I'm looking forward to seeing you all virtually or in person next week. The TAG Task Force found the feedback you contributed to the TAG recommendations since the March Virtual Council session to be extremely helpful.
In advance of discussions related to TAG proposals at the 2022 ALA Annual Conference, I am sharing the report and recommendations of the task force. This report is the culmination of efforts by many over a number of years. TAG has included a timeline in the report for all who are interested in where we started and how we arrived where we are today. This includes links to a variety of reports for those who wish to have a deeper dive. If anyone has trouble accessing any of the linked reports, please let me know and I will send the document(s) to you. There is a link to a Google doc at the end of this email and an attached Word version. Even if you have recently seen a draft of TAG recommendations regarding size and composition of Council and the Executive Board, please take a look at the final recommendations in the report as there have been changes based on discussions over the past few months.
Our time together at Annual will be limited. I encourage all Councilors to share questions, reflections, and responses to the report and the action item here on Connect. Additionally, members of the task force and I will attend Council Forum I and look forward to questions and informal discussion. The report will be formally presented, and the recommendations will be voted upon during Council I.
Many Councilors have asked, "If we vote for the TAG Action Item what happens next?" It is important to note that for any changes to take place, the ALA Constitution and Bylaws will need to be amended. A vote for the TAG Action Item will provide direction to the Constitution and Bylaws Committee in drafting potential new Bylaws, but amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws require certain actions and votes by both Council and the membership. Our parliamentarians are ready to provide more details regarding the amendment process at Forum I and Council I.
Let the conversation begin (or more accurately, let the conversation continue)!
On behalf of the Transforming ALA Governance Task Forcehttps://docs.google.com/document/d/1dIAU4nKFYeNsd0Nxmc6jsaJ1QHashfc_1Bvu-jd35dE/edit?usp=sharing
Thank you to the members of TAG and the members of the previous groups that discussed options and brought forward recommendations - this has been a long, arduous, and continuous effort.As highlighted in the background section of the TAG report, this effort started out with an overarching goal to "create a more member engaged and modern organization". Lots of feedback was provided and incorporated, discussions of reports noted that some feedback was less prominent or received less attention in various stages, and discussions around what to do with/for ALA governance have been fairly contentious.
A few observations as we reflect on, discuss, and ultimately vote on the TAG action item:
Thanks and apologies if any of this sounded obvious,-Aaron:-)'
Thank you Aaron. As usual you've distilled a lot down to the most essential points.
Apologies to all for the length of this post but I wanted to layout where my thinking is right now. As well as make a few personal comments. Thanks in advance to those kind enough to hang with me to the end 😊
I am a typical ALA member and typical Councilor. I've served 2 terms on Council -- separated by almost 15 years, served on some committees, and always valued the ALA. I leave Council by choice at the end of this conference and will try to serve the association in other ways. I think my Council experience is reflective of the norm. I think the constant influx of new people and perspectives is a good thing.I understand that many people have worked hard to get us to where we are today. I appreciate and honor their work and commitment to ALA. But I do not support the direction CD 36 takes us in. My concerns center in three areas: Philosophical, Organizational, and Financial.
ConclusionThroughout the last 3 years I have been told by Councilors that I do not understand what members want. That the Avenue M study and the work of SCOE firmly established that members want to change ALA's governance structure (conclusions I still do not see support for in the raw data shared with us). And I was told such things in ways I thought were unnecessarily hurtful, judgmental, and rude. The fact there are disagreements among us is deserving of respect not disdain on both sides. I hope that I am expressing myself in way that is respectful to all. I want ALA to succeed as I know we all do. I hope that in our debates we will limit our comments to what we believe and not assign motives to, or make judgments about, those with whom we disagree. I also hope we make the time necessary to truly listen to each other and hear from all who wish to speak.
Eileen M. PalmerNJ Chapter Councilor