ILA's Origins, Presidents, and Executive Directors

ILA’s Origins

Officially founded in 1896, the association now consists of 3,000 members representing all types of libraries across the state.

The first meeting of what was to become the Illinois Library Association was held November 22-23, 1881.  Originally called the Western Library Association (WLA), it met twice, in 1881 and again in 1884, both times in Illinois. William Frederick Poole was its first president and its avowed purpose was to promote cooperative purchasing and cataloging.  The WLA ceased to exist in 1885. Ten years later, members of the Chicago Library Club proposed forming a state library association and held a meeting, in Springfield to officially launch the Illinois Library Association. The vision and spirit of these early founding members---Katharine Sharp, Percy F. Bicknell, Dr. G.E. Wire and others—has been echoed by countless ILA members and leaders through the years.


Illinois Library Association Presidents

1896    Thomas H. Nelson
1897    Col. J. W. Thompson
1898    Col. J. W. Thompson
1899    Col. J. W. Thompson
1900    E. S. Willcox
1901    E. S. Willcox
1902    Anderson H. Hopkins
1903    Anderson H. Hopkins
1904    Katherine L. Sharp
1905    Carl B. Roden
1906    Mary B. Lindsay
1907    C. J. Barr, H. C. Remann, & Ange V. Milner
1908    Mary Eileen Ahern
1909    Mary Eileen Ahern
1910    Nellie E. Parham
1911    Henry E. Legler
1912    J. C. M. Hanson
1913    Phineas L. Windsor
1914    F. K. W. Drury
1915    Mary Eileen Ahern
1916    Mary J. Booth
1917    C. J. Barr & Effie A. Lansden
1918    Jane P. Hubbell
1919    Jane P. Hubbell
1920    Helen A. Bagley
1921    Effie A. Lansden
1922    John S. Cleavinger
1923    Ida F. Wright
1924    Adah F. Whitcomb
1925    George B. Utley
1926    Harriet M. Skogh
1927    Harriet M. Skogh
1928    Lucy Wilson Errett
1929    Earl W. Browning
1930    Michael Gallagher
1931    Alice William
1932    Emily V. D. Miller
1933    Winifred Ver Nooy
1934    Anna May Price
1935    Phineas L. Windsor
1936    Sue Osmotherly
1937    William F. Baehr
1938    Earl W. Browning
1939    Katherine L. Arzinger
1940    Nathan R. Levin
1941    Emily Minter
1942    Arnold H. Trotier
1943    Dorothy E. Hiatt
1944    Pearl I. Field
1945    Sarah S. Molony
1946    Andrew B. Lemke
1947    Alice Lohrer
1948    Ruth W. Gregory
1949    Eleanor Plain
1950    Ruth A. Hardin
1951    Andre S. Nielsen
1952    Gertrude Gscheidle & Eleanor Welch
1953    Eleanor Plain
1954    Mildred L. Nickel
1955    Marguerite Giezentanner
1956    Robert B. Downs
1957    Ralph E. McCoy
1958    Miriam H. Johnson
1959    Alex Ladesnon
1960    Miriam Peterson
1961    Elizabeth O. Stone
1962    Phyllis Maggeroli
1963    William Bryan
1964    Lucien White
1965    Charles DeYoung
1966    Julius Chitwood
1967    Harold Goldstein
1968    Harold Rath
1969    Mary Ann Swanson
1970    de Lafayette Reid
1971    Joe W. Kraus
1972    Donald E. Wright
1973    Peter Bury
1974    Margaret Dees
1975    Alice Ihrig
1976    Edna Holland
1977    Melvin George
1978    Frank J. Dempsey
1979    Dawn Heller
1980    Betty Simpson
1981    Robert McClarren
1982    Clayton Highum
1983    Judy Drescher
1984    Valerie J. Wilford
1985    Harold Hungerford
1986    Robert Plotzke
1987    Carla Funk
1988    Marlene Deuel
1989    Fred Peterson
1990    Estelle Black
1991    Brent Crossland
1992    Randy Wilson
1993    Jay Wozny
1994    Lee A. Logan
1995    Sue Stroyan
1996    Ruth E. Faklis
1997    Kathleen M. Balcom
1998    Pamela Gaitskill
1999    Carolyn Anthony
2000    Denise Zielinski
2001    Arthur P. Young
2002    Sylvia Murphy Williams
2003    Nancy M. Gillfillan
2004    Allen Lanham
2005    Dianne Harmon
2006    Tamiye Meehan
2007    Bradley F. Baker
2008    Donna Dziedzic
2009   Carole A. Medal
2010    Gail Bush
2011    Lynn Elam
2012    Pamela Van Kirk
2013    Su Erickson
2014    Jeannie Dilger
2015    Betsy Adamowski
2016    Pattie Piotrowski
2017    Melissa Garnder
2018    Cynthia Fuerst


ILA Executive Directors

1973-75                  James A. Harvey (Executive Secretary)
1976-78                  John R. Coyne (Executive Secretary)
1979-80                  Alfred L. Woods (Executive Secretary)
1981-82                  Judith C. Burnison
1983-89                   Willine C. Mahony
1989                         James Steenbergen (acting)
1990-93                    Barbara Manchak Cunningham
1993-95                    Jane E. Getty
1995                          Donna Dziedzic (interim)
1996-Nov. 2017       Robert P. Doyle
Nov. 2017----             Diane Foote

 

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