iSchool Alumni Score Coveted Seats on CLA Board of Directors
2020 CLA Election Results
Four alumni of the San José State University School of Information were elected to seats on the California Library Association Board of Directors in the 2020 CLA election, held on November 2, 2020. Mark Fink, Dolly Goyal, Yolande Wilburn, and Beatriz Preciado will take office this month, and will be honored at the annual CLA membership meeting being held virtually on November 16, 2020.
Fink, who was elected treasurer, graduated from the Master of Library and Information Science program in 1999, when classes were still held in person. He has worked for school and public libraries in California for more than 20 years, and currently serves as county librarian at Yolo County Library. Fink said he was “surprised, grateful and humbled” upon hearing he’d been elected. “Now that the realization has sunk in, I’m excited to get started.”
He decided to run for treasurer at the encouragement of a couple of colleagues and saw it as an opportunity to “make a meaningful community contribution.” After spending time learning more about the organization, he “was impressed with the commitment folks in CLA leadership and staff positions have to the organization, its active engagement with the state legislature, the sense of collegial community among its members, and its efforts to advocate for more equity and inclusion in our profession.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 CLA conference was cancelled, and the 2021 conference will be held virtually next spring. “As a result, CLA is having to rethink its revenue model,” Fink noted. “I will be spending time with the Finance Committee, Conference Planning Committee and the Board of Directors working on new strategies to generate revenue to help keep CLA financially sound.”
Goyal, ‘08 MLIS, works as a library services manager for youth and families at San Mateo County Libraries. She is one of two alumnae elected to the seat of at-large representative, and was “so shocked” when she found out she’d won.
“I purposely didn’t run a huge campaign this year as the slate of candidates was so great, and I wanted everyone to have a fair chance at the seat,” Goyal acknowledged. “I was also very excited because CLA is very much involved in the heart of continuing professional development for the library staff in the state, as well as a support network for challenges all libraries are facing due to the pandemic. I can’t wait to be a part of all of this great work!”
Goyal served as president of CLA in 2018, and is eager to continue contributing her time and efforts to maintain “the forward upward movement in supporting California Libraries.” She has stayed involved by co-chairing the CLA annual virtual conference, slated for May 11-14, 2021. “In addition to that, I’d like to continue the work on increasing awareness of the association to build membership, supporting diversity and unifying messaging statewide, and expanding developmental opportunities for library support staff.”
Although the president’s term is technically three years, serving as president-elect, president, and outgoing president, Goyal noted that “there are different projects and pieces that you’re responsible for, and I wanted to serve as a board member to support our fantastic current president and new president-elect.”
Elected at-large representative alongside Goyal, Wilburn, ’09 MLIS, said she was “excited” and “a little overwhelmed” to learn she’d won a seat on the board. “I am so grateful that people took the time to vote for me, demonstrating their confidence in my ability. I look forward to hearing from community members to ensure that the decisions I make reflect what is needed for us to succeed as an organization.”
The city librarian for Torrance City Library expressed the importance of being active in the profession. “As a mentor, I encourage my mentees to get involved with CLA and other professional organizations to help guide their careers and improve members’ support. As library workers, we consistently demonstrate concern for serving the community. It is equally as important to support ourselves so that we can continue to achieve for our public.”
During her time on the board, Wilburn hopes to grow membership and help determine what the next phase of CLA looks like as it navigates new service models and delivery. “I would like to see more people participate in creating a community of inclusion,” she remarked. “I want to work on finding ways to bring more involvement from all levels of our profession, perhaps through listening sessions.”
Preciado, elected American Library Association councilor, graduated with her MLIS degree in 2012, and currently works as programs coordinator for the Orange County Public Library. After serving as co-chair of the Membership Committee for the CLA conference in 2019, which was responsible for planning activities that would help to highlight membership benefits, Preciado was inspired to run for the seat. “I want to give back to the profession through this next step of volunteerism,” she said. “Being elected as the ALA chapter councilor is a tremendous honor. I was excited, surprised, and grateful to know the CLA membership believed in me.”
Preciado also serves as president of the Orange County Chapter of REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking. She thinks the most critical challenges and opportunities currently facing California are in providing communities access to technology; she noted that in many densely populated communities, students have lost spaces conducive to learning and studying. “With the current pandemic, libraries are needed now more than ever. By having a seat on the board, I will be able to navigate and find resources for libraries with the goal that we are in this together, and together we will emerge once again.”
The 2020 election results are posted on the CLA website.