Beth Merkle

Candidate for NYLA President (Representing an Academic or Special Library) (2021-22)

Director of Libraries, The Strong National Museum of Play

In these unprecedented and challenging times, we need our State library association more than ever. For 120 years NYLA has been at the forefront of providing library advocacy, professional development, continuing education, intellectual freedom protections, and now it helps lead the library community through essential initiatives like sustainability. NYLA is the voice of New York's library community; that voice needs to be loud and clear in the months and years ahead. Libraries will help lead our communities, schools, colleges, and organizations through these dark times. Libraries will be central to New York’s economic, educational, and cultural recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Since 2014, I have served as the Director of Libraries at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, where I oversee the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play – a multidisciplinary research repository devoted to the intellectual, social, and cultural history of play – and of the Grada Hopeman Gelser circulating library – one of only a handful of public library branches located in a museum in the nation. 

Prior to joining The Strong Museum, I worked for more than fifteen years in public and academic libraries in varied capacities: reference and instruction, collection development, serials, technical services, teen services, and administration. I was director of the Geneva Public Library prior to coming to work at the Strong Museum. I am confident that my experiences will help me work effectively with the NYLA Council, administration, and staff to ensure that our State Library Association is doing all that it can to assist librarians, school media specialists, support staff, and libraries - of all shapes and sizes - throughout New York State. 

I would appreciate your support and welcome the opportunity to work on your behalf to make the New York Library Association an even stronger and more robust advocate and resource for library workers and libraries.

Beth's Resume


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