An eager mentor and champion for libraries

“Having found success fighting for libraries on a local and state level, I’m eager to be a mentor and champion for library systems nationwide. I’ve always believed that the success of one library depends on the success of all libraries. My ultimate personal goal is to ensure that success by acting as a legislative champion for the libraries, the people who work for them and the patrons they serve. The accomplishment of this depends on helping libraries to deliver exceptional value to tax payers and serving under-served audiences. During my 20 years as a librarian, I’ve witnessed libraries help people to become the absolute best versions of themselves – and to me, that’s something worth fighting for.” – Lance Werner

Lance Werner

Better Libraries and Stronger Communities Through Kindness, Empathy and Love

The Ohio Library Council invited Lance to be the keynote speaker at their 2018 convention. The topic was how to build better libraries and stronger communities through kindness, empathy and love. Following are time marks for the stories within Lance's presentation:

  • Deep thoughts (6:34)
  • Brian’s fish story (11:20)
  • People hand us either stones or balloons (15:25)
  • Kindness is a component of empathy and love, and vice versa (18:45)
  • Kindness does not equal weakness (25:55)
  • The world is in desperate need of more kindness, empathy and love (27:40)
  • In the workplace and within the community (30:25)
  • Customer services at Kent District Library: The KDL Way (37:15)
  • Call to action (44:05)

Endorsements

Chris Afendoulis, Michigan House of Representatives // Ed Altwies, Account Executive, Midwest Tape // Susy Avery, Co-Director, Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University // Stephen Bajjaly, President-Elect, Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) // Rick Baker, President, Grand Rapids Chamber // Megan Blue, Health Policy Analyst, Beaumont Health // Steven Bowers, Director-DALNET, Wayne State University // Vickery Bowles, City Librarian, Toronto Public Library // Doug Crane, Director, Palm Beach County Library System // Nicolle Davies, Executive Director, Charleston County Public Library // Meghan Davis, VP of Global Marketing, bibliotheca // Wendy Falb, Executive Director, Literacy Center of West Michigan // Scott Garrison, Dean of Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education, Ferris State University // Jo Giudice, Director of Libraries, City of Dallas // Bill Harmer, Director,  Westport Library // Diane Jones, Kent County Board of Commissioners // Chang Liu, Director, Loudoun County Public Library // Lisa Posthumus Lyons, County Clerk/Register of Deeds, Kent County // Gail Madziar, Executive Director, Michigan Library Association // Barry McKnight, Programming & Community Engagement Coordinator, La Crosse Public Library // John McNaughton, Director, Grand Rapids Public Library // Jo Anne Mondowney, Director, Detroit Public Library // Larry Neil, Director, Clinton-Macomb Public Library // Bill Pink, President, Grand Rapids Community College // Randy Riley, State Librarian, Library of Michigan // Ron Stefanski, Managing Director - Corporate Education, Penn Foster // Jim Saalfield, Kent County Board of Commissioners // Monique Sendze, Director of Technology Strategy, The Library Corporation // Debbie Stabenow United States Senator for Michigan // Jim Talen, Kent County Board of Commissioners // Steve Tobocman, Co-Director, Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University


“I am pleased to support Lance Werner for President of the American Library Association. Lance has not only provided vision and leadership for one of the largest and busiest libraries in Michigan, but has supported the growth and success of other libraries across our State. I know his passion for libraries, commitment to their mission and strong leadership grounded in local communities will make him an excellent President of the American Library Association.”


Debbie Stabenow, United States Senator for Michigan

“Lance’s political acumen, as evidenced by his participation in the Michigan Political
Leadership Program and his background in law, coupled with his business savviness will make him an obvious choice for the ALA President. He is well-versed in policies and procedures and his knowledge is an asset when determining what his organization can push the envelope on and what he is procedurally bound to.”


Susy Avery, Co-Director, Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University

"Over the past year, I have watched Lance distinguish himself among a class of 24 bipartisan political leaders at the Michigan Political Leadership Program. Lance has unique leadership skills that will enable him to lead a diverse body of professionals and is adept at listening to a wide range of interests and putting thought into action."


