We asked candidates for Core President-Elect to answer some questions before the spring election opens on March 13. Voting will close on April 5, with results announced on April 12.
The person elected will serve one year each as President-Elect (2023–2024), President (2024–2025), and Immediate Past-President (2025–2026).
Amber Billey is the Systems & Metadata Librarian at Bard College in Annandale-On-Hudson (NY).
- What has Core brought to your career, and what would you bring to Core were you elected to this position?
Core has provided me with wonderful opportunities to connect with colleagues from across the profession, and a platform to learn about, discuss, and present on topics that are important to me and my career. If elected, I bring a passion for librarianship and a positive professional outlook that strives for compassionate leadership to work with partners to accomplish shared goals.
- What does equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA) mean to you personally and what should it mean for the Core division professionally?
Libraries are the radical idea that everyone deserves access to information. That means equitable access to information, diverse and inclusive collections and staffing, as well as inclusive and accessible metadata and spaces. Throughout my career I have tirelessly worked on projects to advance equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA) within library standards, the profession, and on the ground at individual libraries. Core should continue to incorporate EDIA principles at every level of the division and center it in our efforts to improve diversity within the profession, reduce harm, and make libraries safe spaces for all patrons.
- Member engagement is critical for the life and health of the Core division. How do you plan to sustain and grow Core’s membership?
Outreach, engaging and timely programming, and celebrating what makes Core special within the Association!
- What is one thing you will do to make Core more welcoming to new members?
I’m not a newsletter person. I like engagement through interaction. So I will host a monthly Core members social via zoom where I’ll bring on a small panel of thought leaders and peers to discuss hot topics and take questions from attendees.
- Core is the product of a recent merger of multiple divisions. Is there one aspect of the division you believe could benefit from better cohesion, and how might you go about fostering improvement in that area?
Process and procedure can get a little boring, but it’s important so that everyone knows what’s expected of them. I think Core could benefit from clearly outlining what’s expected from Sections, Committees, and Interest Groups more clearly with very tangible guidelines and a calendar of deadlines. I’d like to see more coordination between the Committees and Interest Groups where the Committees support the Interest Groups and can foster collaboration.
- What’s one thing you think Core is doing particularly well and that you would intend to support or enhance?
- What’s one thing that you think the Core division should change?
Communication – how the Division communicates to members, and how members communicate with each other. ALA Connect is a challenge that we have to find creative solutions to overcome so we can meet the needs of our division, and also so our members can effectively communicate with each other.
- What do you believe would benefit most from active state/national/international advocacy from the Core division specifically?
a. Intellectual freedom. Support for states and local libraries who are experiencing book bans and collection development challenges.
b. The metadata rights of libraries. Libraries should have the right and interest to use, re-use, adapt, aggregate, and share metadata that describes library collections to serve the public interest, without restriction or limitation (https://icolc.net/statements/icolc-statement-metadata-rights-libraries).
- What is one thing you want to make happen while on the Core Board?
A Core dance party and fundraiser at Core Forum!
- How will you pursue collaboration between sections of Core, and perhaps even with other ALA divisions?
By attending meetings of the other divisions within ALA and sections within Core, and by listening to what our members want and trying my best to make it happen or at least start to lay the groundwork for its fruition.
Amber’s Personal Statement
I believe that patrons should not experience oppression by simply using the library. We must work to correct systemic oppression within our library standards. Our profession has worked hard to address these issues, but there is more work to be done. I will focus of my time in leadership to address and fix these problems. I believe in metadata rights of libraries and open systems. As libraries face fewer choices in services and providers, we must advocate for open platforms, standards, and metadata that facilitates innovation and interoperability to provide the best services for patrons. In leadership, I will advocate for the metadata rights of libraries, and the development of open platforms and services. I believe in compassionate leadership and collaborative approaches to understanding shared goals to affect change. I will work across the Association, Division, and with related organizations to provide better services for our profession, membership, and patrons.
Thank you, Amber!
Amber is running unopposed because the second candidate for Core President-Elect had to remove herself from consideration due to personal reasons. A write-in option will be available on the ballot.