ALA Council

Executive Director Search

  • 1.  Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 07:59 AM

    Message to ALA 2017-18 Council Members from ALA President Jim Neal:


    Council Colleagues:


    The ALA Executive Board met on October 26-27 to discuss next steps in the executive director search. We met with Courtney Young, chair of the search committee, Dan Hoppe, director of human resources at ALA, and a representative of the search firm to review the process and outcome of the search.


    The Board took the following actions, all unanimously supported:


    -  endorsed asking the current members of the search committee and the chair to continue into the next round of the search


    -  endorsed continuing to work with the search firm Isaacson Miller


    -  agreed to review the position posting


    -  endorsed changing the educational requirements to a preferred ALA accredited Master’s Degree or CAEP accredited Master’s Degree with a specialty in School Media, as per the search committee recommendation


    -  endorsed moving the question of the change in educational requirements to Council for online debate and electronic vote


    On the matter of Council debate and vote, I move on behalf of the ALA Executive Board, that the educational requirements for the ALA executive director position be changed to a preferred ALA accredited Master’s Degree or CAEP accredited Master’s Degree with a speciality in School Media.


    Discussion of this resolution by members of ALA Council will proceed on ALA Connect during November 2-12. ALA Governance Office staff will post documents to ALA Connect for Council members to review as part of the discussion, including materials and the transcript from the 2017 Midwinter debate. Please conduct all discussion on ALA Connect and not on the Council list.


    ALA Council will then proceed to an electronic ballot and vote on the resolution via Connect poll during November 13-20. This is not an anonymous poll as people’s names with be associated with their votes as they are in open Council meetings. The results of the vote will be announced on November 21.


    Thanks, Jim Neal.



  • 2.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 08:55 AM

    It would be helpful to know whether there were candidates in the first round who would have been strongly considered for the Executive Director position if they had had the MLS or equivalent, but who were not considered because they lacked only that credential.



  • 3.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 09:03 AM

    While I understand that a reversal of the two resolutions passed by Council requiring the MLS for this position would allow the Search Committee to move forward in the way that they (and the Executive Board) would like, I have strong reservations about the advisability of taking an online vote for a decision of this magnitude.  I would prefer that this motion be introduced at Midwinter so that a discussion can take place on the Council floor instead.



  • 4.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 09:15 AM
    Sandra, there were no applications from individuals 
    who did not have the required Master’s Degree. Several
    individuals who have other educational credentials 
    did speak with the search firm. Jim. 
    Sent from my iPhone



    On Nov 2, 2017, at 7:56 AM, ALA Connect <connect@ala.org> wrote:



  • 5.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 09:24 AM

    I have no problem with the discussion and voting on this issue taking place online in Connect.  We never have 100% attendance at Council meetings and at least with an online discussion and vote everyone can participate. The issue was fully debated on Council floor and the vote was close (won by 3 votes??).

    I don't think we should wait to discuss again in person. Let's move on.  Candidates with an MLS or CAEP certainly are welcome to apply and I'm sure will be considered.



  • 6.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 09:24 AM

    I have no problem with the discussion and voting on this issue taking place online in Connect.  We never have 100% attendance at Council meetings and at least with an online discussion and vote everyone can participate. The issue was fully debated on Council floor and the vote was close (won by 3 votes??).

    I don't think we should wait to discuss again in person. Let's move on.  Candidates with an MLS or CAEP certainly are welcome to apply and I'm sure will be considered.



  • 7.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 09:26 AM

    Thank you, Jim and everyone else involved, for getting us to this point! It's clear how complex and nuanced your consideration throughout the process has been.

    I voted for the corresponding resolution at Annual, and I plan to vote for this one. My reasons are the same: ALA serves libraries and librarians, but it is not a library itself. The Executive Director needs to be an exemplary association executive, which is its own profession with its own practices, competencies, and capabilities.

    At the same time, of course, the successful candidate should share our values and library ethos. The MLS is one possible proxy for assessing that qualification. However, our values as a profession are not some secret knowledge revealed through a credential: they comprise broad views about the world and how people and information should move through it. If we've done our job as a profession in advocating for our values, people without the degree or a librarian background will join us in enacting those values. That's advocacy. And we need a library advocate in the ED role who can manage an extremely complicated organization with our professional ethos at the center of complex decisions.

