In the United States, Leslie Burger, past president of the ALA, has initiated a program to recruit and train new leaders for the organization (picture). Karen Keys, “a young adult librarian at Queens Library in New York”, reported from the ALA mid-winter meeting in Denver:
Berger Burger stated, “ALA is structured in a way that only librarians could have come up with.”
To aid our understanding, she shared some basic organizational facts:
- The Council is comprised of approximately 190 people, some voted on by the membership at large and others elected by the various round tables and divisions
- The ALA Executive Board is elected from the Council
- Twenty-five signatures are needed to run for Council
- Once elected Council members serve for three years and it is considered a large time commitment
… She challenged us to transform the organization, and offered the following tips:
- Ask questions
- Don’t do it just to add to your resume
- Be bold
- Don’t be afraid of the “old guys”
- Be flexible
- Take a break when you need it.
- “There have been times when I couldn’t stand to come to these conferences.” She took the necessary breaks enabling her to come back more excited each time.
- Bend the rules, apologize later.
- Have a good time, go to parties.
- Be willing to say, “This doesn’t work. We want to change it.”
- Emerging leaders at ALA. PLA blog.