Craig Scott elected to state association

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Photo courtesy of the City of Gadsden: City of Gadsden Mayor Craig Ford (right) congratulates Gadsden Public Library Director Craig Scott following Scott’s appointment as president-elect of the Alabama Library Association.

 

By Kaitlin Hoskins, News Editor

Craig Scott, Director of the Gadsden Public Library, was sworn in as president-elect of the Alabama Library Association (ALLA) Thursday, July 20.
He was voted as president-elect by librarians and library paraprofessionals during ALLA’s annual election in May, and following a year-long term as president-elect, he will be installed as ALLA president in June 2024.
“Winning the support and faith of my peers to represent Alabama’s libraries, including librarians, paraprofessionals, library supporters and the patrons we serve, is a great honor with tremendous responsibility,” said Scott.
ALLA serves all libraries in Alabama including public libraries, school libraries, academic libraries (like those on college campuses) and special libraries (like the medical library on the campus of the University of Birmingham’s medical center).
“Craig Scott represents the City of Gadsden well as our library director and being entrusted by his peers throughout the state proves what an asset he is to our city,” said Gadsden Mayor Craig Ford. “With constant programming for children, adults and senior citizens, the Gadsden Public Library thrives as a free educational institution for all Gadsden area residents.
“Congratulations to Craig Scott, the Gadsden Public Library and the Alabama Library Association.”
Scott said libraries of all types are faced with incredible challenges in today’s world, including advocacy and relevance, changing user needs and expectations, combatting the digital divide and overcoming funding constraints.
“Despite these challenges, Alabama’s libraries are continually adapting and evolving to meet the changing needs of their communities. They remain essential institutions, leveraging their unique strengths, expertise, and commitment to public access to information to overcome these obstacles and serve as invaluable community resources,” Scott said.
Within ALLA, Scott said public libraries and academic libraries are represented well. School libraries, however, are not.
According to Scott, school libraries are already serviced by another organization, but he hopes to see a better connection to school librarians in the future.
“Libraries are essential institutions that promote knowledge, education, equality, workforce development and community engagement,” he added. “They serve as pillars of society, empowering individuals, fostering intellectual growth and contributing to the overall well-being and development of communities.”
Scott has been involved in leadership positions with ALLA since joining the staff of the Gadsden Public Library in 2007. He has held voting positions on the ALLA Executive Council, including twice as Member-At-Large (North) and has served on its Legislative Committee in 2023.
He was Chair of ALLA’s convention held in Gadsden in 2016, which has been ALLA’s most profitable convention to date. He was also Co-Chair of the Declaration for the Right to Libraries Campaign and has been Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee.
He hopes with the help of the current president, Matt Layne, ALLA can improve their communication internally and visit members throughout the state. In fact, Scott said Layne will be visiting Gadsden’s libraries soon.
Scott also hopes to implement a roster of libraries across Alabama to help the organization know who they serve and develop better benefits for members apart from the annual conference.
Scott is also active in the community as Chair of the Gadsden-Etowah County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) group, as an instructor with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) on the Gadsden campus of the University of Alabama, and as a member of the Advisory Board of RSVP (the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program). He is a portrayer during Gadsden’s annual A Walk Through Time event at Forrest Cemetery and is an avid fan of college football.
Originally from Michigan, Scott holds a BA in History from Michigan State University in East Lansing and a Masters in Library Science and Technology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is a member of the American Library Association (ALA) and Public Library Association (PLA) and is a member of PLA’s Continuing Education Advisory Group.

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