Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Liz Bishoff, Candidate for ALA Treasurer

Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Liz Bishoff, Candidate for ALA Treasurer

Article excerpt

Today's ALA is a strong, vibrant organization. This strength is due to the strength of ALA's divisions, units, round tables, and committees; strong public visibility; growing membership; and leadership in public policy related to libraries. ALA has just announced ALAction 2005, a new strategic vision. The four goals of ALAction 2005 include a major public relations campaign promoting the role of libraries and librarians; expansion of ALA's public policy efforts; establishing the Association as the leader in library continuing education; and support for equity of access. For ALA to accomplish these goals and meet its mission, ALA must continue to be financially strong. It is the responsibility of the ALA Treasurer, with other member leaders, to assure effective financial management of the Association.

Areas of concern

Over the past five years, ALA's financial strength has come from several areas. Since 1995, ALA membership has increased from 55,000 to 59,000 members. Second, ALA and the divisions' national conferences have offered new and expanded educational opportunities, while generating revenue to support member programs. Third, ALA's publishing program has had three very successful years due to strong titles in all areas of librarianship. Lastly, ALA has benefited from the strong investment market, growing the endowment to $11 million. While ALA has this positive financial picture, there are two areas of concern: the retirement of the baby boomers and the increasing number of new library school graduates going into nontraditional positions. The convergence of these two trends may result in a drop in membership and a decline in revenue. ALA must recognize this situation and develop plans to respond.

To remain strong, ALA must be agile and creative. ALA must respond to the needs of the 21st century library and librarian so they can respond to the needs of the 21st-century user. ALA must identify new ways to deliver services to meet 21st-century member needs. There are four areas that ALA can pursue. First, ALA must explore new membership markets and options. ALA must consider membership opportunities for librarians in nontraditional library positions, library advocates, and library support personnel. Second, ALA needs to advance the electronic association, expanding member opportunities in programs, continuing education, networking, and member participation through use of technology. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.