Top 10 reasons for Trustees to attend the ALA Annual Conference

1. Programs and education

The ALA Annual Conference of­fers programs where Trustees can “learn more about libraries and have a broader perspective on the whole role of libraries and the im­portance of quality of access to in­formation,” says Sharon Saulmon, former Trustee of the Metropolitan Library System in Oklahoma City, Okla. “Trustees want to serve their libraries to the high standard set by the librarians who lead their local systems,” says Cindy Friedemann, a member of the Metropolitan Library System Board of Trust­ees. “In order to wrap ones arms around this complex profession, a Trustee can attend ALA and United for Libraries programs and bring home tested tools to serve their community well.”

2. To become involved in Unit­ed for Libraries

To get more involved with United for Libraries, attend the United for Libraries Leaders Orientation. United for Libraries offer many programs specifically for Trustees, including discussion groups and the full-day “Nuts & Bolts for Friends, Trustees and Founda­tions.”

3. Exhibits

With more than 700 exhibitors, the ALA Annual Conference gives Trustees a chance to meet with vendors who provide services and programs for the library, and get up-to-date on products that are newly available.

4. Authors and speakers

The speakers at ALA cover issues such as innovation and transfor­mation, e-book lending and us­ability, digital content, community engagement, leadership, the impact and potential of new technologies, outreach, and best practices on a range of library-related concerns. In addition, there are hundreds of authors speaking and signing books, and book give-aways offer an opportunity to bring brand new volumes to your library.

5. Advocacy

United for Libraries, in addition to the ALA Washington Office, the Office for Library Advocacy, and other ALA divisions and offices of­fer many advocacy programs dur­ing the ALA Annual Conference. Learn how to secure more money for your library, how to communi­cate with funders and policy mak­ers, participate in National Library Legislative Day, speak out on the local, state, and national levels, and more.

6. Networking

“Networking is wonderful,” says Saulmon. “You meet the movers and shakers in other communities who are library board members. They are dedicated to doing the best for the community that they can, and learning from each other.” Meet other Trustees at programs such as “Nuts & Bolts for Friends, Trustees and Foundations.”

7. Technology

Keep up-to-date on technological advances that might be on the horizon for your library. See prod­ucts in action in the exhibits, and attend programs about emerging technologies. At the 2014 ALA Annual Conference, United for Libraries is sponsoring a program on “3D Printers & Library Policies.”

8. Share and give back

Other Trustees across the country will benefit from your experiences and knowledge. Share your ex­pertise during discussion groups, programs, and via informational networking.

9. Represent your library

Spread the word about all the great work your library does in the com­munity. You will be representing your library on a national level, strengthening your library’s reputa­tion and making connections that will serve your library and ulti­mately make it stronger.

10. Be inspired

There are more than 20,000 librar­ians, library advocates, exhibitors, etc., who attend the Annual Con­ference. It is opportunity to spend several days in a huge community of people who are all extremely passionate about libraries! You will take this enthusiasm and excite­ment back to your library along with all that you have learned.

For more information on the ALA An­nual Conference and to register, visit www.alaannual.org. For more informa­tion on United for Libraries programs at the conference, visit www.ala.org/ united/events_conferences/annual.