ALCTS/LLAMA/LITA Alignment Discussion

What features or strengths in your current division do you want to bring with us to a proposed new division?

  • 1.  What features or strengths in your current division do you want to bring with us to a proposed new division?

    Posted 13 days ago
    We're starting up a discussion series about the proposed new division. Join us here or on Twitter (#alanewdivision) to talk about it and share your feedback.

    Question 1: What features or strengths in your current division do you want to bring with us to a proposed new division?



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    Lynn Hoffman
    President, Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA)
    Director of Operations, Somerset County Library System of NJ
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  • 2.  RE: What features or strengths in your current division do you want to bring with us to a proposed new division?

    Posted 12 days ago
    To name just a few--
    The strong focus on training, at the very hands on, practice based level. Within my specialty of cataloging, transitions in basic tools such as RDA and development of BIBFRAME make this type of training especially important. 
    The strong rule development, and liaising and consultative functions of committees such as the Committee on Cataloging: Description & Access (CC:DA) and Subject Access Committee (SAC). These committees often represent the voice of ALA in their respective areas and their reach goes beyond ALA.
    The ALCTS journal, LRTS. Not only for its contributions to the profession via the content, but also for the opportunities it provides to authors and editorial board members. 

    I look forward to reading what other features and strengths my colleagues in all three current divisions will mention. 

    --
    Vicki Sipe
    Catalog and Metadata Librarian
    Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery
    University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    1000 Hilltop Circle
    Baltimore, Md.  21250
    phone: 410-455-6751  
    fax: 410-455-1598

    My Pronouns: she/her/hers





  • 3.  RE: What features or strengths in your current division do you want to bring with us to a proposed new division?

    Posted 12 days ago
    I'd like to ditto Vicki's items (practical continuing education opportunities -- especially the affordable webinars -- and the journal LRTS) and extract something that I think was implied in her commments, which I suspect would be echoed across all three organizations: let's retain the ability to "find your tribe" for networking and finding solutions to the professional problems in our various niche areas.

    For example, I question thoughts (if they've been had) of automatically combining all of the Education committees of the three Divisions into a single committee for the new ALA Division right away. I would suggest applying the model being used right now, with the Division Presidents working together on change, to the more granular levels as we progress with the idea of unifying. Keeping my example with the Education committees, could the chairs of the separate committees meet and work together for an uber view and coordination for a single Division, but enable any distinctiveness to thrive, at least initially (either before or after a final decision is made about unification)? Similarly, are there pressures that indicate we must immediately consider contracting to a single journal for a unified Division, or not?

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    Lauren Corbett
    Director of Resource Services, Z. Smith Reynolds Library
    Wake Forest University
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  • 4.  RE: What features or strengths in your current division do you want to bring with us to a proposed new division?

    Posted 12 days ago
    For example, I question thoughts (if they've been had) of automatically combining all of the Education committees of the three Divisions into a single committee for the new ALA Division right away. I would suggest applying the model being used right now, with the Division Presidents working together on change, to the more granular levels as we progress with the idea of unifying. Keeping my example with the Education committees, could the chairs of the separate committees meet and work together for an uber view and coordination for a single Division, but enable any distinctiveness to thrive, at least initially (either before or after a final decision is made about unification)? Similarly, are there pressures that indicate we must immediately consider contracting to a single journal for a unified Division, or not?

    As someone who's working on this project, I personally haven't heard of any pressures to "immediately consider contracting to a single journal for a unified division," nor have I heard thoughts of "automatically combining all of the Education committees of the three Divisions into a single committee..." I can say the leadership of the three divisions are still early in the visioning stage and invite feedback like this as it will help them articulate the mission of a new division that continues to serve the needs of ALCTS, LITA, and LLAMA members. Thanks for your feedback!

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    Joel Tonyan
    Systems and User Experience Librarian
    University of Colorado Colorado Springs
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  • 5.  RE: What features or strengths in your current division do you want to bring with us to a proposed new division?

    Posted 11 days ago
    I agree with what others have said about ALCTS' strengths around pragmatic, hands-on training, publications and the opportunities it provides  our members to participate in those activities. I especially want to add to Erica Findley's post about how the current division has provided a strong sense of home in the larger association.   Part of the pragmatism I see in ALCTS has created, in my opinion, that sense of nimbleness and flexibility in an ever-changing library landscape.  Whether the technology or the rules used are changing (often both simultaneously), somewhere in ALCTS I can find others to work with to find direction, inclusivity, and, common goals.

