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.
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