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Discussion What can we do about low voter turnout in ALA elections?

by Erica Findley on Wed, May 25, 2011 at 01:32 pm

After the ALA election results came out I was very concerned about the low voter turnout. My concern was met with two extreme reactions.

After the ALA election results came out I was very concerned about the low voter turnout. My concern was met with two extreme reactions.

The extremely good was that ALA Member Oleg Kagan did a survey to find out why ALA members did not vote. He spent countless hours on an analysis to find the reasons for ALA members not voting in elections. Among the top reasons was that ALA members were not familiar enough with the candidates to feel like they could vote. Another was that members did not know what candidates would do if elected.

The extremely bad is that many ALA members I have shared this sentiment with are OK with widespread apathy and do not see this as something to be concerned about. That is expressed by the Annoyed Librarian and also in the comments section of her article. The Annoyed Librarian posits that division level voting may have had a better turn out. This was not true for the ALCTS Division that had a 15% turnout.

If it is status quo to have a ~20% voter turn out why does this not concern ALA leaders? I would think that widespread apathy will only work to the detriment of this organization and not to better it. Apathetic members don't participate and create meaningful change. Will apathetic members stop paying dues?

I am taking steps to do something about this by talking with ALCTS leaders and starting conversations on some possible solutions including having an ALA wide voting guide online with information about candidates (an idea from Oleg), and having candidates campaign at ALA conferences and in online forums (something ACRL is doing).

Question:

How does the ALA leadership feel about the low voter turnout? What steps will the ALA leadership be taking to increase voter turnout?

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Discussion Adolescent Literacy

by Ernie Cox on Fri, May 13, 2011 at 08:41 pm

I would like to propose that the ALA include adolescent literacy as a central focus of our advocacy and work in the area of literacy. Divisions of ALA, including the Association for Library Service to Children and the Public Library Association, have developed resources  for young children such as Every Child Ready to Read that have been widely successful in promoting early literacy growth. These programs provide a model for the type of work we can do in the area of adolescent literacy.

I would like to propose that the ALA include adolescent literacy as a central focus of our advocacy and work in the area of literacy. Divisions of ALA, including the Association for Library Service to Children and the Public Library Association, have developed resources  for young children such as Every Child Ready to Read that have been widely successful in promoting early literacy growth. These programs provide a model for the type of work we can do in the area of adolescent literacy.

Many indicators are pointing to the need to attend to the unique literacy needs of youth in the middle and high school ages. The Carnegie Council for Advancing Adolescent Literacy has been researching and reporting on this issue for nearly a decade.  Their publications provide a compelling argument for action. Unfortunately, libraries have  not been consistently represented in such reports. Past President of YALSA, Linda Braun, responded to this missing link and her argument provides several important talking points today as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries legislation hangs in the balance. This is a prime opportunity  to put the human and material resources of the larger association behind an issue that effects graduation rates, employment prospects, broad quality of life issues, and the overall economic viability of the country.

We need to bolster our arguments within the above legislative items with the language of adolescent literacy needs. I call on the ALA leadership to embrace adolescent literacy as a key area of action for the new decade. This issue spans the association's youth divisions as well as the Public Library Association and the college and university library communities.

 

 

 

 

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Online Doc Interim Report of the Presidential Task Force on Equitable Access to Electronic Content (EQUACC)

by Michael Porter (non-member) on Thu, May 12, 2011 at 03:40 pm

Want to participate in how ALA helps deal with issues realted to electronic content access and the future of libraries?  EQUACC is the place for that work, and we want to hear from you!  In addition to the info and links below we invite you to attend the ALA's Virtual Town Hall on June 1st, where this issue (among others) will be highlighted and have Q&A time.  Come and show your interested and ask your questions!  Who knows, if there is enough interest, maybe we'll need to have our own web event to focus on the topic.  Town Hall info is here: 

Want to participate in how ALA helps deal with issues realted to electronic content access and the future of libraries?  EQUACC is the place for that work, and we want to hear from you!  In addition to the info and links below we invite you to attend the ALA's Virtual Town Hall on June 1st, where this issue (among others) will be highlighted and have Q&A time.  Come and show your interested and ask your questions!  Who knows, if there is enough interest, maybe we'll need to have our own web event to focus on the topic.  Town Hall info is here:  http://connect.ala.org/node/138596  Hope to see you there!

