From the President

Change and transition are recurrent themes for ASCLA in the coming year. As I begin a term as ASCLA President, the Board is addressing several transitions. The first, immediate priority is the search for and welcoming of an Executive Director to be shared with the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) division. A search committee, with representatives from the ASCLA and RUSA boards and from ALA, has been reviewing resumes and hopes to complete the interview process by the end of the summer. The ASCLA and RUSA boards are also taking the opportunity to look at ways to coordinate and simplify procedures for an easier transition for our shared Executive Director and staff.

Another major change is the forthcoming merger with the Federal and Armed Services Libraries Round Table (FAFLRT). This past year FAFLRT voted to begin the merger with ASCLA. During 2017-2018, representatives from the two boards will work through a timeline with a goal to complete the transition by September 1, 2018. A Task Force will be revising ASCLA’s bylaws for approval by the membership in the spring 2018 election. We will incorporate FAFLRT’s mission and members in all aspects of the Division, including Board representation and new Interest Groups. We look forward to welcoming new members and sharing the strengths of members with new areas of interest.

ASCLA staff has been working on a new rebranded website. This upgrade is prompted by ALA’s current process of creating a new, modern website. The new site, ascladirect.org should be available later this summer. Watch for more news about the features and content for and by ASCLA members.

In June, ASCLA’s editor for Interface completed her term and has moved on to a new position. We thank Christina Wray for guiding Interface for the past three years. We will be gathering member comments before advertising for a new editor. Because the editor position is open at a time when there is transition in ASCLA staff, at a time when there is a major update and rebranding of the ASCLA website, and a time when ASCLA is making it easy for members to add content to ASCLA’s new rebranded website, we are taking time to examine the future of Interface. I invite members to provide feedback and comments on what they value about Interface after 7/17/17.

The heart and energy of ASCLA remains the conversations, ideas, and projects generated by our many Committees and Interest Groups. The Board heard about several projects and proposals at the Annual Conference in Chicago. We look forward to hearing from more of you. We urge ASCLA Interest Groups to share ideas with ASCLA and other ALA members. The new ASCLA web site will make it easy to submit news for publication on ascladirect.org and on social media. Members and Interest Groups also have opportunities to share expertise by proposing online learning offerings or 2018 Conference programs. There is time to submit program ideas for 2018, through ALA’s new Conference Program submission site. Submissions are due by August 25, 2017.

The next year will go quickly and I look forward to sharing it with ASCLA members, the ASCLA Board of Directors, the FAFLRT Board of Directors, and especially with the ASCLA / RUSA staff.

Jeannette Smithee
ASCLA President 2017-2018