This is a time of great opportunity and challenge for libraries, librarians and library staff. We must strengthen our ability to make the case for how we make a difference in the lives of the people in our communities. I believe ALA is the best resource and most effective voice for libraries on a national level. The 2011-2015 Strategic Plan provides an excellent framework for ensuring a vibrant future for the profession.
My professional concerns include:
(1) competition from publishers and other vendors of information access who believe they can bypass libraries and sell information products directly to the publics we serve; (2) challenges to and erosion of our principles and values, especially intellectual freedom, privacy, and access to information;
(3) the difficulty those we serve have in achieving information and media literacy as the complex world of information explodes in a socially networked environment;
(4) preparing ourselves to lead the transformation necessary to remain vital and relevant in the increasingly digital world;
(5) capitalizing on the talents and commitments of everyone who works in our libraries; (6) strengthening our commitment to create a culture of inclusion and diversity in ALA and in our organizations
(7) collaborating with our international colleagues to ensure quality library service around the world.
We must continue to provide free and open access to information. We must increase our efforts to defend and foster our principles and values locally, nationally and globally. Our ability to make the case for the value of libraries in community development, life-long learning and education is essential to our democracy. Continued collaboration with our international colleagues is critical to advocacy for the value of libraries and the work of librarians and library staff throughout the world. ALA and ALA-APA must be at the forefront of this work.