Abington 'info-vore' elected to national library board

Alexia I. Hudson, reference and instruction librarian at Penn State Abington, recently was elected to the Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA), one of the largest professional organizations in the nation. Her three-year term begins in June.

Abington Chancellor Karen Wiley Sandler praised Hudson.

“Alexia Hudson shows her leadership and vision in everything she undertakes. This recent election reflects the recognition of her value by her colleagues in the ALA, and I couldn’t agree more!” Dr. Sandler said. “Abington College is proud to have her as an active leader in our community.”

Hudson, a self-described "info-vore," is a staunch advocate for libraries and their role in assuring free and equal access to information. She also is committed to ensuring that students fully understand and appreciate the value of libraries to their careers.

“I am passionate about the connection between information literacy and workplace performance with an emphasis on emerging technologies,” she said.

Her goals for her term on the executive board reflect the ALA’s objectives of equitable access, advocacy, diversity and excellence, leadership, and social responsibility. But she also has a "super-lofty" plan.

“I want to create ALA University. It would blend our existing e-learning group into a hybrid curriculum so our members could take classes online and at conferences,” she said. “It would help librarians become information literacy ‘evangelists’ and gain skills in financial management, strategic planning, and project implementation and assessment.”

Hudson’s name is already familiar to many librarians. She is a state chapter counselor or liaison between Pennsylvania libraries and Chicago-based ALA until October 2013. She also was named an ALA Emerging Leader for 2006-2007. The Pennsylvania Library Association honored her as its New Librarian of the Year in 2007, and she was listed as a 2008 Mover and Shaker in the Library Journal.

But Hudson didn’t set out to be a librarian. “A teacher once told me I’d make a great librarian, and I never thought anything of it until much later,” she said.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Temple University and worked in corporate marketing for The Coca-Cola Co. for nearly a decade. But after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Philadelphia native re-evaluated her priorities and decided to focus on a service-oriented career.

She enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh and earned her master’s degree in library and information science. She arrived at Penn State Great Valley in 2006 and moved to Abington in 2008.

Hudson’s election to the ALA board caps off a busy year. Last summer, she was invited to participate in the first Presidential Tweetup Town Hall meeting at the White House. President Barack Obama responded to questions posed by Twitter users about the economy and jobs while Hudson and 29 others tweeted their thoughts in real time.

“As a professional, a librarian and a believer in social media, it 100 percent affirmed my commitment to embrace, acknowledge, learn and teach new technologies,” she said at the time.

To learn more about Hudson’s visit to the White House, go to www.live.psu.edu/story/54094.

To learn more about the American Library Association, go to www.ala.org.