From the President

Olivia M. A. Madison, ALCTS President

olivia madison It is a distinct privilege and challenge for me to lead a vital and distinguished association of the American Library Association. We face dynamic, challenging, chaotic, and increasingly legalistic times within our profession. Our times are characterized by fundamental changes in the nature of our collections, acquisitions processes and policies, Web-based online catalogs and systems, and evolving bibliographic, authority, and preservation standards. These changes are deeply embedded in rapid technological advances and a difficult, narrowing yet expanding, marketplace. Furthermore we are in a demanding transition where the traditional and the new must coexist. These fundamental changes affect not only how we conduct business and build online systems but also shifting staff needs to develop effective expertise and technical skills.

The ALCTS division must continue to be on the forefront of recognizing and influencing these fundamental changes as envisioned in our strategic plan: “ALCTS envisions an environment in which traditional library roles are evolving. New technologies are making information more fluid and raising expectations. The public needs quality information anytime, anyplace. ALCTS provides frameworks to meet these information needs.”

We have an extraordinary record of contributing to national and international standards, to “best practices” development, and to providing educational programs and opportunities for professional development through research, publication, and professional service. These strategic goals are crucial to the future successes of the ALCTS mission and its membership.

The enduring strength of ALCTS is the commitment of its membership to volunteer its experience and expertise to support the association’s many activities and programs that influence the future. I strongly encourage all ALCTS members to consider volunteering for service on the wide array of divisional and section committees. Brian Schottlaender, the vice president/president-elect, and the section vice chairs need your help in filling important divisional and section committee and liaison appointments beginning this year. The ALCTS volunteer form is available through the newly designed ALCTS Web site. Along with an exceptionally strong divisional staff (under the visionary leadership of Charles Wilt, ALCTS executive director), I firmly believe that your commitment will ensure a dynamic and positive future through enhancing and capitalizing on past outstanding initiatives and activities while initiating new programs and directions that are grounded in our strategic planning efforts.

This coming year ALCTS will be involved in a wide range of exciting activities, and the association is well positioned to support those activities through strong tactical planning by division committees and sections, superb education and development programs, and careful fiscal management. The overall leadership within the division and sections is outstanding this year, and planning across the entire division and sections is well underway for a series of exceptionally strong programs for our 2003 Annual Conference in Toronto as well as several key institutes and workshops. The Organization and Bylaws Committee and the ALCTS executive board are examining the potential for a new addition to our governance structure—special interest groups or SIGs. The use of SIGs, which LITA has successfully used for several years, could enhance our programming potentials and support a more facile, agile, and streamlined divisional organization than is possible through our current governance structure. The use of SIGs may also have strong benefits to the sections.

I enthusiastically look forward to working with you all this year and what you, who indeed do the work of the association, will accomplish during my presidential year!

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