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Miguel Figueroa Named 1st Director of ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries

Keith Michael Fiels, Executive Director of the American Library Association (A.L.A.) announced today, Wednesday, April 30, 2014, “Miguel A. Figueroa, former director of the ALA Office for Diversity and Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, has been named to head the new American Library Association Center for the Future of Libraries.”

As the first director of the new Center, Figueroa will be responsible for identifying and disseminating information on long term societal, technological, educational, demographic trends that may affect libraries and their future The director will also promote and support the incorporation of “futures thinking” into library policy and planning in libraries of all types.

The Center as envisioned will serve as a definitive resource for libraries and the profession, promoting innovative and future-oriented thinking that will help position libraries for long term sustainability and success. The Center will focus on emerging trends, provoke discussion on how to shape the future, build connections with experts from a wide variety of fields, and provide a forum for innovative thinkers from all sectors to share ideas and explore joint solutions to the challenges facing libraries and society.

The A.L.A. is modeling the Center for the Future of Libraries on the successful Center for the Future of Museums, which the American Alliance of Museums (formerly the American Association of Museums) established in 2008. Support for the establishment of the Center for the Future of Libraries has been provided through a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (I.M.L.S.).

Figueroa has served as Director of Member Programs for the American Theological Library Association (A.T.L.A.) in Chicago since June 2012, where he has coordinated member recruitment, outreach and development, the cultivation of relationships with external partners, communications and publications and service to volunteer committees and interest groups. His work there has included creating a joint leadership meeting for committees and member leaders, the introduction of outcome based evaluation, and serving on the A.T.L.A. executive leadership team.

From 2009 to 2012, he served as Director of the Office for Diversity and Spectrum Scholarship Program and the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services at the A.L.A., where he coordinated member services, initiatives and programs, training and resource development, and relationships with external partners. As director, Figueroa oversaw the Spectrum Scholarship program, a national diversity recruitment program providing scholarships for Master’s and Doctorate degrees in library and information science, helped launch the $1,000,000 Spectrum Scholarship fundraising campaign and secured over $1,500,000 in grants from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the I.M.L.S.

Prior to coming to A.L.A., Figueroa served as Network Services Coordinator at the Ehrman Medical Library at New York University from 2006 to 2009. From 2003-2006, he served as Associate Director of Publishing for Neal-Schuman Publishers in New York.

There, he managed acquisitions and marketing for a leading publisher of library professional development materials, identifying emerging topics and author/experts in the library and information science profession. Figueroa received an M.A. in Information Resources and Library Science from the University of Arizona in 2003. In 2005, he was selected by Library Journal as a “Mover and Shaker.”

Fiels noted that trends affecting society and libraries will be the focus of the two-day-long Libraries from Now On: Imaging the Future, A Summit on the Future of Libraries, organized as an initiative of A.L.A. President Barbara Stripling, which will be held at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. at the end of this week, on Friday, May 2, 2014 and Saturday, May 3rd.