From the President

Olivia M. A. Madison, ALCTS President

While each year ALCTS and its sections give several prestigious awards, the ALCTS President, beginning last year with Past President Bill Robnett, has the special opportunity to give presidential citations, to recognize important contributions that would not easily "fit" the criteria used for other standing division/section awards. At the mid-winter conference in Philadelphia I asked the Executive Board to consider nominating individuals for such special recognition. I received several excellent nominations - the selection process was difficult! Past-President Bill Robnett and President-Elect Brian Schottlaender, and I reviewed the nominations and selected four of them for recognition this year. Please join us in recognizing our four prestigious recipients of the ALCTS Presidential Citation Awards at the ALCTS President's Program (scheduled for Monday, June 23 in the Dominion Ballroom, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel at 8:30 am-noon).

  • John Attig - in recognition of his significant contributions in automating a tedious, labor-intensive document distribution process for AACR2 rule revision and standardizing the format for rule revision proposals.
  • Laura Sill and William Sill - in recognition of their technical and creative work in building a database infrastructure to support the maintenance of the division's Strategic and Tactical Plan. The database facilitates tactical planning initiatives from conception through implementation. It ensures that the ALCTS leadership has access to more precise management information with which to guide the division's business activities.
  • Ann Swartzell - in recognition of her excellent leadership and enthusiasm as chair of the ALCTS Organization & Bylaws Committee, particularly through the discussions and documentation of the proposed bylaws changes involving interest groups. Even with these extensive time commitments to the division she has contributed greatly to the leadership and programs of the Preservation and Reformatting Section.

The awards ceremony will be followed by the ALCTS President's Program, "Minding the Gap: Generational Issues in Recruitment and the Work Place." This program features Lynn Lancaster (Co-founder of BridgeWorks) and a panel featuring Mary Chute (Deputy Director for Library Services, Institute of Museum and Library Services) and Jessica Albano (Communications Studies Librarian, University of Washington). The program will explore generational differences encountered by libraries, and offers suggestions for ways librarians and staff of all generations can work better together, recruit new staff members and meet the needs of their multigenerational constituencies. Please come and learn what makes each of us tick differently!

ALCTS divisional and section programs will cover wide-ranging topics and the most impressive set of speakers that you can imagine. The biggest challenge for all of us will be picking programs to attend in a very busy conference venue. The programs underscore broad themes contained in our strategic plan.

Digital collections management highlights several intriguing and timely topics:

Digital Audio/Digital Video: Is Your Library/Media Center Digital Ready?
Digital Rights, Digital Wrongs: The Impact of International Copyright Law On What Gets Published (And What Librarians Can Buy)
Impact of Consortial Purchasing
Print & Electronic Approval Plans in the 21st Century
The Serials Pig in the Aggregator's Poke III
Hybrid Preservation Reformatting Options

Standards development and best practices remain essential program themes:

Don't Be Dysfunctional: How to Put FRBR in Your Future
Getting the Most Out of Subject References
ISBDs - Do We Still Need Them?
Metadata Harvesting
Options for Circulating & Reference Collections
Two Thumbs Up: Preservation Film Festival

Topics germane to building capacities, staff development, and professional leadership include:

Hands-On, Over, and Across: Preservation Education Abroad
Learning & Developing Leadership: Who's Responsible?
Mentoring Library Science Students for Cataloging
Why Can't Johnnie and Jane Get Published: Research Basics

Divisional governance remains a hallmark activity this year. At the Spring Executive Committee meeting, we continued discussions on how to make the Board of Directors a more effective management tool for ALCTS. We focused on realigning board membership and practices, and empowering ALCTS business committees to realize our programmatic and corporate responsibilities.

To these ends, the Board of Directors will discuss the following recommendations at our annual meeting in Toronto:

  • Add the Chair of Organization & Bylaws Committee to the board, thereby including three key operational committee chairs as board members.
  • Make the Chairs of the Planning, Budget & Finance, and Organization & Bylaws Committees ex-officio, voting board members, thereby increasing the connection between the board and the committees. Remove the ALCTS Newsletter Editor as a non-voting ex-officio member. This would leave the ALCTS Executive Director as the only non-voting, ex-officio board member.
  • At the end of each annual conference board meeting, formally turn the agenda over to the president-elect with all new board members in attendance. Operationally, this would be the first meeting of the new board and it would include discussion of the next meeting agenda and any appropriate business for the forthcoming year.
  • Change the officers of the association to be the president, president-elect, and past-president. This would add the past president as an officer thereby ensuring greater continuity for the officers, and streamlining the membership. ALCTS now has five officers, which include the president, president-elect, division councilor, Chair of Council of Regional Groups, and ALCTS Executive Director. For your information, while the officers of the association have legal liability for the association they are protected via ALA. However, being protected by ALA does not prevent someone naming officers of ALCTS in a lawsuit filed against ALCTS. This change would limit the number of officers and thereby decrease potential individual risk.
  • Assign board liaison responsibilities to the elected officers and directors-at-large for select operational division committees. This would provide more direct relationships between the board and these committees. Examples might include the president serving as the liaison to the Fundraising Committee, the president-elect to the Program Committee, a member-at-large to the Membership Committee, etc.

If you have any comments, questions, or other suggestions for these proposals, please don't hesitate to contact me ( or 515-294-1443).

If the ALCTS membership approves the creation of interest groups through the spring election process, at the annual conference the Board of Directors will determine the on-going status of the current divisional committees. Specifically, the Board would decide which divisional committees would remain as board committees, and the process by which the remaining divisional committees might chose to reconstitute themselves as Interest Groups or Discussion Groups or to discontinue completely as divisional governance units.

I sincerely hope that circumstances will provide you the opportunity to attend the ALA conference in Toronto. I look forward to seeing you at the ALCTS President's Program Meeting!

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