Today, I attended my first LITA Town Meeting. It was great, and I hope to attend many more. I liked that it was a good blend of meeting other LITA members, learning about our users, and brainstorming about the future.
The Town Meeting started with a breakfast and introduction to the LITA leadership. We were shown the LITA Wiki, the LITA committee volunteer form, and were told that there is still time to apply to be on a committee. Appointments will be made over the next three months.
Then, even though it was a large meeting, everyone introduced themselves and revealed how long they had been LITA members. Reception was warm for new members, and the crowd was impressed with folks who had longer memberships.
Then, Mark Beatty, vice-president/president-elect, gave a presentation on his presidential theme. He gave an overview of the OCLC Perceptions report, the Pew report on Social Networking Sites, and talked about the value of ALA membership and 3rd places. He’s focusing his presidential theme on an updated environmental scan and improving on the values that LITA delivers to its membership. He used the town meeting as a way to learn about what people consider to be valuable about their LITA membership, as well as what they would like their LITA membership to provide.
Then, everyone in the room participated in a brainstorming process focusing on what people want from LITA. The ideas included (from most frequently cited to least frequently):
- Hands-on training/education
- Networking, meeting others, community, contacts, membership
- Leadership (within ALA, the profession, with library technology)
- More technology at conferences, better wireless connections
- Standards, best practices, white papers, knowledge sharing
- LITA happy hour
- Evaluation of technology
- “Pure technology”
- Emerging Technologies
- Give members things (tee shirts, etc)
- Software development
- Outreach in ALA and out of ALA
- Reference and Instruction
- Quality programing at all geographic levels
- Virtual Spaces
- Environmental Scans
- Financial Flexibility for LITA
- Name recognition for LITA
- Recommendations for free, new technologies
- The LITA Wiki (aka LIKI by some)
The next steps of the process are going to be:
- Take the recommendations and groupings to the membership at large.
- Get feedback
- Use Emerging Leaders as a focus group
- Finalized report for the membership
- Report used by the board to inform the next version of the strategic plan
It’ll be exciting to see what comes out of this process!!