Friday, July 04, 2008

Talk given at Jim Rettig's inaugural banquet, 1 July 2008

Lakota warrior Crazy (or Enchanted) Horse is attributed with the phrase: ‘It’s a good day to die.” Strangely, although the Anishinabe and Lakota weren’t traditionally the best of friends, I thought of variations of that phrase often over the past year. I told myself: “It’s a good day to read Strugis or “The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure.” “It’s a good day to send that weekly report to ALA Council.” “It’s a good day to write that monthly column for “American Libraries.” “It’s a good day to travel to Washington, D.C., Chicago, Shreveport, Oahu, Boston, Olympia, Columbus, Tucson, Las Cruces, Vancouver, Northfield, and places in between. Good moments became good days, months, until a good year passed. It was a good year to be an ALA President.

Many of you were with me during the hard work, exhilaration, and the sometimes lonely days. We greeted each other in email, on Facebook, in Second Life, in elevators, passing in airports and at conferences. I saw and heard from old friends—my six best girlfriends, including my sister, Della Nohl , the two Beths, Rebecca, Lisa, and Anela. I was blessed to see current and former students in the midst of welcoming crowds. I had the excellent good fortune to travel, to greet wonderful students and faculty and library workers in China, Mexico, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Korea, Australia, and Aotearoa/New Zealand. I slept in the shadow of a sugar beet factory, near the banks of the Ohio river in Louisville, in a room overlooking the Atlantic, and found magic under the Northern Lights in Fairbanks.

We’ve worked hard, very hard over the past year. An ALA President’s work involves usual, predicted duties, responding to new requests, and then, often, demonstrating work of potential interest to ALA members. What were our accomplishments?
· Two education forums, one focusing on doctoral students’ work and the other on service engagement of students in their master’s programs;
· A book contract for The Service Engagement, a monograph that Alex Hershey and I will soon be completing;
· The information architecture for a database of Capstone/fieldwork experiences;
· A Gathering of Readers online celebration of indigenous children’s reading and culture that took place during National Library Week;
· Web content highlighting selected library services for immigrants and those incarcerated;
· A workplace wellness website that will find its new home with the ALA-APA;
· Wellness document for library workers including a workplace wellness inventory, wellness passport, and a staying healthy at conference plan;
· A Wellness Fair featuring exhibitors, poster sessions, a celebrity chef, and Dance Dance Revolution;
· An Exercise Pavilion with classes on relaxation exercises, and seated yoga, Pilates, and hula;
· Delivery of over 30,000 SURVIVORSHIP Notebooks to public libraries from the Lance Armstrong Foundation;
· Discussions related to library camps for youth;
· Launching of a national oral history project, Capturing Our Stories, with a media rich digital library;
· Meeting effectiveness tip sheets and podcasts;
· Conference events including an Honor Dance, Presidential programs at the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference, and a Many Voices, Many Nations evening of indigenous readings and performance;
· Podcasts and bilingual tipsheets on meeting effectiveness;
· The first Presidential Citations for Gaming in Libraries;
· The First Presidential Citations on Innovation in International Librarianship;
· And collaborations with WGBH-Boston, Reading is Fundamental, the Indigenous Language Institute, and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Chi megwitch to my family and loved ones. An 18 year old boy, Owen Hunter, completed his senior high school year and is preparing for college at SUNY-Syracuse in the Environmental Sciences and Forestry program. Sara Albert and Alex Hershey, worked with me. Megwitch. Joe Sanchez: made sure that the education forums took place and he guided my avatar, Mukwa Dibou, to her place in Second Life. Arro Smith made sure that the oral history project began first steps toward a digital library. Siobhan Champ Blackwell and Henry Stokes and an emerging leaders cohort lead the way with the workplace wellness. Kit Pilgrim organized the Gathering of Readers event. Sharon Shaulmon generously shared her experience in leading a discussion about national library camp. Lisa Romero, Eli Mina, and Elias Tzoc designed, created, and produced the meeting effectiveness resource.

