So, what’s the deal with committees, anyway?

Good question, and I’m glad you asked. I need your help with that.

LITA has 20 committees to which members must be appointed annually by the Vice-President. We also send representatives to twenty other committees, groups, task forces and organizations. Some terms are multi-year; some committee members can be reappointed; some chairs come from the pool of members already on the committee; some representatives serve in that capacity by virtue of their position on a committee. Some committees do a lot of work between conferences in virtual meetings, and some don’t. Some committees submit program proposals for Midwinter and Annual conference, and some don’t.

TL;DR? It’s complicated, and I need about 100 people to fill spots that are opening up. I’m going to attack it one committee at a time, so watch this space for a call to action and more information about the committee of the week (roughly).

Have you already volunteered to serve on a committee using the infamous form? GREAT! I have that information. If you have an itch to drop me a line regarding a particular job, that’s great too, do it! Do you know a new LITA member who would be a fantastic committee member? Rat them ou–I mean suggest them! I also collected a lot of photos of badges at Midwinter. If you remember me taking a photo of your badge but you haven’t yet volunteered for a particular committee, please feel free to. (NB: that form is behind a login. Use your ALA credentials. Sorry about that.)

More soon… appointments are supposed to be completed by May, so that interested volunteers can attend meetings during Annual (in person or virtual, we don’t care which!). Do note that your actual appointments begin AFTER Annual, but it’s always good to know what you’re in for.

Questions? Please ask! You can find me @cinditrainor on twitter, at cindiann at that mail from google, or using my Connect contact form.

Tell us what you envision for LITA

Were you unable to attend LITA’s Town Meeting at Midwinter 2013 in Seattle? We would still like to hear from you!

Please take a few minutes to complete this survey and give the LITA leadership your thoughts on what works in LITA and what you’d like to see LITA become.

Not a LITA member? No worries, we want to hear from you, too!

Thank you from your friendly, neighborhood VP. ūüôā

Join us during the Town Meeting, from wherever you are

Hi, everyone!

This year’s Town Meeting will be Monday, January 28, from 8:30 – 10:00 PDT, in room 302 of the Convention Center. ¬†We will be streaming audio, and we welcome your participation via IRC and a Google Doc. ¬†Here are the details:

Because of the wifi challenges, the Town Meeting is a bit broken up on the recordings. The recording is in three parts, but almost the entire thing is available. ūüôā The challenges of streaming and recording at conferences seemingly never end. Thanks for your patience and interest.

Part the First

Video streaming by Ustream

Part the Next

Video streaming by Ustream

Part the Last

Video streaming by Ustream

Live video from your iPhone using Ustream

  • IRC: #litatm (instructions below)
  • Google Doc
  • Please tag your tweets with #litatm

Please note the chat will be logged for future reference and projected in the room for the benefit of those without devices, as will the Google Doc.

Join us in IRC chat. Never done IRC before? It’s easy!

  • Go to :¬†
  • Type in your nickname of choice.
  • Type in #litatm in Channels.
  • You don’t need to click the Auth to services box.
  • You do need to fill in the CAPTCHA.
  • Some codes will scroll through the status tab, and then a #litatm tab will open.
  • You are in! Say hi and chat with us ūüôā
  • When you want to leave type /quit
  • Type /me to refer yourself as your nick in the 3rd person. ¬†(If you type “/me likes this”, it will show up as “yournickname likes this”.)
<I>These draw heavily from Bohyun Kim’s IRC instructions. Thanks, Bohyun! ¬†And thanks to Andromeda Yelton, too! :)</i>

LITA Town Meeting at #alamw13 in Seattle

You can read all the gory details in¬†this Connect thread, but if you’re going to ALA Midwinter in Seattle next week, please consider joining the LITA Board for this year’s Town meeting, where we will enjoy breakfast, and then work together to Re-imagine LITA.

Monday, January 28, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m., TCC 302.
Agenda (subject to change and tweaking)
  • Breakfast 8:30 – just before 9
  • Introduction (membership & financial trends, Reimagining ALA) – Cindi (10 m)
  • Appreciative Inquiry – all (10 m)
  • Re-imagining LITA activity – all (30 m)
  • Re-imagining¬†reporting (10m) – group recorders
  • Closing (summary, announcement of followup activities) (5 m) – Cindi
Want to help? Volunteer by commenting on Connect.
I hope to see you there, in person or online!  Details regarding how to participate virtually will be forthcoming.


Want to serve in ALA? Volunteer by November 2

One of my duties as LITA VP is to participate in the Committee on Appointments, which recommends names for appointment to several ALA-level committees.  The deadline for volunteering for an appointment that will begin after Annual Conference 2013 is November 2.  Appointments are generally for two years, but there are some exceptions.

Please also note that these are ALA-level, and NOT LITA committees, though you can volunteer for LITA committees using the same form, and of course, I urge you to! ūüôā These are also not the Committees of the ALA Council.

