ALA Members Community
February 17, 2014
On behalf of the ALA Executive Board, I would like to share with you our plans to move the “re-imagining ALA” conversations forward into strategic action. As you know, ALA has been engaged in community conversations with our members over the past couple of years. We realize that any changes we make to our organization must be based on very careful assessment of member needs and wishes, because, although we serve three constituencies (members, libraries, and the public), we must primarily be responsive to members.
We started with large conversation sessions at our conferences, but broadened and deepened the dialogue to include insights from division and round table leadership, Council, focus groups, and a membership survey. The Executive Board and ALA staff accepted the challenge to analyze and synthesize these comprehensive conversations in order to develop a strategic framework that will guide our Association as we re-conceptualize our focus, structure, operations, and culture.
The accompanying document outlines three strategic initiatives that reflect the conversations and deliberations of our members and member leaders. In addition, the Executive Board has designated a set of enabling strategies for ALA to undertake to create a “welcoming, inclusive, engaged and supportive organization” that is focused on these three strategic initiatives.
The Executive Board invites your feedback on our thinking thus far. This is the first step in a transparent but action-oriented process to bring our aspirations as information professionals and ALA members to life through our professional association. Your engagement throughout the process will enable us to build on the best ideas and make high-impact changes. Please engage with us in creating an ALA community that supports our important mission: to enhance learning and ensure equitable access to information for all.
ALA President, 2013-2014
NOTE: The entire document is attached and also posted below. For ease in commenting -- and your comments are definitely encouraged -- it is reposted segment-by-segment:
Information Policy: connect.ala.org/node/218695
Professional and Leadership Development: connect.ala.org/node/218693
Enabling Strategies: connect.ala.org/node/218691
American Library Association
“…to ensure equitable access to information for all.”
~ ALA mission statement
ALA will focus on three strategic initiatives:
ALA shall advocate the public value of librarians, libraries and information services and seek to:
- Focus ALA’s mission and priorities working with the three constituencies:
* ALA members;
* libraries; and
* the public.
- Represent libraries and information providers at the local, state, federal and international levels while building support for libraries and librarians through public awareness.
- Assure legislation and policies that support information and library services in all types of libraries and information environments.
- Provide a vision of innovation, enable the future of libraries and promote libraries as centers of community engagement and participatory librarianship.
- Promote ALA’s core values and emphasize the impact of libraries, as represented by ALA’s Declaration for the Right to Libraries, to form the basis for advocacy and community conversations.
- Information policy
Information policy is comprised of laws, regulations and doctrines, and other decision making and practices, involving information creation, storage, equitable access, communication, accessibility, dissemination, use and preservation.
The American Library Association (ALA), operating in the public interest, focuses at every level on a diverse set of policy areas that includes: intellectual freedom, privacy, civil liberties, telecommunications, funding for education and research programs, funding for libraries, copyright and licensing, government information, and literacy.
Operating on behalf of the public, ALA seeks through libraries to:
- Serve as a knowledgeable resource on policy issues for ALA members and the public at large.
- Lead the advocacy for legislation, regulation, and policies for the public interest.
- Educate library staffs and the public on public policy matters.
- Document the impact of legislation, regulation, and policies on the work of libraries and public access to information.
- Promote coalitions to advance policy positions in advancing ALA’s agenda and mission.
- Enable successful models of information access that support the ALA policy agenda.
- Advocate for effective policies that enable libraries to meet the information needs of all sectors of the public.
- Professional and Leadership Development
Recognizing that the professional and leadership development of librarians and library workers is essential to high-quality professional practice and the future of libraries and information services, ALA seeks to:
- Provide professional development opportunities through multiple venues.
- Maintain strong accreditation standards and processes for library and information science programs.
- Foster certification programs through the ALA/APA.
- Coordinate the multiple opportunities available throughout ALA to provide a coherent, transparent, and accessible continuing education framework for all members.
- Increase the diversity of library professionals and sustain their professional growth through multiple strategies.
- Provide leadership development opportunities and create new pathways for member leadership in the association.
- Align leadership development and continuing education with best thinking about the changing information environment and ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries.
- Create an assessment and evaluation process to measure the effect of the strategic initiatives.
- Review governance structure (including committees and round tables) to identify changes to address the strategic initiatives.
- Review staff structure and compensation to ensure focus on strategic initiatives.
- Build a more robust public communication and public relations/marketing capacity.
- Identify revenue streams and fundraising opportunities to support the strategic initiatives.
- Engage division leaders and staff to define their role and contribution to the strategic initiatives.
- Build a sustainable technological infrastructure that enables ALA to advance the strategic initiatives.
