Elisandro (Alex) Cabada (MSLIS '17), assistant professor at the University Library, emerging technologies and immersive scholarship librarian, and director of the Grainger IDEA Lab at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has been elected vice president/president-elect of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). Cabada will become president-elect in July 2023 and assume the presidency in July 2024 for a one-year term.
"I feel privileged to serve as ACRL vice president/president-elect as we move into a new era of Open Scholarship with an increasing emphasis on the application of emerging technologies, including Generative AI," Cabada said. "While there are many challenges ahead for us, there are also opportunities to advocate for the value of Open Access, for responsible and ethical use of technology, and for a purposeful understanding of how this will impact our underserved and marginalized communities. With this understanding, we can come together to build on the meaningful work needed to address the inequities of the digital and technological divide in our society."
During his eight years of ACRL membership, Cabada has held various positions with the ACRL Digital Scholarship Section Executive Committee (DSS), including past-chair (2022-2023), chair (2021-2022), vice-chair (2020-2021) and member-at-large, (2018-2020). He has also served as a member of the ACRL DSS Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (2017-2019).
"It is my distinct pleasure to congratulate Alex Cabada for his election and to welcome him to the ACRL Board of Directors," said ACRL Executive Director Robert Jay Malone. "Alex's deep involvement with digital scholarship, especially his good work with ACRL's Digital Scholarship Section, will help us move more assuredly into the expanding digital landscape. Likewise, his involvement in ACRL's equity, diversity and inclusion efforts will aid our efforts in making ACRL more equitable, more diverse, and more inclusive. I am grateful for his willingness to help ACRL succeed."
Cabada's experience with ALA includes being member (2018-2019) and chair (2019-2020) of the ALA Training, Orientation, and Leadership Development (TOLD) Committee (2019-2020). He has also served as a member of the ALA Spectrum Advisory Committee (2018-2020), a member of the ALA LITA Assessment and Research Committee (2017-2019) and a member of the ALA LLAMA Leadership Development Committee (2016-2018).
Notable accomplishments for Cabada include being selected as a Library Journal Movers and Shakers: Innovators (2022); receiving the ALA RUSA ETS Best Emerging Technology Application Award (2021); being selected to participate in the ALA Leadership Institute program, Oak Brook, Illinois (2019); and delivering the keynote address at the 2018 iSchool convocation at UIUC.
Cabada was named a member of Beta Phi Mu International Honor Society for LIS (2018), was a ILA Sylvia Murphy Williams Scholar (2016) and ALA Spectrum Scholar (2016-2017), received the ALA IFLA-IMLS Fellowship (2016) and was a ARL Kaleidoscope Program Scholar (2015-2017). He is a current Co-PI on the $2.08 million Department of Education grant to the University of Illinois System/CARLI (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois) for Illinois SCOERs (Support for Creation of Open Educational Resources).
ACRL is the higher education association for academic libraries and library workers. Representing more than 8,000 individuals and libraries, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products, and services to help those working in academic and research libraries learn, innovate, and lead within the academic community.