What a wonderful Midwinter conference we had in San Antonio. Mostly great weather, excellent restaurants, hospitable people in a welcoming city and everything within walking distance! It was nice to meet so many of our ALCTS members at the Membership Reception. A good time was had by all.
I would like to focus my column this month on the very important dues increase that ALA has been unveiling. We heard a lot about this in San Antonio, and I would like to reinforce the importance of this increase to ALCTS. This issue will be placed on the spring 2006 ballot.
ALA’s new strategic plan, ALA: Ahead to 2010, was written with the membership and with Division support and collaboration. The plan calls for an active and proactive association that reflects our desire for expanded advocacy, for more continuing education opportunities, expanded technological capabilities and efforts to increase public awareness of what we do as librarians. ALCTS shares these goals. In order for ALA to implement the new strategic plan, the dues increase needs to be approved.
The plan itself calls for a gradual implementation of the dues increase during 2007, 2008 and 2009. First year member dues would increase from the present level of $50 to $60 by 2009. Third year (and beyond) membership dues would go from $100 to $130 by 2009.
ALA membership dues have not been increased for ten years. For too many years, ALA has faced reduced budget and staff cuts. We are now at a critical point. To move ALA’s agenda forward, and in turn, to move us forward, a dues increase needs to be approved. The new strategic plan benefits ALCTS. If ALA is successful, then so is ALCTS. Please consider this carefully, and if you are interested in moving ALCTS forward, please show your support by voting for the dues increase.