At the ALA 2013 Annual Conference, the ALCTS Board of Directors approved a new charge for the ALCTS Advocacy Coordinating Group and asked the group to recommend a new name that reflects its expanded charge encompassing policy-based and legislative activities and well as its continuing interest in advocacy. Since the group’s inception in January 2013, group members have been exploring its responsibilities related to advocacy as well as its potential roles within the policy and legislative arenas. The members concluded that to be more usefully transparent to the ALCTS membership and leaders, explicit references to policy development and legislative influence were necessary.
The result is a new name: ALCTS Advocacy and Policy Committee (APC) with a revised charge and tasks.
Enable the association to play a proactive and effective role in policy development and legislative influence in order to enhance and ensure ALCTS’ contribution to the advancement of the profession and the improvement of library services.
- Continuously scan the environment for policy discussions and decisions; state, federal, and international policy or standards initiatives; and pending legislation or legal decisions falling within ALCTS’ areas of interest.
- Update the ALCTS Board on activities and discussions of the ALA Committee on Legislation (COL), ALA Legislative Assembly, and ALA Advocacy Coordinating Group.
- Communicate, recommend positions or action, and provide association-wide coordination and prompt action on issues of importance and concern to ALCTS, including federal policies and legislation of interest.
- Serve as a liaison with the ALA Office for Library Advocacy and the ALA Washington Office.
- Maintain communication, exchange information, and pursue partnerships with ALA and division advocacy and legislative groups (e.g., Committee on Legislation subcommittees, the ALA Legislative Assembly, and the ALA Advocacy Coordinating Group) to leverage ALCTS’ influence in policy-making and legislative groups (e.g., committee matters).
The committee meets routinely via telephone conference calls in addition to ALA conferences. We are currently working closely with ALCTS President Genevieve Owens and her President’s Program Planning Committee (chaired by Mathew Beacon) to involve ALCTS in the new environment of open access as defined by the new federal mandate in support of open access of scholarship and data for federally funded scientific research.
By the nature of our broad association mission and interests, ALCTS is uniquely positioned to broadly discuss, inform its membership, and influence the national discussion regarding this federal policy mandate. Moreover, there is interest by the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) in being involved in our discussions, which should continue well beyond the upcoming year as they have the potential extending beyond the initial focus of federally funded scientific research.
Our current agenda includes:
- Creating programming and discussion on the federal mandate on open access for scholarship and data, including the broader implications related to institutional repositories (including best practices), access tools, preservation, and data curation.
- Assisting with supporting an ALCTS member nomination to the ALA Committee on Legislation.
- Creating an elevator speech for advocacy.
- Increasing communication by holding a meeting with the ALA Washington Office, the ALCTS Board, and the APC.
- ALCTS Advocacy Task Force activities
The APC membership currently includes: Olivia Madison (Chair), Joyce McDonough, Jennifer Paustenbaugh, Sarah Simpson, Reeta Sinha, Eleanor Cook (ex-officio, ALA Advocacy Coordinating Group), Duncan Stewart (ex-officio, ALA Legislative Assembly), and Charles Wilt (ALCTS Staff Liaison).
Visit the new ALCTS APC webpage to learn more about our activities and how you can contribute.
—Olivia Madison, Chair, ALCTS Advocacy and Policy Committee