Monday, November 05, 2007

Dear Colleagues:
I want to provide you with an overview of some of the more important actions and items discussed at the Fall Executive Board meeting on October 20th and 21st.

The Board approved the annual Programmatic Priorities based on the Ahead to 2010 strategic plan, that will be recommended to Council at the Midwinter Meeting. The Board also reviewed the preliminary Fiscal Year 2007 financial results for the association for the fiscal year that concluded on August 31. The association ended the year with a surplus of revenues over expenditures, and the Board approved use of these funds for an additional salary adjustment for ALA staff, for special projects related to the strategic plan, and to build the association's reserve.

The Board also approved the Final Fiscal Year 2008 budget based on the budgetary ceilings approved by Council. This budget included some adjustments, leaving some funds available for special initiatives and projects related to the strategic plan.

The Board reviewed the Report of the joint Membership Committee and BARC Task Force on the Graduated Dues Study, which will be presented to Council by the Task Force at the Midwinter Meeting. The Board thanked the Task Force for its work, and approved the initiation of a membership demographic study as outlined in the report and recommended by BARC. ALA is also currently working with Dr. Jose Marie Griffiths on an IMLS funded library workforce study that should provide critical information on future employment trends in the profession. Both of these studies will collect, analyze, and summarize needed data that will help inform us about issues related to the association's dues structure.

The Board also heard reports from the Endowment Trustees, from BARC, the Washington Office, and the Tribal Library Advocacy Team. This team is updating the Training and Assistance for Tribal Library Procedures Manual, a key resource for tribal libraries. They also heard and discussed two additional reports: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Public Library Technology and Access Study and the Web Site Usability Study.

Keith Michael Fiels and Mary Ghikas reported on progress in implementingthe Ahead to 2010 strategic plan. They also gave a status report on the pending reorganization arrangement between ALTA and FOLUSA. The plan involves FOLUSA serving in the role of providing executive and administrative services for ALTA for one year while the two organizations discuss a plan of action for a possible merger into a single joint ALA division.

Committee on Legislation Chair Camila Alire joined the meeting by telephone to discuss plans for a December Discussion on Government Information. This meeting will bring representatives from the Committee on Legislation, the Executive Board and interested divisions and round tables together to discuss how ALA units can best work together to effectively address issues relating to maintaining and improving access to government information.

The Board also reviewed a draft protocol for responding to requests for official ALA statements. The document is intended to help clarify the roles and responsibilities of ALA entities, including consulting other ALA units, when the association receives a request for an official position or for support of another organization's position.

The Board also approved updated Guidelines for Campaigning by Candidates for ALA Offices. In light of concerns regarding the financial burden on President and Treasurer now receive mailing labels and/or email addresses for all individuals listed in the Handbook of Organization (subject to member communication preferences). The guidelines also clarify issues related to endorsements by ALA units, elected officers and committee chairs. These changes take effect immediately and apply to candidates for president-elect in the spring 2008 election.

In closed session, the Board heard a legal update from ALA counsel Paula Goedert, reviewed nominations for Honorary membership, appointed a representative to the United States Board on Books for Young People, approved the Nominating Committee for the 2009 Election, received the 2008 slate of candidates from the ALA Nominating Committee, and discussed the Executive Director's Annual Evaluation.

On the Friday prior to the Board meeting, the Board met jointly with the divisions' Executive Directors and Executive Committees to discuss how to increase organizational excellence (goal six of the Ahead to 2010 strategic plan). Based on characteristics outlined in Seven Measures of Success, a publication of the American Society of Association Executives, the group identified possible areas where the association and divisions might best focus efforts in order to improve organizational excellence. A joint task force will be bring recommendations back to the group in order to develop an action plan.

More detailed information, including Board documents may be found at Also, please let me know if you would like additional information on any of these items.


Loriene RoyPresident