LITA Annual Report, 2014-2015

statswinnersmembershipAs we reflect on 2014-2015, it’s fair to say that LITA, despite some financial challenges, has had numerous successes and remains a thriving organization. Three areas – membership, education, and publications – bring in the most revenue for LITA. Of those, membership is the largest money generator. However, membership has been on a decline, a trend that’s been seen across the American Library Association (ALA) for the past decade. In response, the Board, committees, interest groups, and many and individuals have been focused on improving the member experience to retain current members and attract potential ones. With all the changes to the organization and leadership, LITA is on the road to becoming profitable again and will remain one of ALA’s most impactful divisions.

Read more in the LITA Annual Report.

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! 🙂 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!

New LITA board members take office

Cindi Trainor, coordinator, Library Technology and Data Services, at Eastern Kentucky University, is the newly elected vice-president/president-elect of LITA.  Her term, and that of newly elected LITA board members, began at the conclusion of the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim last month.

Trainor has been active in LITA since 2007, when she served on the LITA Library Hi Tech Award Committee and participated in the Blogs, Interactive GroupWare and Wikis Interest Group (BIGWIG).  Since then, Trainor has served on the Web Coordinating and the Top Tech Trends Committees and the Online Programming and Electronic Participation Implementation Task Forces.  As a director-at-large on the LITA Board, Trainor has served on the Executive Committee and has liaised with the Web Coordinating and the Assessment and Research Committees.

“LITA’s members are its strength and its life, and I want to build on that by helping to transform LITA into an organization that is attractive to potential new members and home to existing ones,” said Trainor.

This year two newly elected directors-at-large begin their three-year terms:    Cody Hanson, website architect and UX analyst, University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis, and, Rachel Vacek, head of Web Services, University of Houston, Texas.

Patrick Mullin, former LITA President, to retire from UNC in August

Chapel Hill – Patrick Mullin, interim associate university librarian for collections and services at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will retire July 30, after a professional career spanning 37 years.

Mullin joined the library staff in 1987 as systems librarian. He subsequently headed the Systems Department before becoming an associate university librarian with responsibility for systems, access services and systems, and then technical services and systems. Since March, he has served on an interim basis as associate university librarian for collections and services. During his tenure, he oversaw several comprehensive system migrations, as well as a complete reorganization of the library’s technical service operations in 2008.

Mullin has been especially active with association and consortial activities. He was president in 2005-06 of the Library & Information Technology Association (LITA) of the American Library Association, and was a member of the LITA Board of Directors and its Executive Committee from 2003 to 2007. He chaired the LITA 2001 and 2002 National Forum Program planning committees and has held leadership positions with the Association of College & Research Libraries and the Data Research Users’ Group.

From 1988 to 1991, concurrent with his responsibilities at UNC, he was interim director of the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN), a collaborative organization of the libraries at UNC, Duke University, North Carolina Central University, and North Carolina State University. For this service and numerous other contributions, he was recognized by TRLN in 2000 for his “extraordinary service and leadership and for outstanding contributions promoting cooperation among libraries.”

Mullin received a B.A. in history from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. in history from Purdue University. His M.L.S. is from the University of Kentucky. Mullin began his professional career as the special collections librarian at Marietta College, in Marietta, Ohio. He subsequently spent ten years in various positions with OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., in Dublin, Ohio, before coming to UNC.

Judith Panitch
Director of Library Communications
University Library
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Newly-elected LITA officers begin terms

Colleen Cuddy, interim director, New York University Health Sciences Libraries, NYU School of Medicine, is the newly elected vice-president/president-elect of the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Her term, and that of newly elected LITA councilor and board members, began after the June 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

Cuddy has served as a member of the LITA Board of Directors and the LITA Executive Committee. She has experience in programming, having served on the LITA National Forum Program Planning Committee, and in governance, having served as the Bylaws Committee chair and Board parliamentarian. “LITA members are innovators and leaders, and I feel very privileged to lead such a diverse group of librarians and library professionals. I look forward to developing methods to communicate the value of technology innovation for LITA members and for librarians at large. I will also work to cultivate LITA membership and create new opportunities for members’ professional growth,” said Cuddy.

This year LITA elected Adriene Lim, associate university librarian, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, as LITA Councilor for a three year term. Newly elected Board Directors, who also will serve for three years, are Cindi Trainor, coordinator, Research and Instructional Services, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky, and Jason Griffey, head of Library Information, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Lupton Library, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

New LITA Strategic Plan

I am pleased to share the new LITA Strategic Plan with you. The LITA Strategic Plan was created using feedback gathered from the R2 Market Survey, the joint LITA Board Meeting with the Committee and Interest Group chairs in 2008, the LITA Town Meetings in 2009 and 2010 and the LITA Board Meeting in 2010. Over the last 5 months the LITA Executive Committee has taken the resultant feedback and created this plan. The LITA Board of Directors approved the plan earlier this month.

Here is how the LITA Board would like to proceed.

1. The LITA Strategic Plan has been posted to ALA Connect Members are encouraged to review the new LITA Strategic Plan and post your feedback to ALA Connect by Friday, June 25th.

