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CLA Elections 2015 - Helen McAlary
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Helen McAlary, Ontario City Library



Candidate Statement

California Library Association is our professional organization and I want to represent you as President-Elect.  I have always valued fantastic colleagues, mentors and a supportive professional network and recently I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with many library staff throughout the state.  I have met library school graduates who are searching for their first full-time professional positions and heard the struggles of new and seasoned managers.  I have heard librarians discuss state-wide needs for teen librarians while others have proposed relationships between prisons and public libraries. I have talked with folks who have had many years of experience working within CLA and with people who have chosen to not participate in CLA at all.  I have debated and discussed the future of continuing education and listened to opinions on how to grow CLA advocacy efforts.  All of these conversations have left me inspired about my profession, my colleagues and growing CLA into an organization that meets its full potential.

As a CLA member I have had a mix of experiences – I am so grateful for the time I spent working on the Summer Reading Program Advisory committee. I found joy in working with that team to serve the greater library community.  I have also had the experience of wanting to be more involved in CLA but being puzzled about how to make that happen.  As your CLA President I will work to bring people together – creating opportunities for people to engage at conferences, regionally and online, for professional development and just for fun!  Great ideas and networking happen whenever we get together.  I will work to bring more of you into CLA – by broadening the types of libraries and staff CLA serves, inviting your participation in committees and interest groups, and looking for ways to invite people to participate outside of the formal CLA structure.  I do not pretend to have all the solutions for improving our professional organization – but I am a good listener, thinker and problem solver, and I will work hard for all of us. 

Together we can build a stronger CLA - I ask for your vote to serve as CLA President-Elect.  


Helen McAlary has been the Library Director for Ontario City Library since 2010.  Prior to her service at Ontario she worked for San Bernardino County as a Regional Manager, Branch Manager, and in Youth Services and Literacy.  Helen is a Eureka Fellow and Mentor and has served California Library Association on the Member of the Year Committee, Management Interest Group, and Summer Reading Advisory Council.  Helen is chair of the Inland Library System Administrative Council and has been involved in many other roles with Inland.  She helps plan and implement the Serving with a Purpose Conference now in its 4th year, held annually in Ontario.  Helen volunteers with her local Neighborhood Council as a board member and chair of the Homeless subcommittee.  She and her husband live in Los Angeles with their two dogs Rob & Olive.