Annual Conference: Conversations with members of the ALA Community

From Maureen Sullivan, ALA President

At this year’s ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, we are holding the first in a series of kitchen-table type conversations with ALA members and conference attendees about their aspirations for ALA as their professional community.  These conversations are a step in the process of making ALA an innovation space where members and staff can collaborate and create together.  This process of turning outward to the community – civic, campus, organizational – is at the heart of The Promise of Libraries Transforming Community, funded in its initial phase by IMLS.  In this case, we are the community – a community of members, staff, external allies and partners and others in our field.

These 1 ½ hour conversations will take place Saturday-Monday at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in the Hyatt Regency McCormick (HRM), connected to the McCormick Place Convention Center, in Meeting Suite 5.  We are planning four conversations/day, each with 14 participants.  They will begin on Saturday June 29 and run through Monday July 1:  8:30-10:00am, 10:30-noon, 1:00-2:30pm, 3:00-4:30pm. To ensure your seat, please register in advance registration by contacting Mary Ghikas at ALA ( ) – and providing a 1st and 2nd choice of day/time. We will fill spaces on a first-come basis.

ALA members experienced in facilitating conversations will facilitate and record the conversations. Following the Annual Conference, we will post notes to the community in ALA Connect – and as we hold future conversations, we will continue to build a rich base of public knowledge about the aspirations and concerns of our community.  We will be continuing these conversations at the 2014 Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference.

I urge you to participate so we can hear your voice as we consider the best ways for ALA to work with members now and in the future.   I thank you for your membership, your attendance and your interest in building our professional community together.

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