    By requiring the degree for the Executive Director, we imply a specific educational background is necessary to really understand our profession's values. Are our values really that opaque?



  • 8.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 09:30 AM
    John, that was actively debated by members of 
    the Executive Board. As online discussion and 
    vote are covered in the by-laws, and as we want 
    to proceed with the search process with expedition, 
    whichever direction the Council endorses, the
    decision was made to proceed in this way. If
    we delay the vote until February Midwinter, we 
    would not be able to relaunch the recruitment 
    until March. The Executive Board also received 
    recommendation from all except one division
    board to proceed in this way. Jim. 
    Sent from my iPhone



    On Nov 2, 2017, at 8:10 AM, ALA Connect <connect@ala.org> wrote:



  • 9.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 09:50 AM

    I fully support the recommendation of the Executive Director, the ALA Executive Board and the Director Search Committee to broaden the job description to MLS preferred.  As I stated during the previous discussions, adding candidates with a MLS or CAEP broadens the pool. Per Jim's comment above, "online discussion and vote are covered in the by-laws".  In NY, the professional organization, the New York Library Association's executive director does not have a MLS degree.  He thoroughly understands the important role of libraries in the community - school libraries, academic libraries, special libraries, public libraries .... He works with the NYLA Council, sections, roundtables and membership.  He is able to see library issues with an objective eye and listens to the field.  

    One does not need a MLS degree to understand our core values.  Let's broaden the language and move on - there are important issues taking place nationally and internationally that need our attention.



  • 10.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 10:24 AM

    I support discussing and voting on this recommendation online,

    Previously I opposed dropping the MLS requirement.  In light of the experience of the Search Committee, I now plan to vote for the recommended change trusting that the Search Committee will find someone fully committed to our core values and who understands the complexities of our organization and its members.  Thanks very much to the committees for your efforts.

    Doug



  • 11.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 10:32 AM

    I too support dropping the MLS requirement. ALA faces many of the same challenges other associations face.

    Our core values are pretty straight forward and I wouldn't hire someone who had problems with them, but they are completely unique to our industry.

    I would prefer to have a professional association manager manager our association. We deserve to have a professional leading the staff side of our association. Let's get a leader in that profession on board to help us.



  • 12.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 11:19 AM

    Dear Colleagues,

    I have been following this conversation for some time now. Since it seems that there is much determination to seek an executive director who is not a librarian to lead us, I hope that we in the membership will obtain some more explanatory details from our leaders.

    Until then, I will continue to wonder why it is that the American Bar Association has a longtime lawyer with a law degree leading the helm, the American Medical Association has a longtime physician and MD as their executive director, yet now we have passionate people in the library field asserting that libraries would be better off represented by a professional association that is not led by a professional librarian.

    I assume that these conversations will lead us to consider whether our commitment and significant investment in accrediting library programs is taking the profession in a constructive direction.

    Recently I have read a number of articles asserting that hospitals are best run by doctors rather than by bureaucrats; the assumption is that it takes someone who has practiced in the field to fully understand the industry they represent.  Similarly, it has always seemed to me that only someone who has served as a credentialed librarian can completely understand our context.

    Since so many of my colleagues feel otherwise, I look forward to hearing why and gaining a better understanding of their position.

    Sincerely,

    Melora Ranney Norman



  • 13.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 12:31 PM

    See relevant policy post lower in thread:
    http://connect.ala.org/comment/89314#comment-89314



  • 14.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 12:31 PM

    In an email to the Council list, JoAnn requested that we post our comments to this motion on the Documents and Discussion Connect page. In order for the the input from Councilors to be properly seen and recorded, I ask that we move this there. That's where I'm about to post.



  • 15.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 12:34 PM
    For people (like me) who have questions/concerns about the validity of this undertaking, I will summarize what I find in the documentation and provide links to various related areas of the Policy Manual and the Bylaws.
    If I've missed something, I would be interested to know -- Governance junkies, sharpen your pencils!
     
