Magazine article American Libraries

Peter Hepburn: Head Librarian, College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, California: Peterforala.Org

Magazine article American Libraries

Peter Hepburn: Head Librarian, College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, California: Peterforala.Org

Article excerpt

We know from ALA's successful Libraries Transform campaign the ways in which libraries make a difference in our lives. Libraries also sustain individuals, communities, and institutions. We are champions of fact at a time when false information is readily communicated. We are critical to bridging equity gaps in order to provide information to all users. Even through political and social turmoil, libraries endure, and in so doing, enable our diverse communities to do the same.

To thrive, libraries and library workers need a strong and healthy professional association that advocates for us and for those who come to our facilities or who use our online resources, enabling them to benefit from the wide range of services we offer. Within our library community, we must have an association that is itself sustainable. The very sustainability of ALA forms the center of my candidacy for the ALA presidency.

ALA is at a crossroads. Membership is down, conference attendance has fallen off in recent years, and Publishing has struggled to set and reach budget targets. Most crucially, the search for a new executive director will begin again in 2019.

ALA remains a large, complex association, and the next executive director will need an able partner in the role of president--one who understands the organization and what will be needed for it to maintain stability and even achieve growth.

As your ALA president, my goals are to:

1. support efforts to maintain and grow ALA's membership base and finances

2. facilitate the smooth transition of the next executive director

3. …

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