Magazine article American Libraries

1985 ALA Member Opinion Survey: Legislation and Access to Information Rank Highest in Survey Sample

Magazine article American Libraries

1985 ALA Member Opinion Survey: Legislation and Access to Information Rank Highest in Survey Sample

Article excerpt

1985 ALA member opinion survey

AN IMPORTANT PART OF ALA'S STRATEGIC long-range planning process has been gathering opinion from members and others about Association goals and actions during the next five years. In spring of 1985, more than 250 library leaders responded to four questions about ALA.

In responding, they listed the top five issues the library profession will face five years from now and the top five organizational issues that will confront ALA in five years. They also were asked to imagine that ALA was "everything it should be" five years from now and describe the five major services members will be receiving and the five major achievements of the Association between now and then.

Answers were analyzed and reported in brief to Council in Council Document 11.5 at the 1985 Annual Conference and in more detail to the Process Planning Committee. Results of this survey of the profession's leaders were used to draft a four-page 1985 ALA Member Opinion Survey, which was sent to a random sample of 750 ALA members last fall.

More than 70 percent of the sample responded. The major results are summarized here; a detailed report was distributed at Midwinter Meeting in Chicago in 1985-86 Council Document 6.1, available upon request from Miriam Hornback, Council Secretariat, at ALA Headquarters.

The survey

Part I of the member opinion survey listed 16 primary "areas of interest" for the Association, such as intellectual freedom and literacy. Two or more "areas of action" were listed under all but one of the 16. Respondents indicated the importance ALA should give to each area by circling a code for one of the following: primary importance, secondary importance, little or no importance, or no opinion. Space for comments followed each of the 16 areas.

In Part II, respondents selected the five areas of interest they believed to be most important to ALA and ranked them in order of importance. In Part III, respondents rated the importance of 12 actions related to association management in the areas of finance, membership, and governance. Space was again provided for comments.

Results

Respondents ranked the items in Part I of the survey as shown in "Ranking of 16 Areas of Interest" at right. …

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