Thank you so much for this very thoughtful feedback! This document obviously demonstrates your passion and your commitment to the association and I thank you for providing us some alternative perspectives and rationale to improving not only our work on the recommendations but our communication as a committee. Thank you also in your patience for a response. In the middle of a chaotic Summer Reading Program, I wanted to make sure that I gave a thoughtful response back! I also take to heart that your 6 pages does not include the positives, and you recognize that, so we will look carefully at the things you did not address as well. While I cannot address everything in print as my responses to each of your individual questions would likely return a 10+ page document, I do hope to integrate some of these clarifications in to our July 19th webinar and the clarifications will also be much more apparent when we are much closer to final recommendations. I want to reiterate that this is an iterative process we've been going through and we recognize that there are still many details to be worked out. The feedback we've received virtually, in DC, and inbetween has been extremely helpful in working those details out and providing some possible reroutes to improve our plan. Of course we are still gathering feedback, so those specifics and changes have not been solidified yet, but we appreciate everyone's help in improving what we brought to Annual.
The challenges and opportunities we refer to, as well as the background information and initial data gathering are available in this document which was shared before SCOE's official work even began. I hope that this provides some light on your questions regarding where this came from, where some of our initial ideas were developed from, and shed some light on how we got here.
Participation in the SCOE process – We agree 100% that we want to hear more voices and more perspectives. Our initial number of 300 that we shared at Annual only included individuals spoken to since June 2018 and did not include the 180 councilors who participated in our Midwinter Discussion. Over the course of our time together in Washington, D.C., we held five public input sessions with over 200 members, held a 1.5 hour session with Council, were invited to address 17 different groups of varying sizes (groups as big as ACRL's 100+ Leadership Council to individual boards/committees), and met with many individuals one on one. We estimate that in DC alone we spoke with at least 800 ALA members and in our most recent webinar had approximately 54 attendees. We have 278 members of our ALA Connect Committee and have received feedback from folks in the forms of surveys, emails, and requests for meetings inbetween. While, as you accurately point out, this is still only a fraction of our membership, we hope that you will help us spread the word as we still have time and room for input and feedback. We look forward to continuing to grow these numbers and to reach as many folks as possible. I encourage folks to share and discuss as much as they can -- share the link to the public SCOE community, give folks my direct email address, or even start a conversation in the ALA Members area!
As a group, we are working on a one-pager of some of the bigger changes we are suggesting that will highlight what the area of ALA looks like now vs. what it will look like in the preliminary recommendation. We hope to get that out by the end of this week!
Overall, we are trying to provide a clear path for new members to see where they can fit and find their home in our organization and how to navigate ALA's services, value, and if they desire, a path towards leadership. We hope to not just be "rearranging" the deck chairs which is an analogy that has come up, but have been trying to take inventory to understand what our members find most valuable and make sure those opportunities are at the forefront. Some of those things our members find most valuable include (but are of course not limited to) advocacy, networking, and giving back to the profession. As we move forward, we ask ourselves if what we propose encourages or inhibits what our members are looking for, and we ask ourselves if it is a clear path for the new member. Your questions will help us get there, John, and I thank you for caring about ALA and our future as an association together.
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