Lora Del Rio, President-Elect Candidate

Lora Del Rio, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville 

Statement of Concern
The work we do in libraries is meaningful. Libraries are so exciting because of the opportunity for discovery; they are the place people go to seek answers and understanding. What makes libraries essential is the inclusive environment; libraries are for all people. And what makes Illinois libraries grow and evolve are all of you, the 3000+ members of the Illinois Library Association, who work diligently to make a difference in your communities. The growth and evolution of a library, however, can be a difficult path to pioneer. We face challenges in the form of increasing diversity, funding, staffing, resistance to change, and a misunderstanding of our values. This is exactly why we need to look to the Illinois Library Association to remember we are not alone and that we share espoused values worthy of being values in action. Through ILA, we can turn to each other for support as we respond to and anticipate our library patrons' needs.

The Illinois Library Association is a brilliant organization with a rich history that helps us remind people why libraries are important. While there is strength in the collective force of the Illinois Library Association, there are ample opportunities for members to develop as leaders in our profession. I enthusiastically said yes both times when I was asked to serve on the Conference Program Committee, the second time as chair. The annual ILA Conference allows us the time to slow down, reflect, learn, and connect with one another. It was very rewarding to meet librarians from all types of libraries all over the state and plan meaningful virtual and in-person conferences. The entire experience has been a highlight in my 15-year career as an academic librarian, and it has positively impacted my daily work.

This is an awesome time to be involved in the Illinois Library Association as we update our strategic plan in 2024 to guide our focus into the future. We need an ILA President who can engage members and who will listen to understand our professional needs, so they can represent our interests and model our values in action. This is the kind of leader I would like to be for you. I am honored to be nominated as a candidate and I welcome the opportunity to serve in this role.

Library & Information Services, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
     Director for Research, Teaching, & Learning, 2022 – Present
     Humanities Librarian & Associate Professor, 2019 – Present
     Area Coordinator for Research & Teaching, 2021
     Instruction Coordinator, 2015 – 2017
     Humanities Librarian & Assistant Professor, 2013 – 2019

Library, Heartland Community College
     Information Services Librarian, 2009 – 2013

Library, Parkland College
     Information Services Librarian, 2009

Undergraduate Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
     Pre-professional Graduate Assistant, 2007 – 2008

Library, U. S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
     Library Technician for Archives and Public Services, 2006 – 2007

Sam Wolf Granite City Campus Library, Southwestern Illinois College
     Library Reference Assistant, 2005 – 2006

MSLIS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008
     Illinois State Library Training Grant Recipient, 2007
     NILRC Next Generation Community College Librarians, 2007-2008

B.A., Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004
     Major: Germanic Languages & Literatures; Concentration: Modern German Literature

Professional Memberships and Activities
Illinois Library Association, Member
     Conference Program Committee, 2021
     Conference Program Committee, 2022, Co-Chair

American Librarian Association, Member

Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), Member
     ACRL/IS Conference Program Planning--Las Vegas, 2014 Committee

Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI)
     Instruction Committee, 2014 – 2017

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE)
     IRIS Center, Internal Advisory Board, 2013 – Present
     Teaching Excellence Award Committee, 2014 – 2015
     University Housing Faculty Fellow, 2017
     University Honors Advisory Council, 2013 – 2020
     University Marketing & Communications Social Media Committee, 2019 – 2022

SIUE Library & Information Services
     Annual Review and Elections Committee, 2014 – 2016, 2017 – 2019, 2020 – 2021
     Collection Management Committee, 2013 – 2020
     LIS Marketing Committee, Chair, 2018 – 2021
     Open Access Task Force, 2014
     Research & Projects Committee, 2014 – 2016, 2023 – Present, Chair
     Tenure, Promotion, & Salary Committee, 2019 – Present, Co-Chair

Funded Grants
“Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Diverse Librarianship Career Training and Education Program”. 2021 Laura Bush 21st Century Library Program. Institute for Museum and Library Sciences. Principal Investigator: Tammie Busch; Project Co-Investigators: Jacob Del Rio, Lora Del Rio, Elizabeth Kamper, Shelly McDavid, and Simone Williams. Award Amount: $249,998.18.

“Madison County, Illinois, Naturalization Records: A Digital Collection of Social and Family History.” 2015-2016 Illinois History Digital Imaging Grant. Illinois State Library. Principal Investigator: Stephen Kerber; Co-Investigators: Sarah Park and Lora L. Del Rio. Award Amount: $42,371.






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