So many ALA staff members who have gone out of their way to provide support. You expect the head of governance to do this work, and JoAnne Kempf did. So many others freely offered their help—Keith Michael Fiels, Dale Lipshultz, John Chrastka, Jenny Levine, James Vertovic, Wendy Prellwitz, Jenifer Grady, Lorelle Swader, Beth Yoke, Diane Foote, Andy Bridges, Melanie Anderson, Leonard Kniffel, George Eberhart, Lois Ann Gregory Wood, Danielle Anderson, Cheryl Malden, Alicia Bastl, Michael Dowling, Daniel Kraus, Greg Calloway, Delin Guerra, Jonathan Kelly, Karen Obrien. Each day, the terrific public information office came to my rescue: Macey Morales and Jennifer Petersen, stretched me, comforted me, buoyed me up to meet the many media requests. I still can’t listen to my voice or watch videos, but you made me look better than I know I am.

It’s been a good year. Today marks day 371 of my term; I gained Leap Year Day and a few extra days due to conference schedule. Tomorrow afternoon I return to my good life—what can be better than serving as ALA President is teaching in an LIS program, enjoying time with family and loved ones, continuing work with WGBH-Boston, serving as chief editor for Greenwood’s “American Indian Experience,” attending basketball games, and returning to host parties every 6 weeks or so. I stand to serve ALA should I be needed.

And today, it’s a good day to turn over this challenging, rewarding, exciting role to the capable hands of your next ALA President, James Rettig.

Hello, Council,

Here’s my -last brief update, listing selected activities over the past week. Thank you for the honor of serving as your President.
Loriene Roy, 2007-2008 ALA President


I. Presentations
A. 25 June: “Greetings,” Spectrum Leadership Institute, Garden Grove, CA.
B. 26 June: “Professional Pathways to Celebrating Community, Collaboration, and Culture,” Diversity Leadership Institute 2008, “Fundamentals of Diversity,” Anaheim, California.
C. 26 June: “Librarian Offers Reading Tips for Gay Pride Month,” NPR: Tell Me More.
D. 26 June: “Greetings and Advice,” Incoming ALA Committee Chair Orientation.
E. 27 June: “Greetings,” International Relations Round Table Preconference.
F. 27 June: “Greetings,” Oral History Workshop (“Capturing Our Stories”)
G. 27 June: “Greetings,” Emerging Leaders.
H. 27 June: “Greetings,” Education Forum.
I. 27 June: “Greetings,” Literacy Committee.
J. 27 June: “Greetings,” International Relations Round Table Librarians Orientation
K. 27 June: “Greetings,” Many Voices, Many Nations
L. 27 June: “Greetings and Awarding of Presidential Citations for Innovation in Gaming,” Open Gaming Night.
M. 28 June: “Greetings,” NMRT Orientation.
N. 28 June: “Script Reading,” Exhibits Ribbon Cutting.
O. 28 June: “Greetings,” Council Orientation for New and Re-Elected Councilors.
P. 28 June: “Script Reading: Introduction,” Vernon Jordan, Jr., Auditorium Speaker
Q.28 June: “Greetings,” LAMA Mentoring Committee Kick-Off Event.
R. 28 June: “Summary of ALA Presidential Year,” Chapter Relations Committee.
S. 28 June: “Script Reading,” Opening General Session.
T. 29 June: “Greetings,” Pura Belpre Award Ceremony.
U. 29 June: Co-Presenter, ALA President’s Program (We Shall Remain segment)
V. 29 June: “Greetings,” Newbery-Caldecott Awards Banquet
W. 30 June: “Script Reading,” Jamie Lee Curtis and children in ALA Day Camp
X. 30 June: “Greetings,” American Indian Library Association Book Awards
Y. 30 June: “Greetings and Awarding Presidential Citations on Innovation in International Librarianship,” International Librarians Reception.
Z. 1 July: “Greetings,” Coretta Scott King Awards Breakfast.
A2. 1 July: “Script Reading,” ALA Awards Ceremony.
B2. 1 July: “Script Reading,” Inaugural Banquet.
C2. 1 July: “It Was A Good Year to Be ALA President,” James Rettig’s ALA Presidential Inaugural Banquet, Anaheim.

