The Association's Associations: ALCTS - "For" Not "Of"

Charles Wilt, ALCTS Executive Director

Being an association "for" something, not "of" something, implies a commitment to whatever that something may be: a commitment, in this case, to an idea, a concept, a "thing". It is "for" library collections and technical services, as our name states, the Association "FOR" Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS).

So what does "FOR" really mean? It means to favor, to support, to be interested in, and to advocate. Pulling the thesaurus from the shelf, we find a few more interesting iterations: beneficial to, in contemplation of, in consideration of, in honor of, on behalf of, on the part of, and with respect to.

So what does the "FOR" stand for in ALCTS? That "FOR" involves the Association and its members in advocating standards, best practices, education, professional development, and information exchange in acquisitions, cataloging and classification, collection management and development, preservation and reformatting, and serials. It also advocates for developing a membership and an association, which supports these activities in these areas.

"FOR" STANDARDS
It means developing, evaluating, revising, and promoting standards for creating, collecting, organizing, delivering, and preserving information resources in all forms for all types and sizes of libraries.

"FOR" BEST PRACTICES
It means researching, developing, evaluating, and promoting best practices for creating, collecting, organizing, delivering, and preserving information resources in all forms for the entire library community.

"FOR" EDUCATION
It means assessing the need for, sponsoring, developing, administering, and promoting educational programming and resources for life-long learning for the most experienced librarian to the novice support staff.

"FOR" PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
It means providing opportunities for professional development through research, scholarship, publication, and professional service through our publications Library Resources and Technical Services, ALCTS Newsletter Online, and a variety of other outlets.

"FOR" INTERACTION AND INFORMATION EXCHANGE
It means creating opportunities to interact and exchange information with others in the library and information communities.

"FOR" MEMBERSHIP
It means attracting, developing, and providing opportunities to the traditional ALCTS member, librarians working in ALCTS areas, and identifying potential members among library support staff, those working in non-traditional information positions, students, and vendors, and then attracting them to ALCTS membership

"FOR" ASSOCIATION OPERATIONS
It means ensuring efficient use of association resources and effective delivery of member services, so that "FOR" can continue to advocate.

That "FOR" stands for ideas and concepts developed and nurtured by ALCTS members from which the entire library community benefits. That "FOR" means ALCTS members serve on a wide variety of committees and task forces, on an international scale. That "FOR" means that ALCTS members advocate.

If you are "FOR" acquisitions, cataloging, serials, preservation, and collection management and development in the broadest of all possible definitions, then ALCTS is the place "FOR" you. Are you ready? Go to www.ala.org/alcts.

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