New York Library Association. - The eBulletin

A Message from the President

by Barbara Stripling, NYLA President

Through the guidance of our committee chairs, NYLA’s committees have mapped their action steps for the year against NYLA’s 2017-2020 Strategic Plan.  I will share a few of their highlights. 

The Legislative Committee (chair: Rebekkah Smith Aldrich) is focusing on our advocacy goals by:

  1. continuing to meet with legislators in local offices and in Albany;
  2. preparing library supporters for advocacy with training and messaging;
  3. communicating with the NYLA membership regularly;
  4. focusing on passage of a bill requiring a certified school librarian in all schools;
  5. developing an advocacy and communication calendar; and
  6. influencing legislation about the importance of school libraries on both the federal and state levels.

The Membership Committee (chair: Geoff Kirkpatrick) has developed a number of actions that will address:

  1. retaining membership at the 5000+ level;
  2. attaining 500 organizational members;
  3. developing NYLA involvement pathway guides; and
  4. recommending appropriate sections and roundtables based on members’ interests.

The Continuing Education Committee (chair:  Deanna DiCarlo) will be working on four major items:

  1. planning the 2017 pre-conference CE sessions;
  2. surveying membership about their CE needs and preferences;
  3. working to improve usage of the continuing education calendar; and
  4. working toward creating some “turning that conference session into an awesome webinar” guidelines and support;
  5. developing an institute similar to L&MA;
  6. holding an academic summit in collaboration with ASLS, NYLA Council, and NYLA staff.

The Sustainability Initiative Committee (chairs: Matthew Bollerman, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich) is undertaking two main action steps to build on the substantive work that was completed last year:

  1. develop realistic goals and benchmarks for sustainability; and
  2. identify opportunities to encourage sustainability in all aspects of libraries and library service.

The Everyday Advocacy Task Force (chair: Ron Kirsop) has organized into four subgroups to enable them to complete substantive work by the 2017 conference.  Each group has a specific mission:

  1. the Guide Team will develop a guide to everyday advocacy to be distributed at the 2017 fall conference;
  2. the Newsletter Team will develop very practical tips and strategies for all types of libraries;
  3. the Presentation Team will coordinate presentations at the fall conference; and
  4. the Research Team will respond to research needs as they emerge.

All of these committee actions are aligned with NYLA’s Strategic Plan and almost every section of the plan is being tackled.  We will be able to track definite progress on achieving the goals of our strategic plan through the collective action of these committees and their members.

I attended ALA’s Midwinter Conference and noted a couple of emerging ideas that will have a positive effect on our chapter and our membership.  First, ALA seems to be increasingly recognizing the value of chapters.  Chapters were mentioned as important to a number of different contexts, including membership growth and engagement, legislative action at the state and local levels, advocacy, and ALA policy.  The second emerging trend is the increasing emphasis on equity, diversity, and inclusion in the organization.  In fact, ALA Council adopted a fourth strategic direction for the organization:  Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI).  Since I conceived of and appointed the first ALA task force on EDI when I was president in 2013-2014, I am extremely pleased that this focus has become such an integral part of the ALA culture.

We are fortunate that Camila Alire, a former ALA president, has agreed to be my president’s speaker at the fall conference.  She will be speaking about everyday advocacy and the importance of standing up for what we believe and can deliver through our libraries.  I have also asked her to connect everyday advocacy to diversity and inclusion.  I told her that I was looking for a presentation that focused on “social activism with a soul.”