For the past couple of years the medium-sized divisions, which includes LLAMA, have been having conversations about ways to cooperate more closely and best utilize our limited staff and fiscal resources. At the recent Midwinter Meeting in Denver the Boards of LLAMA, LITA, and ALCTS began discussions about the possibility of a significant realignment that would allow for increased efficiencies in providing value to members. This conversation was built around a document which is available on LLAMA’s new ALA Connect site http://connect.ala.org/files/MW%20DOC%2018-17%20LLAMA%20ALCTS%20LITA%20Realignment%20Working%20Document.pdf (if it's your first time logging into the new ALA Connect, just follow the prompts) This document provides some background, lays out a possible strategic approach, and describes some next steps. It was prepared as a document to the three boards by the current Presidents and Presidents-Elect of the three divisions.
Through an informal consensus vote from the Community of Practice Leaders that were present and a formal vote by the LLAMA Board, the leadership team was charged to move forward on engaging with the other divisions on the ideas proposed in the document.
While no decisions have been made yet, the inclination of the LLAMA leadership is that we will not alleviate enough of our collective fiscal pressures by simply finding ways to share staff resources among the three divisions, while maintaining our existing structures. Rather than trying to fit existing programs into a typical ALA division structure, we want to start by putting the long-term success of our members – and potential members – at the center of our work, and then imagine a new, sustainable division that will best facilitate their success. Since LLAMA has already tackled many of these issues in our own reorganization, and our Executive Director, Kerry Ward, has been approached by other divisions to get information about what we did and how we did it, it's no surprise that LLAMA is in the thick of this conversation, too.
In the coming weeks and months, we will be looking for your input and feedback to help us explore these ideas more fully. This document is still just the beginning of a discussion. We will be planning a process and timeline for gathering information and other next steps. These steps will include an open and public dialogue with you, our members, with numerous opportunities for you to participate across a variety of channels. We are already looking at building an FAQ around this and in the event that we will be looking at an actual combination into a new division, we will be surveying the membership to get a sense of what an ideal division would look like.
I'm sure you have a range of feelings on this topic, and I know that any direction we take will be substantially improved by your creativity and insight. You are welcome to reach out to us with your questions or ideas, even if our answers may be “we do not know yet”.
Pixey Anne Mosley
President, ALA Library Leadership & Management Association
Lila B. King Professor
Associate Dean for Administrative and Faculty Services
Texas A&M University firstname.lastname@example.org