    Summary: Upon review, contrary to my initial supposition, it looks to me like Executive Board:
    1. can, per policy, call for a Council vote by mail  (Bylaws II.5.b) 
      (vote by mail includes online voting, per Bylaws XI)
    2. is not asserting that this is a meeting (Bylaws II) 
      (if the online discussion counted as a meeting, then the request would have had to be made 90 days in advance & with 30 days notice to membership, per Bylaws II)
    3. is distributing the ballot question at least 2 weeks in advance (Policy A.4.2.5.3) 
      (which would need to be 30 days if this were a meeting agenda, per Bylaws II)
    4. has specified a time limit for voting (Bylaws II.5.e)
     
    For the vote to be valid:
    1. at least 50% of all Council members must cast a vote (Bylaws II.5.b II.5.c)
    (it will be important to ensure that only Councilors can vote)
     
    For the motion to pass:
    2. at least 75% of votes cast must approve (Bylaws II.5.b II.5.c)
     
    Documentation of policy & procedures and how they affect process follow. 
    Process follows policy rather than the other way around - at my day job I've asserted "the policy of the institution should not be: ignore existing policy"
     
    Looking at the Policy Manual:
     
    A.4.2 is Council-related stuff & A.4.2.5 is Policies on Council Procedures.
    A.4.2.5.1 requires attendance tracking at meetings
    A.4.2.5.3 requires agenda distribution at least 2 weeks prior to meetings
    A.4.2.5.6 requires reporting votes of Council in 
     
    Looking at the Bylaws:
     
    Article II is Meetings
    II.2 is Special Meetings 
    "Special meetings of the Association may be called by the Executive Board, and shall be called by the President on request of not less than five percent of the voting members of the Association as of the previous July 1, such request to be filed with the executive director at least ninety days before the proposed meeting. At least one month’s notice shall be given, and only the business specified in the call shall be transacted."
    II.5 is Votes by Mail
    II.5.b "The Executive Board may authorize votes by mail of both the Association and of the Council between meetings."
    II.5.c "For votes by Council, fifty percent of the voting membership shall constitute a quorum and a three-fourths majority of those voting shall be required to carry."
    II.5.e Enumerates time limit options after distribution of question on a ballot and related variables
     
    Article IV is Council
    IV.1.b requires at least two meetings annually (Annual and Midwinter are specified) and that the President may call another meeting and shall at the request of 20 or more members
     
    Article XI is Voting by Mail
    XI.1 specifies Votes of the Association by mail

    Straight link to alacoun email I just sent:
    http://lists.ala.org/sympa/arc/alacoun/2017-11/msg00003.html



  • 16.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 12:39 PM

    Melora raises some very valid and important issues, and I completely share her point of view.  And thank you, Melora, for contributing your thoughts to this discussion.

    Council has voted twice on this issue; both times the result was the requirement for the MLS degree.  Would we be taking a third vote if the search committee had actually identified viable candidates from the first pool?  I suspect not.  Since it appears that Council will indeed be voting electronically on this motion, I urge councilors to keep in mind that we are not setting policy merely for this particular search, but for all future Executive Director searches.



  • 17.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 01:49 PM
    As a newly elected (returning) councilor, I didn't participate in earlier debates/discussion regarding the MLS/non-MLS decision.  For me, the MLS is preferential, but not a requirement.  Having led many searches, I know that a recruitment effort can fail for a variety of reasons and it is not clear to me why this search failed.  So, I'd like to know:
     
    • What is it we are trying to fix?  The endorsements offer some clues but not necessarily a rationale for re-opening the search process.  For me, the endorsements raise more questions than simply the matter of MLS/non-MLS.  
    • Did Isaacson Miller fail to provide an acceptable pool of candidates? 
    • Was the "net" cast widely enough to capture a diverse pool of candidates?  
    • How many applications were received?
    • What is meant by "review the position posting"?  Does this mean where its posted?
    • Was there sufficient disagreement among members of the search committee about the candidate pool and/or position description that resulted in a "hung-jury" style conclusion?
     
    I understand that there must be a degree of confidentiality in the process - but I'd like to know (as much as possible), that we are debating and solving the right problem.
     
