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
Chris Afendoulis, Michigan House of Representatives // Ed Altwies, Account Executive, Midwest Tape // Rick Baker, President, Grand Rapids Chamber // Megan Blue, Health Policy Analyst, Beaumont Health // Steven Bowers, Director-DALNET, Wayne State University School of Information Sciences // 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 // Jo Giudice, Director of Libraries, City of Dallas // 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 // Jim Talen, Kent County Board of Commissioners
"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
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.
- 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)
- MLIS, Library and Information Science, Wayne State University
- Juris Doctorate, Law, Michigan State University College of Law (licensed attorney, 2002 - current)
Awards & News Coverage
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
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.