Candidates for ALCTS President Offer Statements of Concern

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Bruce Chr. Johnson

Team Leader, Cataloger’s Desktop Development Team, Library of Congress

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Jane Treadwell

University Librarian and Dean of Library Instructional Services, University of Illinois at Springfield

Technical services’s role is evolving rapidly. We now need to go well beyond our traditional support roles to use our skills in cataloging, acquisition, organization, and preservation to invent new ways to unite information with information seekers. Realigning technical services on this scale is a formidable challenge that can be catalyzed through your involvement in ALCTS.

ALCTS must respond to the growing need for professional development and encourage current and future ALCTS members to be forward thinking. We need to provide stimulating programs that challenge our membership while coordinating with groups whose publishing, education, and training interests intersect and enrich our own.

Our organization needs to consider new ways to deliver value, such as webcasting ALCTS-unique content and developing effective support and training programs for paraprofessionals with an interest in technical services. ALCTS leaders and members can be vital agents of change, transforming the information envelope and energizing our profession. With your help, we will lead the way.

ALCTS celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2007. As we approach this milestone, it’s a good time to reflect on our successes: ALCTS has provided a learning community for countless technical services, preservation, and collection development librarians. The division has enjoyed exceptional leadership, consistently strong programs, and excellent publications, and has developed and implemented a planning process that would be the envy of many a Fortune 500 company. In order to build upon these successes, I believe that there are several key actions that the division should take. These include:

  • Promote the value of collections and technical services as core service functions of the library, and market ALCTS membership vigorously. In particular, we should continue to reach out to paraprofessional staff as potential members. Much of the day-to-day work of technical services is performed by paraprofessionals. They would benefit enormously from what ALCTS has to offer, and ALCTS would benefit from having more of these dedicated library staff members as members of our division.
  • Strengthen our partnerships in North America, both within ALA and beyond, and reach out further with more global collaboration. For instance, ALCTS could investigate partnering with organizations such as the Mortenson Center for International Librarianship at the University of Illinois. We should address the question of how librarians in developing countries may benefit from the expertise of ALCTS members and what we may learn from the experience of librarians in other countries.
  • Expand our online education offerings. The wonderful programming that we create for institutes and preconferences could be extended to many more people if we offered more opportunities for learning and development online.

The ALCTS strategic plan recognizes that “traditional library roles are evolving.” ALCTS will continue to attract and retain members by helping to equip individuals with the tools they need to succeed in this changing information environment. As we lay the foundation for the future of our division, let us remember to celebrate all of our accomplishments! I would be honored to serve ALCTS in its golden anniversary year.