Welcome from the President

Welcome to 2014 and the Chinese Year of the Horse!

As FAFLRT president my respect and admiration for the expertise and professional scope of our members has increased exponentially. Our members represent Federal and Armed Forces libraries and information centers around the world, and have a huge impact on the success of our War Fighters, both in the civilian and military worlds.  The dedication of our members during these, shall we say “interesting” financial times, deserves much praise.

In keeping with the vision of former FAFLRT President Karl Debus-Lopez, this year we launched or re-launched our social media presence on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/FAFLRT-The-Federal-and-Armed-Forces-Libraries-Round-Table/85430152045 , Twitter https://twitter.com/FAFLRT  and LinkedIn http://tinyurl.com/kqy4h62 with the assistance of David Blum. David has plans for a Google group and other great additions as well.  This year our Liaison activity with the New Members Round Table is spearheaded by Katie Rapp, as well as the skills and helping hands of Kelly Glaze with this newsletter. Thank you! Former FAFLRT President Richard Huffine continues to serve, this year stepping up and becoming our ALA Legislative Assembly Representative, just to name a few of our outstanding volunteers.  There is still a need for additional helping hands, and volunteers are still sought. See our Committees for an idea of how you may contribute http://www.ala.org/faflrt/governance/committees. In addition, you may use our feedback form to submit comments and suggestions http://www.ala.org/faflrt/feedback

This year we launched a ‘Design a New Logo’ contest, with the grand prize being an Amazon.com gift card and the admiration of colleagues. Get those designs in to Anne Harrison and perhaps the next newsletter will have your design!

FAFLRT members graciously stepped up to present at the co-sponsored Careers on Federal Libraries (CiFL) program ALA Mid-Winter in Philadelphia, and two of our members received a travel scholarship to attend. Thank you to Nancy Faget for being one of FAFLRT’s greatest advocates! Along these lines, I took time to re-examine our mission, which states that FAFLRT exists, “to promote library and information service and the library and information profession in the federal and armed forces communities; to promote appropriate utilization of federal and armed forces library and information resources and facilities; and to provide an environment for the stimulation of research and development relating to the planning, development, and operation of federal and armed forces libraries”. Based on the number of recognitions in this very newsletter, our members are doing a fantastic job at promoting what we do to our clients. I love reading these success stories, an encourage sharing “best practices” here and on our social media sites. How are we promoting the appropriate use of our services? Can we do better in that regard?  Are we doing a good job and mentoring each other? I am of the school of thought that there is always room to grow, and we have immense talent pool among our ranks. Not yet a member? It is simple to join http://www.ala.org/faflrt/membership

My passion for the past, current work and future contributions of FALFRT stem from both my military service, after serving 10 months “Down range and Boots on Ground” in Afghanistan and frequently went “outside the wire” to work with the Afghan soldiers, alongside my Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and fellow Sailor comrades. I personally felt the pain of losing comrades, and along with everyone else, wondered what if we had one more bit of information, or had access to some other type of technology that may have saved those young War Fighters? When I returned from deployment I was recruited to work for the Department of Homeland Security, and among other duties, worked side-by-side with Special Agents, assisting them with my expertise to get some truly bad hombres off our streets right here at home.  And now, as a Librarian working for the Navy, I am once again assisting those “down range and boots on ground”, as are all of you. Bravo zulu!

Virginia Sanchez
FAFLRT President 2013-2014