Join Patricia “Patty” Wong at 1 p.m. CT on June 29, as she begins her term as the first Asian American to serve as president of the American Library Association (ALA) and shares her plans for leading the association through an exciting time of change. The virtual event is free and is part of the ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition, June 23-29, 2021.

Wong, city librarian at Santa Monica Public Library, will receive the gavel (virtually) from ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., at the virtual celebration, which will honor newly elected leadership, including ALA president-elect Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, ALA Executive Board members and incoming division and roundtable presidents.

You can register at https://bit.ly/3i8NGx2. All are welcome – so kick back, relax with your favorite beverage and snack, and enjoy the virtual show.

Prior to serving as city librarian at Santa Monica Public Library, Wong was director of library services at Yolo County Library (2008–2017).

An active ALA member for 37 years, Wong has served several terms as at-large councilor (1996–2007, 2012–2014) and as California Chapter councilor (2015–2017). She is a member of several ALA professional affiliates, including the American Indian Library Association, Asian-Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), Black Caucus of ALA, Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), and REFORMA: The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking.

During the celebration, Wong will introduce the theme of her presidential year, “Libraries Connect.”

“I am excited to serve as 2021-22 president of the American Library Association,” Wong said. “I am eager to get to work, along with our great staff, member leaders, affiliate organizations, and allies to move this organization forward to meet the challenges of a post-pandemic reality. Change is coming. But it is not enough to react to change. We must also serve as catalysts for change.”

Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, adult services assistant manager at Palos Verdes Library District in Rolling Hills Estates, California, will begin her term as ALA president-elect. She will assume the ALA presidency in June 2022.

For more information about the 2021 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition (Virtual), visit ala.org.

Submitted by Sheryl Reyes, Director Governance American Library Association