From the Editor: New Beginnings

Notice anything different about this issue?

When I came on board as editor, we already knew we wanted to make changes to upgrade ALCTS’ official newsletter. Further guidance was provided by the report from the Publications Task Force, released last year. After many months of planning and grunt labor provided by Production Manager Christine McConnell, we are very excited to offer a shiny, new ALCTS News.

Alice and Carlos Pearman
Alice and Carlos Pearman

In addition to the change in format, there are substantive improvements, including:

  • Articles and press releases will be added as they become available, providing a much more timely publication. (For catalogers: the newsletter will no longer have issue numbers; it will be described by annual volume).
  • Users no longer have to dig through each issue to find an article previously published. They’re all here, browsable through the navigation buttons, or searchable with the site’s search feature.
  • Commenting on articles is enabled.

A couple of other new beginnings have had an impact on your editor this year. Early in 2013, I made a major decision: I left my position as a librarian and went to work for a vendor. It was a bit of a scary decision for me, made for a variety personal of reasons and decisions that required moving back to New Hampshire, where I’d started my library career a few years before. I felt fortunate to be offered a position at YBP Library Services, located in Contoocook, NH.

Ever since the move, our ALCTS Publications Committee chair, Dina Giambi, has nudged me to write about the differences between working for a library and working for a library vendor. What often strikes me, though, are the similarities. I still have opportunities to help people find what they need; it's just from a different perspective. Debates like whether poetry as a genre is fiction or non-fiction run rampant, and yes, we too have folks who can speak in MARC, and now RDA. I also continue to have the opportunity to participate in ALCTS, which I enjoy greatly. But there is one area where librarians lead the way that is particularly obvious during Annual Conference: the practice of information sharing and collaboration among institutions.

The ALA Annual Conference provides an incredible array of examples of this benefit to librarianship. Librarians present topics and programs at a wide variety of venues, from interest groups to formal programs and forums. We learn from one another, share ideas, and follow the example of others. By sharing best practices and new ideas, librarians help to establish innovative business practices industry-wide, to the benefit of all our institutions.

ALCTS News brings the conference to everyone who couldn’t be there. Volunteers report on each of the ALCTS programs presented at the conference; committee and interest group chairs also contribute reports on their activities and programs. In the true spirit of libraries, collaborations and innovations showcased at Annual Conference are accessible to all. Articles relating to the conference can all be found by clicking the Conferences button above.

A few days after I completed the editing of this issue, I made another life-changing decision: on September 5, I got married to my boyfriend of five years (and librarian!) Carlos Pearman. Here’s to new beginnings.

Alice (Platt) Pearman, Editor, ALCTS News