Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Jim Schmidt, Candidate for ALA President

Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Jim Schmidt, Candidate for ALA President

Article excerpt

As ALA enters the new millennium, its leaders will build on past successes as they face new challenges. Our profession shares a common vision and we manifest this vision in individual solutions tailored to where we are and whom we serve.

During my 35 years in the profession, I have worked in all types of libraries in Michigan, Texas, Ohio, New York, Rhode Island, and California, and I have taught in library schools since 1973. The experiences I have had have required me to foster the development of a variety of programs and structures to enhance the accomplishment of the mission common to all libraries.

Shared values

Members of ALA share common values and these shared values serve as the basis for the contributions we make, through ALA, to the advancement of the interests of libraries and librarians in this county and throughout the world. These shared values are well articulated in the draft statement "Libraries: An American Value," which was presented to ALA Council at the 1999 Midwinter Meeting. If elected president, I would use this statement as a theme and basis for programming at the millennial Annual Conference.

Celebrating the profession

Given our shared values, it is appropriate at the start of the new millennium to celebrate our profession and libraries by showcasing our "best." If elected president, I will develop means for displaying outstanding examples of successful and innovative library services prominently featuring the users of such services and the creative library staff who planned and implemented them.


Our shared values arise in part from a sound fundamental professional education. If elected, I will seek to continue active dialog between educators and practitioners, exemplified by the ALA Education Congress scheduled for April 30-May 1. It is imperative that the dialogue this Congress initiates be continued because the past century in libraries demonstrates nothing if not that change is a constant. A prominent force of change in libraries is technology since it has become so pervasive in what we do and how we do it.

Therefore, though sound fundamental professional education is the beginning for a successful career, continuous education is a necessity and thus the dialogue must also include continuing professional education. …

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