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ALA Names Maureen Sullivan Honorary Member

CHICAGO — The Board of the American Library Association (ALA) elected ALA Past President Maureen Sullivan an honorary member of the association, ALA’s highest honor, during the virtual experience of Library Learning 2022. Honorary Membership is conferred in recognition of outstanding contributions of lasting significance to libraries and librarianship.

Sullivan is honored for her lasting contribution to the field of librarianship through her service to the profession and the ALA, her work on organizational change, leadership development, and her consulting practice that has reached thousands of librarians.

Sullivan was president of ALA from 2012 to 2013 and was co-chair of the Emerging Leaders Initiative from 2006 to 2010 and 2013 to 2018 as well as chair of the Minority Fellowship Program Advisory Board from 1989 to 1995. She was president of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL, 1998-99) and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA -1988-89). During her tenure as ACRL President, she worked with the Harvard Graduate School of Education to establish the Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians, offered annually since 1999.

During her presidency of ALA, she created the ALA Leadership Institute, an immersive leadership development program for future library leaders that she presented with Kathryn Deiss. It focuses on basic leadership skills and is held annually in the Chicago area.

Also during her tenure as ALA President, she formed a partnership with the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation; ALA was a signatory to the U.S. Department of State’s Learning Statement, a program developed by the State Department’s Curator of Diplomatic Reception Rooms to make its collections available through a digital platform, during Secretary Hillary’s tenure. Clinton; partnered with the Harvard Graduate School of Education to establish the Library Leadership in a Digital Age program; worked with the Aspen Institute to create and launch its Gates Foundation-funded program, “Rising to the Challenge: Reimagining Public Libraries”; led delegations to meet publishers in New York to discuss e-books; and launched ALA’s next strategic plan, focusing on a few key areas and using an inclusive process.

His 2010 book, “Developing Library Leaders: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Coaching, Team Building and Mentoring Library Staff” (with Robert D. Stueart) is widely considered the authoritative source on these topics. Maureen has received a wide range of awards numerous times for her contributions to the library community. They include ALA’s Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change, 1999; ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year, Association of College and Research Libraries, 2010; Emerson Greenway Distinguished Service Award for Librarianship, New England Library Association, 2012; and the Joseph W. Lippincott Award. Honorary Membership recognizes the enormous and sustained impact she has had and continues to have on librarians and virtually all types of libraries in the area of ​​change management and organizational development. His lifelong work ultimately led to stronger, more strategic organizations, whether individual libraries or professional associations.

In their nomination, Ann K. Symons, ALA Honorary Fellow, and Robert R. Newlen, Executive Director of the Dwight D. Opperman Foundation, wrote, “Maureen has held many ‘jobs’ during her career, which spans several decades. His service in ALA and his consulting practice have impacted thousands of librarians. There’s hardly a topic that Maureen hasn’t tackled with her innovative contributions that improve librarians and libraries. His work with organizational development, change management, human resource management and strategic planning have had a profound and lasting influence on the profession.

Sullivan is known in the library community for her work to help organizations deal with change effectively. Through her consulting practice and countless volunteer hours, she has made libraries stronger organizations and therefore better able to serve their constituents.

After serving as the Connecticut State Library’s Acting State Librarian from May 2020 to January 2021, Governor Lamont appointed her to the State Library Board of Trustees. In September 2021, she was elected president.

After earning her master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Maryland, Maureen became assistant staff librarian and later assistant director of staff libraries at the University of Maryland.

She honed her skills in organizational training and staff development at the Association of Research Libraries, where she was a specialist in the management training program, and then as a human resources administrator at the University of Yale.

In 1991, Maureen was well prepared to launch her career as an organizational development consultant, founding Maureen Sullivan Associates, a practice that spans more than 30 years.

His work has encompassed a wide range of organizational development and human resources programs, including: organizational change planning and management; research and recruitment processes; organizational assessment; team building; staff development and learning programs; leadership development programs; management skills development; job classification systems; identification and development of basic skills; board development; organizational restructuring; work redesign and process improvement; innovative approaches to organizational development; and strategic planning.

Through her business practice and volunteer commitments and services, Maureen has reached virtually every type of library and professional library organization. This includes public, university, and federal libraries and organizations as diverse as the Aspen Institute, the American Library Association, law schools, consortia, the Council of Urban Libraries, and numerous colleges and universities.

During nearly 10 years of teaching as a doctoral practice teacher. Managerial Leadership program at the School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College, she has coached and inspired many students.

Newlen said: “As a former Assistant Librarian of Congress, I called on Maureen on several occasions to work with managers on a wide range of organizational issues. In each case, she brought her great ability to listen and analyze to diagnose problems, work closely with staff and propose solutions. I can honestly say that there was no HR issue that Maureen did not make a substantial contribution to and facilitate lasting improvement.

Symons said: “When I was president of the ALA, Maureen was president of the ACRL. I always thought our roles should have been reversed – even then, over 20 years ago, she was ready to be ALA President. Our cohort of Division Presidents was diverse, smart, experienced and engaged. Whether she knows it or not, Maureen has surrounded me with her advice, her sense of organization and her friendship.

Sullivan will receive an honorary membership plaque in June at the opening general session of the ALA’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.