Brian E. C. Schottlaender, ALCTS President
Like all—or at least many—bureaucracies, ALCTS is often decried for being slow and cumbersome. The reasons bureaucracies are like the brontosaurs of yore are many, including complex multi-step processes, long lead times, arcane reporting requirements, and the like. Soon, I hope that ALCTS will be able to drop one item off this list of “bureaucratic encumbrances:” namely, hard-coded Bylaws.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines “by-law” as:
A ‘law’ or ordinance dealing with matters of local or internal regulation, made by a local authority, or by the members of a corporation or association. More particularly: An ordinance made by the members of a corporation for the better government of their own body, or for the regulation of their dealings with the public . . .
Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t think Bylaws that are specific as to what letter of the alphabet the Past President’s name must start with, or what day of the week the LRTS Editor has to submit her manuscript to ALA Publishing meet that definition. I am, of course, overstating the point in order to better make it: namely, that Bylaws as hard-coded as ours don’t do much by way of facilitating ALCTS’ “better government.” On the contrary, they hamper that government, rendering us as an organization whatever the opposite of nimble is (viz “slow and cumbersome” in the first paragraph above).
Is this, you’re perhaps wondering, a thinly-veiled ploy on Schottlaender’s part to get out the vote on the Bylaws revision? You bet it is! So, Web into http://www.ala.org/ALCTSTemplate.cfm?Section=Ballot&Template=/MembersOnly.cfm&ContentID=47394 and help ALCTS be the nimble organization we all want it to be.
p.s. ALCTS Councilor Bruce Johnson will shortly be presenting to ALA Council a Memorial Resolution upon the passing of our friend and colleague, Ann Sandberg-Fox. Ann was a rare cataloging intellect and a devoted ALCTS member who will be sorely missed.