The American Library Association is home to eight active Membership Initiative Groups that address a wide range of specific member interests. These informal groups meet and work in a variety of ways, including online collaboration and in-person meetings at ALA Midwinter Meetings and Annual Conferences. You will find a brief snapshot of each below, along with staff liaison contact information and, if applicable, a link to the group’s online community.
The Veteran Caucus is charged with developing approaches to recruiting military- and veteran-affiliated individuals into librarianship and allied professions. This will enhance diversity in both the profession and the Association. It will help to foster a better understanding of the critical capabilities and skill sets that library workers possess and raise awareness of the profession in the federal ecosystem – especially in the defense, security, intelligence, and related sectors. This will open new opportunities for the profession and the Association, increase the value placed on the profession, and facilitate a better understanding of and increase relationships within the federal government throughout the profession and Association.
The Veteran Caucus is intended to fill several purposes. First, the Veteran Caucus will establish a community of practice intended to: 1) Serve as leadership development experience for the Association’s military- and veteran-affiliated members; 2) Facilitate collaboration and the exchange of “best practices” 3) Encourage research into the needs and strengths of patrons from the veteran and military communities; 4) Encourage innovation in services, support, and outreach to the veteran and military communities; and 5) Initiate and encourage conversations for both professional purposes and camaraderie.
Second, the Veteran Caucus will develop and support efforts to recruit veteran- and military-affiliated individuals into the library profession. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is one of ALA’s strategic priorities, and recruiting members of the diverse veteran and military communities into the profession contributes to this strategic priority by supporting recruitment of veteran- and military-affiliated individuals into the library profession. Further, recruitment of the veteran and military communities allows library workers to demonstrate their value and specific skill sets to previously untapped target audiences.
Third, the Veteran Caucus will engage current military- and veteran-affiliated ALA members as leaders, coaches, and mentors. Veteran Caucus members will provide mentoring and support for new veteran- and military-affiliated library workers. The Veteran Caucus will also serve as a forum in which members can share their expertise and leadership in strategic conversations among Association veteran- and military-affiliated leaders. Staff liaison: Marsha P. Burgess, firstname.lastname@example.org