    Martín Gómez
    Councilor at Large


  • 18.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 02:00 PM
    To be clear, we can discuss now.  But when would the voting of Council take place?
    On Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 2:41 PM, ALA Connect <connect@ala.org> wrote:


  • 19.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 02:08 PM

    The RUSA Board supports the recommendation of the Executive Director, the ALA Executive Board and the Director Search Committee to broaden the job description to MLS preferred.  

    The RUSA Board also supports for Council to proceed with online discussion and voting of this matter.

    Sarah J. Hammill

    RUSA Councilor



  • 20.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 02:09 PM

    The RUSA Board supports the recommendation of the Executive Director, the ALA Executive Board and the Director Search Committee to broaden the job description to MLS preferred.  

    The RUSA Board also supports for Council to proceed with online discussion and voting of this matter.

    Sarah J. Hammill

    RUSA Councilor



  • 21.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 02:30 PM
    Late to the discussion. LLAMA board supports MLS preferred. Rivkah Rivkah K. Sass | Executive Director Sacramento Public Library 916.264.2830 | 916.719.9318 rsass@saclibrary.org ________________________________ From: ALA Connect [connect@ala.org] Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2017 1:10 PM To: Rivkah Sass Subject: [ALA Connect] ALA Council - Executive Director Search (New comment)


  • 22.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 02:33 PM

    I agree with Aaron that Bylaw II.5.c is relevant and tells us that 75% of votes is the number needed to carry this motion. Given this subject last passed in favor of the MLS being required by a slim majority, does the Executive Board really want to present this motion now? or would they choose to wait for Midwinter when a simple majority will carry?

    Jules Shore
    Councilor-at-large



  • 23.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 03:07 PM
    Edited by Unknown Apr 06, 2018 02:22 PM

    Hi Jennifer,

     

    Voting will take place November 13-20. Results announced November 21.

    Timeline is at the bottom of the message I posted with the various documents: http://connect.ala.org/communities/community-home/digestviewer/viewthread?MessageKey=022406b0-a131-4092-90b1-1c309aa01c4e#comment-form

     

    JoAnne



  • 24.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 03:45 PM
    Hi, Martin. Getting ready to board flight in Seattle
    and arrive at JFK after midnight. I will respond to
    a few of your questions and then follow up on 
    the others. 
    First, let me emphasize that whichever way Council
    votes, the search committee will continue to 
    recruit aggressively individuals who have the 
    accredited Master’s Degree. It is the preference.

    The preferred Master’s Degree would enable us
    to also consider strong candidates who have extensive
    experience in library related organizations or in
    Association work. 

    The search firm was in touch with over 200 
    individuals to discuss the position, and to 
    receive nominations. The pool throughout the
    process was consistently diverse in terms of
    library background, geography, gender, and 
    race/ethnicity. 

    The search committee reviewed 17 applications. 
    Seven were invited for first round interviews, but
    two withdrew. In the second round, four were 
    interviewed. 

    Given our experience in the first round of the 
    search, the position announcement is being 
    reviewed to make sure it accurately describes 
    the responsibilities of the position and our
    expectations. 

    The search committee was in agreement on the
    candidate pool and on the position description.
    There was no “hung jury” at any point in the
    process. 

    Hope this is helpful. Jim. 

    Sent from my iPhone



    On Nov 2, 2017, at 12:55 PM, ALA Connect <connect@ala.org> wrote:

    ((


  • 25.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 03:45 PM
    According to bylaws voting can't be that soon.
    On Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 5:10 PM, ALA Connect <connect@ala.org> wrote:


  • 26.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 04:05 PM

    Is that typical? That a search firm talks to 200+ possible candidates and only 17 apply? 



  • 27.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 04:15 PM
    They spoke to 200 people, but not necessarily asking them to apply. They called me and I gave them a few names and I assume they spoke to those folks. 
    Christine Lind Hage, Director, 
    Rochester Hills Public Library

    Raising a reader is: Talking * Singing * Reading * writing *  Playing 

    On Nov 2, 2017, at 6:10 PM, ALA Connect <connect@ala.org> wrote:



  • 28.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 04:41 PM
    Edited by Unknown Apr 06, 2018 02:22 PM

    Roberts Rules-ing it over here...

