From the Office: The Final Problem

Charles WiltYes, what you think you heard is probably true.

At the ALCTS Member Reception at Midwinter I asked Genevieve Owens, ALCTS President, for a few minutes.

And here is what I said:

“I am fortunate and honored to have been your executive director for almost 13 years. But like with everything else, there comes that moment when you begin thinking that it might be time to step aside and let someone else take over. That moment has been slowly arriving for me. So without belaboring the point, I have informed Genevieve and the Board that I will retire as ALCTS Executive Director next February, February 2015, just after Midwinter in Chicago.

Genevieve, Mary Page, ALCTS President-elect, the Executive Committee and the Board have already begun work to ensure a smooth transition to a new executive director then. You’ll hear more as that work progresses.”

Ah, but you don’t get off that easy. There is work to do. Many of you will be involved and everyone needs to make sure that the new Executive Director is made to feel welcomed and, above all, given your support.

Your support and work over the next year will be crucial. Task one is to make the ALCTS Executive Director position an attractive position for potential applicants. This we can do by continuing to produce the high-quality programs and publications and CE we are known for. We need to continue to explore new things like more virtual symposia, not tied to conference. We need to encourage potential authors to publish with ALCTS, by not making the process onerous and by giving them multiple ways of publishing. We need to make sure that ALCTS is sound financially and organizationally. Over the years, ALCTS has made significant strides to improve what we do, embrace new things, and become the leader we have become. Like I always have said, I find it a compliment to have some here ask me “so, what is ALCTS up to now?” And the answer is never, “no good.”

Continuing with my remarks:

“It has been my distinct pleasure to serve as your executive director. ALCTS is by far the very best division in ALA and a great organization to be associated with. Your hard work has made it an exceptional experience for me.” It is one that I am forever grateful to have had.

The last comment I made in my remarks had to do with a News article I wrote for the September 2012 issue on “Knowing.” There is no doubt in my mind that the one truly exceptional part of being ALCTS Executive Director is having the opportunity to meet the people I have met and gotten to know. It is also, to me, the most remarkable part of being a member of ALCTS. Where else can you possibly meet the people you meet, get to know, and become friends with?

So, back to the work we have ahead of us. Brian Schottlaender will chair the ALCTS Executive Director search committee. You’ll see more about the search in the late spring and summer. Take some time to think about who you would like to see as the next Executive Director. Maybe it’s you. Encourage people to apply when the time comes. I cannot recommend it highly enough. And you get to work at ALA and live in Chicago. How cool is that!

Charles Wilt
ALCTS Executive Director (2001–2015)
“You know my methods. Apply them.”

P.S. You have seen a good number of messages go out through various means extolling the virtues of volunteering for ALCTS. In case you haven’t, I’ll only give you the link to the volunteer form here— Go and fill it out to become involved in the greatest division in ALA (so much for modesty). The form is on the ALCTS home page; just click the “Volunteer” tab at the top.