Wanda Brown Takes Over as President of the American Library Association

Wanda Brown, the director of library services at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina, is the new president of the American Library Association. Founded in 1853, the ALA is the largest library association in the world with more than 57,000 members. Brown is the first president of the association who is currently a librarian at a historically Black university. She is the sixth African American to hold the presidency of the ALA.

During her year as president, Brown said she would launch a new marketing campaign designed to reach new professionals, meet with graduate students in library and information science programs, and will hold virtual town hall meetings to connect students and new library staff with the American Library Association. Brown also stated that she plans to “address social/economic inequity with a primary focus on the library’s role in increasing economic mobility for young African American and Hispanic men, specifically around the pipeline to prison.”

Before joining the staff at Winston-Salem State University in 2016, Brown was associate dean of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. She joined the staff at Wake Forest in 1977. Brown is a former president of the North Carolina Library Association and former president of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

Brown is a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, where she majored in English. She holds a master of library and information science degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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