Letters From ALCTS

charles wilt, alcts executive director

From the Office

Charles Wilt, ALCTS Executive Director

Focus

In the past year, we “focused” on celebrating our 50th Anniversary. From all indications, it was a grand success and that focus elevated ALCTS’ profile substantially for the members, within ALA and outside. Now, what do we do? To stay “focused” that is, so the momentum we achieved this past year is not left to die out. Regaining momentum is always harder than maintaining it.

Although the 50th Anniversary was an easy event to focus on with all its publicity and gatherings and the conference and the programming and of course the cake, it really is one of many events that we can identify on which to focus our energies. These other ones might not be as splashy as the 50th Anniversary, but in the longer term, they might well be just as important.

The 50th Anniversary showed us that we have much to celebrate. We have accomplished much. We have influenced much. We are proud to be ALCTS. So now let us look at what we can focus on for the future as we continue to enhance our accomplishments and as our 50th slogan says, “Create our Future.”

We, first and foremost, have our brand new strategic plan. This new plan should be a main focus for all members over the next several years. It will drive where we go, how we get there and the outcomes that we will achieve. The plan is a living dynamic document and should be seen as worthwhile on which to focus our efforts. Within the plan, there is much to focus on, particularly those goals that demand that we continue to create and develop meaningful products and services for our members and the library community. In many cases, if ALCTS does not take the lead on creating CE, publications, and the like, those products will not be created.

As I mentioned in my last two articles, “Design” and “Structure,” we are the keepers of our own fate. How do we improve who we are and the way we interact with ourselves, new and potential members, ALA, and other organizations? We could focus on making improvements to ALCTS to create a future association that provides many avenues of opportunities for those members just now coming into ALCTS.

Succession planning is an interesting topic I have come across over the last few years. We have incorporated it somewhat in how we choose and appoint committee chairs and how the nominating committee selects candidates. Succession planning is not just replacing ourselves. It is creating opportunities for potential leaders to emerge and gain that valuable experience that is needed to become a leader in ALCTS. One more focus for us would be to consciously move in a direction that continually promotes leadership roles to upcoming generations of potential leaders. And begin to identify members who want to take on that responsibility and mentor them.

So as you can see, there is no lacking of “focus” opportunities. What we need to engage ourselves from now on, just as we “focused” ourselves this past year.

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