Saturday, October 30, 2010

Notes from a new councilor flashback

I recently discovered my original notes from when I attended my first ALA Council Orientation in Chicago, June 2005. I was the NMRT Councilor.

General advice:
1. Don't be afraid to speak up.
2. Attend the Council Forums.
3. Learn and understand the Resolutions process.

Council is the policy making body of the Association. There are three meetings during the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. Council gives the orders/direction for the organization.

As a member of Council, you are encouraged to get involved and bring up questions.

Mentor program for Council
- reception at midwinter meeting for new councilors, a great place to meet people

Executive Board member elections take place at Midwinter

Use the listserv

ALA Council Suite
- always a suite for caucus

Actions of Council are posted on the web after each MW or AC

- guideline to resolutions
- be prepared for amendments (some are friendly, some are not)
- send to Resolutions Committee before sending them out to Council
- can be carry over; need a seconder
- you must give all amendments to the projectionist in writing on the appropriate form
- voting record is recorded

Membership meetings

Council Forums
- informal meetings of council
- one for chapter councilors, two general forums
- opportunity to meet and talk with other councilors
- meetings scheduled, open forums

- we area also members of that council
- improve salaries for all library employeees
- certify individuals
- special session and information session
- has its own listserv
- will also have more committees

Lois Ann Gregory-Wood
- key person for all things related to Council

Parliamentarian: Eli Mina
- Roberts Rule of Order, Sturgis
- assists the president and president-elect
- assists the resolution committee
- reduce anxiety about process
- all councilors will receive a copy of the rules - standard codes of parliamentary procedure
- Councilors have three minutes to speak at meetings: green light, yellow light, red light
- "Suffering is optional"
- procedure brings structure to the meetings
- right to object from your seat
- quorum is shared responsibility

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Library degrees and professional experiences put to use outside the library

The article "What can you do, here and now, to broaden your scope of potential employers?" about my NMRT President's Program was posted yesterday on the ALA Student Membership Blog. As you can imagine, I'm very proud.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Breakfast with Peter

I had a wonderful breakfast with the fabulous Peter Hepburn at the Omni Hotel Pittsburgh. He was in town for the ASIST conference. I'm glad he was tweeting from the conference, otherwise I might have missed the fact that he was here. Ironically, I was in Chicago when the conference started, but returned to Pittsburgh before he left.

I made sure not to disappoint in the footwear department and wore a great pair of boots. We caught up on all things library: tenure and promotion, my new job, and ALA. It was a refreshing conversation. I always find talking to colleagues at peer institutions fascinating. I'm looking forward to working with Peter on ALA Council since he'll be representing the GLBTRT for the next three years.

Of course, no post related to Peter would be complete without a photo of food.
Ham and cheddar omlette

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Board Meeting 2010

Erie & Wabash
Spider on the wall at Erie & Wabash in Chicago

I attended the ALA Executive Board fall meeting. Before our agenda driven packed meetings on Saturday and Sunday, we start with a Board Effectiveness meeting on Friday morning and then join the ALA Division Boards for an afternoon session.

Our board effectiveness meeting focused on just that: how to work together to be an effective and efficient board. We prepare for the discussions by reading or re-reading 101 Boardroom Problems by our parliamentarian Eli Mina, and 7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don't by ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership. Both are good and practical reads and we referred to them often. Eli Mina actually facilitated our morning session. I found it to be very beneficial. Hopefully I can continue to be a positive contributor to the ALA Executive Board.

The Joint Boards session was like a phase two of last year's session. In 2009 we were putting together a draft of the strategic plan. This time we have the plan and were talking about ways to implement the plan both by the divisions and by the association. Last year we did have the benefit of two round table representatives at that meeting, but this year they were not directly represented.

Saturday and Sunday were two long days of meetings. The agendas are available here. Coming full circle, Past President Camila Alire noted we were very effective as a board.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Georgia COMO Conference 2010

I had the pleasure of being invited to speak at the Georgia Council Of Media Organizations (COMO) XXII conference in Athens GA. I was a panelist for the October 14 program "Getting Involved: Professional Organizations and the Opportunity to Make a Difference, Stay Connected, and Build Relationships". The program was sponsored by the Georgia Library Association Paraprofessional Division. Kara Mullen and Ashley Dupuy were the other two panelists. Karen Walton was the panel moderator.

Georgia COMO panel moderator and presenters
Karen Walton, Kara Mullen, Ashley Dupuy, and Courtney Young

My role was to talk about getting involved in the American Library Association. I believe active participation in an association is beneficial to both the individual and the association. I have applied the skills and best practices learned from my involvement in ALA to my day-to-day work. Some of the satisfaction I have in my career has resulted from my involvement in the association. At the same time, those day-to-day happenings inform my perspective and work in the association. My leadership skills, which are still in development, are rooted in my involvement with ALA and were the key to me landing my current position.

I also highlighted opportunities and benefits with regards to ALA, particularly New Members Round Table and the Library Support Staff Interests Round Table, as great places to start and get to know what is often perceived as a large and unwieldy organization. Active participation by paraprofessionals and library support staff is important to the association. It reflects another dimension of diversity within libraries. ALA membership and involvement also means access to travel grants and scholarships to attend conferences, the Emerging Leaders program, and the Spectrum Scholarship. I also talked about the ALA-APA Library Staff Certification Program that was highlighted in other sessions by the GLA Paraprofessional Division.

I did not get to Athens in time to hear Michael Porter's keynote "Our Libraries, Our Communities: Technology Evolution, Change and Success". However, conference attendees who did were energized and buzzing about his presentation. Fortunately I did catch up with Michael before and after my session. That evening I had the pleasure of attending the GLA Awards Banquet dinner. The event kicked off with a highly entertaining Battledecks Competition. During dessert, ALA President Roberta Stevens talked about 21st Century Libraries. Various well-deserved award winners were recognized, and the 2011 board was installed.

Thank you GLA and Athens for a great conference!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


I was appointed to ALA's Budget Analysis & Review Committee (BARC) as an Executive Board liaison. It is a two year term. September 30 and October 1 I attended the orientation and meeting at ALA Headquarters in Chicago. I learned about the other members of the committee and our ALA liaisons, the committee's role in the association, and the budgeting process. Thankfully there are a wealth of wonderful documents to help me including the Orientation Manual and Important Financial Terms. One of the most important things we did after the orientation part of the meeting was plan the Midwinter Financial Workshop. We are taking a slightly different approach for San Diego and putting together a session we hope will be more interactive and offer more in the way of best practices.

I am the BARC liaison to LITA, NMRT, and the newest round table RMRT.