First Days on the Job as LITA President

Bonnie Postlethwaite

The ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans was an awe-inspiring experience on many levels. I was so overwhelmed by the gratitude of the New Orleaneans who could not have done a better job of making the 16,000+ visitors comfortable. New Orleans has a huge struggle ahead as the recovery has only begun. ALA set the example to the world that we believe in the city and want to help as much as possible in its recovery. Librarians not only helped economically by coming to the city, but many donated time and energy through volunteer service. I am proud to have attended the conference and even prouder that ALA chose to keep the conference in New Orleans.

I began my LITA Presidency at the end of the day on Tuesday, June 27. I want to thank Pat Mullin for all he did in the past year as President. He has been a great mentor to me and accomplished a great deal to move LITA forward. The LITA Board recognized the many years of hard work that our outgoing Past-President, Colby Riggs, has contributed. I will personally miss her insight and good humor at the Board and Executive Committee meetings. I welcome Mark Beatty, our new Vice President. Mark has served 3 years on the Board and the past year as the Director-at-Large on the Executive Committee. Mark has wonderful ideas and I look forward to working with him. Mark and I are committed to opening up lines of communication with LITA members on the LITA blog. I hope we can entice you all to dialogue in this space and via other means. We want to hear from you.

One of the awe-inspiring events of the conference was a breakfast with former LITA presidents done in recognition of LITA’s 40th anniversary. Sixteen former presidents attended and shared stories and memories. In particular, the group remembered all of the contributions to the profession of Henriette Avram who recently passed away. What a pioneer!!! She alone was ample inspiration to us all, but it was truly a humbling experience as incoming president to be in the presence of so many LITA leaders.

Our Sunday Afternoon with LITA was a smashing success starting with a stimulating Top Tech Trends. The reception that followed celebrated LITA’s 40 years with cake and champagne. LITA awards and scholarships were presented to an exemplary group of contributors. Finally, the President’s Program, Internet Culture: What Do We Know about User Behavior?, engaged the huge audience regarding Internet usage. Thanks to Pat for putting together this fabulous program.

I want to extend my enormous appreciation to the LITA staff, Mary Taylor and Val Edmonds. They have managed to keep things running smoothly while they try to fill Rob Carlson’s position. I hope we can announce the filling of this important vacancy soon to assist with all of our programming.

I look forward to the next 12 months as LITA President. Watch this spot on the blog for frequent communications from me. I hope to hear from you as well. Afterall, LITA is all about networking.