TLA Executive Director Announces Retirement

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On Friday, January 6, Texas Library Association (TLA) Executive Director Patricia H. (Pat) Smith announced her retirement effective June 30. She has led the country’s largest state library association since 1987.

Smith’s early career began at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in the Library Development Division, where she became involved in TLA. She was elected to the TLA Executive Board in 1983, honored as Outstanding New Librarian of the Year (New Member Round Table recognition)in 1977, and received TLA’s Librarian of the Year (1989) and Distinguished Service (1994) Awards.

Active in the American Library Association (ALA) in a variety of roles, Smith chaired the ALA Committee on Legislation for one year and BARC (ALA's budget committee) for four years, and served seven terms on the ALA Council and two terms on the ALA Executive Board.  She also served as the chief elected officer of the Texas Society of Association Executives in 2010-2011 and received their Distinguished Executive Award in 2014.

“Texas librarians are the very best! What a delight it’s been to work with the thousands of librarians who are passionate about improving the lives of people they serve. Always ready to learn and grow, Texas librarians are constantly reaching new heights in service excellence. It will be great to see future advances of Texas librarians and TLA,” Smith stated. “I’d also like to applaud the outstanding work of current and past TLA staff, who have made every day a joy and who work tirelessly and creatively for Texas libraries and librarians. How blessed TLA is to benefit from such talent and skills!”

The TLA Executive Board approved the immediate formation of a Search Committee, chaired by TLA President Walter Betts, to embark on a national search.  The position notice will soon be posted to national library and association media.

“Under Pat’s leadership, TLA has grown into an association recognized for innovation and service to its members, and the TLA Annual Conference is recognized as a national-caliber conference produced by a state association,” said Walter Betts, TLA president. “She exemplifies a passion for leadership, belief in service and is an inspiration to us all.”

“Join me in congratulating Pat on a job well done, and thanking her husband David for his thirty years of support,” Betts continued. “While we will miss Pat’s leadership, we know that she and David have earned this time to spoil their grandson and eagerly-expected granddaughter.”

About the Texas Library Association

TLA is the largest state library association in the country with approximately 7,000 members who work in public, school, academic, and special libraries and who support educational institutions. TLA offers a wide range of services, including advocacy, continuing education, research, and public relations. To learn more about TLA, visit or call 512-328-1518.

Created on Jan 10, 2017 | Last updated January 10, 2017