This is a time of great opportunity and challenge for libraries, librarians and library staff. While those who fund and govern libraries often ask questions about the value of what we do and how we contribute to our communities, those who use our services know how essential we are to their individual lives and to the nation at large. 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. As your President, I will continue to engage ALA governance and the membership broadly to accomplish the goals and objectives in this plan. I will collaborate with the elected leaders of all ALA units to identify current activities in support of the five goal areas: advocacy, building the profession, transforming libraries, member engagement and organizational excellence. I also will work with these elected leaders and ALA members generally to identify innovative and sustainable future strategies in each of these areas.
My career has been devoted to enabling libraries of all types to become more effective organizations. I have helped them to create high-performing workplaces in which every staff member has the opportunity to contribute and perform work that is productive and satisfying to them. As President of ALA I will bring this experience and a deep commitment to strengthening the profession. I will do this by providing a shared, collaborative leadership model; that is, I will strive to create and expand opportunities for members throughout ALA to contribute in ways that will benefit their organizations, their professional practice and librarianship generally.
I will foster greater collaboration among ALA divisions and units by focusing on common opportunities and aspirations. I will encourage us to identify our distinctive strengths and to recognize and support the specialized interests of the divisions and units.
Now is the time to explore the feasibility of an ALA-wide leadership development initiative that will build upon the numerous current successful activities underway in ALA and ALA Chapters.
I look forward to continuing the work of the ALA Young Librarians Working Group to ensure the implementation of the ideas set forth in their report. Clearly, there are new professionals with exciting ideas. We must engage them in meaningful ways not only to retain them as members, but to encourage them to take leadership roles.
The current economic climate creates the opportunity for ALA to strengthen its influence in community development by exploring and identifying ways to promote synergies between local government and libraries. Library leaders need to be at the table with local government leaders as they plan sustainable change in their communities
I will explore ways to strengthen and extend our international activities throughout the world, especially ALA’s advocacy for the value of libraries and librarians. I will work with those already engaged in international librarianship to identify innovative approaches to professional practice, ones in which all involved will learn from one another.
My focus as President will be to build upon the accomplishments of recent ALA presidents in the areas of advocacy, intellectual freedom, diversity and ensuring that libraries, librarians and library staff remain vital in the increasingly global digital context. I will provide effective leadership to ALA and ALA-APA as a whole and I will be a strong voice for libraries and how they make a difference in people’s lives.
I will bring the experience, commitment and enthusiasm necessary to lead ALA and ALA-APA. I ask for you vote.
- Maureen Sullivan