Letters from ALCTS

charles wilt, alcts executive director

From the Office

Charles Wilt, ALCTS Executive Director

Volunteering in Tough Times

Believe it or not, even with the tough economic times and cutbacks in travel, ALCTS offers many opportunities to serve without having to spend money or travel to the ALA Midwinter Meeting or Annual Conference. So with that in mind, I thought I’d talk more about what ALCTS can do to help you identify such volunteer gigs.

Committee Member Volunteers

One of the most frequently asked questions that come across my email (or even in person) is that someone wants to be appointed to an ALCTS committee. Not surprising since that is maybe the most visible way a member can serve the association. Volunteering and then getting appointed to a committee is a time honored way to serve ALCTS, add some useful entries to your resume, get to know some people, and maybe launch an association volunteer career which will lead you to committee chairpersonships or higher office. ALCTS by and large has many opportunities than any of the other divisions, save ACRL, and we are always creating more.

In the past several years, we have opened up many more “virtual member” positions on committees especially those, like the ALCTS Publications Committee, that do a lot of work between conferences. Nearly all ALCTS division and many section committees have virtual members. So when you fill out the ALCTS volunteer form, remember to check the button for virtual member. The Division level committees often are overlooked because ALCTS members tend to think and act on their volunteering at the section level first thereby almost ignoring the really rich possibilities of serving on a Division committee.

Website Help Volunteers

The new website will always need people to help with the continuing work of keeping it up-to-date and interesting. With our new emphasis on the content rather the structure, there are many opportunities to volunteer to help out. However,until an easy development interface is ready, we need a few experienced volunteers to work with the content inventories assessing what has to be done and make important corrections and updates. Skills: basic HTML, previous CMS experience appreciated, CSS helpful, ColdFusion helpful. Training dates are TBA, but should be available soon and should be scheduled for Midwinter as well. There’s a lot of work to be done in areas that may not be related to any particular group. Once this has been done, the ongoing work of keeping out site highly visible with great content will fall more and more to volunteers to have the background and knowledge we need to keep the content fresh and worth viewing.

Contact Christine Taylor (ctaylor@ala.org) for all Web site volunteer opportunities or for more information.

Webinar Moderators and Presenters

One of the new initiatives for this year is the development and presentation of webinars. Webinars give us the chance to provide low cost professional development to our members and the library community in general. But we need volunteers. ALCTS is looking for moderators and presenters for webinars on a variety of topics beginning in the spring. Do you have an idea or a topic to share with your colleagues and gain some valuable experience? If so, contact Julie Reese in the office (jreese @ala.org).

E-forum Discussion Moderators

ALCTS has conducted many e-forums since last summer. These e-forums are moderated discussion over a period of two or three days on topics of interest, research, or problems. The moderator is responsible for identifying the topic, providing background to the participants, frame and lead the discussion. Get your name known. Lead a discussion. Contact either Charles Wilt (cwilt@ala.org) or Dina Giambi (dinag@udel.edu) if you are interested. A schedule of forthcoming e-forums will be coming to the Events page of the web site.

ALCTS Newsletter Online ( ANO) Reporters

ANO has always relied on reporters to cover the program, forums, and interest groups. Those reporters are still needed, so if you are interested contact Mary Beth Weber, ANO editor, (mbfecko@rci.rutgers.edu). With the new vision for ANO, that of bringing more news, more quickly to the readers, a new group of reporter will be needed. These volunteers would cover a content area and bring to ANO information that would be valuable to the ANO readers.

Getting Started

For all of the above except for volunteering for a committee, contact the person listed. For a committee, you’ll need to fill out the volunteer form under Member Groups in the middle of the ALCTS main web page. Now is the time to begin to think about volunteering. At Midwinter, the Leadership Development Committee holds its Volunteer Forum on Saturday morning at 10:30. This is a great chance for you to meet and talk with the new appointing officers: the ALCTS President-elect and the Section and CRG Chairs-elect.