Message from ILA President Jeanne Hamilton

June 22, 2022

Dear ILA Community, 

As my term as ILA president draws to a close, I would like to thank all of our members, partners, and supporters who have helped the Association—and Illinois librarianship—navigate the past year, which continued to pose challenges for everyone. Our membership has remained steady throughout the pandemic, which is a testament to everyone’s profound dedication to our field and our work, and the strength of our community.
One of the first tasks of a newly elected Vice President/President-Elect is to convene a Conference Program Committee and begin to think about a theme. Our theme for the 2021 ILA Annual Conference, “Breaking Down Barriers; Building Up Communities” focused us on the aforementioned strength of our community, but also on what we need to improve to remove barriers to full participation, both in ILA and in the library settings where we work. One of our notable achievements this year in service of that goal is the creation of the ILA Inclusive Travel Grants program, which provides $1000 in funding for librarians and library staff from underrepresented populations to attend their first national conferences.
One of my final acts as your President is to report on the last ILA Executive Board meeting of the governance year, which took place on May 19. At that meeting the Executive Board:

  • approved the nomination of three Illinois Library Luminary campaigns; 
  • approved the 2022-23 ILA budget and conducted the biennial review of ILA’s Fiscal Policies
  • approved ILA’s support of a draft statement advocating for the development of open educational resources initiated by CARLI and to be sent to Illinois’ College Course Materials Affordability and Equitable Access Task Force, on which three Illinois librarians currently serve; and
  • in executive session, approved the appointment of Cyndi Robinson as ILA’s next executive director.

Regarding the last, we are looking ahead toward the transition from current executive director Diane Foote to Cyndi, our current deputy director, who has gained members’ trust and respect over more than 20 years as a member of the small but mighty ILA staff. Cyndi will assume the executive director role on August 1 when Diane retires. I’m so pleased and proud that after an internal discovery process led by a subcommittee of the Executive Board with support from HR Source, we were able to identify the ideal candidate to take the association forward right here in ILA.

I have been honored to serve as your President. As I pass the gavel to Vice President/President-Elect Heather Jagman on July 1, I hope the Association will continue to break down barriers and build up communities.


Jeanne Hamilton
ILA President 

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