Meet the candidates: Kent Oliver

Kent Oliver
Library Director
Nashville Public Library

I am thrilled to be to be nominated by the Public Library Association of the American Library Association (ALA) for IFLA’s Public Libraries Standing Committee.  It has been my privilege to participate as a member volunteer and leader with ALA at many levels.  Part of my ALA experience  includes serving as an ALA Executive Board Member, Chapter Councilor, Council Committee Chairs (most recently the Committee on Legislation) and as President of our associated organization, the Freedom to Read Foundation.  These and other roles provide me insight into the breadth and scope of issues impacting our profession and librarians.  Issues such as copyright, human rights, intellectual freedom, information access and public facilities development are certainly not United States centric and should never be considered as such.

My entire professional library career has been as a public librarian.  I am currently the Library Director of the Nashville (TN) Public Library, 2017 Library Journal Library of the Year.  Prior to joining Nashville I was the Director of the Stark County (OH) Library District (SCDL) in Canton Ohio. SCDL was a winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service during my tenure.

I believe the common threads for successful public library services worldwide are collaboration, innovation, advocacy and engaging community and national challenges.  Becoming part of a committee in an organization such as IFLA requires a set of association skills and values.  Those include civility, inclusiveness, respect for process and thoughtfulness. I would bring all of these to the table and embrace the opportunity to contribute to my profession at the global level.

For more information about voting for members of the Public Libraries Standing Committee take the time to read our post.