Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada, adult services assistant manager at the Palos Verdes Library District in Rolling Hills Estates, California, has been elected president of the American Library Association (ALA) for 2022-2023. Pelayo-Lozada will begin her term following the 2022 ALA Annual conference.
ALA officials report that Pelayo-Lozada received 4,056 votes, while her opponents, Ed Garcia, director of the Cranston (RI) Public Library, received 2,598 votes and Stacey A. Aldrich, state librarian, Hawaii State Public Library System, received 2,186 votes.
"I want to thank each and every member that voted, who made their voice heard in our association, and helped make ALA stronger. I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to lead together for change with all of you as 2022-2023 ALA President," Pelayo-Lozada said in a statement this week. "Together, we will continue strengthening this organization, the profession, and all of its members, making it a model of organizational excellence and sustainability. We will work to transform ALA into a more inclusive and antiracist organization while committing to our core values. We will create our future together, celebrating the joys that make libraries meaningful to all of us while making space for difficult but honest conversations."
Pelayo-Lozada has a long resume of work with ALA. She recently completed a term as an ALA executive board member (2017-2020) and is currently a councilor-at-large. She is also an active member of the 1876 Club, the Association of Library Services to Children, Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures (Core), the Public Library Association (PLA), the Rainbow Round Table, the Social Responsibilities Round Table, and the Sustainability Round Table. She also is a member of several ALA Professional affiliates, including the Asian-Pacific American Librarians Association, the Black Caucus American Library Association, the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), American Indian Library Association (AILA), and The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA).
Pelayo-Lozado will follow city librarian at the Santa Monica Public Library (CA) Patty Wong, who will begin her term as ALA president in June, taking the reins from current president Julius C. Jefferson, Jr. And with any luck, Pelayo-Lozado will be the first ALA president in three years to be inaugurated at an in-person ALA Annual Conference, with the 2020 and 2021 conferences forced to go online-only in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.