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CLA Elections 2017 - Andrew Carlos
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Andrew Carlos, California State University, East Bay


Hi everyone, my name is Andrew and I am running for President-Elect of CLA. I am currently a library faculty member at California State University, East Bay, specializing in web services and working with various STEM disciplines such as psychology and engineering. I love playing with new technologies in my classroom, as well as going analog with board games and crafts with my students. Im also currently on the Board of Directors for CLA as well as the Program Planning Chair for the 2017 Conference (and past Program Planning Chair for 2016). 


Candidate Statement

Im running for President-Elect of CLA for many reasons, most importantly because I am invested in expanding the way CLA serves the greater library community. For so long, CLA has been seen as a public library oriented organization, with nothing to offer academic or special librarians, etc. In my time with CLA, however, we have expanded our focus and taken a holistic approach in planning our services for librarians. As Program Planning Chair for the conference, I have made it my goal to include a range of programs that appeal to all types of librarians. Ive introduced a more comprehensive approach to reviewing programs that takes into account the relevancy of the topic to the conference theme and also its applicability to other conference attendees. Over the past year, through my work in the Academic Interest Group and with leaders of other interest groups, I have seen, first hand, the benefits of cross collaboration between public libraries and other library types. I believe that everyone benefits from networking with and learning from colleagues who work in professional settings that are different from their own. As President-Elect, I hope to make more of this type of collaboration happen.

My vision for CLA is one in which all librarians feel welcomed and included. As an academic librarian, more often than not I have felt that I had a seat at the table. The mere fact that I have had the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors shows that CLA is moving towards a more inclusive environment for all California librarians. In addition, libraries have an opportunity to expand the vital role that they already play in their communities. By continuing to broaden our focus at CLA, we can help public librarians learn from academic and special librarians about the many ways that we can better work together to make libraries an even more integral part of our communities.



  1. How do you define leadership?

    To me, leadership is about providing inspiration to others to do big and interesting things that help move their profession. Its not always about something glamorous, sometimes it's about encouraging people to do something simple as developing a plan for their career or to think about what impact they may have on their local community. Its also sometimes about making hard decisions that may not always be liked by others, but owning up to those decisions and standing by them.


  2. Why are you interested in this position?

    Im interested in running for the position of President-elect because I have had first-hand experience with various Presidents and President-elects and I have seen them become leaders and make decisions that have shaped the future of CLA. I think I am ready to make that leap into helping shape CLAs future.

  3. How would you describe your personal leadership/communication style?

    I have a temperamental style of communication. Often in short bursts I let out a lot of information, followed by silence while I think about next steps or plan. As a leader, I try to always gather feedback from those I work with to ensure that my decisions are well informed and well known.

  4. What strengths would you bring to the position?

    I think my biggest strength is a semi-outsider position. Though I have been involved with CLA for many years, as an academic librarian, I would bring a different perspective to CLA leadership. Another strength would be a passion for developing connections to those who may not feel as well represented in the organization.

  5. What experience do you bring to this position?

    Ive been involved with CLA for many years, first as a Member attending conference, then as a Conference Planning Committee Member, then as a Program Planning Chair/Interest Group Chair and finally as a current Board of Directors member. Aside from being an active member of CLA, Ive also been a leader at various points throughout my career - leading large and small committees at work, supervising workers, etc. Im hoping to take my experiences and bump them up another level.

  6. What issues or trends are particularly informing your work at this time?

    For the past few months, Ive been primarily focused on technologies issues, as our library and the rest of the CSU libraries have been migrating to a centralized ILS. So issues of access, usability, outreach, etc. As is par for the course for this time, Im also looking towards the future of my library instruction and thinking of ways to better get my students to be more critical readers of information and to really consider sources and authenticity in their own research. Combining the two is my continuing interest in mobile devices in LIS and how to better integrate them into the work I do with staff and how to better serve them for end users

  7. Who are the thought leaders (in libraries or in other fields) who interest you?

    Im particularly inspired by the social justice work of many academic librarians, especially Emily Drabinski out in New York and Chris Bourg at MIT. Im always interested in learning more about social justice in libraries, and will often dig around to try to find something to read. Outside of libraries, Ive always loved the work that Mark Frauenfelder has put out, especially as co-owner of Boing Boing and at MAKE and Nathan Yau, who runs FlowingData and shares amazing data viz stuff.

  8. Who are the regional and statewide stakeholders libraries need to be in communication with?

    This is a hard one for me to answer, as I have not been as involved with public libraries and the stakeholders for academic libraries are so different. But I can say that ultimately, the community you serve is your biggest stakeholder - this is the same from academic libraries as it is with public libraries. Without them, you wouldnt exist and you need to communicate with them. Additionally, it would seem to be important to talk to your local government representatives, be it at the state level or the city level - so city council, state senators/representatives, etc. These are the folks who can affect your funding, so make sure you share with them the amazing things you do with your community. Statewide, beside the

    CSL folks, you have various statewide orgs such as CLA and maybe state chapters of things such as YALSA or LITA, as they can help to inform services you provide.

  9. What do you feel are the most critical challenges and opportunities facing California libraries right now?

    I think one of the biggest opportunities that California Libraries have right now is momentum, as a whole we have an energized staff excited for changes and to serve our community, and a community that is thirsty for services. Its important for us to make sure that we continually do great things with our community to keep them involved and excited. One of those challenges that is ever present is funding and government support. With the attacks on IMLS nationwide, and a shrinking of the tax base for various reasons such as lower property values and moving population, funding will be a challenge for many smaller libraries and their communities. Another challenge to consider are various attacks on intellectual freedom and freedom of information from an uninformed citizenry - they may feel that libraries are not needed.



  10. Why are you the best candidate for this position?

    I think I am the best candidate for the job because I will work hard as President-elect to develop the connections and community that the previous Presidents have worked on developing and hope to make new ones with colleagues in libraries that do not feel well represented in CLA. Being involved with CLA at various levels, and also being aware of the staffing issues that have been going, I will work to make sure that the decisions we make as an organization are sustainable and manageable for the staff we work with.

  11. What makes CLAs mission meaningful to you?

    If we are talking about the Mission Statement, I think in general it needs some work - it feels too vague about our Mission. To me, the mission of CLA is to encourage librarians and library staff to develop themselves professionally and personally, through the workshops we host, the conferences we run and the connections we help foster. To me, it is the development that we help foster that is meaningful to me. As someone focused on instruction, I think CLA has done a great job of this with our Conference and I would like for us to really start doing more - we are doing great things with leadership development (such as the work that Vanessa Christman and Genesis Hansen are doing) but maybe lets start thinking about staff development - yes everyone can be a leader, but sometimes, staff just want to learn how to use that new ILS or that new 3d printer.