    While I am sure that the other two divisions' members probably feel the same way about LITA and LLAMA, the areas/issues around which members coalesce are likely to be somewhat different.  I would like to know that process 'finding my tribe' continues to be easy, intuitive, and beneficial for all members.

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    Jacquie Samples
    Head, Metadata & Discovery Strategy Department
    Duke University Libraries
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  • 6.  RE: What features or strengths in your current division do you want to bring with us to a proposed new division?

    Posted 11 days ago
    Thank you for sharing, Jacquie. I know for me, when I joined LLAMA, I was certainly seeking that same kind of like-mindedness of interest that it sounds like ALCTS has cultivated. I'm sure that those of us from the other divisions could learn so much from our colleagues in ALCTS about creating a community of shared interest.

    As someone who is working on this project I appreciate hearing the importance of maintaining the nimbleness and flexibility that ALCTS has found, along with your echoing of the value of finding your tribe in a large organization like ALA.

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    Megan Klein-Hewett
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  • 7.  RE: What features or strengths in your current division do you want to bring with us to a proposed new division?

    Posted 12 days ago
    One strength that ALCTS has provided for me is a sense of being home. I know that other ALCTS members hold similar positions and share similar professional interests. In the same way I feel like it is really clear who I can reach out to for collaboration with the way ALCTS has its divisions structured around a kind of work. I feel like this can be retained as the size of the house is expanded. I don't want to loose the connection and mentoring opportunities that I have now.




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    Erica Findley
    Cataloging/Metadata Librarian
    Multnomah County Library
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  • 8.  RE: What features or strengths in your current division do you want to bring with us to a proposed new division?

    Posted 12 days ago
    In addition to what my other ALCTS' colleagues have mentioned about readily finding your "home" I would like to add that ALCTS has greatly improved its flexibility and nimbleness (to quote a past division president).  We have worked hard to be able to move ahead on various projects, while keeping cognizant of the rules and regulations imposed on us by ALA and the 501c3 status.  I expect a new combined division (if we get there) to be as nimble and flexible and inclusive as most of us have experienced.  I also hope that we can transition our ALCTSness into a greater sense of community and purpose with our LITA and LLAMA colleagues.

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    Susan Davis
    University at Buffalo (SUNY)
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  • 9.  RE: What features or strengths in your current division do you want to bring with us to a proposed new division?

    Posted 12 days ago
    ALCTS sounds like it has a great sense of community! I feel the same way about LITA--I had no trouble meeting like-minded systems and technology people like myself, especially at the annual LITA Forum. I regularly turn to the LITA community to learn new approaches to my job and to stay up to date with the latest developments in the field.

    At the same time, I know I would learn even more working within a greater community that includes ALCTS and LLAMA people. As a systems librarian, my job necessarily requires me to step out of my department (aka, my comfort zone) and interact with our technical service department and library administration. Learning more about both areas will make me a better librarian and, heck, might even prepare me for a leadership role someday!

    Thanks for the continued replies. I know the boards of all three divisions are keeping an eye on this thread and hearing your concerns and ideas for the proposed new division.

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    Joel Tonyan
    Systems and User Experience Librarian
    University of Colorado Colorado Springs
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  • 10.  RE: What features or strengths in your current division do you want to bring with us to a proposed new division?

    LITA President
    Posted 11 days ago
    I am just popping in to say that the LITA LLAMA ALCTS leadership are indeed following this thread closely. : ) And we are most excited to hear the thoughts and opinions from members about the importance of nimbleness, flexibility, and inclusiveness. 

    For those who are interested in what three divisions are planning, this short write-up of mine in the current issue of the LITA ITAL journal may give you some ideas. https://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/ital/article/view/10703/pdf

    The three division leadership steering committee is working hard to get a more formal and comprehensive vision/mission doc ready! Keep all your inputs coming; we truly appreciate them! 

    Cheers,
    Bohyun 

    --

    Bohyun Kim, MA, MSLIS

    Chief Technology Officer / Associate Professor 

    University of Rhode Island Libraries

    http://www.lita.org/

    President, Library & Information Technology Association (2018 - 2019) 






  • 11.  RE: What features or strengths in your current division do you want to bring with us to a proposed new division?

    Posted 11 days ago
    Like Erica and Susan, I have valued ALCTS as a community. In my case, identifying most strongly with the community at the section level as a member of the Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS). Preservation is a functional need for almost all libraries, but relatively few have the resources to support dedicated positions, which gives PARS a dual value. For the people working intensively in preservation, PARS is valuable as a way to interact with peers who have a similar depth of interest and expertise. For the much larger number of people for whom preservation is an important but not a central responsibility, PARS is valuable as a source of content delivered through programs, interest groups, and publications.

