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.”
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.
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.
“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.”
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.