iSchool alumna named YALSA executive director

Anita Mechler

Anita Mechler (MS '08) has been named the new executive director of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association.

Most recently, Mechler has been the project manager/archivist at the Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) at the University of Chicago Library. In that role, she has designed, developed, managed, measured, and evaluated BMRC grant-funded programs and carried out the strategic plans and policies established by the BMRC Board of Directors. She managed the organization in the absence of an executive director during a time of transition. While at BMRC, she created and managed the Summer Short-term Fellowship Program and the launch of the Archie Motley Archival Internship Program.

Prior to moving to BMRC in 2015, she was director of library and archives and assistant librarian at the Union League Club of Chicago, where she set direction for and oversaw three integrated departments for a user-center archives, library and business information center. While at the Union League Club, she worked closely with the Library and Archives Committees; she also organized and facilitated the second annual National Conference for Club Librarians and Archivists.

In addition, Mechler worked for the Chicago Public Library as cybernavigator (electronic resources librarian) at the Humboldt Park Branch (2008-2011) and as librarian/technology facilitator at the YOUmedia Teen Center (2009). She also worked briefly as an adult reference librarian at the Eisenhower Public Library in Norridge, Illinois.

She has a bachelor's in sociology and women's studies from Loyola University Chicago and an MS/LIS, with rare books and manuscripts certification, from Illinois. During her time at Illinois, she was a community informatics fellow at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Chicago. She has earned multiple certifications.

Mechler is active professionally with the Society of American Archivists and Chicago Area Archivists and was newsletter editor for the Archives and Archivists of Color Section (2016-2017).

She will start her new position on August 13.

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