KCPL’s Cindy Hohl Named One of Two Candidates for American Library Association Presidency

Thursday, November 3, 2022

The Kansas City Public Library’s Cindy Hohl is one of two candidates for the presidency of the American Library Association – with 55,000 members, the largest and most influential library association in the world.

The association revealed the nominees Tuesday, November 1. If elected, Hohl would become the first ALA president ever from a Kansas City-area library and the first from a library in Missouri in 90 years.

With her on the ballot is Eric Suess, director of the Marshall Public Library in Pocatello, Idaho. An ALA nominating committee makes the selections. Voting by the full membership via electronic ballot begins March 13, 2023, and runs through April 5.

The winner will serve a year as president-elect before assuming the association’s presidency in 2024-25.

Hohl, who joined the Kansas City Public Library in 2017 as director of branch operations, now serves as its director of policy analysis and operational support. She also has filled numerous national and international leadership roles.

She is a member of the board of the ALA-affiliated Freedom to Read Foundation, currently serving as treasurer. That body has been at the forefront of opposition to book banning and other censorship efforts.

“With recent activities threatening equity of library service, promoting censorship, and targeting library staff through harassment and other forums, there has never been a better time for an experienced library leader to stand for election as ALA president-elect to lend their voice and provide steady leadership when faced with adversity,” Hohl told the ALA.

It “would be an honor,” she said, “to serve our colleagues through these challenging times to promote a united front across the field, and I am committed to leading in a good way.”

A member of the Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska, Hohl served as president of the American Indian Library Association in 2020-21 and has been a member of the steering committee of the Joint Council of Librarians of Color since 2019.

She would be the second Native American to serve as ALA president, following the University of Texas’ Loriene Roy in 2007-08.

Only two presidents in the ALA’s 146-year history have come from Missouri, both from the St. Louis Public Library: Frederick Morgan Crunden from 1887-89 and Charles H. Compton in 1934-35.