New Heights

American Libraries, July-August 1987 | Go to article overview

New Heights


NEW HEIGHTS

THE LITTLE BIG CITY OF SANFrancisco swelled with 17,206 registrants at ALA's 106th Annual Conference June 27-July 6, topping New York's record of 16,530 last year. Success--if measured by paid attendance (12,115), standing-room-only sessions, and well-fed participants--reached new heights for conference planners, including local arrangements chair Anne Kincaid and her crew.

Throughout the conference, numbers escalatedlike riders on the Powell Street line: Some one thousand exhibit booths and tables greeted visitors to the commodious Moscone exhibition hall; the annual Fun Run/Walk jumped to more than 700 huffers; the President's Dance, once a modest event, drew about 1,800 to benefit ALA scholarships; even a black-tie yacht party--at $100 a head--pulled in 125 supporters of the CLASS-MARC XX Project. Conference visitors took home $69,000 worth of merchandise from the ALA store; and, in Association business, Executive Board approved a general fund budget ceiling that could perk the ears of E. F. Hutton: $13,641,144.

Escalation struck library suppliers, too,as "class-act" requirements soared sky high. If one reception offered lobster on the Bay, another presented name jazz at the top of Nob Hill. If one exhibitor rented 20 adjacent booths, the next set up a small Babylonian temple to show its wares. You wanna stand out next year in New Orleans? Reserve the Mississippi--now.

Yes, there were programs and professionalactivities as well, escalating to about 2,400 sessions. General meetings were well attended, as pre-set themes unfolded and Membership/Council worked through full agendas. Membership debated what some considered a difficult issue of intellectual freedom vs. human rights; Council, taking a chance on the sanctity of the MLS, voted for ALA membership in an agency that accredits non-MLS school media specialist programs.

Executive Director Thomas J. Galvin,high on a year of new services, grant projects, political alliances, and strategic planning, came down--31 flights--when a small fire in his hotel caused a wee-hours exit of some 200 guests. But he was quickly upbeat again, sharing podiums and new heights with President Regina Minudri and President-elect Margaret Chisholm.

Reporting on the ups--and a fewdowns--of the conference are AL editors Susan Brandehoff, Lois Pearson, Gordon Flagg, and Art Plotnik. Photos, too, are by the editors.

Landmark planning document

presented to Council

Annual Planning Document I: Overview ofRecommended Objectives for Funding in FY88 is not perfect, Planning Committee Chair Thomas Alford said in presenting it to Council. But the neat 20-page document was considerably slimmed down from the 62-page draft distributed at Midwinter Meeting, it met Council's deadline, and its publication was a milestone in the first two years of the ALA Strategic Long Range Planning Process.

The summary page lists the six priority areaswith the objects selected for 1988: Access to information--build a coalition on government information; Legislation and funding--prepare a workshop on lobbying and disseminate statistics to support legislative efforts; Intellectual freedom--present a training workshop to develop leaders; Public awareness-coordinate ALA public relations; Personnel resources--develop a pay-equity casebook; Library services and technology--install an electronic prepress publishing program. The projects are expected to total $161,597. Carrying out the objectives providing organizational support will add $63,000.

The balance of the document gives backgroundinformation on the ongoing services and special activities that many units provide in the priority areas. Rationale and strategies are supplies for all the 1988 objectives.

Alford encouraged all units to use the documentand invited members to Planning Committee hearings at Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting.

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