    Jim -- when you land in JFK, can weigh in here and confirm which string you want the discussion on? As Chris mentions above, it seems the direction was to reply to the Documents and Discussion Connect post (http://connect.ala.org/communities/community-home/digestviewer/viewthread?MessageKey=022406b0-a131-4092-90b1-1c309aa01c4e). As a point of order, where do you want the discussion, and will you want to have those who have posted about the question at hand to respond there, and not here, if the discussion is not on the correct post?

    Looking at the documentation posted under the Documents and Discussion Connect post (http://connect.ala.org/communities/community-home/digestviewer/viewthread?MessageKey=022406b0-a131-4092-90b1-1c309aa01c4e), it also seems clear that the Executive Board has called for this discussion and vote, and, therefore, it is our responsibility as Council to participate and cast our votes. There is no vote (or discussion) on whether or not we're voting -- the resolution has been brought forward. Correct?

    Stephanie Chase
    Public Library Association Division Councilor



  • 29.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 04:45 PM
    Lisa, not sure what is typical for this type of 
    search. We certainly would have hoped for more
    than 17 formal applicants to consider. We will
    definitely review our recruitment strategy. Jim. 
    Sent from my iPhone



    On Nov 2, 2017, at 3:10 PM, ALA Connect <connect@ala.org> wrote:



  • 30.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 05:00 PM
    Stephanie, really need for JoAnne or Lois Ann
    to weigh in on the question of where Councilors
    should comment. Sorry for any confusion. We 
    have referred all bylaws questions to the ALA
    Parliamentarian. But you are correct that the
    resolution has been introduced, Council will 
    debate and then Council will vote. Jim. 
    Sent from my iPhone



    On Nov 2, 2017, at 3:40 PM, ALA Connect <connect@ala.org> wrote:



  • 31.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 02, 2017 05:05 PM

    Stephanie, if I understand your question, while there are more comments in *this* thread, I agree that the instruction is to comment on the "documents" thread, which followed this one.  Recent comments seem to be following that direction.  If you receive Connect comments in your email, you'll see comments from both threads.   



  • 32.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 03, 2017 10:00 AM
    Jim and members of the ALA Board,
    Would it be possible to get some information or rationale on why the recommendation is being made to change the requirement for an MLS?

    Thanks,

    Erica


    Erica Findley
    Cataloging | Metadata Librarian
    Multnomah County Library 
    Isom Building
    My schedule: Monday-Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm
    Phone: 503.988.0591




    On Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 7:10 AM, ALA Connect <connect@ala.org> wrote:
    Click With Caution -
    Click With Caution



  • 33.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 03, 2017 10:24 AM

    Martin, you have captured some of the questions I have been wondering.  I would appreciate knowing more of these things in order to consider the resolution better.  For example, was there something that was generally lacking across the pool of candidates that prevented the search committee from recommending finalists?

    Recognizing that there are aspects of the search that must remain confidential, I do think EB should be as forthcoming with details as it possibly can.  I understand that it may be reasonable to expect the same search committee and same search firm to come up with a new and ultimately successful pool unless we change the parameters.  That said, I’m not yet convinced that the educational requirement is the sole factor that led to an unsuccessful first effort at filling the position.

    Thanks,

    Peter



  • 34.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 03, 2017 10:57 AM

    I don't see your conclusion "that there is much determination to seek an executive director who is not a librarian to lead us." I think there is much determination to find the best candidate, a process that may require a broader pool. There is no preclusion of candidates with library credentials, but ones otherwise qualified who also inspired the search committee have not yet applied. 

    I have recently experienced a similar process at a much smaller scale, and we also had to tweak the advertised job mid-process. It took longer and was a bit scary along the way, the fear that we would not find the perfect fit - but we have. I am confident that this re-evaluation and strong discussion is good for the ultimately organization, and that we will find a leader with our core values at heart who may or may not have specific library credentials but who will certainly have strong experience leading an organization of the size and scope of ALA. We need a smart and inspired leader who can listen well, and translate information and opinions into relevant, forward-thinking action.

    I trust the Board and Search Committee to act in our best interests.

    Dorcas Hand, Member-at-Large
    retired school librarian



  • 35.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 03, 2017 11:10 AM

    I would agree that we would be setting precedent, but there is no precedent or policy that cannot be changed in different circumstances.

