3rd Congress on Professional Education: Focus on Library Support Staff (COPE III)

2004-2005 EBD# 12.30

ALA Executive Board 2005 Midwinter Meeting

Topic -- Status of Recommendations

  • 1 st Congress on Professional Education: Initial Education for the Profession
  • 2 nd Congress on Professional Education: Continuing Professional Development
  • 3 rd Congress on Professional Education: Focus on Support Staff Issues

Action Requested:

  • Redirect some recommendations from COE to HRDR Advisory.
  • Clarify the intended definition of “think tank”(COPE 2 recommendation 2).

Proposed Motion:

  • The ALA Executive Board, on request from the Committee on Education, refers COPE 1 recommendation 5.4 and COPE 3 recommendation 4.1.1 to the HRDR Advisory Committee.  

Action Requested By:

  • Mary W. Ghikas, Senior Associate Executive Director
  • Lorelle Swader, Director, HRDR


  • 30 December 2004



At the 1998 Spring Board meeting, the ALA Executive Board authorized a congress on professional education, to focus on issues related to the first professional degree. A steering committee was appointed, chaired by Ken Haycock. The 1 st Congress was held in April 1999, in Washington DC. Based on the deliberations of that Congress, the recommendations of the Steering Committee were developed and were considered by the ALA Executive Board at the 1999 Annual Conference.


Also at the 1999 Annual Conference, the ALA Executive Board asked a small working   group of the Board to develop a recommendation for a 2 nd Congress on Professional Education – to focus on issues related to continuing education.   A 2 nd Congress was held in November 2000, in Chicago. The Steering Committee was chaired by James Neal and, like the Steering Committee for the 1 st Congress on Professional Education, included representatives of the ALA “IFLA Partner” associations (SLA, MLA, AALL, ARL), of ALA divisions and of ALA round tables. The final recommendations of the Steering Committee were received by the Board at the 2002 Midwinter Meeting. The Board acted on Management’s implementation report at the 2002 Annual Conference.


In April 2001, the ALA Executive Board approved a recommendation from LSSIRT to support and fund a 3 rd Congress on Professional Education with a focus on support staff issues.   An earlier [L]SSIRT Support Staff Issues Survey (1997) identified three top issues: career ladders, compensation, access to continuing education opportunities. A Steering Committee was appointed, chaired by Julie Huiskamp.   The 3 rd Congress on Professional Education was held May 16-17, 2003, at the College of DuPage [IL].   The COPE3 Steering Committee presented the recommendations from this Congress to the ALA Executive Board at the 2003 Annual Conference (2002-2003 EBD#8.4).   The Board received the Steering Committee recommendations and asked ALA Management to return with specific implementation recommendations.   The ALA Executive Board approved the Implementation Recommendations (2003-2004 EBD#8.0) as presented by ALA Management at the 2003 Fall meeting.  


The  attached document summarizes the recommendations of all three Congresses.    For each recommendation or cluster of recommendations, a brief summary of actions taken to date is included, along with the next step, where applicable.   Complete steering committee reports are accessible on the ALA web site.   


The following updates and related document should be particularly noted:


(1)     The ALA Executive Board referred COPE3 recommendations 4.2.3 to ASCLA and LSSIRT:   “Networks and consortia for continuing professional development for library workers should be established and funding support should be sought from appropriate sources.”   An ASCLA/LSSIRT Task Force, chaired by Jerry Krois (Wyoming State Library) was appointed.   The Task Force report and recommendations have been approved by the governing bodies of ASCLA and LSSIRT.   The report (2004-2005 EBD#12.31) is on the ALA Executive Board’s 2005 Midwinter Meeting agenda.


(2)     The ALA Conference Committee, working with a planning committee including members of LSSIRT and COLT, will present the first support staff “conference-within-a-conference” in Chicago in 2005. (COPE 3 recommendation 1.1.5)


(3)     ALCTS has announced the establishment of a Support Staff grant, underwritten by Sage Publications, to support support staff attendance at the ALA Annual Conference.   ACRL will offer ten scholarships for library support staff to attend the 2005 ACRL National Conference in Minneapolis.   (COPE 3 recommendation 4.1.3)


(4)     A web-based survey related to national certification for library support staff was conducted in Fall 2004.




Related 2005 Midwinter Meeting documents:


2004-2005 EBD#12.31, ASCLA/LSSIRT Task Force Recommendations