Summer 2003

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Susan Keitel, Executive Director of NYLA, To Retire

Summer 2003 issue of Trustee

Susan Lehman Keitel, Executive Director of the New York Library Association will retire effective December 31, 2003.  Diane Courtney, President of NYLA, announced Keitel's retirement at the May 19th Council meeting of the New York Library Association, saying that Keitel had made a strong contribution to NYLA during the fourteen years she has been the NYLA ED.  Keitel's hiring represented a change of course for NYLA, as she was the first registered lobbyist NYLA had hired as Executive Director.  

"Without Susan, NYLA would not have been able to create such a strong and visible presence in Albany" says Courtney.  (New York's library community has just lobbied successfully to restore a 15% budget cut in the state budget, and the successful override of the Governor's veto of the restoration demonstrated high legislative support for libraries.)

During her tenure as Executive Director, Keitel instituted new policies and procedures for the NYLA office, oversaw the purchase and renovation of NYLA headquarters and carried out numerous public relations, fundraising and advocacy activities.  "Susan will definitely be a hard act to follow, and NYLA will miss her tremendously She has taught the library community of New York State so much about advocacy and training." Courtney said.  

Courtney will chair a search committee that will poll the NYLA membership to determine what emphases should be considered in the search.  Among the issues to be examined will be whether the MLS should be a requirement, and whether NYLA will again want its registered lobbyist to also serve as Executive Director.  

Fortunately, Susan has agreed to maintain close ties with NYLA, and they may include her continuing to provide the very popular workshops on Ethics, which she is currently presents both statewide and nationally.  Keitel, who is certified by the Institute of Global Ethics as a trainer in ethical fitness, will present an ALA Preconference on Ethics at ALA Toronto.  

Before coming to NYLA, Keitel was both Director of Board Development Services for the New York State School Boards Association, an organization for which she also served as lobbyist.  She also served as a policy and research analyst for the New York State Senate, Assembly and SUNY.

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