    A merged division has the potential to weaken or strengthen our sense of a preservation community. If it weakens, I believe some specialists will drift away, eroding the critical mass necessary to provide preservation leadership and content for ALA. But I believe that erosion is already happening and a division merger would be an opportunity to reverse the trend. ALCTS, LLAMA, and LITA have always had some overlap of interest and activity related to preservation but most of us will not spring for more than one division membership and we have a mixed record for coordinating among the divisions. A distinct preservation section in a merged division has the potential to form a larger pool of experts and advocates with more varied skill sets and perspectives, making it more valuable for those who want to grapple with the most challenging issues in preservation and yielding greater benefits for the division and ALA membership in general.
    --Andy

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    Andrew Hart
    Preservation Librarian
    University of North Carolina At Chapel Hill
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  • 12.  RE: What features or strengths in your current division do you want to bring with us to a proposed new division?

    Posted 11 days ago
    Thanks, Andrew, for bringing up the importance of sections within our divisions that can really bring home the value of the division. This conversation definitely started in part due to the similarities in interests and activities that you mentioned, and I appreciate your thoughts on the critical mass that is necessary to keep special interest communities strong and represented in ALA.

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    Megan Klein-Hewett
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  • 13.  RE: What features or strengths in your current division do you want to bring with us to a proposed new division?

    Posted 6 days ago
    As a LITA member, I strongly value LITA's innovative nature and also our willingness to help each other to continue to innovate. We have a culture of asking questions and sharing our expertise. This community has informed my own practice of librarianship where I encourage questions/conversations and I make time to explain an issue as accessible as I can.

    Based on the discussions posted here, I don't think LITA is alone in this. The more I read, the more I see commonalities than differences. I look forward to hearing  more strengths we find in our divisions!

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    Tabatha Farney
    Director at Large, LITA Board
    Director of Web Services and Emerging Technologies
    University of Colorado Colorado Springs
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  • 14.  RE: What features or strengths in your current division do you want to bring with us to a proposed new division?

    Posted 5 days ago
    Like others, I've enjoyed the community feeling of ALCTS and the emphasis on professional development, but I see the merger as giving me more opportunities since LITA and LLAMA often have programs/webinars that interest me.

    The ALCTS section structure contributes a great deal to my sense of community. My primary involvement has been in the CollDev section, but I've also been active in the Acq and Continuing Resource sections. I've enjoyed getting to know colleagues in the Cataloging and Preservation sections when working at the division level. As we merge divisions, I hope we'll keep a section structure, even though we may eventually want to combine or re-arrange some of the sections.

    ALCTS has a strong professional development component, as do LITA and LLAMA. I want to keep that in the new division. The ALCTS e-forum discussions are a particular favorite, both for the chance to discuss a common issue with colleagues via email, but also because I can learn about current issues that aren't directly relevant to my job by reading the discussion threads about cataloging and preservation issues. Expanding e-forums to LITA and LLAMA topics would be fantastic!

    ALCTS has supported my career by providing opportunities for service, presenting, and publishing. I'd like to continue activities that are designed to foster careers such as: "speed dating" events to introduce new members to volunteer opportunities, how-to-publish forums, research forums for presenting work-in-progress which not only allow researchers to gather feedback but also give audience members a chance to ask questions about research process, to interest groups which allow for discussion and for short informal presentations. All of these things have added to my sense of community, too. I'm curious about the activities LITA and LLAMA offer to help grow professionally in ways that aren't directly related to my day-to-day work.

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    Ginger Williams
    Head of Acquisitions
    Texas State University Alkek Library
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  • 15.  RE: What features or strengths in your current division do you want to bring with us to a proposed new division?

    Posted 5 days ago
    As a LITA member, what I've appreciated most is how LITA connects technology people together. We may be isolated in our own organizations as the only IT person, so it helps to be able to reach out to others when we need advice.

    We also have many opportunities to get involved in the division. At one point, I was able to get enough signatures to start an Interest Group within a week! We developed a couple resources and exchanged ideas. I don't recall if I had met my co-chair in-person before then, but we became fast friends despite living 1,000 miles apart.

    Anyone who wants to get involved, gain leadership skills, and make things happen have an opportunity to do so. All you have to do is ask.

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    Amanda L. Goodman
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