Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE) Project: Discussion Forum

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This space is for all those interested in updates and discussion regarding Transforming ALA Governance. This space was originally created to share the work of the Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE) who was charged in June 2018 to carry out a comprehensive review and study of ALA’s governance, member participation and legal structures and systems, with the goal of proposing changes that will vitalize its success, strength and agility as a 21st century association. The results of this committee are the Forward Together recommendations.
  • 1.  TAG Q&A Discussion Recording

    Posted Jan 18, 2022 05:13 PM

    Please find the recording to the TAG discussion from January 12 linked below. 

    Topic: TAG Forum Discussion
    Date: Jan 12, 2022 02:40 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

    Meeting Recording: 


    Raymond A. Garcia
    Special Assistant to the Executive Director | Executive Office
    American Library Association

  • 2.  RE: TAG Q&A Discussion Recording

    Posted Jan 19, 2022 02:10 PM

    Hi. I just read the transcript for the discussion held on Jan. 12th. Thank you to all who have worked on re-envisioning ALA's governance. It's clear that you've all spent a lot of time and energy on it, and many people appreciate that effort, including me. There were some comments and questions, though, during the discussion about possible additional models to put up to the membership for a vote, in addition to the two new models suggested. Since the Forward Together group has asked for comments and feedback, I thought I'd submit a couple of my own.

    First, I agree with the suggestion to include the current ALA governance model as a third option when asking the membership to vote on ALA's governance. Yes, there has been discontent with the current governance model, but I do think the membership should have that model as an alternative in case they do not support other models up for a vote.

    Second, I'd suggest a 4th model, and maybe others have suggested this, or maybe it's too late to consider it, but here it is. I suggest cutting the Council membership in half, to 50 members, rather than 100, as a starting point. I also suggest having each and every ALA group, including Divisions, Sections, Roundtables, and all Committees and Task Forces do a self-review, and submit a written report to their governing body, limited to 2500 words, in answer to questions, including: 

      1. What is the purpose (objectives) of your group?

      2. What were your group's main achievements over the past 3 years (list in priority order, and briefly describe the top 5, along with the target audience for each)?

      3. What are your group's objectives for the coming 3 years?

      4 Name some other ALA groups with which you could collaborate on your group's objectives?

      5. How will you measure success in achieving those objectives?

    Then, I'd suggest that governing bodies (e.g., ACRL) review these reports with an eye toward combining and/or eliminating groups that may no longer be necessary.

    I think these suggestions would help improve ALA's efficiency and effectiveness, while preserving fuller member participation in ALA's governance than the two new models suggested. I realize, though, that this is a lot to suggest and would mean delays in making changes to ALA's governance.

    Esther Grassian
    UCLA Information Studies Department