- Align ALA publishing and conferences to support the strategic initiatives.
- Strengthen pathways for member involvement/engagement in strategic initiatives.
The ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion was created in the spring of 2014 by then ALA President Barbara Stripling.
The Task Force is currently in the information-gathering phase. To aid with information gathering, it has launched a series of short surveys to be conducted at times to coincide with the ALA Midwinter Meetings and Annual Conferences through 2016. These surveys are designed to help understand the culture of the association, the profession and our communities with respect to equity, diversity and inclusion.
The first survey presents the definitions created by the task force — equity, diversity, and inclusion — and asks individuals to consider ALA’s current alignment with those definitions.
The survey can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/tfedi1web. Responses will be collected through Feb. 16, 2015. ALA members and nonmembers are encouraged to participate.
The final, analyzed results of the survey will be reported by April 2015 via the Task Force's ALA Connect community and distributed through various ALA channels.
Please take a few minutes to answer the survey, which should take no more than seven minutes to complete.
“Embracing and celebrating diversity and creating a more inclusive profession have been long-standing goals of the American Library Association. With your help, we hope to ensure these values are upheld,” said Task Force co-Chairs Trevor A. Dawes and Martin L. Garnar.
The ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’s charge is to develop a plan and strategic actions to build more equity, diversity and inclusion among our members, the field of librarianship and our communities. The most important Task Force outcome is the public and honest conversation that generated by its plan and recommended actions. The final Task Force report will include recommendations for ensuring that a continuing focus on equity, diversity and inclusion is embedded throughout the ALA organization.
New to the Midwinter Meeting or ALA?
Come and get a fun and informative introduction to both. Learn to navigate the exhibits, to decipher the conference program, how ALA really works, and ways to get involved. Get tips from the pros and the opportunity for you to get your questions answered. See more at: http://connect.ala.org/node/233101#sthash.eBoPaHyl.dpuf
Sponsored by New Members Round Table
Saturday, January 31, 2015
8:30 am to 10:00 am, US/Central
McCormick Place West, W196a
Please consider signing an e-petition to continue the ALA Virtual Communities in Libraries Member Initiative Group. Your signature will help extend the work of librarians utilizing virtual spaces for the profession.
Link to e-petition: http://www.ala.org/CFApps/epetition/index.cfm?pid=56F8F30B5355CA6D
Note- You must be logged in as an ALA member to sign the e-petition.
Purpose of ALA VCL MIG: To provide a group within ALA for members interested in fostering the practice of library work, the visibility of libraries and library workers, and the extension of library services within online social networks, virtual worlds, and other communities of intention. To provide a mechanism for sharing experiences and practices in-person or virtually through programming or asynchronous communications.To encourage wider participation by the profession and the association in virtual worlds. To establish a forum across all types of libraries and at all levels of library employment concerned with the development of library services in emerging social networks, virtual worlds, and other communities of intention. This group is open to all members.
TO: ALA members and 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting attendees
FROM: Courtney L. Young, ALA President
RE: ALA Midwinter Meeting: Conversations with members of the ALA Community
DATE: 23 December 2014
At this year’s ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, we are continuing the kitchen-table type conversations with ALA members and attendees about their aspirations for ALA as their professional community – a community of members, staff and external allies. As we consider future directions for ALA in a time of significant change, your voice is very important. I urge you to participate so you are heard as we consider the best ways for ALA to work with and on behalf of members now and in the future.
The focus of these 1 ½ hour conversations will be Professional and Leadership Development. They will take place at the Hyatt Regency McCormick, Boardroom 1. We are planning four conversations per day, each with up to 16 participants. They will begin on Saturday, January 31, and run through Monday, February 2: 8:30-10:00am, 10:30-noon, 1:00-2:30pm, and 3:00-4:30pm. To ensure your seat, please register in advance by visiting http://vols.pt/Eab9qU. We will fill spaces on a first-come basis, and you are welcome to join without signing up provided there’s space. This year, the Kitchen Table Conversations have been included in the Scheduler http://alamw15.ala.org/sessions/kitchentableconversations, so you can add them easily to your schedule.
ALA members experienced in facilitating conversations will facilitate and record the conversations. Following the Midwinter Meeting, we will post notes to the community in ALA Connect (http://connect.ala.org/node/210217 ) – and as we hold future conversations, we will continue to build a rich base of public knowledge about the aspirations and concerns of our community. Feedback from the Kitchen Table Conversations held at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference, 2014 Midwinter Meeting and 2014 Annual Conference has been shared with the ALA Executive Board and with Division leaders. We will be continuing these conversations at the 2015 Annual Conference in San Francisco.
