From the President

Brian E. C. Schottlaender, ALCTS President

brian e.c. schottlaender In the “Statement of Concern” included in the Presidential Interest Form I completed when I stood for the office in 2002, I noted that “. . . ALCTS is moving forward in a concerted manner to embrace what our Strategic Plan describes as an environment ‘in which traditional library roles are evolving.’ The Division’s collective challenge, now, is to maintain our momentum.” I went on to add:

I am eager to work with my ALCTS colleagues to promote and consolidate our leadership position within the information community. We have much to offer in the arenas of standards development, best practices, and education. I look forward to our actively pursuing opportunities for collaborative partnerships with other colleagues, inside ALA and outside . . . As exciting as these opportunities for forward movement are, they will be accompanied by challenges as well. It will be incumbent upon us to remain nimble and flexible in responding to the evolving landscape. We shall need to ensure that our membership is healthy: growing, diverse, well educated and trained. And, we shall want to manage our resources carefully as we work toward accomplishing our strategic objectives.

I concluded that “I know I shall enjoy working with all the Division’s members and leaders in embracing our opportunities and rising to our challenges.”

During this past year—a year that has flown by, as I was warned it would—we have not simply maintained momentum but if anything, accelerated it. Our partnership with the Library of Congress in effecting several of the recommendations brought forward during the Bicentennial Conference on Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium has resulted in plans for improving curricula in library/information science schools by preparing students with core competencies for technical services, and for addressing the continuing education needs of library technical services practitioners by enhancing core competencies among catalogers. In this latter regard, ALCTS is actively pursuing collaborating with the Cataloging Distribution Service for the delivery of continuing education content to ALCTS members.

In 2003–2004 the Division devoted considerable attention to refining its Board structure with an eye toward ensuring that our business activities (education, membership, programs, publications) are well integrated and coordinated. At the same time, we took steps, by deploying the Interest Group concept, to position the Division to be maximally responsive to the membership’s evolving topical interests. To date, three Interest Groups have been created: Catalog Form & Function, Network Resources & Metadata, and Publisher/Vendor Library Relations. A fourth and a fifth, Scholarly Communications and Electronic Resources, are the process of formation; others are no doubt on the way. The Interest Group is the perfect vehicle for remaining “nimble and flexible in responding to the evolving landscape.”

Unfortunately our membership ranks declined slightly during the past year, about 3%. Our financial health continues to improve. After a few “transitional” years (during which time our office operations were separated from LAMA’s), we are on more solid ground financially, particularly as we prepare for the next fiscal year.

The foregoing accomplishments are a testament to your hard work and dedication. Board and Executive Committee, Sections and CRG, committees, task forces, Executive Director and office staff: one and all, you have truly embraced our opportunities and risen to our challenges. The pleasure and the privilege to have served as your President have been entirely mine—thank you!

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