Click the name of each committee below to read its complete charge and current roster, or view all Committees of the Association.

Committee on Accreditation
“To be responsible for the execution of the accreditation program of ALA, and to develop and formulate standards of education for library and information studies for the approval of council.”

American Libraries Advisory Committee
“To review and recommend editorial policies for American Libraries and to provide oversight for the implementation of those policies. To communicate with, and operate within, the frameworks established by the ALA Publishing Committee. To serve as a channel for member communication regarding the scope and coverage of American Libraries.”

Awards Committee
(a very long charge, including administering the “ALA General Awards”) ¬†View all ALA awards, scholarships and grants. ¬†Recognize the hard work of your fellow librarians!

Chapter Relations
“To develop and recognize chapters as integral components of ALA. To encourage discussion, activities and programs that support the mutual interests of ALA and the chapters.”¬† (and more!)

The charge involves policy work regarding conferences, but perhaps more interestingly: “To review recommendations of specific sites and dates prior to their presentation by conference services to the ALA executive board; and To recommend to council and to ALA staff a means for communications with the membership to hear their concerns about conference and meeting procedures and policies.”

Constitution and Bylaws
“To consider amendments to the constitution and bylaws; to review and draft rules for the conduct of council and membership meetings; to review and draft rules for the preparation of resolutions, memorials, and tributes; and to make recommendations to the association in accordance with the provisions of articles xi and xii of the constitution.”

“To monitor ALA elections for association officers, councilors, and constitution and bylaws.” Importantly: “To consist of six ALA members who agree to travel to ALA headquarters at no cost to the association.”

Human Resource Development and Recruitment Advisory Committee
“To advise the Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (formerly Office for Library Personnel Resources, OLPR) on activities, problems, and procedures related to library concerns in such areas as recruitment, utilization, education and training, and staff welfare….”

Information Technology Policy Advisory Committee
“To advise the Office for Information Technology Policy on priorities, policies and strategies for the Association that promote the development and utilization of electronic access to information. ¬†To provide an ongoing channel for member communication, working closely with other units, committees and officers of the Association in matters touching¬†information¬†technology.”

Committee on Literacy
“To develop and recommend the association’s policies related to the promotion of literacy…”

Literacy and Outreach Services Advisory Committee
“To offer policy guidance to the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services; to advise and assist the Office in¬†establishing¬†programs and priorities; to examine and assist in¬†coordinating¬†the various relevant programs and activities with ALA; to recommend new programs; to provide a channel through which membership may make recommendations; to issue reports; and to promote any other¬†activities¬†that will¬†improve¬†the quality of library services to the rural and urban poor and to ethnic minority groups.”

Membership Committee
To establish general policies, programs, and procedures to secure new members; to be responsible for the implementation of these programs; to coordinate membership promotion activities of all units and chapters of the association; to coordinate the ALA committee internship program; to make recommendations concerning membership dues; and to serve the association as a sounding board on membership”

Membership Meetings Committee
To plan the agenda for the membership meetings specified in ALA policy 7.4.10; to identify potential discussion topics for the membership meetings; to educate the membership about the purposes of the membership meeting and the opportunities it offers members; to identify and recommend incentives for attendance; to advise staff on logistics for membership meetings; to oversee publicity plans for membership meetings; to assess the effectiveness of the membership meetings in addressing the ALA membership’s needs; and to recommend changes in light of that assessment.

Public and Cultural Programs Advisory
“To serve as an advisory committee to the ALA Public Programs Office. To promote excellence in cultural programming; to assist library staff to become more effective providers of cultural programming; to identify and disseminate resources for cultural programming; and to promote the cultural communities fund.”

Research and Statistics
“To facilitate research and related activities in all units of the association, especially activities related to library statistics; to advise the ALA council and executive board on programs, policy, and priorities regarding research and related activities;” and much more!

Rural, Native and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds Committee
“To review issues and challenges facing rural, native and tribal libraries of all kinds; to collaborate with other ALA units addressing the needs of rural communities; and to serve as an advocate for and partner with libraries serving rural, tribal and native populations.”

Scholarships and Study Grants Committee
“To make recommendations to the executive board and the ALA council on all policies relating to ALA scholarships, study grants, conference sponsorships or research grants to be made or sponsored by ALA and its units. It shall administer the general scholarships, study grants, conference sponsorships, and research grants presented in the name of the American Library Association, known as ‘ALA general scholarships and study grants.’ all ALA general scholarships and study grants shall exist to advance study or knowledge in library science.” …and much more!

Training, Orientation, and Leadership Development Committee
“To plan and coordinate training, orientation, and leadership development for member leaders at all levels across the association. To inventory training and orientation modules in divisions, round tables, and other association groups. To coordinate the ALA committee internship training program.”

