ALA Reorganization

About SCOE

Our parent organization, the American Library Association (ALA), is currently engaged in a comprehensive review and study of the its governance, member participation, and legal structures. The 19-member group undertaking this work on behalf of ALA is called the Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE). Facilitated by consultants from Tecker International, SCOE is exploring ideas for the future organization of ALA and its governance groups such as the executive board and council as well as relationships with divisions, round tables, and committees. PLA is represented on this committee by Past Presidents Felton Thomas, Jr. and Vailey Oehlke. See full roster below.

SCOE Committee Charge

The ALA Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness will carry out a comprehensive review and study of ALA's governance, member participation, and legal structures and systems, with the goal of proposing changes that will vitalize its success, strength, and agility as a 21st-Century association. Visit this ALA Connect post to see a timeline for SCOE's work.

Scope and Work of SCOE

The Steering Committee will provide advice and support to the Executive Board on priority improvements. The work of the Steering Committee will focus on membership development and engagement, and on encompassing the diversity of voices that enrich ALA through incorporating the perspectives, interests and contributions of a wide variety of stakeholders and affiliated groups. Its work will be mission driven and embrace the Association's core values. Through input and feedback from across the Association, the Steering Committee will explore alternative models and reorganization possibilities. It will work with the Executive Team and a consultant to formulate and present its findings and recommendations to the Executive Board.

What is PLA’s position on these matters?

PLA is one of ALA’s largest divisions in terms of activity, budget, and membership, and we feel it is critical for ALA to hear the voices and experiences of public library staff across the country throughout the reorganization process. PLA leadership appreciates SCOE’s difficult charge and all its hard work. We also understand that ALA needs significant change to become sustainable. PLA encourages SCOE to:

  • Consider the rapidity of ALA’s proposed timeline for reorganization, which calls for a final recommendation to the executive board by October 2019, and the pressure this is placing on the organization amidst several other streams of change including a proposed move to a new building and the hiring of a new executive director;
  • Continue and strengthen communication to members and staff about the process, engaging them in ongoing discussions and reporting status regularly through channels including ALA Connect, but also beyond ALA Connect since not all members use the Connect space.

Preliminary Recommendations

On June 7, SCOE released its preliminary recommendations, which are attached to this ALA Connect post (login required). Broadly, the recommendations call for:

  • Responding to the urgency of member input, data trends and financial realities for a thriving future.
  • Redesigning the ALA Executive Board and Council for effective and efficient prioritization and broad member input.
  • Modernizing ways that members engage in the work of the association and with each other in the library community.
  • Channeling the function of Council through a new committee structure with fewer barriers to member engagement in the work of the Association through Committees, Task Forces and Advisory Communities that make direct recommendations to the Board and are accountable directly to the board.
  • Members engaging with each other through Divisions, Roundtables and Interest Groups.

How do I stay informed and share input with the committee?

On Monday, April 29, SCOE hosted an online Information Session on Prioritization and Member Engagement through Divisions. A recording of the one-hour session has been posted to the SCOE ALA Connect Group (login required). If you would like to provide feedback between May 5 and the release of the draft model ahead of the ALA Annual Conference, please email SCOE Chair Lessa Pelayo-Lozada at lessalozada@gmail.com or reply through ALA Connect..

Committee Chair Lessa Pelayo-Lozada gave an update on the SCOE project at Annual ALA Virtual Membership Meeting, on May 9. Watch a recording of the Annual ALA Virtual Membership Meeting. The SCOE report begins at the 45:27 mark.

SCOE will also hold five open sessions at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC, at which members can comment on new proposed organizational models. These 90-minute sessions will all take place in room 103B in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center:

Virtual participation will be made available for those who cannot attend in person. For those who cannot make it to Annual or attend one of the sessions virtually, the material will also be presented on Monday, July 8, at 2:00 PM Eastern. Jim Meffert from Tecker International and SCOE Chair Lessa Pelayo-Lozada will present on the preliminary recommendations and solicit feedback via the webinar chat box. Register here for the Virtual SCOE Input Session.  

You may also share your thoughts on ALA’s governance and membership structures by filling out the SCOE Virtual Session Feedback survey. It will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Additional questions, suggestions and concerns may be directed by email to SCOE Chair Lessa Pelayo-Lozada at lessalozada@gmail.com.

Finally, you can receive updates from SCOE by joining the Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE) Project: Discussion Forum on ALA Connect. A public page is also being created on ALA.org.

SCOE Committee Members

Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada (Chair, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Emily Daly (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Mr. Emmanuel L. Faulkner, Sr. (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Kenny A. Garcia (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Mandi Goodsett (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Terri L. Grief (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Mrs. Alexia Hudson-Ward (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Ben Hunter (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Steve Laird (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Mr. Jack Martin, JR. (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Alanna Aiko Moore (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Ms. Lucinda A. Nord (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Vailey Oehlke (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020) PLA Past-President
Andrew K. Pace (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Juan W. Rivera (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Ms. Karen G. Schneider (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Mr. Felton Thomas, Jr. (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020) PLA Past-President
Kerry Ward (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Ms. Nora Susan Wiltse (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Dr. Steven D. Yates (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Dr. Shali Zhang (Member, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)

SCOE Executive Committee

Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada (Chair, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
Wanda Kay Brown (Executive Board Liaison, July 1, 2018, to January 31, 2020)
James G. Neal (Executive Board Liaison, September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)

SCOE Staff Liaisons

Marsha Patrice Burgess (February 8, 2019, to January 31, 2020)
Raymond A. Garcia (April 1, 2019, to January 31, 2020)
Mary W. Ghikas (September 10, 2018, to January 31, 2020)

Tecker International Consultants

Jim Meffert, Senior Consultant
Paul Meyer, President & CEO

Additional Resources