NYLA Welcomes AnnaLee Dragon As Executive Director

ALBANY, NY – The New York Library Association (NYLA) is pleased to announce that AnnaLee Dragon has joined the staff as the new Executive Director.  

Over the past ten years, AnnaLee has worked as the Director of the Kinderhook Memorial Library. This position trained her in a variety of library functions spanning from circulation and reference to programming, grant writing, and administration. While the majority of her career has been spent in this rural setting, she has also worked in both urban and suburban libraries and interned at academic and special libraries. This eclectic collection of work experiences provided her a realistic view of a variety of organizations’ daily operations, while at the same time allowing her to see the big picture in regards to long-range planning.

Outside of her previous role as a Director, she has been a career-long member of NYLA, as well as a former NYLA Council Member representing the Leadership and Management Section. This participation has been an education on the myriad of challenges facing our organization. Like any large-scale association, NYLA is at an evolutionary point in its lifecycle. At this moment, we have an opportunity to focus on what our association needs most - a collective common goal with a membership-driven approach. Librarians are a profession of helpers and collaborators, and with our community's help to facilitate a shared vision with Council, there will be no stopping NYLA.

Having grown a library from one full-time staff member in a 1,200 sq. ft. building to three full-time staff in a 6,000 sq. ft. building, AnnaLee understands the importance of customer service and community relations in the growth of an organization. The experiences of running a successful $2.3M capital campaign, as well as five successful budget votes which resulted in an additional $91,200 for my her former library’s annual budget, placed her in good stead regarding the further financial development of our library association. These may seem small compared to the size of a state-wide advocacy organization, but the beauty of operations is that they are all scalable. 

One of NYLA’s main roles is to be an advocate for the library community and AnnaLee has demonstrated through her volunteer service in the profession a steadfast passion for advocacy. For example, she has served as Vice-Chair and Chair of the Columbia County Libraries Association for over three years, and several years beyond that, as the lead advocate for her county's level funding. She has also been named a Key Legislative Contact for Congressman Antonio Delgado in the ALA/NYLA federal-level grassroots advocacy pilot project. Finally, she has been a member at large on the NYLA Legislative Committee for several years and has participated in NYLA’s Library Advocacy Day every year - which is one of the most important annual events on her calendar.

AnnaLee believes that taking every opportunity to share the transformative work that all types of libraries are doing in communities statewide is paramount to the library profession’s success.

"I am a fervent believer in NYLA’s mission and am ready to get to work supporting our shared goals. I hope to begin my tenure here with a listening tour, speaking with as many members as possible to get a grasp of your collective dreams for our Association," said AnnaLee Dragon, Executive Director of NYLA. "My experience in many types of libraries, and many roles within those libraries, has taught me how rich and varied our field is and how much we can learn from one another. I want to facilitate those discussions within our membership and help the Association to be as collaborative as possible. Partnerships and public service are my passions. My door is always open, so please feel free to reach out at any time if I can be of assistance. We are always strongest when we work together, and while change can be hard, it’s also where the growth is. Let’s get growing together."

Welcome AnnaLee to NYLA! If you would like to connect with AnnaLee, feel free to email her at director@nyla.org or via phone at 518-432-6952 Ext. 101.