From the President

Olivia M. A. Madison, ALCTS President

While the weather was bone-chillingly cold, Philadelphia warmly welcomed our steadfast conference attendees at the 2003 Midwinter ALA Conference. A substantial amount of ALCTS business was conducted during the conference, and ALCTS members had an extremely enjoyable ALCTS reception on Saturday night - complete with a surprise raffle and a delicious reception buffet!

In-depth discussions took place throughout division and section meetings regarding the proposed formation of division and sectional "interest groups." The strategic goal for the creation of interest groups is to provide more robust and improved mechanisms for the division and sections to address timely topics with programs, discussions, and publications that are important to our members.

The ALCTS Board of Directors approved the Organization and Bylaws (O&B) Committee's proposed bylaws amendments that will enable the establishment of interest groups at the division and section levels. Therefore, you will find on the ALCTS 2003 ballot two revisions to the ALCTS Bylaws that provide for the creation of interest groups.

The interest group structure could be an expanded alternative for our more content-centered committees. For the division, these committees might include Commercial Technical Services, Catalog Form and Function, Research and Statistics, etc. As interest groups, committees could provide discussion forums at midwinter meetings with broader audiences than what committee meeting space allows as well as doing the current work that would still need to be accomplished. Interest groups would also provide much greater functionality for the more narrowly defined discussion groups given that interest groups, unlike discussion groups, can hold programs at annual meetings, write publications, plan institutes and preconferences, and benefit from formal publicity mechanisms.

Our strategic plan calls for a more fluid flow of information to our members and development of increased mechanisms for publication avenues, research opportunities, and informal interchange. The Board of Directors firmly believes that the interest group structure will provide a stronger governance framework to meet these needs. As you will see from the text of the amendments, the proposed governance language is very general and is designed to provide a flexible structure for the varying needs of different interest groups. If the division membership approves the proposed enabling language, O&B will prepare recommended governing procedures for Board discussion and approval. I look forward to the future that interest groups can provide us as we continually identify better ways to expand our communication and discussion mechanisms! I hope you will agree and vote yes to these two bylaws amendments.

For more detailed information, please see the FAQ on interest groups that O&B has included in this newsletter.

I am certain that you will be very impressed with the 2003 election slate for the division, our sections, and CRG. I do want to take this special opportunity to thank the ALCTS Nominations Committee (ably chaired by Carlen Ruschoff with Debra Hackleman, Myron Chace, William Garrison, Linda Smith Griffin, Karen Schmidt, and Nancy Stanley) for their excellent work in developing an exceptionally well-qualified slate of candidates. It is heartening for me to see what a strong cast of leaders we have at the division and section levels, leaders who are willing to serve our membership in such important ways.

As I mentioned in my last column, the Board of Directors did participate in an effective workshop on board management with Marianne Hartzell as our facilitator. I believe the result was a clearer understanding of board member roles as well as roles of those divisional committees that are extensions of the board (e.g., Budget & Finance, Planning, Membership, Fundraising, etc.). The Board will be reviewing its charge, expanding on the leadership roles of its elected at-large members, clarifying the dual roles of section members (i.e., representing section interests and acting for the division as a whole), increasing opportunities for exploratory and evaluative discussions while minimizing routine operational activities, and, most importantly, expanding its strategic leadership role.

The Board of Directors and the Fundraising Committee also benefited from a superb workshop on ALCTS Sponsorship Fund Raising with Irene Hoffman as its facilitator. I know the outcome was a much clearer view of fund raising opportunities and an awareness that all ALCTS members should assist in our sponsored fundraising efforts. I also want to take this opportunity to thank our Fundraising Committee (ably chaired by Pamela Bluh with Frank D'Andraia, Susan Davis, Harriet Lightman, Ann Sandberg-Fox, Basil Sozansky, and Dale Swensen) for its outstanding successes in raising support for our midwinter reception and midwinter symposium as well as identifying an extensive array of prestigious sponsors for our annual conference. In light of our growing emphases on shared roles, I would like to list our 2003 sponsors and ask that if you have any opportunity to do so, please thank any of their representative(s) whom you may meet at your own institution, in ALA exhibit booths, and/or at ALCTS events!

The Business of Acquisitions
      Principal Sponsor: The Library Corporation
      Sponsors: Casalini Libri, Majors Scientific Books, and Midwest Library Services

ALCTS Midwinter Symposium
      Sponsors: Springer Verlag New York and Swets Blackwell

ALCTS Membership Reception
      Sponsor: Yankee Book Peddler

AACR2 & Metadata Institute, 2003-Berlin, Germany
      Sponsor: Otto Harrassowitz

ALCTS President's Program for 2003 Annual Conference
      Sponsor: Elsevier

      Sponsor: Library Binding Institute

ALCTS SS Program: Serials Pig in the Aggregators Poke III
      Sponsor: Collection Development & Management Interest Group, Canadian Library Association

ALCTS CMDS Program: New Seal of Approval: Print & Electronic Approval Plans in the 21st Century
      Sponsor: Collection Development & Management Interest Group, Canadian Library Association

In closing, I am pleased to report that the ALCTS division is operating at full capacity and it is due to the service of hundreds of talented ALCTS members and an energetic and dedicated office staff. I thank you all!

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