Meet Your 2018 President-Elect Candidates

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In addition to their candidate bios, nominees for  TLA President-Elect were asked to answer two questions to help you get to know them better: What is your most memorable TLA experience? and How will your candidacy advance the work of TLA on behalf of Texas libraries? The candidates also provided videos to give members a more thorough introduction. We hope this information is helpful in informing your choice for TLA leadership.

Cecilia Barham

Cecilia Barham
Director, North Richland Hills Library

What is my most memorable TLA experience?

This is a thought-provoking question, as I have had so many wonderful and memorable experiences during my years in TLA. There is the Great M&M Caper of TALL Texans 2006 (Year of the Scorpion) and the time I had the opportunity to meet, talk with, and introduce John Green at a TLA Conference.

Among all the meaningful (and fun!) experiences that I have had with TLA, I can clearly say that the most memorable and meaningful experience was serving as the 2017 Conference Co-Chair. It allowed me the opportunity to work with an exceptional team of librarians who worked together to create a conference that made us all proud. It also allowed me to work closely with the well-oiled machine that is the TLA staff. Their patience, wisdom and guidance made me have a whole new level of understanding and appreciation of how TLA operates. During the 18 months that we worked together, we created a strong conference while building strong friendships. As a team we overcame the obstacles that were thrown our way, both conference-related and personal, with creativity, efficiency, grace and humor. I believe these experiences and the resulting insights they provided have molded me into a TLA member who is ready to provide service to the organization at the next level.

How will my candidacy advance the work of TLA on behalf of Texas Libraries?

Mrs. Barnett. I cannot answer the question about how my candidacy will advance the work of TLA without starting with Mrs. Barnett. She was the librarian at my elementary school where I grew up in Mineral Wells. She was the first person to put a book my hands and laid a foundation for me that changed the course of my life.

My story is just one of many stories that exist in which a librarian and access to a library radically changed lives. Yet today when we read stories about libraries in the news and online, we consistently see headlines like “Are Libraries Still Relevant?” or “Do We Need Libraries in the Digital Age?”

These are the headlines that take precedence in our society despite the fact:

  • that the most recent PLDS Report shows that public libraries circulated over 1.6 billion items in 2016
  • that two decades of research show that students in K-12 schools with librarians score higher on standardized achievement tests
  • that ACRL’s Academic Library Impact on Student Learning and Success reports that college students who use the library in some way achieved higher levels of academic success, including higher GPAs and higher retention

In the last few years, I have talked with so many librarians who are disappointed and frustrated with the perception that libraries are not the vital and dynamic organizations that they truly are. I share these feelings.

TLA’s Envisioned Future is one where, “each and every Texan recognizes the value that libraries bring to their lives.” If elected, I would work with TLA and its members to take another step toward this envisioned future and away from misinformed perceptions that exist within the media. To that end, I would:

  • Be present and available to librarians across the state to represent TLA and help them tell their stories
  • Work with TLA staff and TLA members to create resources, training and tools to help libraries of all types and sizes to capture and tell the stories that support—“stories that change the conversation”

We are called to our profession. We are called to the service of others. We have done the good work, now let’s make sure the world knows!

View this candidate's bio and statement of concerns. (Executive Board/ -select a candidate-)


Roosevelt Weeks

Roosevelt Weeks
Director, Austin Public Library

What is my most memorable TLA experience?

I have been involved in the Texas Library Association since I started in libraries in 2005 and I have many positive experiences. However, my most memorable experience took place in 2016 when I had the pleasure of being part of the Leadership Development Committee in selecting members to be part of the Tall Texans Leadership Institute and being a mentor for the class of 2016.

The leaders in the class of 2016 give me hope that libraries will be around for many years to come. This class showed passion for the work they provided to their customers and the skills to lead their teams in doing the work. I was inspired by their innovative thinking around solving problems facing libraries and their commitment to making a difference in their community. I left that institute inspired and energized that TLA will be in good hands with these pioneering leaders.

How will my candidacy advance the work of TLA on behalf of Texas libraries?

I truly believe that our members’ passion for serving a diverse customer in a changing environment is the association's greatest asset. We have members from all walks of life from different type of libraries and they are interested in getting new tools and skills to do their jobs better.

TLA’s vison is that “Each and every Texan recognizes the value that libraries bring to their lives”. In order to make this vision happen, all library workers must believe in the work they do and have the confidence in their abilities to deliver life changing services and programs to their customers.

If given the opportunity to lead this great organization, I would focus on bringing out the best in all of our members and getting them engaged in some aspect of the association work. I believe that all members are leaders in some capacity and they can make a difference at any level of their organization. I would like to see our seasoned leaders in the association to mentor those that need a little guidance to find their voice to take on new opportunities.

As your TLA President, I will work hand in hand with our library workers to help find their place in the association. When they find their place, they will develop the skills and confidence to provide innovated programs and services to the community they serve. In turn, Texans will realize the value of libraries.

View this candidate's bio and statement of concerns. (Executive Board/ -select a candidate-)


Created on Feb 9, 2018 | Last updated March 01, 2018