From the Office

Charles Wilt, ALCTS Executive Director

charles wilt, alcts executive director

On the way home the other night, I started to think about what I was going to write in this month's column for the Newsletter. I had set aside some time this week to work on it, knowing that an inspiration would drape itself over my brain and the words would flow neatly onto the page.

So as I sat here staring at the blinking cursor, the rest of the page blank except for the header, "ANO-December 2004," I had just typed, I began to wonder how I managed to come up with topics for the other ten of these I have written. I decided at that point it was time to go back and read what I had written. What struck me was that I saw a trend in those articles. It wasn't any specific article, but all the articles put together as a collection. The topics were topics that I would not necessarily have written about anywhere else. I wrote several on governance, a couple on finances, a couple on planning, and the rest as odds and ends. So the question I asked myself at that point was where does that leave me?

Quite frankly, I don't know. I have already laid out my articles for 2005, but this particular one, this December 2004 article, still escapes me. I was recently reading an article in one of my association management publications that talked about the value of stories. So I thought maybe I could write a story about something. Having quickly nixed that one, I was still left with a relatively blank piece of paper, which you might have guessed is filling up pretty fast. Maybe I could write a Seinfeld-ish article: you know, an article about nothing. I also nixed that idea, since the point of these articles is to have a point or at least convey some useful information to you, the readers.

It is now the next day and I figured a fresh start would help. And it did.

I decided to highlight my next year's articles for you.

The topics for next year's articles will be the six goals in the ALA 2010 plan; one goal in each issue. The purpose of doing these is to highlight the goals and the forthcoming objectives at the ALA level, and to talk a bit about how ALCTS fits into each of those goals. Since we will be doing our own planning this coming year, I thought it worthwhile to look from the office out at the ALA goals. Another reason to do so is that almost everything we do, budget, programming, publications, Web site, and more, will be tied into the ALA goals at some level. The revised budget narrative format for fiscal year 2006 actually is built around these goals. I have to relate the ALCTS budget to the ALA goals in some detail.

The six goal areas for ALA are (in alphabetical order): Advocacy, Building the Profession, Education, Membership, Organizational Excellence, and Public Policy. These goals differ greatly from the ALA Action 2005 goals, which included intellectual freedom and 21st century literacy. It is heartening to know that several of these goals are actually operational in nature, like goals in the individual Division strategic plans. By the time I write the February article, these goals and objectives will have reviewed by the divisions and other ALA groups at Midwinter. That will most likely mean that they will begin to be fleshed out more and some strategies attached, if not action items. ALA Council will be asked to approve the goals at the 2005 Annual Conference in Chicago, next June.

So that's the plan. As we close out 2004, Julie and I wish you all a most joyous Holiday season and a prosperous and well 2005.

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