Midwinter Saturday: Membership Town Hall

January 25, 2009

The full breadth of ALA's membership was on display at the well-attended and generally upbeat Membership Town Hall Meeting sponsored by ALA's Executive Board and Membership Meeting Committee. Dozens of members offered their voices on the topic "What Do Library Staff Want President Obama to Know?" Members asked ALA President Jim Rettig to remind the president of the needs of libraries of all types, from public, academic, and school libraries to those serving more specialized populations like military, tribal, or federal libraries. Bernie Margolis, state librarian of New York, expressed his hope that the technology-friendly president would support the reading of books as well. "We've seen him with his Barackberry, we've seen him in front of computers. Can we create an opportunity for him to help us and us to help him build on the knowledge economy that is such an important part of moving this country forward?" Sam Hastings declared "I think we should remind the Pres that the Institute of Museum and Library Services is up for reauthorization, the home of the Library Services and Technology Act, and that the research endeavors out of that institution are what lead us into future and better solutions." Arizona State Librarian Gladys Ann Wells suggested simply a thank-you, "Because [President Obama has] done more for public records in two days than many administrations did in 12 months."


2009 ALA Presidential Candidates Forum

2009 ALA Presidential Candidates Kenton Oliver and Roberta Stevens respond to member questions at the Presidential Candidates Forum held January 24, 2009, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. ALA Past-President Loriene Roy moderated the forum.Questions asked (with time of question in parentheses) were:What might your presidential theme be? (at 0:15) How soon can ALA gain connections with the Obama administration? (4:00)What is the future of e-participation in ALA? (7:50)How can you attract young members and develop young leaders? (11:54)