Letters from ALCTS

m. dina giambi, alcts president 2008-2009

From the President

M. Dina Giambi, ALCTS President 2008-2009

Creating the Future of ALCTS

A frequently cited quote by Charles Darwin is “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.”

Change has been occurring in the organization of the specializations represented by ALCTS for a number of years. For many library staff, the current ALCTS section structure defined by acquisitions, cataloging and classification, collection management and development, continuing resources, and preservation and reformatting that once reflected library organizational patterns is outdated, and no longer mirrors how the work is structured within their libraries.

ALCTS has made a variety of changes in recent years. In 2007, the ALCTS Board implemented the delegation of authority policy by which division committees were given the authority to make decisions on a broader scale without Board approval. The membership voted to modify the bylaws so that all discussion groups became interest groups; the ALCTS Board of Directors was expanded by adding the Chairs of the division “Committees of the Board;” and the Serials Section was renamed the Continuing Resources Section to reflect current terminology. Other committees and interest groups in the division and sections have changed their names and charges to reflect changes in the field. The Preservation and Reformatting Section is in the process of consolidating its committees and interest groups and the Organization and Bylaws Committee is conducting a systematic review and revision of the bylaws.

However, these changes are still occurring within the existing section structure. It is now time to examine that structure with an eye towards a different organizational structure that will transform ALCTS into an association that can serve its existing members better and attract the future members that are needed to continue to thrive. Increased membership participation is another critical goal.

A thoughtful and provocative series of articles by Charles Wilt, ALCTS Executive Director, will serve as the foundation on which to begin serious division-wide discussion on the issues that need to be considered.

Responses from the 7 Measures of Success membership survey that was conducted in 2007-2008 offer suggestions for actions that ALCTS can take to excel at organizational adaptability. Find the responses online.

A task force composed of the 2008-2009 ALCTS Directors-at-Large has been appointed to continue examining the topic of organizational adaptability by investigating the different models used by other professional organizations/associations and the potential goals and outcomes that would be achieved by a different ALCTS structure. The ALCTS Board of Directors will discuss the task force’s report electronically prior to the 2009 Midwinter Meeting and continue the discussion in person in Denver.

Members will be invited to participate in ALCTS e-forums between the 2009 Midwinter Meeting and the 2009 Annual Conference, and a forum will be held at 2009 Annual in Chicago. The ALCTS Facebook page established by the ALCTS Membership Committee serves as another venue for discussion.

Additional opportunities for member input will be identified.

Will a new name be in store for ALCTS? Yes, I think that is in our future, too! Let us create that new organizational structure first before we name it!

The theme of ALCTS’ 50th anniversary year in 2007 was “Commemorating Our Past, Celebrating Our Present; Creating Our Future.” I invite you to join your ALCTS colleagues as we work together to explore, define, transform, and create the future of ALCTS!