Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Teri R. Switzer, Candidate for ALA Treasurer

Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Teri R. Switzer, Candidate for ALA Treasurer

Article excerpt

I am an educator, a researcher, an activist, and an advocate. I am a librarian. These roles are all strengthened by my ALA involvement and, in turn, by the Association's commitment to enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. ALA continues to face challenging times and it is more important than ever for the Association to retain its aggressive leadership function. In order to continue with this role, it is imperative that ALA maintain its fiscal solvency.

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Opportunities and challenges

All types of libraries from all over the country depend on ALA to set the stage for assuming a proactive posture on such issues as intellectual freedom, human rights, pay equity, recruitment, development of standards, and promotion of diverse ideas and people. ALA is the voice of America's libraries. As ALA wraps up ALA Action 2005 and begins the 2010 strategic-planning process, it is even more important that we work together in order to ensure our fiscal solvency.

There are many issues that are valued on both the global and local levels and ALA needs to continually monitor its involvement in these issues. Establishing various scholarships and award funds, the "@ your library" initiative, the ALA-Allied Professional Association, and taking a public stance on intellectual freedom and privacy are all programs that promote the ALA's dynamic role. We are fortunate to have several opportunities to explore during this next decade. Some of these include serving as a role model for technology and the organization of information, maintaining a clearing-house for statistical information and analysis, and promoting education reform and accountability. The opportunities for ALA to spotlight its advocacy mission are endless, but we have to keep our financial and human resources in line with our priorities. It is time for us to stop and evaluate what is most important to us as an Association, to us as librarians, and to us as the voice for all of America's libraries.

Strategic planning

The Association, Executive Board, and Council have been attentive in formulating and executing financial policies. During the next several years, we will need to concentrate on:

* implementing the 2010 strategic-planning process;

* developing business plans for new, as well as established, initiatives;

* promoting strategic alliances with other organizations and foundations;

* developing sound entrepreneurial opportunities; and

* continually monitoring and evaluating initiatives and programs. …

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