The American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board has appointed Mary Ghikas as executive director through January 2020, effective immediately. Ghikas has been serving as interim executive director since August 1, 2017, after the retirement of Keith Michael Fiels. She was most recently senior associate executive director of member programs and services…

The search process for the executive director will begin in spring 2019 after the position description requirements have been finalized. The ALA Executive Board plans to name a new executive director after the fall board meeting in October 2019. The new executive director will officially start at Midwinter 2020, and Ghikas will support the orientation and transition process through the Annual Conference in June 2020.

Ghikas, who started with ALA in 1995, has her MLS and BA from UCLA as well as her association executive certification (CAE) from the American Society of Association Executives. Throughout her career, she has served in numerous library systems including Chicago Public Library, Los Angeles Public Library, Western New York Library Resources Council, and the U.S. Book Exchange in Washington, DC. 


According to GoodEReader “The Da Vinci code author Dan Brown has just donated €300,000 to the Ritman Library to digitize thousands of “pre-1900 texts on alchemy, astrology, magic, and theosophy.” It will include the Corpus Hermeticum (1472), “the source work on Hermetic wisdom”; Giordano Bruno’s Spaccio de la bestia trionfante (1584); and “the first printed version of the tree of life (1516): A graphic representation of the sefirot, the 10 virtues of God according to the Kabbalah.”

One particularly important text that will be digitized is the first English translation of the works of Jakob Böhme, a 17th-century German mystic. Says Esther Ritman, the library’s director and librarian, “When I show this book in the library, it’s like traveling in an entire new world.” Once the work is available online, she says, “We can take everyone along the journey of this book digitally.”

Dan Brown donated the money to the library because he did comprehensive research while writing his novels The Lost Symbol and Inferno. It will take some time to digitize the catalog but there is a 44-page guide to the collection as a free ebook, and a very interesting video that talks about how the books will be transported, digitized, and uploaded…”


KnowledgeSpeak reports that “JSTOR has announced that Louise Jones has joined its Library Advisory Group. The group is composed of leading librarians from around the globe and provides JSTOR with guidance on strategic questions and decisions.

Jones became university librarian at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2013. While there, she has led the development of digital services and technology-rich spaces and opened up the library’s abundant bilingual collections to the world. She is also a member of the Joint University Librarians Advisory Committee (JULAC), president of the Hong Kong Library Association, and vice-chair of the newly founded Guangdong Hong Kong Macau University Library Alliance.

Jones joins new Library Advisory Group members Wendy Pradt Lougee, university librarian and dean of libraries at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and Michael Levine-Clark, dean of libraries at the University of Denver, who both became part of the group last fall.


OCLC, along with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), has named five librarians selected to participate in the Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship Program for 2018. The program supports library and information science professionals from countries with developing economies.

The IFLA/OCLC Fellowship Program provides advanced continuing education and exposure to a broad range of issues in information technologies, library operations and global cooperative librarianship. With the selection of the five Fellows for the class of 2018, the program will have welcomed 90 librarians and information science professionals from 40 different countries.

The 2018 IFLA/OCLC Fellows are:

  • Alehegn Adane Kinde, University of Gondar, Ethiopia
  • Arnold Mwanzu, International Centre of Insect Physiology & Ecology (icipe), Kenya
  • Irina Livia Niţu, National Library of Romania, Romania
  • Chantelle Richardson, National Library of Jamaica, Jamaica
  • Chandra Pratama Setiawan, Petra Christian University, Indonesia…”