II Media Interviews
A. 25 June: Chicago Trib/LA Times (Topic: gaming and changes in libraries)
B. 25 June: Orange County Register (Topic: 2008 ALA Conference; State of America’s Libraries
C. 2 July: Independent Reporter (Topic: Summary of ALA Presidential experiences)

II. Writing

IV. Meetings, visit, calls:
A. 25 June: Dinner #1, Spectrum Leadership Institute, Garden Grove, CA.
B. 25 June: Dinner #2, Freedom to Read Foundation, Anaheim.
C. 26 June: Freedom to Read Foundation Board
D. 26 June: Planning Meeting for Traditional Knowledge Meeting
E. 26 June: ALA Executive Committee Meeting
F. 26 June: Leadership Meeting
G. 27 June: Breakfast, ALA Executive Board
H. 27 June: ALA Executive Board Meeting I (chaired)
I. 27 June: Lunch for ALA Division Presidents
J. 27 June: Emerging Leaders Poster Sessions.
K. 27 June: Reception for Library Champions/Major Funders/Past Presidents.
L. 27 June: ALA-APA 5th Anniversary Reception.
M. 27 June: Reception for AMBAC President, Ms. Hortensia Lobato-Reyes, AMBAC
N. 27 June: Reception for Dr. Camila Alire on her election to ALA President-Elect
O. 28 June: Prompt Book Review.
P. 28 June: Green Room with Vernon Jordan, Jr.
Q. 28 June: Lunch for ALA Division Presidents.
R. 28 June: Stop by: Committee on Education, ALA Exec Board Liaison Visit.
S. 28 June: Stop by AILA Program, “Digitizing Indian Country.”
T. 28 June: Rehearsal, Opening General Session.
U. 28 June: ALA Membership Meeting I (chaired)
V. 28 June: School of Information, The University of Texas at Austin Reception
W. 29 June: Division President’s Breakfast
X. 29 June: Exhibits: Membership Pavilion +
Y. 29 June: ALA/Council/Exec Board/Membership Info Session (chaired)
Z. 29 June: ALA-APA Info Session (chaired)
A2. 29 June: ALA Council I (chaired)
B2. 29 June: Affiliates Luncheon
C2. 29 June: Stop by: Exercise Pavilion
D2. 29 June: ALA President’s Program reception
E2. 29 June: APALA/Native Hawaiian Librarians reception
F2. 29 June: CALA dinner.
G2. 29 June: ASCLA/COSLA Reception.
H2. 30 June: Green Room to meet Dr. Brazelton
I2. 30 June: Dr. Brazelton’s program, Auditorium Speaker
J2. 30 June: Stop by: Advocacy Coordinating Group
K2. 30 June: Stop by: PR Assembly
L2. 30 June: Stop by: Recruitment Assembly
M2. 30 June: ALA-APA Council. (chaired)
N2. 30 June: ALA Membership II. (chaired)
O2. 30 June: ALA Executive Board II. (chaired)
P2. 30 June: Green room with Jamie Lee Curtis
Q2. 30 June: Stop by: LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund reception
R2. 30 June: Stop by: Michael L. Printz Program and Reception
S2. 30 June: Jim Rettig Presidency Success Makers Reception
T2. 1 July: Green room: Coretta Scott King Awards Breakfast
U2. 1 July: Prompt Book Review.
V2. 1 July: Exhibits.
W2. 1 July: ALA Council II (chaired)
X2. 1 July: Virtual Library Day on the Hill
Y2. 2 July: Stop by: International Relations Committee Meeting II
Z2. 1 July: Rehearsal for Awards Ceremony
A3. 1 July: Post-Inaugural reception.
B3. 2 July: Prompt Book Review
C3. 2 July: ALA Council III. (chaired)
D3. 2 July: ALA Executive Board.
E3. 2 July: ALA-APA Board of Directors

V. For Fun
A. 26 June: Dinner with Dr. Alvin Schrader, Immediate Past President of
Canadian Library Association and friends
B. 27 June: WebJunction Reception
2 July: Dinner with selected ALA Exec Board members and friends

VI. Continuing Service for ALA as ALA Immediate Past President

ALA Council, Member.
ALA Executive Board, Member.
ALA Executive Committee, Member.
ALA Executive Board Liaison: ALA Committee on Education
ALA Executive Board Liaison: ALA Committee on Accreditation
ALA Executive Board Liaison: ALA Committee on Literacy
ALA Executive Board Liaison: ALISE
ALA Executive Board Liaison: AILA
ALA Executive Board, Board Effectiveness Committee, Chair.
Round Table Coordinating Assembly, ALA Exec Board rep.
Association of American Publishers-ALA Joint Committee, Chair.
I Love My Librarian Award Jury, Chair.