Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Ken Haycock, Candidate for ALA President

Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Ken Haycock, Candidate for ALA President

Article excerpt

Libraries change lives. I know, because they changed mine.

With no school or public library in our community, as a 10-year-old I hitch-hiked to the closest city library every Saturday. The world has changed over the past four decades but there are still millions of young people without access to school or public library services. This must change.

ALA also changes lives. Again, I know, as it has changed mine. From the first time I attended a divisional executive board meeting 27 years ago, I have met such interesting and intelligent leaders who have shaped my thinking about my profession and its values. ALA can be a powerful force for positive change if we can harness the goodwill and energy of its 61,000 members.

Our members are working in fields as diverse as opening doors to learning for preschoolers to offering value-added information services for major corporations. They are contributing to academic achievement in schools, colleges, and universities, and leading cultural, educational, and recreational activities in cities and towns. The choices are limitless, but the core values and core competencies of librarianship that lead to quality service and informed decision making remain constant.

As an active and committed ALA member since 1974--past president of AASL, active in association-wide committees, elected to Council and to the Executive Board--I am well versed in the intricacies of ALA, and committed to advancing this profession and its institutions. As a member of Council I know the policy issues facing ALA; as a member of the Executive Board, I know the financial situation and political factors affecting our growth and influence; as a former national association president and executive director, I also know the potential for leadership and influence. Perhaps the most important experiences that have prepared me for this position are as an elected president of a school board and chair of the Congress on Professional Education Steering Committee, each requiring political savvy, commitment to bring communities together, and an unwavering focus on advancing common agendas.

This is an incredibly exciting time for all of us in the profession and ALA is the premier organization to support libraries and librarians as central forces in our communities. …

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