    Dorcas Hand, Member at Large
    Retired School Librarian



  • 36.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 03, 2017 02:18 PM

    Thank you for letting us know that the committee reviewed 17 applications.

    Can someone share whether there is something specific about the pool of 200 potential applicants leading the EB to believe the MLS requirement is limiting the pool so substantially that removing the requirement is vital to continuing the search, and that the search cannot therefore continue without an emergency Council vote?

    With appreciation,

    Melora Ranney Norman

     



  • 37.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 03, 2017 08:15 PM
    Melora, see my previous comments on the 
    experience of the search committee and the
    search firm in not being able to consider 
    individuals with other academic backgrounds 
    though there was interest and recommendations.
    The 200+ individuals contacted by the search 
    firm included prospective candidates as well 
    as people who had thoughts about the position 
    and names to recommend to the search committee. 
    Jim. 
    Sent from my iPhone



    On Nov 3, 2017, at 4:26 PM, ALA Connect <connect@ala.org> wrote:



  • 38.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 03, 2017 08:15 PM
    Melora, I want to stress that this is not an 
    emergency Council vote. It is an attempt to
    address the question of educational requirements 
    in a timely way so that the search can be 
    relaunched right after the holidays and not delayed
    until March.
    I would add that at Midwinter and Annual the
    members of Council are typically presented 
    with resolutions to consider the day before or 
    the day of the Council meeting. The debate 
    proceeds for an abbreviated period and it is
    followed by an immediate vote. In the case of 
    our current electronic process, the debate and
    discussion is proceeding for more than a week,
    and Council members will have a week to vote. 
    Unlike discussions and votes at Midwinter or 
    Annual, on Connect I believe more Councilors 
    will have the opportunity to participate and more
    will vote. Jim. 

    Sent from my iPhone



    On Nov 3, 2017, at 4:26 PM, ALA Connect <connect@ala.org> wrote:



  • 39.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 03, 2017 08:15 PM
    The search committee and the executive board
    will continue to reach out to and recruit candidates 
    with the accredited Master’s. That is the 
    continuing preference. But we would also be 
    able to also consider candidates with library,
    library related organization or association 
    experience but with other educational credentials.
    Jim. 
    Sent from my iPhone



    On Nov 3, 2017, at 1:11 PM, ALA Connect <connect@ala.org> wrote:



  • 40.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 04, 2017 11:15 AM
    Several have raised questions why so many  
    individuals who were contacted chose not to 
    be a candidate. Several consistent messages: 
    enthusiasm for the work of ALA, and recognition 
    of the critical importance of the executive  
    director assignment. The feedback we received
    from Isaacson Miller who spoke with these. 
    individuals was consistent with what we all often 
    hear when recruiting for administrative 
    leadership positions: very satisfied in current 
    assignment, family not willing to move, have  
    just taken on major project or new responsibilities,
    current job is my last job, not the type of professional  
    role I want to play.  In terms of this position: the 
    amount and complexity of change that must 
    advanced at ALA, the financial and business 
    challenges of the Association, may not feel
    prepared to work in a membership organization, 
    concern about amount of travel.

    Sent from my iPhone



    On Nov 3, 2017, at 1:11 PM, ALA Connect <connect@ala.org> wrote:



  • 41.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 06, 2017 02:15 PM
    I can only speak for myself.  The reason I wanted to see a Librarian in the role of leading ALA was not for image, but for setting priorities.  As we know, librarianship is not motivated by frugality or streamlining operations or clear single-minded mission.  This Executive Director will have to do all of that AND don't lose spirit of librarianship.  In my case, as a RUSA member, a commitment to public services to all, standards of access, community building in history & business, effective use of technology in public and academic environments, building a base-line of quality for new librarians, and modeling a profession open for all.   
    We are hitting the curse of quality, who can compare to Keith or Mary G?   The right Librarian is out there! There are a lot of wonderful and inspiring librarians leaving their Library jobs, maybe not as directors.  Think of those people you have worked with or even in Library school and you say "Wow! they have it together.  They know how to get things done."  I want someone who knows how to get things done, but have a Librarian commitment to the profession so they can set the right priorities and communicate across Big ALA, Divisions, and Round Tables how and why libraries and librarians are still important .
    Jennifer Boettcher, Councilor at Large

    On Sat, Nov 4, 2017 at 1:25 PM, ALA Connect <connect@ala.org> wrote:
    ((( r


  • 42.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 07, 2017 01:10 PM

    I will echo Dorcas' comments in that changing the job ad to 'prefer' rather than 'require' an MLS does not mean that applicants who have an MLS will be at a disadvantage, or that only candidates without an MLS will be considered; 'preferred' means there is a preference for the degree.

