From the President: What We’re Accomplishing Together

One of my earliest ALCTS experiences was a Midwinter Meeting in Denver and snow skiing afterwards. Although there will be no skiing for me this time, I am looking forward to heading back to Denver for the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting and several days of ALCTS activities and programs. I hope you are also looking forward to the opportunity the Midwinter Meeting gives us to continue addressing significant issues of interest to our community and to learn and share with our colleagues through ALA and ALCTS committee work, interest groups, programs, and events.

Barn glimpsed through branches of a frozen berry bush.

As the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting approaches, snow and ice dust a barn in Kentucky. Courtesy of Mary Beth Thomson.

Through the generous giving of ALCTS members we are providing registration grants to 2 library school students and 4 library support staff to attend the ALCTS Midwinter Symposium, in addition to offering free attendance once again to current Spectrum Scholars. Your donations also ensure that we continue to sponsor an Emerging Leader. This year, Netanel Ganin, cataloger at the Library of Congress’s Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, was selected as the ALCTS-sponsored Emerging Leader for 2017–2018. Congratulations to all of our registration grant awardees and to Netanel as ALCTS’ Emerging Leader!

My thanks to all of you for your generosity in 2017. With your donations, we are able to accomplish even more!  

We’ll kick off the 2018 Midwinter Meeting on Friday, February 9, with our day-long Midwinter Symposium sponsored by OCLC, “Empowering Access and Ensuring Accessibility: Connecting People to Information and Collections.” Michelle Jeske, city librarian for Denver Public Library, will start the day with her presentation “Libraries Improving Access: Policies, Programs, and Promotion.” If you’ve not yet registered, I hope you’ll consider spending the day with our grant awardees and Spectrum Scholars for opportunities to discuss how libraries and cultural institutions provide all populations with access to materials. My thanks to the wonderful Midwinter Symposium Committee, chaired by Helen Reed, for developing a program on a timely and important topic.

Please join us on the evening of Saturday, February 10, from 6:00–8:00 p.m. as we enjoy ALCTSfest, our mid-conference gathering sponsored by GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO. ALCTSfest is a great time to relax and visit with your colleagues before heading out to dinner. This year we will celebrate the first year of our mentoring program, so stop by ALCTSfest to hear from some of our mentors and mentees. 

Be sure to mark your schedules, too, for the ALCTS forum “The Case for Making Video Content Accessible,” sponsored by Sage Publishing, on Monday, February 12, from 10:30–11:30 a.m. This year’s forum will address how libraries can work to overcome challenges “to ensure that the delivery of streaming media content complies with the latest accessibility standards.”

These are just a few of the ALCTS events taking place during the Midwinter Meeting. For those making the trip to Denver, I look forward to seeing you in one meeting or another.

As you know, ALCTS activities and initiatives reach far beyond conferences. The ALCTS Continuing Education Committee has announced an excellent slate of upcoming online educational events. Over the next few months, there will be 7 fundamentals web courses and 10 webinars, and more e-Forum discussions are on the way! And, in case you missed it, recent ALCTS monograph publications include “Affordable Course Materials: Electronic Textbooks and Open Educational Resources” and “Textbooks in Academic Libraries: Selection, Circulation and Assessment,” both edited by Chris Diaz. Watch for the soon to be released monograph, “Reengineering the Library: Issues in Electronic Resources Management,” by George Stachokas.  

If you’re interested in helping us to accomplish even more, please consider becoming involved in ALCTS, and complete the volunteer form available on the Volunteering for ALCTS Committees page. President-Elect Kristin Martin and the Section Chair-Elects will begin their appointment process soon. Many of you are already aware of the benefits both personally and professionally of being involved in ALCTS. For giving of your time, talent, energy, and expertise, please know that you have my sincere appreciation.

If you have a question about ALCTS or an idea you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you.

Contributed by Mary Beth Thomson, ALCTS President, 2017–2018