Website Advisory Committee
“To develop, review and recommend to council association policies for the ALA website. To recommend editorial or structural guidelines for the ALA website,” and much more!

Next up: LITA Committees.

Questions? Please do ask. You are welcome to comment here, or you can find my contact information on my Connect page.

It begins…

When I decided to write about my time as LITA Vice-President/President-Elect, I knew I would be writing about LITA committees and making appointments to them, about LITA Forum and my experience there, and about my experience with the LITA Board in general. ¬†I’m delighted to learn that there are other responsibilities of the Vice-President, and my hope is that by writing about them, I might help others who are interested in division leadership, be it LITA or not.

My first phone call with Mary Taylor, LITA’s Executive Director (ALA Staff) earlier this year was very pleasant. ¬†She called to deliver the news that I had won the election, and that my term as Vice-President/President-Elect would start after the Annual conference in Anaheim. ¬†She was clearly excited about the upcoming year, and reminded me of these Vice-Presidential duties:

  1. Attend training that would help Mary and me establish a working relationship.
  2. Attend two CNI meetings as LITA’s representative.
  3. Appoint members to LITA’s committees.
  4. Appoint LITA representatives to a few ALA committees.
  5. Plan and run the LITA Town Meeting at the Midwinter meeting in Seattle.

Some of these I already knew about, and some were new to me. ¬†I actually have already attended the training (which I have yet to write about, boo), and I had my first conference call as LITA’s representative to the ALA Committee on Appointments, which is the official way of stating #4.

I have been LITA VP for a month and a half now, and things are really starting to ramp up. ¬†Stay tuned here to learn what I’m doing, and I hope, to learn more about what LITA and ALA are all about.

Questions?  Please ask!

Draft new LITA vision statement

Hey everyone,

At yesterday’s meeting, the Board spent time crafting a new vision statement for LITA. ¬†We would LOVE your feedback on this before we finalize it on Monday afternoon, in the form of comments below, tweets, photos, whatever! ¬†If you’re in Anaheim this weekend, buttonhole one of your Board members in the hallway–look for our light blue “LITA Board of Directors” badge ribbons. ¬†We want to hear from you! ¬†If you provide feedback online, please tag with #litavision so we can keep track.

“LITA builds a community of professionals, thinkers, doers and makers¬†who foster innovation and leadership in library technology.”

Ready, set, go!

What is LITA?

At our meeting on Friday, the LITA board (your board!) conducted an exercise to craft an updated vision statement for our organization. We started out by thinking of organizations that inspire us and listing the attrubites that we admire about that organization. Some people talked about non-profits, some about online businesses or communities and some about their current or former places of work. Again and again, we came back to the idea that the people make the organization. To that end, we tried to come up with a short statement to describe our vision for LITA. Give it a test-drive and let us know what you think. Is this your LITA? We welcome comments and suggestions!

LITA: Libraries. Innovation. Technology. Awesomeness: Choose your own adventure!*

We probably knew this on the day of the meeting, but “Choose Your Own Adventure” is a registered trademark, so this is probably a good place to start with the discussion. ūüôā

Town Meeting Monday! Please join us online or in Dallas

To all LITA Members – current, past and future and Friends of LITA:

You are invited to virtually join the LITA members present in Dallas for the LITA Town Meeting РMonday 1/23 from 8-10am CST.  Instructions and links for how to participate virtually will be posted to the LITA Blog ( approximate 30 minutes before the session starts.

We will be using UStream (audio only) and ALA Connect Chat to facilitate virtual participation.  We will stream the audio for the outbound channel Рso virtual participants can hear the general introduction and overview and then break out into three streams Рone on each topic Рso that the discussion in the room can be heard.  Remote participants can log in to ALA Connect ( chat to send questions and comments to a discussion moderator who will share those with the participants in the room.

No account is required to access the audio streams.  However to participate in the chat, you must have an account set up in ALA Connect.  You do not have to be a member of ALA or LITA to create an account in ALA Connect.(

We also encourage you to send in questions for the LITA Leadership.  Those can be sent in in advance (post on the LITA blog in comments ( or reply to this posting with your question.  Or you can send in your questions the day of the Town Meeting through any of the chat streams. Or you can submit your questions via Twitter Рplease use the hash tag #LITATM12 Рso we will be sure to see them.

There will be three general topics for discussion:

*what is the value that participation in professional associations in general and LITA in particular provide;

* how LITA can provide support for developing leadership skills in emerging technology leaders;

* where and how should LITA provide support for development of technology skills.

My thanks to the LITA members who have volunteered to wrangle the software and equipment needed to facilitate virtual participation!

Please do plan to join us and help us beta test ways to improved and enhance virtual participation in the work of the association. Your input on these important topics is greatly appreciated.

Zoe Stewart-Marshall
LITA Vice President/President-Elect