Attached is the April 11, 2011 Interim Report from the Presidential Task Force on Equitable Access to Electronic Content (EQUACC).   We will be discussing this report and the work of EQUACC during the Virtual Town Hall. 

For more on EQUACC here on Connect, please visit http://connect.ala.org/equacc 

The TF website at http://www.equacc.ala.org/ is updated regularly with new information on this evolving topic. 

Please add your comments and questions for the presenters below. 

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Discussion Virtual Town Hall FAQ

by John Chrastka on Thu, May 12, 2011 at 02:41 pm

ALA Virtual Town Hall 2011 FAQ

Background

ALA Virtual Town Hall 2011 FAQ

Background

The ALA Committee on Membership Meetings is charged with the conduct of the yearly ALA Membership Meeting.  As provided in Association bylaws, the in-person meeting usually takes place during the ALA Annual Conference.  In the fall of 2010, the Committee undertook an all member survey asking about awareness of and participation at the in-person membership meeting as well as questions gauging member interest in holding a virtual meeting.  It was clear in the responses to the survey that members were both interested in a virtual membership meeting and technologically able to participate in such a meeting. 

At present, Association bylaws do not provide for a fully online membership meeting; however, the Committee brought a recommendation to the ALA Executive Board to hold a Virtual Town Hall prior to Annual 2011 in anticipation of proposed Bylaw changes that will allow for a full virtual membership meeting as early as summer 2012.   While participants in the Virtual Town Hall will not be able to bring resolutions for consideration as they would at a Membership Meeting, attendees are invited to prepare Proposals for the participants to consider, discuss and debate concerning ALA and the current Strategic Plan.  If you wish to make or discuss a proposal, please visit the Members group on ALA Connect at http://connect.ala.org/members

The Committee continues to develop the 2011 Membership Meeting that will be held in New Orleans on Saturday, June 25, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m., at the Morial Convention Center, LaNouvelle Orleans Ballroom C and encourages your participation there as well. 


How will the Virtual Town Hall be different from a Membership Meeting?

Participants in the Virtual Town Hall will not be able to bring resolutions for discussion and consideration.  Rather, pre-selected proposals will be discussed during the Virtual Town Hall.

The Virtual Town Hall will allow many ALA members who may not normally attend an ALA conference an opportunity to interact directly with ALA member-leaders and voice their opinions about issues that are important to them.


Why is registration required for the Virtual Town Hall?  And why is registration capped?

ALA’s preferred webinar service, iLINC, can support approximately 1,000 simultaneous, interactive participants at the Virtual Town Hall.  It is the interactivity – both for chat and for voice – that makes it prudent for us to limit registrations.  Also, like many other webinar service platforms, technical requirements must be met by participants.  Please run the system “test” that comes with your registration confirmation in order to make sure you can participate fully in the Town Hall.

 


How do I make a Proposal?

Membership proposals are being solicited on any topic of interest or concern for the Association with the intent to discuss these proposals in advance of the Virtual Town Hall in the “ALA Members” group on ALA Connect (http://connect.ala.org/members) and then during the Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday, June 1, 2011.    We invite you to post your proposal in the Discussions tab in the Connect group.   Proposals are open for debate via Connect through Friday, May 27, 2011, when a poll will be opened for all pre-registered attendees asking which proposals should be taken up during the Virtual Town Hall.  The Town Hall agenda will allow for 40 minutes of discussion and debate on the selected proposals.   


 

How do I ask a Question or make a Comment during the Virtual Town Hall?

Time is reserved for Questions and Comments during each segment of the Virtual Town Hall.  You will be instructed to direct questions to presenters using a “Private Chat” in the iLINC service.  Announcements will be made during the Town Hall directing you to the appropriate “Chat” for each segment. In the interest of time and in order to allow for multiple instances of the same question to be aggregated, Questions and Comments will not be taken from the “Open Chat”. 


I cannot participate in the Town Hall but have a Question or Comment.  How do I send it?

Please send your Question or Comment via the Discussion tab in the ALA Members group on ALA Connect, http://connect.ala.org/members.  You can address the question to specific presenters or generally for ALA leadership. Questions presented on Connect will be read during the Virtual Town Hall by a moderator. 


 

Will there be an Archive of the Virtual Town Hall?

Yes, and it will be open to anyone – members and interested library professional – via the ALA iLINC site at http://ala.ilinc.com beginning Friday, June 3rd.  The Archived Town Hall will be available for streaming and will include the full audio, presentation files and captioned text.  


