Tuesday, March 19, 2013

ALA Dues Increase Proposal on Ballot

E-mail from ALA President Maureen Sullivan with information about the dues increase proposal:

The ALA 2013 spring ballot includes a proposal to adjust personal member dues amounts. This proposal was approved by ALA Council on January 29th at the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. This message is to inform you about the proposal and to ask for your support.
Here is what is being proposed:
  • Beginning in September 2013 and then each year through September 2017, personal member dues will be reviewed by the ALA Executive Board.
  • In that review, the Executive Board may approve a dues adjustment not to exceed the percentage change in the national average Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the previous calendar year, rounded to the nearest dollar.
  • In 2016, the Executive Board and Council, with input from ALA personal members, will formally evaluate this provision. Any further dues action at that point would require approval by a vote of the Executive Board, Council and ALA personal members.
The ALA Membership Committee, the ALA Executive Board, and your Councilors worked diligently to be sure that any dues adjustment would be fair to you and would position ALA for future success. We also have taken steps to ensure that the necessary tracking and accountability mechanisms are in place. This work is an excellent example of the different parts of ALA collaborating to achieve a very important goal, while addressing member considerations. 
I believe this dues adjustment mechanism will enable ALA to continue and augment valuable work on its many strategic initiatives including library advocacy, federal legislation, intellectual freedom, diversity, digital content, community engagement, online continuing education, and member engagement. At the same time, very small increases (projected to be $1 to $4 dollars each year based on past history and category of membership) will take the place of what would otherwise need to be a larger, one time increase during this period.  This approach is very similar to the approach that has already been successfully implemented by ACRL and PLA with the support of their members.
A question and answer document about the dues proposal is available on the ALA Member blog at www.ala.org/dues-qa. Polls for the 2013 ALA election will open on March 19th and close on April 26th.  I encourage you to vote in the upcoming election. This is a key benefit of your ALA membership and your opportunity to influence the future of the association.

Maureen Sullivan
ALA President

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Free Webinar: Reducing Homelessness Through Library Engagement

Free webinar to highlight ways to build meaningful library experiences for those experiencing poverty and homelessness

The ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) and the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) will host a webinar expanding on the tips and tools in “Extending our Reach: Reducing Homelessness Through Library Engagement,” the latest outreach toolkit from OLOS and SRRT. This webinar will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Central time on Thursday, March 21 and is free and open to all who are interested in transforming libraries by building meaningful library experiences for all, especially poor and homeless patrons. 

This free webinar will feature Lisa Gieskes, coordinator of the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) Hunger, Homelessness, and Poverty Task Force, and Julie Winkelstein, Ph.D., University of Tennessee – Knoxville, who will explore resources, best practices and model programs geared towards creating positive library experiences for those experiencing poverty and homelessness.  

Information on accessing the webinar can be found on OLOS’ Online Learning page, http://www.ala.org/onlinelearning/unit/olos.

The ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) is a unit within the American Library Association. It works to make ALA more democratic and to establish progressive priorities not only for the Association, but also for the entire profession. Concern for human and economic rights was an important element in the founding of SRRT and remains an urgent concern today. SRRT believes that libraries and librarians must recognize and help solve social problems and inequities in order to carry out their mandate to work for the common good and bolster democracy. SRRT’s main website is hosted at http://libr.org/SRRT.

The mission of OLOS is to identify and promote library services that support equitable access to the knowledge and information stored in libraries. OLOS focuses attention on services that are inclusive of traditionally underserved populations and people generally discriminated against based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, language and social class. The Office ensures that training, information resources and technical assistance are available to help libraries and librarians develop effective strategies to grow programs and services for library users.

John L. Amundsen | Program Officer, Outreach and Communications | ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services
50 East Huron Street | Chicago, IL 60611 | T 312.280.2140 | F 312.280.3256 | jamundsen@ala.org