Steve Tobocman, Co-Director, Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University

"There is no one more passionate about libraries than Lance. Lance has a unique and pragmatic approach and hopeful insight into his community's problems and needs, and his willingness to examine the issues and listen closely to these needs and concerns sets him apart and makes him a perfect candidate to be president of our beloved association."


Monique Sendze, Director of Technology Strategy, The Library Corporation

"As his formidable experience, accolades and honors demonstrate, Lance Werner’s courage, passion, dedication, drive, and capacity for innovation have fostered transformation in libraries across Michigan and beyond. He is absolutely the right person to lead ALA at this moment, a challenging time for our association and libraries nationwide."


Scott Garrison, Dean of Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education at Ferris State University

"Lance will bring exceptional leadership to our association as president of ALA. I know Lance to be a tireless advocate for our profession and a leader who believes in the transformational power of libraries to evoke the power of learning and inspire communities to dream big."


Bill Harmer, Director, Westport Library

"As a highly communicative and transparent leader, Lance Werner listens and makes people feel valued and heard. He will take member feedback and turn it into action, much like he has done with community feedback."


Diane Jones, Commissioner, Kent County

"Lance Werner is one of those rare individuals who navigates multiple levels of government offices with ease and great effectiveness. I am always impressed with Lance’s ability to produce results for our public libraries through innovation and building strong support with stakeholders. I’m honored to endorse him for the position of President of the American Library Association."


Jim Saalfield, Commissioner, Kent County

"I heartily endorse Lance Werner for ALA President. I am excited to see Lance bring his high energy and 'can do' spirit to ALA. His creative, innovative thinking and his passion for libraries are a winning combination that’s just was ALA needs now more than ever!"


Stephen T. Bajjaly, President-Elect, Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE)

"Lance has brought great energy and innovation to the Kent District Library system. The ALA would be well served by his extraordinary leadership skills."


Jim Talen, Commissioner, Kent County

“Lance is a kind, driven leader. His passion for libraries is contagious and evident in everything he does. Lance is innovative in his work and ensures that libraries, literacy and continuous learning is something accessible to everyone everywhere.”


Megan Blue, Health Policy Analyst, Beaumont Health

"I have seen Lance in action and he is inspiring, thoughtful and innovative. I believe his positive energy is just what the library world needs to move us forward and keep us at the top of our game. "


Jo Giudice, Director of Libraries, City of Dallas

"Lance’s passion, vision and hard work has enhanced and enriched libraries across Michigan. He has a way of connecting with people and inspiring them to be their best. This talent combined with his genuine interest and concern for all those he meets makes him an exceptional leader and well suited to advance ALA into the future."


Gail Madziar, Executive Director, Michigan Library Association

"Lance Werner has the energy, enthusiasm, vision and talent we need during this time of great change for the American Library Association. His out-of-the-box thinking and political acumen will serve the library community well as we navigate the challenges of the future."


Larry Neil, Director, Clinton-Macomb Public Library

"Lance Werner is a proven leader whose skills, talents and impeccable work ethic will serve the American Library Association in ways that guarantee a progressive and sustainable future."


Jo Anne Mondowney, Director, Detroit Public Library

"Lance's recent keynote, 'Better Libraries and Stronger Communities Through Kindness, Empathy and Love,' was a moving statement on the role of libraries in the 21st century. He would be an effective and powerful president of the American Library Association."


Barry McKnight, Programming & Community Engagement Coordinator, La Crosse Public Library

“Lance is a bold leader with a kind heart who works tirelessly to improve the lives of his colleagues and community. He truly embodies the ideals of servant leadership that can transform ALA.”


Doug Crane, Director, Palm Beach County Library System

“Lance is continuously finding new ways to elevate library services to new levels. His genuine love for community service and engagement is inspiring. Lance is always willing to roll up his sleeves and help and he is a great collaborator. I am proud to endorse my friend for ALA President.”


John McNaughton, Director, Grand Rapids Public Library

“Lance has brought a unique and creative approach to his leadership at Kent District Library. The enthusiasm of his leadership team and the entire staff is a result of his overall vision to take KDL to new heights. His passion for public libraries and their continued success is contagious to everyone he touches.”


