Friday, January 14, 2011

So you want to run for ALA Council

I get asked about running for council on a fairly regular basis. People either come to me directly or are referred by someone else. In addition to my post from my first orientation session, I thought I should post some of what I've been sending to ALA members.

Council meetings are on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays. In addition, there are two council forums, usually one Sunday afternoon or evening and one Monday night. Attendance at the forums is optional but they really are valuable and until Midwinter 2010 I never missed one. The forums allow you to get to know councilors and discuss upcoming resolutions, referred resolutions, or anything else that comes up as a result of council work. There are Council committees, and they can add to the workload. I served on the Resolutions Committee for a year, expertly chaired by Michael Golrick.

I must say one of the surprises for me when I first started was the ALA/APA Council. You would also be an ALA/APA Councilor, and it is going through some interesting times right now. ALA/APA is not too much of a time commitment per se, but it was never mentioned to me when I ran for council as NMRT Councilor. It has equally important work to do and it too has committees. As with what we do on a daily basis, there is no shortage of work.

My first time on as the NMRT Councilor I'd say it took me 1.5 years to really get my feet under me with regards to what was going on and the like. I sought out mentoring and there were lots of people willing to help me with the processes, understand the discussions, and understand the history. There are also great people on Council and I appreciate that I was able to build that network. I agree Council needs fresh perspective from new members from all walks of life. I think they
welcome that and you will find the majority of people extremely supportive and interested in what you have to say.

I wrote the NMRT Councilor Handbook entry. There was no description for this position before I was elected. It also includes helpful information.

As always, if you have additional questions please let me know.


  1. Great post and thanks for the kudos.

    Here is an idea worth sharing with your fellow RT Councilors and the Division folks. A number of years ago, the Chapter Relations Office and the Chapter Councilors worked on a job description for Chapter Councilors.

    There is a lot of similarity. Here is the page where you can find the current version:

    Full disclosure: I started as a Chapter Councilor [Connecticut, from 1996 - 2003] and helped on a couple versions of the document.

  2. Thank you for writing this! I'm sure I'll be in touch with questions!
    PS it was nice to finally meet f2f lets have coffee next time?

  3. Thanks Michael! It's always a pleasure working with you.

    Thanks Bobbi! It was great meeting you in San Diego. I'm really glad it was helpful. Yes, let's try and carve out some time to sit down and talk at a future conference.