether the MLIS should be required or preferred for the ALA Executive Director position and issued a statement supporting the ALA Council’s vote to make the MLIS preferred.
“LITA itself underwent an executive director search in 2015. Our job posting used ‘preferred,’ not ‘required,’ language for the MLS; the same is true of other ALA divisions which have recently hired executive directors. Our candidate pool included excellent candidates from both library backgrounds and association management backgrounds. Ultimately we were delighted to be able to hire an MLS-holder, but having candidates from varied perspectives both increased our ability to hire the best available talent and helped our search committee to clarify what it truly valued. The LITA Board values the judgment of the previous ALA Executive Director Search Committee and wants the next search committee to have the broadest possible candidate pool to work from. We have complete faith they will identify a candidate who represents both association management excellence and dedication to library values. As always, we encourage you to participate in ALA elections, and we hope this information from the LITA board helps you make a decision.”