LLX Close Out
Navigating Leadership: Perspectives on Purpose-Driven Careers

Monday, January 22, 2024
11:00am - 12:00pm EST 


Top Row: Sonia Alcántara-Antoine, Tamika Barnes
Bottom Row: ALA President-Elect Cindy Hohl, ALA Executive Director Leslie Burger, Moderator

LLX Close Out Panel Session

Join us for the LLX Close Out, featuring a special panel discussion with library leadership on building a meaningful career and connections. We'll reflect on LibLearnX 2024: Where Knowledge Meets Innovation, gear up for our time together at the 2024 ALA Annual Conference, and look forward to all there is to experience at LibLearnX 2025. Plus, an exciting surprise performance awaits that you won’t want to miss!

Navigating Leadership: Perspectives on Purpose-Driven Careers

Leadership pathways are not necessarily linear, nor do they look the same for all. Where do you begin, and how do you turn your experience, interests, and passions into a personal narrative that highlights your strengths? Making space for networking and developing as a professional doesn’t have to be one more thing to do on an overwhelming checklist.

Hear about the unique leadership journeys of these librarians. This thoughtful discussion focuses on self-care, how to nourish your goals, and tips for building connections to support you along the way.


Sonia Alcántara-Antoine, CEO, Baltimore County Public Library
Sonia Alcántara-Antoine is the CEO of Baltimore County Public Library. Prior to joining Baltimore County Public Library, she was director of Newport News Public Library and held leadership positions at Virginia Beach Public Library and Enoch Pratt Free Library. Alcántara-Antoine is currently president of the Public Library Association. A proud American Library Association Spectrum Scholar, she holds a master's degree in Library and Information Science from Florida State University and a master's degree in Public Administration from Old Dominion University.

Tamika Barnes, Associate Dean, Perimeter Library Services at Georgia State University Library
Tamika Barnes currently works as the Associate Dean for Perimeter Library Services at Georgia State University. Previously she held positions at Georgia Perimeter College, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park, NC, North Carolina A&T State University, and began her career at North Carolina State University. She has served on numerous committees within ALA including the ALA Executive Board, ALA Council, Planning and Budget Assembly, Council Orientation Committee, and Membership Committee to name a few. She is currently the Chair of the ALA Budget Analysis and Review Committee and a member of the ALA Awards Task Force, EBSCO Information Services Library Staff Development Award, LibLearnX Subcommittee, and the Lois Ann Gregory-Wood Fellows Program committee. Barnes received her biology degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned an MLS from North Carolina Central University. She was part of the first cohort of Spectrum Scholars in 1998.

Cindy Hohl, Director of Policy Analysis & Operational Support, The Kansas City Public Library
Cindy Hohl, MBA/MLIS, is a member of the Santee Sioux Nation and works as the director of policy analysis and operational support at the Kansas City Public Library. She is a past president of the American Indian Library Association (AILA). She works with librarians to share information across the globe as a member of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Indigenous Matters Section and in her work as Co-Chair on the Tribal Library Council for the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums (ATALM). With a passion for upholding Intellectual Freedom, Hohl serves as an ex-officio trustee on the executive board of the Freedom to Read Foundation and as a member of the Missouri Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee. As a proud ALA Spectrum Scholar, she strives to increase diversity in the library field through mentorship, recruitment, and advocacy. She is also the 2023-24 President-Elect of the American Library Association and the first Spectrum Scholar to be elected to the role. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Friends University, a Master of Business Administration degree from Baker University, and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from Wayne State University. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Friends University, a Master of Business Administration degree from Baker University, and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from Wayne State University.

Leslie Burger, Interim ALA Executive Director
Leslie Burger is the Interim ALA Executive Director (November 2023 - Current). She brings years of experience as a leader in the library field, from her service as president of the American Library Association from July 2006 to July 2007, where she had a depth of involvement in ALA operations, to her position as executive director of the Princeton Public Library, where she helped plan, design and secure funding for a new 55,000 square foot library that opened in 2004. A proven fundraiser, she has raised more than $27 million during her 16 years at the Princeton Public Library. Burger is an adjunct professor at Rutgers University. She has an MLS from the University of Maryland in College Park and a master’s degree in organizational behavior from the University of Hartford. She received her BS from South Connecticut State College and has won many honors and awards, including the New York Times Librarian of the Year 2005. 

LibLearnX is a must-attend learning experience designed for library professionals from all library types and at all career levels.