My ALCTS Experience

carol pitts diedrichs, alcts past president

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My ALCTS Experience

Carol Pitts Diedrichs, University of Kentucky


As I read the most recent ANO and about our plans for the 50th anniversary of ALCTS and LRTS, I was reminded that 2006 is my twenty-fifth year of membership in ALA and ALCTS!

My involvement in ALCTS has followed a traditional path:

  • Participation in discussion groups which led to my first presentation at ALA and subsequent publication
  • Working in the Acquisitions Section going back when there was no "section" for acquisitions librarians. Instead, we had an Acquisitions Committee as a part of ALCTS' precursor, the Resources and Technical Services Division. Imagine the competition of trying to get an appointment to that committee!
  • Serving on the committee which formulated the proposal to establish two separate sections for collections and acquisitions, which are now the Collection Management and Development (CMDS) and Acquisitions (AS) sections
  • Joining the ALCTS Board for the first time as chair of the Acquisitions Section
  • Taking a break from intense ALCTS involvement to work within NASIG and serving on its Board
  • Returning to ALCTS work at the division level including time as a Director-at-Large

In 2003, I was invited to run for ALCTS President. As I considered that invitation while I was also being considered for my current position as Dean of Libraries at the University of Kentucky, my good friend, Brian Schottlaender, reminded me that it was time to "put up or shut up!" I stood for election and was elected President. One key factor in my decision to run for President was the ALCTS staff, in particular the leadership that Charles Wilt brings to our division. The second was the opportunity to work with the presidents who had preceded me, in particular, Brian and Olivia Madison.

Each level of involvement has enriched my work life as well as my personal life. I always return to the office after an ALCTS event, re-energized, full of new ideas, and reminded of why I chose this profession in the first place.

But, underlying those somewhat obvious and predictable reasons, are the personal relationships I have enjoyed. While I certainly remember many activities from a spectrum of ALA conferences including the event-packed year I spent as ALCTS President, the most memorable occasions are the lunches, dinners, and drinks with friends, new and old.

Even now at the director level where my interests must by necessity broaden, ALCTS will always be my home division. experience alcts