CONTACT: Caitlin Cowart, 210-207-2638
SAN ANTONIO (April 11, 2018) --- Ramiro S. Salazar, director of San Antonio Public Library, has been elected the 2019 – 2020 president of the Public Library Association (PLA). This leadership role will guide the PLA in its mission to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Salazar will become PLA president-elect after the ALA Annual Conference and serve through the 2021 ALA Annual Conference, serving one year each as president-elect (2018–2019), president (2019–2020), and past-president (2020–2021).
“I am honored to have been chosen by my peers to serve as the 2019-2020 president of PLA. I look forward to working with the membership as well as PLA staff to facilitate platforms where we can collectively address how we can bring down barriers to access and identify and promote competencies and skill sets needed to keep our public libraries relevant as service institutions” said Salazar. “I would also like to explore ways on how we can help public libraries in their efforts to be nimble and adapt to the ever-changing environments being impacted by technology, generational expectations and other factors. It is by engaging the membership in problem-solving that together we can help shape the future of public libraries.”
For more than 35 years, Salazar has dedicated his public service career to increasing availability and accessibility of library resources and services to all segments of the community. As director of the San Antonio Public Library, he has led efforts to complete capital improvements and other major projects, including expansion and/or renovation of 13 existing branches and the opening of 10 new library locations. Other library service enhancements led by Salazar include: the launch of free public wireless internet service (WiFi) throughout the library system; development of an agreement for a local non-profit to inject $1.4 million to improve and maintain the grounds of a branch library; negotiation of a lease agreement to establish a state-of-the-art Western Art museum in the old vacant main library building, which also houses a digital portal for the San Antonio Public Library; public/private partnership to co-locate a library within a YMCA fitness center; laptops for in-library use; development of multi-year strategic plans; a technology hub at Central Library adding more than 120 new computers; and a host of other offerings available for technology education.
Before joining the San Antonio Public Library, Salazar served as interim assistant city manager for the City of Dallas. He was the director of the Dallas Public Library from 1993 to 2004 and has also served as director of the El Paso Public Library. When he is not at work, Ramiro enjoys playing golf and organizing golf outings. For close to 20 years, he and his family have organized an annual Jalapeño Golf Tournament, which raises funds for charity and/or those who have an individual need.
The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 9,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders.
For more information about Ramiro Salazar and the San Antonio Public Library call 210-207-2500 or visit mysapl.org.