Letters from ALCTS

charles wilt, alcts executive director

From the Office

Charles Wilt, ALCTS Executive Director


If you look at Hopper's Nighthawks (1942, Art Institute of Chicago), what strikes you is the way he uses light. It shadows the figures. It is that high intensity “diner” light that everyone who has ever been in one knows. It brings your eye directly into the space occupied by the inhabitants of that “diner” environment. Light emphasizes or de-emphasizes. Light can focus us on a specific or illuminate the whole. But what of the other light; the light that informs, is a realization, is an idea.

We, as an association, deal in light, but we do not think of it as such. We talk about informing people, transferring information, but what we are doing is to bring light to someone. We do this by providing opportunities for people to learn, interact, read, consider, think, and be inspired. We do this through programs, publications, volunteering, and networking.

Maybe this does not make much sense, but when you consider that by doing what we do (I mean ALCTS as an organization) we are guiding people into new areas of interest, exposing them to new ways of doing things, in effect, lighting their way down a path that they may not have taken. I will stop slightly short of an epiphany moment, like Paul on the road to Damascus. It is however helping individuals to expand their horizons a bit. We shed light on issues for those not involved. Consider the popularity of our forums and programs. We spotlight our rich heritage. This year is particularly important for celebrating our accomplishments, our members, and our future.

It is the very nature of an association like ALCTS to spread light into, shed light on, enlighten, highlight, light a pathway, and be a source of light. It is also the very nature of ALCTS to be light (as in nimble or having nimble-osity or nimbility) with a touch of light (as in not serious).