Ed Altwies, Account Executive, Midwest Tapes

“With the philosophy of leading with kindness, love and empathy, combined with outside-the-box leadership, Lance's impact as the next ALA President would spread far and wide!”


Meghan Davis, VP of Global Marketing, bibliotheca

“We have a chance to elect one of the most charismatic, creative library leaders out there to ALA. Lance Werner is like so many of you— the real deal. It’s such a blessing to see his work bringing community engagement to an entirely new level.”


Ron Stefanski, Managing Director - Corporate Education, Penn Foster

“Lance is a compassionate leader, steeped in knowledge and innovation. He understands our profession and is willing to take risks to do the right thing. Lance will bring the leadership ALA needs at this time of change. I support Lance as a library director, a candidate, and a friend.”


Nicolle Davies, Executive Director, Charleston County Public Library

“There is nobody more suited to lead the American Library Association into the future than Lance Werner. Lance’s passion and innovation have shaped KDL into the thriving 21st century library system we enjoy today, and his leadership has produced positive and lasting outcomes for the people he serves.”


Lisa Posthumus Lyons, County Clerk/Register of Deeds, Kent County

“Lance is one of the most innovative strategists I know. He is leading libraries to be more relevant than ever.”


Wendy Falb, Executive Director, Literacy Center of West Michigan

“Lance is a visionary leader and passionate about libraries. His energy and ideas will energize the profession.”


Chang Liu, Director, Loudoun County Public Library

“Lance is all about improving library services. His consistent focus on what is needed to improve his community’s library experience has helped to establish him not just as a state, but national leader. His passion for libraries matched with his considerable skill set allows him to bring diverse groups of people together.”


Randy Riley, State Librarian, Library of Michigan

"A strong library system is vitally important for lifelong learning. Lance Werner has been a tremendous leader and partner, bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders to focus on innovation and service. The ALA would grow and thrive with Lance at the helm."


Bill Pink, President, Grand Rapids Community College


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Experience & Accomplishments

Advocacy at State and National Levels

  • Fighting for state funding for libraries
  • Assisting in the writing of legislation to protect libraries’ right to distribute information on ballot proposals leading up to elections
  • Helping to craft bills designed to protect libraries from losing budget monies to tax captures
  • Convinced TEA Party groups to assist with millage election, winning a 45% increase by the widest margin ever
  • Lance is a member of the ALA Policy Corps, representing libraries in Washington DC as an advocate with federal agencies and
    elected officials. He believes in engaging stakeholders at all levels, in ways that enable them to become part of the solution.
    This creates win/win situations for everyone.

 

Positions held

  • Fellow at the Michigan Political Leadership Program (2018-present)
  • Michigan Library Association, Chair of the Legislative Committee (2015-2016)
  • Lakeland Library Cooperative, President (2015-2016)
  • Wayne State University School of Library and Information Science Advisory Board (2015-present)
  • Michigan Library Association, President (2012-2013)

 

Education

  • MLIS, Library and Information Science, Wayne State University
  • Juris Doctorate, Law, Michigan State University College of Law (licensed attorney, 2002 - current)

Awards & News Coverage

Where's Lance?

Lance will be at the following events and would love to meet you and hear how ALA can best serve you. You can also use the contact form.


  • Oct 3-5 - Ohio Library Council Conference, delivering keynote “Better Libraries & Stronger Communities Through Kindness, Empathy & Love,” Sandusky, OH
  • Oct 10 - NISO Webinar Keynote: “Finding the Funding: Library Funding and Successful Advocacy,” Online
  • Oct 11 - Lakeland Library Co-Op Board Meeting, Kent District Library, Comstock Park, MI
  • Oct 15 - Bookmobile Open House, Steelcase, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Oct 18 - Michigan Library Association Conference, Novi, MI
  • Nov 13 - SirsiDynix Connection Summit Keynote: “How to Connect with Local Elected Officials,” Online
  • Jan 26, 2019 - Candidate Forum at the ALA Midwinter Conference, Seattle, WA

Survey

What about ALA is most important to you? Take this quick survey to share your feedback. Your response will be completely anonymous. Please use the contact form for other feedback and questions, especially if you would like to receive a reply from Lance.

Contact Lance