News & Features
My ALCTS Experience
Janet Swan Hill, University of Colorado Libraries
My ALCTS experience began in 1978 when, as a map cataloger entering the mainstream, I went to work for Karen Horny at Northwestern University. Karen was President-Elect of the Resources and Technical Services Division (RTSD), and with her help, I was appointed to the newly-formed Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA). The first years of CC:DA were turbulent, as we dealt with implementation of AACR2, desuperimposition, and whether description of microform reproductions should follow AACR2. As an introduction to work in ALA, CC:DA is surely atypical, but it taught me the satisfaction that comes from collaborative work; the pleasures of association with valued colleagues; and the importance of serving the profession. Later I served on other committees in the Cataloging and Classification Section (CCS) and ALCTS, and also as CCS’ Secretary. I even returned to CC:DA as ALA’s representative to the Joint Steering Committee (JSC), eventually serving on CC:DA for a total of eleven years.
While I was the JSC Representative, I was elected At Large to ALA Council, and I have been there nearly continuously since, first as a Councilor, and for the past two years as a member of ALA’s Executive Board. In the middle of my Council service, I was honored and delighted to be elected as President of ALCTS. Other Councilors wondered how I managed it, but ALCTS members would know that we ALCTS folks know how to work.
ALCTS is where my professional heart will always be, but I believe that service beyond the Division is also important, and since it is not to everyone’s taste, it is one more way I can serve ALCTS. Being on Council gives me a window on the profession at large, and an understanding of the overall context in which technical services exists. It provides opportunities to bring technical services viewpoints and knowledge to bear on the work of the Association, and to help those engaged in other specialties realize that technical services librarians are an integral, concerned, and essential part of the entire profession.