From the President

Carolynne Myall, ALCTS President 2012-13Carolynne Myall, ALCTS President 201213

ALCTS in the World

During the coming year, the ALCTS Board, along with other ALCTS groups, will work toward enhancing our association’s effectiveness in the library and information world. How will we seek to accomplish this goal?

Standards Development

The library profession, and particularly our components of it, relies on standards to define best practice and set future directions. First, to make ALCTS more effective in the world, we will position ALCTS to participate more actively—indeed, to lead—in creating and improving standards relevant to the functions ALCTS represents.

Just prior to Annual Conference in Anaheim, the boards of ALCTS and LITA, with the support of RUSA, voted to form the ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee. This new joint committee will play a leadership role in creating and developing metadata standards for bibliographic information. While continuing to monitor current metadata standards, the committee will focus most intensely on emerging ones. ALCTS and LITA are still discussing the structure of the committee, which is expected to begin its work at Midwinter Meeting 2013.

Taking a look at standards more generally is the ALCTS Standards Task Force. This TF recently began examining the ALCTS-relevant standards universe and our association’s participation in all parts of it. Next the TF will develop and recommend a division-level approach to involvement in standards work. With the help of this task force in sighting the way forward, ALCTS will, we hope, be able to participate in and guide development of standards pertinent to the range of functions our association covers.

Advocacy in Policy Development

Second, we hope to enhance ALCTS’ contribution to improving library services by expanding the association’s role in policy development. In response to a recommendation of the ALCTS Advocacy Task Force, the board plans to establish an ALCTS Advocacy Coordinating Group. This committee will scan the environment for policy discussions within ALCTS’ areas of interest, coordinate division involvement so we can respond promptly and strategically to issues, partner with other groups, and increase our influence in the development of policies critical to our work. On topics ranging from open access to the future of FDLP, ALCTS members have much to contribute to policy discussions. Through knowledgeable advocacy on pertinent issues, ALCTS will, we hope, increase its effectiveness in the world.

Advocacy for Technical Services

Following another recommendation of the Advocacy Task Force, the board plans to form a group to gather resources that help ALCTS members demonstrate and articulate the value of their functions in libraries. In the Reshaping ALCTS survey a few years ago, many members expressed a need for this form of “backroom advocacy.” By collecting pertinent facts, links, “elevator speeches,” and other aids and making them easily available on our website, we hope to enable ALCTS members to participate more confidently in their parts of the library world.

Revitalizing the ALCTS Publishing Program

The ALCTS Publishing Review Task Group submitted its final report in July. This remarkable document recommends strategies and directions for revitalizing our publishing program, with the goals of stimulating research in ALCTS areas of interest, providing publishing opportunities for members, and producing outstanding content. ALCTS staff, the board, and the Publications Committee will implement the report’s recommendations during the coming year. Meeting these goals for the publishing program will establish ALCTS as the leading voice in its areas of interest.

Continuing Education

Our extensive, varied array of web courses, webinars, and forums—offered at reasonable or no cost—touches the lives of library staff who work in all kinds of libraries, including staff who are unable to attend conferences or who live at great distances. The ALCTS CE program provides access to new ideas and best practices, and connects library staff with each other. During the coming year, CE will continue to be an important part of ALCTS’ presence in the world.

And There’s More. . .

But I will leave other items for the next newsletter. It will be a busy year, and I thank all of you in advance for your contributions.

At Annual Conference, I was happy to have the chance to meet many of you and watch you in action. ALCTS members are smart, conscientious, and fun. (“Fun” is high on my list of values!) Thank you for your dedication to library service and to our association. And keep those ideas and suggestions coming. I look forward to hearing them: please contact me at cmyall@ewu.edu.