Get Involved in Your Association and the Future of Your Profession!

Brian E.C. Schottlaender, ALCTS Vice President/President-Elect

The time has arrived when the Section Chairs-Elect and I are in the throes of making appointments to ALCTS committees. Committee appointments currently being made are effective for two years immediately after the 2003 Annual Conference in Toronto. Appointments are also made when committee vacancies occur. As always, our volunteers-you-are vital to our continued success!

I understand and appreciate the many demands on your time and energy. However, as President-Elect and on behalf of your Section Chairs-Elect, I urge you to consider joining us in advancing the work of the division. Committee work not only gives you the chance to shape the future of our association and profession; it is a unique opportunity to share experiences and solutions with colleagues, polish skills needed in your daily work, and receive the exposure you need for your next promotion or tenure interview.

In my own life, the experience I gained and friendships I formed working with Technical Services and Collection Development "Big Heads," CC:DA, the Margaret Mann Citation Committee, the ALCTS Budget & Finance and Planning Committees, and the ALCTS Board have stood me in good stead and are an enduring benefit and pleasure, personally and professionally. Other ALCTS colleagues say much the same thing about their own experiences. Manuel Urrizola, Chair of the ALCTS Membership Committee, has done a great deal of work these past six months implementing our ALCTS membership business plan. He says, "Volunteering to serve on an ALCTS committee is the best thing I ever did. I meet many people I used to only know by name from e-mail lists. I'm always learning more about the inner workings of the ALCTS Board and the ALCTS staff. Being a committee chair means increased professional development funds from my library for conference attendance."

"Serving on a committee allows me to contribute to my professional association. I work with dynamic, forward-thinking colleagues who see the larger framework within which local library practices operate. It's a gratifying experience," says Norm Medeiros, Chair of the Cataloging and Classification Section's (CCS) Policy and Research Committee. He is also the program planning chair for the program "Metadata Harvesting: Using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol to Expose the Deep Web" that CCS will present at Annual Conference in Toronto this coming summer.

"I highly recommend serving on ALCTS committees to everyone, but especially if you're tenure-track," states Diane Dates Casey, member of the CCS Policy and Research Committee. "Not only will you keep ahead of the curve with what's out on the horizon in the profession, but you will have the opportunity to work closely with many of the top scholars in the field. Much of the research that goes on in ALCTS committees can be used toward your requirement to produce scholarship. Of course, serving on an ALCTS committee will count towards service to the profession in your tenure process. Finally, your colleagues on ALCTS committees are usually delighted to provide letters of recommendation for promotion and tenure. And once you are tenured, your turn will come to mentor those new tenure-track librarians on ALCTS committees."

Getting involved in your association through committee work offers many benefits both personally and professionally. You can . . .

  • Learn, develop, and polish professional skills to help you in your career. Working in a committee is a great way to develop professional skills such as teamwork, problem solving, delegation, editing, policy writing, organization, creative thinking, publishing, program development and planning, project management, recruitment, research, interpersonal communication, public relations, organizational management, and marketing.
  • Network. While meeting and working with colleagues from other institutions you will not only learn from and share your valuable experiences, but also have fun doing it!
  • Gain exposure. Whether you are looking for your first job, a promotion, tenure, or recognition in the profession, working on a committee can help you get the exposure you need for your career.

ALCTS derives its strong voice in the profession from the abilities, energies, and commitment of our members. For a list of committees, their charges, and ongoing activities, please see the appropriate section page or the division committee page on the ALCTS Web site.

To volunteer for an ALCTS committee, please complete the online volunteer form in the ALCTS Manual or contact the ALCTS office at (800) 545-2433, ext. 5038.

Thank you for making ALCTS the exciting and dynamic association it is today, and for assuring our continued prominence in the profession.

back to alcts newsletter online home