Cyndi Robinson Selected as New Executive Director of ILA

May 25, 2022

The Board of Directors of the Illinois Library Association (ILA) unanimously approved the promotion of Cynthia Robinson as the organization's next executive director. She will succeed current executive director Diane Foote, who is retiring after five years in the position.

Robinson currently serves as deputy director and has been with ILA for nearly 22 years. Arriving in 2000 to work on the association’s annual conference, Robinson rose through the ranks as conference and continuing education manager and, since 2018, deputy director. Her dedicated service, effective work with member volunteers, and long tenure with ILA have earned her the respect and trust of members and partners across the state. Beyond Illinois, Robinson is involved on the national level, particularly regarding intellectual freedom advocacy, in such leadership roles as trustee of the Freedom to Read Foundation, chair of the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Round Table, member of the ALA Presidential Advisory Committee, and member of the ALA Committee on Library Advocacy.

"I am excited to bring my years of experience on the state and national level to bear for the benefit of Illinois libraries," she explained. "My entire career has focused on issues core to libraries: intellectual freedom, equity, and access to information; and helping Illinois library staff develop to their fullest potential. I am eager to work with Illinois librarians, library staff, and library trustees and advocates on a new level."

Robinson has a BA in History from Loyola University Chicago and a Master of Library and Information Science from Dominican University in River Forest. She was selected for the position after a process of discovery led by a subcommittee of the ILA Executive Board with guidance from HR Source, a not-for-profit employers' association serving more than 1,100 companies and organizations that provides human resources, compensation, legal, training, and employee benefits services.

The Illinois Library Association is a professional membership 501(c)3 organization whose mission is “Leadership, advocacy, partnerships, and learning for the benefit of Illinois libraries.” Founded in 1896, it is the third-largest state library association and a chapter of the American Library Association. More than 2,500 personal and institutional members belong to ILA, including public, academic, school, and special libraries, and librarians, library assistants, trustees, students, and library vendors.

ILA Executive Board President Jeanne Hamilton commented, "The ILA Executive Board is pleased and proud to have identified the ideal candidate to take the association forward right here in ILA. Cyndi has a keen understanding of Illinois libraries and has demonstrated her expertise and knowledge via her work with us for the past two decades. We look forward to working with her in this new role!"

Robinson will officially assume the role on August 1, 2022. 

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