The Midwinter Meeting of ALA will soon be upon us. Our Executive Director, Susan Hornung has posted to many of our discussion lists the various programs, meetings and opportunities sponsored by ASCLA and its units. I would also encourage you to make full use of the scheduler, which has been improved over the years. By all means, please join us at the Happy Hour on Friday to start your meeting networking with your ASCLA colleagues.


Speaking of our stalwart Executive Director, probably the biggest news is that this will be Susan’s last meeting with us as our lead staff person. We wish her well on her retirement. I have had the opportunity to work with several of the Executive Directors of ASCLA (and RUSA) over the years. Susan has been a wonderful asset to our association. Her entrepreneurial spirit has served us well. The annual travel packages have been a financial boon to us. Her other efforts at marketing ASCLA have always brought us important visibility. I know that the past presidents and board members who have had the opportunity to work with her join me in saying that words fail in expressing our gratitude for her loyal and inspired service over the years.


How do we replace her? Well, we never will do that, however, we will hire an executive director. Here is an abbreviated description of the process. This position is shared with the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA). The process has already begun with the help of ALA staff. The Human Resources Department has created a search committee which includes representatives from ASCLA, RUSA, and ALA staff. President-Elect Jeannette Smithee joins me in representing ASCLA on that committee. The job description has been written and is being posted and distributed. We are lucky to have staff from the ALA HR Department help with the details of posting the ad and receiving the applications. After an initial screening, the Committee will meet to choose candidates to be invited for interviews. As the Senior Associate Executive Director of ALA, Mary Ghikas, has remarked this is a collaborative and cooperative process. That collaboration means that the committee will work to come to consensus. More likely than not, we will have a new Executive Director to introduce at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.


Simultaneously, you have likely read that the ALA Executive Director, Keith Michael Fiels, has also announced his retirement. The ASCLA role in that process will be more limited, but we have been active participants in selecting the individuals who will represent the interests of the Divisions in this process. I want to acknowledge the President-Elect Jeannette Smithee for her leadership with the other divisional leaders as we worked on our part of this process. For more about this, stay tuned. The process of hiring a new Executive will take longer.


Feature Image:Atlanta Skyline – enilykS atnaltA by BK