From the Office

Charles Wilt, ALCTS Executive Director

Charles Wilt, ALCTS Executive Director

ALCTS at 55

I know, it’s hard to believe that ALCTS is 55 this year. How time flies. We were just 50, but never over the hill. We are a Boomer association by age, but, hey, 55 is the new 25. Right?

Being 55 does mean that ALCTS is eligible for Social Security in just 11½ years (age 66½) going by our birth year of 1957. Feeling old? Let’s see, that would mean we could retire in 2023. I know, if you were born in 1957 and are reading this, you don’t need to be reminded.

So if you were born in 1957 and had 11½ years before you retired, what would be on your list of “to do’s before I retire”?

  • Climb Mt. McKinley?
  • Learn to scuba dive?
  • Play Pebble Beach?
  • Take a world cruise?
  • See Paris in the springtime?
  • Write your novel?
  • Be a candidate for ALCTS President?
  • Save more money for retirement?

Except for saving more money, those other ambitions aren’t really attainable for an organization like ALCTS. Well, I guess we could sponsor a trip to Alaska or a cruise or a golf outing.

In any event, if we could do a little wishful thinking, what could ALCTS do before it “retires”? I’d like to know if you have ideas. Write me at if you’d like. Use “ALCTS Retires” in the subject line. Keep your ideas clean, please.

Here are a few ideas of my own:

  • Have a 60th birthday party in 2017 in Chicago prior to Annual.
  • Start a line of ALCTS products for sale rivaling ALA Graphics (actually this is Julie’s idea).
  • Hold Section virtual conferences.
  • Increase membership to what—4,500? 5,000?
  • Grow Preservation Week into ALA’s premier celebration week (watch out National Library Week).
  • Okay, since I mentioned it, sponsor a cruise.
  • Have more fun.

I’m sure there are many others, but I’m writing this on a Friday afternoon and I’ve run out of really good ideas. So think about what ALCTS should do before “retiring.” The results might be interesting and informative.

Contact Charles Wilt (