2. The last 45-60 minutes of the Saturday LITA Board Meeting will be devoted to the LITA Strategic Plan. The Strategic Planning session of the LITA Board Meeting will be held in the Convention Center room 204A, Saturday, June 26 at approximately 11:30-12:15.  The LITA Board welcomes LITA members to the meeting if they wish to provide feedback in person (if you can’t make the meeting please provide feedback in ALA Connect During the Strategic Planning session at the LITA Board meeting we will also identify which strategies we want to tackle in the next 18 months and assign those strategies to the appropriate committees, interest groups and task forces. The LITA Board will then work with the committees, interest groups and task forces to create action plans on how those groups plan to accomplish the strategy.

3. The LITA Board has asked the committees and interest groups to fill out and submit their completed Action Plans and submit them to the LITA Board two weeks prior to the Midwinter Meeting in January 2011. Board members will be available to assist the committees, interest groups and task forces in the completion of the Action Plans.

4. During the LITA Board session at the ALA Midwinter Meeting 2011, the LITA Board will review the submitted Action Plans to make sure all strategies that were identified as priorities in next 18 months are accounted for and if not how to proceed.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Michelle Frisque
President, Library & Information Technology Association

New LITA officers elected

Karen Starr, Assistant Administrator for Development Services at the Nevada State Library & Archives, is the new vice-president/president-elect of LITA. Her term, and that of newly elected LITA board members, begins after the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, Ill., a few weeks ago.

Starr has served as a member of the LITA Board of Directors. She has experience in international relations having served on the LITA International Relations Committee and in various roles with the ALA International Relations Round Table. In addition to the IRC, Karen has served LITA on the Program Planning Committee and the Nominating Committee, “Creative change comes with long term investment, commitment, and patience. Every 10 years of the last 30, the library field has passed a milestone in its use of technology including online searching (1970s), CDROMs (1980s), and the Internet (1990s). Now we are involved with the digital world. Everyone is struggling with the sustainability of the structure we have and trying to take the next step into the future. We are not quite sure where that step will take us. The innovators and leaders of tomorrow are the LITA members of today. It is refreshing to work with a dynamic group on the national level who care, who want to define that future and who come together to work on what the big picture should look like. I look forward to the opportunity to work with LITA’s members to collaboratively implement the vision that sustains our country’s 21st century information infrastructure,” said Starr.

Newly elected board members, who will serve for three years, are Aaron W. Dobbs, Systems & Electronic Resources Librarian, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania; and Maurice York, Head, Information Technology, NCSU Libraries, North Carolina State University.

Announcing the LITA Online Programming Task Force

LITA needs a system or process to gather, post, and share LITA sponsored programs presented at conferences and events online.
To explore and recommend a systematic approach to gather and post LITA programs presented at events such as ALA Annual Conference, LITA National Forum, LITA Camp, etc.
  • Identify the types of programs that are presented and which are most appropriate for online posting
  • Identify other organizations such as ACRL, PLA, WebJunction, etc, who are currently providing this service to learn about their experiences
  • How should the content be delivered online i.e. live webcast, produced in a studio, screencast, etc.
  • Identify, evaluate, and analyze available systems
  • Identify which systems are best for delivering each type of program
  • Determine who should have access to what types of programs and how. This should include:
    • Identifying the appropriate delivery method
    • Who should have access. Should it be available to all LITA members, available to everyone, etc.?,
    • Should access be different for different user communities?
    • Should their be a registration fee for certain types of programming
Task Force:
The task force should include representatives from:
  • LITA Program Planning Committee
  • LITA National Forum Committee 2009
  • LITA National Forum Committee 2010
  • LITA Web Coordinating Committee
  • LITA Education Committee

Thanks to the following people for agreeing to serve on this task force:

  • Aaron Dobbs, chair
  • Melissa Shepard
  • Anne Graham
  • Cody Hanson
  • Michael Witt
  • Jenny Emanuel
  • Kristine Feery
  • David Ward
The task force should submit their recommendations to the LITA Board of Directors no later then ALA Midwinter Conference 2010 and run a pilot project at the Annual Conference 2010.

LITA Town Meeting Update

I want to thank everyone who participated in this years LITA Town Hall meeting and remind you that you can continue to participate on Twitter. I will continue to follow #litath09, the tag assigned to the Town Meeting, so if you want to add to the conversation please do. I’m listening.

Here are the questions we asked during the breakout session:

  1. What makes LITA unique inside ALA and in the greater community?
  2. Who else is filling the same role as LITA right now?
  3. What areas of IT are not be addressed in the community?
  4. How do other organizations see LITA?
  5. How can LITA work with other organizations?
  6. What can LITA learn from peer organizations?

We had 12 tables in the room so 2 tables discussed each question. I posted pictures of the notes from each table and they can be found on Flickr.

I want to thank the following guests for coming to this event and participating in the discussion:

  • ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries): Susan Kroll
  • ALCTS (Association for Library Collections and Technical Services): Dina Giambi and Mary Case
  • ASIS&T: Nancy Roderer (Past-President)
  • BCR (Bibliographical Center for Research): Regan Harper
  • Digital Library Federation (DLF): Barrie Howard
  • RUSA (Reference and User Services Association): Neal Wyatt
  • Taigi: Tom Wilson (Board Member)
  • OCLC/WebJunction: Beth Gutsche

I would also like to thank the Twitter table for getting a feed going on the spot! I really enjoyed reading it after the fact and I know those who could not attend enjoyed participating from wherever they were.

Finally, I would like to thank Matt Barnes from R2 Consulting for volunteering his time and facilitating the discussion.