Magazine article American Libraries

Rettig's Goal: More Inclusive Membership

Magazine article American Libraries

Rettig's Goal: More Inclusive Membership

Article excerpt

Jim Rettig, university librarian at the University of Richmond, Virginia, will take over as the Association's head at the conclusion of the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California.

American Libraries: What will be your focus or theme as ALA's new leader?

VICE-PRESIDENT/PRESIDENTELECT JIM RETTIG: In addition to being ALA's spokesperson for our bedrock values, such as intellectual freedom, equitable access to information, the freedom to read, and privacy, I will emphasize experimenting with new ways in which members can participate in and contribute to ALA's work. Many librarians are using new technologies in creative ways that complement our time-honored structures of committees and elected office. We need to find ways to bring the best of both of these worlds to all our members. Carol Brey-Casiano created the "Many Voices, One Nation" program while serving as ALA president. We need an equally effective "Many Voices, One ALA" culture.

How will you work to ensure overall member involvement within the Association, including areas that will focus on diversity?

ALA has built a strong diversity record but, as the Diversity Counts report released in October 2006 demonstrates, we need to do more. ALA and the ethnic caucuses collaborated to produce the successful first Joint Conference of Librarians of Color. President Loriene Roy is working with the ethnic caucuses to sustain that momentum. I will do the same. If we collaborate, ALA and other national associations can strengthen our diversity programs.

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What about reaching out to younger members and the continuation of such programs as Emerging Leaders? …

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