    We've heard from many councilors about executive directors of state library associations doing wonderful work without the MLS. Such people--who have demonstrated both their commitment to libraries and their effectiveness at directing large associations--are precisely the sort who would be most effective leading ALA.

    ALA includes an Exhibits Round Table, a Library Support Staff Interests Round Table, and a group for friends of libraries (UNITED). As others have said, we are the American Library Association:  we advocate for and support libraries, not (exclusively) librarians.



  • 43.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 07, 2017 02:41 PM

    The voices for keeping the MLS as a requirement for this position seem to be in the minority based on the discussion so far, but these are voices that need to be heard as well, so thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your thoughts.
    I will once again express my disappointment that this issue is being put to a third vote after Council passed two resolutions affirming the requirement for the MLS for the Executive Director position.
    The compelling reasons for retaining this requirement were articulated in the pro/con documents distributed to Council at Midwinter and in statements made on the Council floor.  I probably don't need to rehash them here.
       I will say that I have watched the MLS degree become devalued in academic libraries over the years, as the degree is listed as optional or preferred when recruiting for professional positions.  In many cases, including at my own library, individuals lacking the MLS degree are hired into professional librarian positions.  ALA, as the body which accredits the MLS degree, was the last bastion of the integrity and importance of this degree.  To allow the possibility of hiring a non-MLS executive director is tantamount to dismissing the value of the MLS degree.  It would most certainly put the credibility of the association into question.



  • 44.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 07, 2017 03:15 PM
    No matter where the vote goes.  If you know of anyone you think would be good (excellence comes with time),
    PLEASE encourage them to apply.

    The big problem was we did not get good candidates.  Talk ALA up and say nice things about Chicago.   If someone is not happy where they are or want to a change, this is the time.  Let's get more librarians to apply!

    Jennifer


    On Tue, Nov 7, 2017 at 3:55 PM, ALA Connect <connect@ala.org> wrote:


  • 45.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 07, 2017 03:47 PM

    I would very much like to see good librarians apply, so thanks to Jennifer for re-sending the search link!  I will say what I said initially on the Council floor: I would very much prefer candidates with an MLS or CAEP/school library media, but I also would like the search committee to be able to consider the broadest and most diverse pool of excellent candidates possible.  I do not believe that the degree is the only path to becoming an exceptional Executive Director.  As others have said, this is an association (not a library) and many other amazing people -- from a variety of disciplines -- share, speak well for, and can help us to advance library values. 

    As you have seen, ALCTS was a signatory on the joint statement and I support changing the language from "required" to "preferred."  

    Erin Stalberg, ALCTS Division Councilor

     



  • 46.  RE: Executive Director Search

    Posted Nov 08, 2017 11:30 AM
    I would feel better about changing to preferred from required if I know the steps or model questions the search firm and committee would do to ensure that the candidate shared OUR passion for what librarians are doing.  I know we need a strong operational candidate, but I want priorities to be properly aligned with the many faces of librarianship.
    In the job description from Isaacson, Miller we state "ALA achieves these goals through its programs, publications, annual conferences, professional development and outreach work."  and "The next Executive Director will be able to leverage the organization’s strong reputation and the passion and dedication of the Association’s members, staff and elected leaders to build even stronger support for libraries, those who work in them, and the millions of users who benefit from them."  How does balancing the needs and demands of the divisions, roundtables, and other units play into that?  Most librarians find their homes in this units and even though Big ALA address the national issues and intellectual freedoms that we hold dear, each unit brings in the members and creates that family that makes us a profession and not just a trade.

    Jennifer Boettcher

    On Tue, Nov 7, 2017 at 4:55 PM, ALA Connect <connect@ala.org> wrote:
    (((