South Arkansas Community College Library director Philip Shackelford has assumed the presidency of the Arkansas Library Association.
The president serves as the chief executive officer of the association; presides over the executive board meetings; and supervises, directs and manages association business and officers.
Presidential service is spread across three one-year terms: a term as president-elect, a term as president and a term as past president.
ArLA’s stated mission is to further the professional development of all library staff, foster communication and cooperation among librarians and stakeholders, increase the visibility of libraries among the general public and funding agencies, and serve as an advocate for Arkansas libraries and library staff.
“Professional service is something I have valued ever since joining the Arkansas library community—advocating for and supporting the work of each library worker in Arkansas, whether public, academic, school, or special library,” Shackelford said. “It provides opportunity for learning and sharing, but importantly, service. Working with colleagues around the state allows for a valuable exchange of information, ideas, strategies that we can then bring back to enhance activities within our own institutions.”
In addition to Shackelford’s position at the college and his new responsibilities as ArLA president, he also holds voluntary posts as secretary of ARKLink (a statewide consortium of academic libraries), associate editor of the Arkansas Libraries journal and member of the Association of College and Research Libraries Value of Academic Libraries Committee.
He is a graduate of Kent State University with master’s degrees in history and library and information Science. His academic research focuses on the Cold War history of the U.S. Air Force and on the Air Force Security Service, a Cold War-era communications intelligence agency designed to provide the Air Force with reliable intelligence information to support its missions and decisions.
Shackelford participated in the American Library Association Class of 2019 Emerging Leaders, and completed the Arkansas State Library ALL-In Leadership Institute. He recently completed a certificate in open educational resources librarianship through the Open Education Network at the University of Minnesota, and is a pre-publication book reviewer for Library Journal.
“Despite the difficult challenges related to COVID-19, I believe that the future of the Arkansas Library Association is a bright one,” he said. “Over the past couple of years we have charted new waters with unprecedented challenges but also worked hard to lay a solid foundation for future success. Presidential initiatives for this year are focused on fostering reinvigorated membership; maintaining organizational health; and cultivating positive visibility, responsible innovation and a strategic future.”