Raymond Pun Elected as 2025-2026 President of the ALA

Raymond Pun recently won the election for the next president-elect of the American Library Association. Read on to learn more about Pun and the position.

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After thousands of votes were counted, the American Library Association (ALA) elected Raymond Pun as their new president. Pun will serve as president for the ALA’s 2025-2026 presidential cycle. He will become the official presidential-elect at this year’s ALA Annual Conference, which takes place from June 27 to July 2. At that conference, the current president elect, Cindy Hohl, will assume her role officially as president for 2024-2025, succeeding current president Emily Drabinski.

Who is Raymond Pun?

Pun has a lot of experience when it comes to library work and research. He is currently the academic and research librarian at the Alder Graduate School of Education, which is in Redwood City, California. He is also an immediate past president, meaning president right before the current one, for the Chinese American Librarians Association. In addition, he is a past president of the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association.

Raymond Pun looking at the camera.
IMAGE VIA YOUTUBE/AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

In terms of previous ALA work, he has been on the advisory committee for two past presidents, has been a part of the ALA council, and has served on the ALA Policy Corps. Other library associations that Pun is a member of include the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Association for Library Service to Children, and American Association of School Librarians.

The Position

The ALA is the oldest library association in the world, having started in 1847, as well as the biggest. It is a non-profit that encourages the importance of libraries and library education. The president serves as a spokesperson for the organization to the public. In addition, the president helps maintain the values and integrity of the organization and make sure there are no inappropriate actions coming from members.

ALA logo, with the acronym in large red letters and American Library Association written in smaller blue letters on the side.
IMAGE VIA AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

The president also presides over board meetings and manages daily operations. They are also the chairperson of the executive board, which also includes the Executive Director, the immediate past president, the Vice President and the Treasurer. The President is an important position that the ALA seriously counts on.

The Election

Pun announced that he was running for the presidency on the… In this election, Pun was running for this position against Sam Helmick. Helmick is a former president of the Iowa Library Association and is currently the community and access services coordinator at Iowa City Public Library. The election was held from March 11th to April 3rd. People that were able to vote for the president were members of the ALA through a digital ballot.

An election ballot with a candidate checked off on a wooden background.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSTR/RACHEL ROSENFIELD

Along with the role of president, ALA members also voted for twelve new ALA Councilors-at-Large out of 26 candidates.  After all of the presidential votes were counted, it was found that Pun received 5,611 votes, whereas Helmick only got 2,778, which led to the official April 12th announcement that Pun had won.

The Importance of the Position

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IMAGE VIA BOOKSTR/RACHEL ROSENFIELD

While the role of the president of the ALA is a critical one, the role is especially necessary in today’s literary world. There has been a rampant increase of attempted book bans in the United States lately. A lot of literary censorship has come from political agendas, which has created some stressful times for libraries and librarians. In fact, Drabinski, the current president has faced some threats and attacks from those who do not appreciate the freedom that libraries give. Hohl will be taking over in the midst of a stressful situation and only time will tell what will happen when Pun officially takes over.

In the literary world, the title of ALA president is a huge honor. It puts that person in charge of the largest library organization in existence. The president is meant to use their position to stress the importance of libraries and reading to everyone. Pun has the experience to back up his position and knows the library world well. That experience should bode well for when Pun’s presidency formally begins in 2025.


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