 

Will the Virtual Town Hall be captioned for the hearing impaired?

Yes.  Live, simultaneous captioning of the Virtual Town Hall will be available at [TC].  This website is “outside” of the iLINC service and can be accessed by anyone regardless of registration status for the Town Hall. 

The captioned text will be synchronized with the audio and visuals on the archived video version of the Town Hall.  


 

What is the Twitter hashtag for the Virtual Town Hall?

Please follow the official ALA Live Tweet @ala_library using #alavth11.   Please note that Questions and Comments will be only be taken from the Connect group or in a “Chat” during the Town Hall.  See above for details. 


What if I can no longer participate and want to give back my registration?

Please send an email request to vth@ala.org.  You can watch the archive version of the Virtual Town Hall at your convenience beginning Friday, June 3, 2011 via http://ala.ilinc.com

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Discussion Federal Legislative Advocacy -"real" and "virtual" Legislative Day

by Unknown on Wed, May 4, 2011 at 05:53 pm

We know that many library supporters cannot make it to Washington, D.C. for National Library Legislative Day this coming week on May 9th and 10th.  But there is a sure way for everyone to be involved.  Here is information about Virtual Library Legislative Day sponsored by ALA with leadership from ALTAFF.

LEGISLATIVE MESSAGES & INFORMATION ABOUT "VLLD"

We know that many library supporters cannot make it to Washington, D.C. for National Library Legislative Day this coming week on May 9th and 10th.  But there is a sure way for everyone to be involved.  Here is information about Virtual Library Legislative Day sponsored by ALA with leadership from ALTAFF.

LEGISLATIVE MESSAGES & INFORMATION ABOUT "VLLD"

Libraries are increasingly essential in these tough economic times. People are flocking to our nation’s libraries for job and career information, small business research and e-government services as well as support for formal and informal education and lifelong learning. Congress made across-the-board cuts to federal programs in its FY2011 budget, and libraries fill the gaps made when other agencies and services. Unfortunately, libraries are also receiving federal budget cuts.

Even if you can’t make it Washington for National Library Legislative Day on May 9, you can join us by contacting your representatives and senators during Virtual Legislative Day.  

Please visit the Legislative Action Center and contact your elected officials with the following requests:

APPROPRIATIONS FY2012

  • Fund the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) at $232 million, the level last authorized in December 2010;
  • Preserve the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program with its own budget line and appropriate the program at its FY2010 level of $19.1 million;
  • Maintain funding for the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistical Compendia Branch at $2.9 million in order to preserve publication of “Statistical Abstracts” and other publications;
  • Fund the Salaries and Expenses work of the Government Printing Office (GPO) at $42,173,000 to preserve public access through the FDLP and FedSYS.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) (School Libraries):

  • Support student performance by including an effective school library program as part of ESEA through the LEARN Act to include:
    • A school library staffed by a state-certified school librarian;
    • A school library with up-to-date books, materials, equipment, and technology, including broadband connectivity; and
    • Instruction by librarians for students and staff on digital and computer literacy skills, including collaboration between classroom teachers and school librarians to develop and implement the curriculum and other school reforms.

While these issues are the most urgent at this time, there are many other critical pieces of legislation impacting libraries.  For full list of key issues that will be discussed at National Library Legislative Day, click here.  ALA has also drafted issue briefs on the following areas: Access, Appropriations for Libraries, Broadband & Telecommunications, Copyright, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Government Services & Information, Surveillance & Privacy and the WILL Act.

If you have any questions, please contact us at the Washington Office.

Lynne Bradley, Director

ALA Office of Government Relations

(lbradley@alawash.org      1-800-941-8478)

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Online Doc ALA President's Report - Spring 2011

by John Chrastka on Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 02:31 pm

The Spring 2011 report from ALA President Roberta Stevens, presented to the ALA Board at their April 8 - 10, 2011 meeting.  More ALA board documents from this fiscal year can be found at http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/governance/officers/eb_documents/documentinventory2010_2011.cfm.  President Stevens will be presenting an updated report at the Virtual Town Hall and welcomes your comments and questions. 

Pages

Join ALA President Molly Raphael and Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels for the ALA 2012 Virtual Membership Meeting on Wednesday, June 6th from 3:00pm - 4:30pm CDT, online.  Space is limited to 1,000 members.  Please register at https://ala.ilinc.com/register/yzxhzss and participate in pre-meeting discussions here in the ALA Members group on Connect.

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