From the President

Carol Pitts Diedrichs, ALCTS President

brian e.c. schottlaender " The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving." -- Joe Kita

Strategic Plan 2011
Strategic planning has become a common approach for most organizations. Many of you will have participated in the development of such a plan for your libraries. ALCTS embarked on strategic planning under the leadership of Brian Schottlaender and the Planning Committee in 2000. Our current plan set the direction of the association and keeps us on track with our goals. This plan went into effect in April 2001 and will take us through 2005. Outstanding progress has been made on the tactical goals in each area. But, we cannot rest on our successes; there is much left to be done, to continue our role as the foremost organization for technical services and collections librarians.

This summer at the 2004 Annual Conference, ALCTS embarked on a new strategic planning cycle. This is an opportunity for ALCTS to scan the environment, determine how we can best meet the needs of our membership, and set goals and priorities for the next five years (2006-2010). ALA's planning cycle is also beginning and through our own planning process, ALCTS is uniquely positioned to influence the ALA Plan.

Activities to date
Eighty plus division leaders met on Friday afternoon in Orlando in a three hour session facilitated by Maureen Sullivan and planned by Helen Reed, Planning Committee chair. In preparation for the retreat, division leaders were asked to respond to three questions:

  • What is ALCTS doing right that it should continue doing?
  • What is ALCTS not doing well or not doing that it should be doing?
  • What areas, issues and/or activities should ALCTS focus on in the near future?

Under a very tight timeline, Helen compiled the responses to serve as part of the agenda for the afternoon (see summary below). The results of this survey and the discussions will be used by the Planning Committee as one source of information for formulating the next draft plan.

In September, Helen Reed and Charles Wilt, ALCTS Executive Director, represented the association at a two day retreat involving ALA Division Presidents, the ALA Executive Board, division executive directors and senior ALA management. This provided the opportunity to promote ALCTS' concerns and priorities as they relate to the larger ALA planning process.

What's to come?
This fall the Planning Committee will conduct surveys of the general membership, non-conference attendees, and ALCTS non-members. This additional source of information will enable them to begin the process of compiling the Strategic Plan at Midwinter 2005 in Boston. The revision process will continue during Spring 2005 with a division-wide discussion of the draft plan at Annual Conference 2005 in Chicago. Another cycle of revisions will occur in Fall 2005. The final plan will be submitted to the ALCTS Board of Directors at the Midwinter Meeting in 2006 for implementation on July 1 ,2006. The tactical details will then follow.

Yes, this is a great deal of work. But, this thoughtful approach to gathering a wide range of input is essential to our future success. Our profession is changing rapidly; a large segment of our current membership will retire in the next decade. At the same time, an entirely new generation of librarians is making its way into the profession, and we must adapt to meet the needs that they have for professional growth and development. In 2011, we still want to be the association for librarians working in areas of technical services and collections - however those fields might be defined. Setting strategic goals and priorities followed by tactical initiatives to reach them will ensure our vitality and financial stability as an association.

Please provide your thoughts and input so that the association can meet your needs!

Top Five Results List

What is ALCTS doing right that it should continue doing?

  • Quality programming.
  • Continuing education opportunities through workshops, institutes and preconferences.
  • Publications including LRTS and the ALCTS Newsletter Online.
  • Formation of interest groups.
  • Communicating with new members.

What is ALCTS not doing well or not doing that it should be doing?

  • Streamline the organization
  • Move from the print world into the electronic/digital environment where we all live
  • Shorten the program planning timelines
  • Partner with other organizations
  • Offer more out of conference continuing education including Web -based courses

What areas, issues and/or activities should ALCTS focus on in the near future?

  • Recruit new members of all types including students and paraprofessionals
  • Promote ALCTS within and outside of ALA
  • Recruit new members from non-academic types of libraries
  • Offer continuing education via Web course, conference telecasts, and other alternative means
  • Enhance the Web site

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