Letters from ALCTS

charles wilt, alcts executive director

From the Office

Charles Wilt, ALCTS Executive Director

Being a Candidate for Office

I’ve never written about “standing” for office in ALA or ALCTS, but the time seems right to do so. I will not however write and bemoan the fact that the participation in the ALA electoral process has declined or remained steady for low these many years. We mirror other associations and the country as a whole in our participation rate. People, who want to vote, vote. Those that don’t, don’t.

Now back to ”standing” for election. You see I said “standing” instead of “running”. That’s a significant difference. “Standing” means no campaigning. “Running” means spending gobs of money and hiring a campaign staff, etc. to get elected. ALA and ALCTS candidates have always “stood” for election. Of course, there is always a little campaigning going on especially for the ALA President’s race but generally everyone is pretty good about adhering to the policy.

I am always amazed by and very much appreciative of those members who agree to seek an elected office in ALCTS. It takes a substantial time commitment at the Presidential or Section Chair level. The other offices ALCTS elects, Board level or Section level are just as important in the governance of the association. The At-large Members and Secretaries play their own role in moving ALCTS forward. Then there is the Division Councilor position. A singularly demanding job that requires a special person and ALCTS has been very fortunate over the years to have such people want to take on the ALA Council.

Knowing that money is tight to travel and everyone has much too much to do in their day jobs, being elected to an ALCTS office, I believe, is still one of the more rewarding ways a member can be involved in ALCTS. It’s a different level of involvement. One that demands a perspective that one doesn’t really have to have as a committee member. It’s the across the association perspective, not the narrower one.

I encourage everyone to take a moment and consider this an invitation to become a candidate for an ALCTS office. Mary Case is chairing the ALCTS Nominating Committee next year. The Section will be looking for candidates for their own offices. Contact Mary or any of the Section Nominating Committee chairs (listed below) to find out what opportunities there are for you to “stand” for election.

  • Acquisitions: Catherine Grove
  • Cataloging and Classification: Qiang Jin
  • Collection Management: Kathy Tezla
  • Continuing Resources: Connie Foster
  • Preservation and Reformatting: Karen E. K. Brown

And of course, there is always ALA if you are bold enough to be a candidate for ALA President or Council. We have two ALCTS members on the ALA Nominating Committee this next year, Carol Diedrichs and Sha Li Zhang. ALA has already begun their search for candidates. You too can be considered by filling out their nominated candidate form.

Contact Charles Wilt (cwilt@ala.org).