I thank you for your membership, your attendance and your interest in building our professional community together.
Do you find yourself wishing that someone would have been there to teach you all that you now know? Would you like to walk alongside a new librarian as they enter the profession?
Here is your chance to participate in a great new project from the New Members Round Table of ALA (NMRT), to meet a new librarian ally, and to have someone to guide as they learn the ins and outs of librarianship. The NMRT Mentoring Committee's Career Mentoring Program focuses on long term mentoring. We will pair up "newbie librarians" with "seasoned vets" as part of a year-long mentoring program.
The NMRT Career Mentoring program will last from October 2014 to July 2015. Conference attendance is not required, but membership in ALA is required, and NMRT membership is encouraged.
For further information and to apply, please visit
Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions after visiting the site.
The New Member Round Table Mentoring Committee
At this year’s ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, we are continuing the kitchen-table type conversations with ALA members and attendees about their aspirations for ALA as their professional community -- a community of members, staff, external allies and partners, and others in our field. These conversations are a step in the process of making ALA an innovation space where members and staff can collaborate and create together.
These 1 ½ hour conversations will take place Saturday-Monday at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, at the LVH Executive Boardroom. We are planning four conversations/day, each with approximately 16 participants. They will begin on Saturday, June 28, and run through Monday, June 30: 8:30-10:00am, 10:30-noon, 1:00-2:30pm, 3:00-4:30pm. To ensure your seat, please register in advance by sending an email to Mary Ghikas, ALA Senior Associate Executive Director (email@example.com). Please indicate a first and second choice, if possible.
ALA members and staff will be facilitating and taking notes at the conversations. Following the Annual Conference, we will post notes to the community in ALA Connect (http://connect.ala.org/node/210217 ). You will find notes from previous conversations there. As we hold future conversations, we will continue to build a rich base of public knowledge about the aspirations and concerns of our community. We will be continuing these conversations in 2015 – in Chicago and San Francisco.
Feedback from the Kitchen Table Conversations held at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference has been shared with the ALA Executive Board and with Division leaders. Feedback from 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting conversation, which focused on the ALA Annual Conference, has been pushed out to the ALA Conference Committee, as well as to the ALA Executive Board and Division leadership. As the Board and member groups across the Association consider future directions for ALA in a time of significant change, your voice is very important. I urge you to participate so we can hear your voice as we consider the best ways for ALA to work with and on behalf of members now and in the future. I thank you for your membership, your attendance and your interest in building our professional community together. [2013-2014 ALA President Barbara K. Stripling]
International Developments in Library Linked Data: Think Globally, Act Globally
Presented by the ALCTS International Relations Committee and the LITA/ALCTS Linked Library Data Interest Group
Libraries have the potential to make major contributions to the Semantic Web, but are still emerging as global participants. RDA implementation and the BibFrame initiative have drawn fresh attention to the promise and potential of linked data. What are the international developments in linked data, emerging from libraries and other memory institutions? Come hear our speakers address current projects, opportunities and challenges.
This is a two-part program: it is not necessary to attend both parts. The walk between the rooms for Part One and Part Two takes about five minutes.
Part One: Saturday, June 28, 2014 - 8:30 to 10:00am
Las Vegas Convention Center N264
Moderator: Theo Gerontakos, Metadata/Cataloging Librarian, University of Washington Libraries
Speaker: Jodi Schneider, Centre de Recherche
Speaker: Neil Wilson, Head of Metadata Services, The British Library
Speaker: Richard Wallis, Technology Evangelist, OCLC
Part Two: Saturday, June 28, 2014 - 10:30 to 11:30 am
Las Vegas Convention Center S230
Moderator: Sarah Quimby, Library Processing Manager, Minnesota Historical Society
Speaker: Gordon Dunsire, Independent Consultant
Speaker: Reinhold Heuvelmann, German National Library
NMRT RESUME REVIEW SERVICE AVAILABLE IN LAS VEGAS!
Appointments are now being accepted to have resumes or cover letters critiqued at the New Members Round Table Resume Review Service during the 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas! Reviewers are available Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 29, from 9:00 – 5:00. Walk-ins will be accommodated if possible but appointments are strongly encouraged. Appointments are 30 minutes long and usually fill up quickly. The last appointments are scheduled for 30 minutes before closing each day. Questions can be directed to Cheryl Blevens (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nicole Spoor (email@example.com), and using “2014 Conference RRS Volunteer” in the subject line of your email.
Follow this URL: https://sites.google.com/site/2014alanmrtrrrs/. In the upper left corner of the page, click on the link to the appointment request form, complete the requested information and click “Submit.” You will be contacted by return email.