My ALCTS Experience
Peggy Johnson, University of Minnesota Libraries
Describing my ALCTS experience would take more than a brief piece in the ALCTS Newsletter Online. I have been a member of ALCTS for nearly thirty years. My first appointment was to a joint ACRL/ALCTS committee on non-print media. Many others followed through the years, but I remember that first appointment well because a contact I made through that committee resulted in both my first publication and first conference presentation. ALCTS cannot be topped as a professional venue for exploring, researching, discussing, publishing, and presenting.
Early in my career, attending conference programs and regional workshops was a critical part of staying current with what was being accomplished in other libraries. ALCTS publications remain central to my professional development. As the current editor of Library Resources & Technical Services ( LRTS), I have the added bonus of reading everything before anyone else! Even more important for me as a means of remaining well-informed has been the professional contacts that I have developed through ALCTS involvement.
ALCTS was the Resources and Technical Services Division (RTSD) when I became a member. I remember much discussion in 1989 over whether or not we would say the letters of the new name individually (as had been done with R.T.S.D.) or make up a word and, if so, how it would be pronounced. Now “a-LEX” sounds nearly normal, but did not back in 1989. We cannot, however, claim that LRTS sounds like anything but the name of a character in the "Addams Family" TV series.
My ALCTS division work has focused on what has been, over time and name changes, the Acquisitions Section, the Resources Section, and the Collection Management and Development Section, with brief forays into the work of Cataloging and Classification Section committees. I served on the board for three years as a director-at-large, and another three years as president elect, president, and past president.
ALCTS has given me something more important than opportunities for professional development, service, publishing, and presenting. I value ALCTS because I have gained my best librarian friends—in fact, some of my best friends—through my years as a member.