My ALCTS Experience
M. Dina Giambi, University of Delaware Library
The question “Would you be interested in an appointment to the Micropublishing Committee?” resulted in the start of my ALCTS experience in 1992. It is one example of the opportunities, both expected and unexpected, that are possible in a volunteer association.
Although I had been a member of ALA since I graduated from library school in 1978, I did not discover ALCTS until 1989. The Micropublishing Committee, in the then Reproduction of Library Materials Section, was not among the committees in which I had expressed an interest using the old paper ALCTS volunteer form. However, the appointing officer noticed that I had supervised a microforms unit for several years as part of my responsibilities as a serials librarian. Micropublishing seemed a perfect fit. I enthusiastically accepted that first appointment, eventually chairing the committee in the new Preservation and Reformatting Section. The committee subsequently became a discussion group, and in time broadened its focus and evolved to become the Micro/Digital Publishers Discussion Group which is now inactive.
In 1996, I was appointed to the Acquisitions Section, Acquisitions Organization and Management Committee (AOM), the committee that had been my first choice back in the early ’90s. Other unexpected opportunities along the way include serving as AOM Chair, Leadership Development Committee Chair, and ALCTS Board Liaison to the Membership Committee and standing for election as Acquisitions Section Chair, ALCTS Director-at-Large, and ALCTS Vice-President/President-Elect.
ALCTS also offers the opportunity to develop and plan programs, discussion and interest group meetings, forums, etc. It is very satisfying to be involved in a process that presents worthwhile information that conference attendees can put to use in their home institutions and organizations. The first program committee that I co-chaired with Bill Wibbing presented "Prepare-Negotiate-Evaluate-Succeed: The Many Sides of the Library Negotiation Table" at ALA Annual in 1997.
Throughout my ALCTS experience, I have had the privilege to meet and work with many amazing and dedicated individuals representing all sizes and types of libraries. It has been an enriching learning experience from which I have grown both personally and professionally. What a way to make friends, too!
ALCTS may offer opportunities that you never anticipated. Consider them carefully. Take a chance and stretch yourself. You never know where those opportunities may lead you. Someday you too may be in the position of offering someone his or her first ALCTS experience.