Letters from ALCTS
From the President
Pamela Bluh, ALCTS President
Typically, at this time of year, the doldrums settle in, but not for ALCTS. This is a time of high energy, enthusiasm, and excitement. In my December 2007 column I described the “7 measures of success” and how we were using them to evaluate our programs and services. Prior to Midwinter, a survey based on the 7 measures was sent to several hundred ALCTS members. The survey generated an absolutely amazing response rate of over 40 percent and respondents did not simply tick off the check boxes but added many detailed comments as well.
At the ALA Midwinter Meeting, the Board reviewed the survey results and discovered a number of common themes that surfaced throughout the comments. These themes were then prioritized and three—Communication (including the Web); Collecting and Using Data; and Organizational Adaptability—clearly rose to the top. I asked each Director-at-Large, working with two Board members, to review one of the topics. These small groups are now evaluating our strengths and weaknesses in each of these areas. They will make recommendations by the end of February on what needs to be done to make improvements in these specific areas. It is my hope that, over time, we will be able to implement those recommendations that have the potential to allow ALCTS to thrive and prosper.
Using the 7 measures as a self-evaluation tool is a long-term activity. In the immediate future, as part of the emphasis on continuing education, we are collaborating with NISO to develop a webinar on library standards. If all goes according to plan, this will be offered in April. Be on the look-out soon for details.
After the submission of “On the Record,” the final report of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, the Board appointed a small task group to analyze the recommendations and report on those that have the potential to be coordinated by ALCTS. The members of the group include David Miller (Curry College, Milton, MA), chair; Diane Dates Casey (Governors State University, University Park, IL); John Chapman (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN); Kate Harcourt (Columbia University, New York, NY); Meg Mering (University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE); and Sally Smith (King County Library System, Issaquah, WA). They represent a spectrum of the ALCTS membership and have the expertise, depth of knowledge, and appreciation of the complex issues discussed in the report. The Board will receive their findings at the end of March 2008.
While we consider what sort of organization the ALCTS of the future will be, we have not lost sight of the things that shape the ALCTS of the present. The reports of programs, committees, discussion and interest groups, and forums that were held at Midwinter, and that are contained in this issue of ANO, reveal an excitement and energy that will lift your spirits and keep the doldrums at bay.
As always, I would be delighted to receive your comments and suggestions.