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). 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.
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.
Work of SCOE
The Steering Committee will provide advice and support to the ALA 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.
This fall, SCOE released its recommendations. That report and more information about progress can be found on the ALA Forward Together site.
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.
The Boards of Directors of PLA and ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) issued this response to the ALA Board and SCOE: