Meet LITA’s Presidents: Bonnie Postlethwaite, 2006-2007

One way LITA is celebrating its 50th anniversary is by profiling our presidents. Bonnie Postlethwaite was LITA President from 2006-2007.

Current position: Dean of Libraries, University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC)

Position you held when serving as LITA President: Associate Dean of Libraries, UMKC

Three words that best describe you: Practical, easy-going, open-minded

What was one of your most defining moments of your presidential year? Social media was new at the time and LITA began heavily using its Blog, created a wiki, issued podcasts of Top Tech Trends, and LITA was the first division to use podcasts for candidates statements for election.  Other highlights include:

  • Re-structuring of the Education Committee merging the Regional Institutes into it and examining new modes of delivery of education programs
  • In the 1st year of the ALA Emerging Leaders,  LITA sponsored our 1st emerging leader, Michelle Boule.
  • Increased attention to actively participate in the standards development process with the appointment of a new LITA Standards Coordinator, the creation of a Standards Blog and other avenues of input on standards development.
  • ITAL was made available online at the point of publication.
  • Creation of the Assessment Committee to enable the Board to make data-driven decisions.

Why did you join LITA? My job was focused on library technology and it seemed like an important group to be part of.

Any advice for future LITA Leaders? Keep LITA focused on new technologies and use LITA’s expertise to serve all of ALA.  Find ways to attract the non-library technology professionals that are essential to the work of library technology development through relevant programming and networking.

If you could give your 18 year old self a piece of advice what would it be? Embrace unexpected opportunities that will open new doors.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of and why? My work with designing library spaces that are technology-rich and address new modes of learning and research.

Is there a picture from your presidential year that captures the experience.

Bonnie PostlethwaiteThe picture I selected was taken at the Inaugural Banquet.  My inauguration was in New Orleans at the ALA right after Katrina (2006).  It was a moving experience to be there helping the city with its recovery.  The entertainment that evening was the Rockin Doopsies and the processional was led by Mardi Gras players who, in the green room, had us all in tears as they expressed their thanks for librarians not giving up on New Orleans.  The event was certainly the best ALA Inauguration Banquet I ever attended and LITA ‘royalty’ were there in large numbers including several LITA former presidents as well as future presidents.  To me it represented the commitment to LITA that so many were there.  Plus the evening rocked—because LITA members always have a good time!