ALA/LLAMA 2009 All Online Election

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce that the Spring 2009 ALA election will be the Association’s first all online election.

Over the last five years, since we first introduced online voting, the number of online voters has steadily grown, with the vast majority of members now voting online. Even more importantly, the introduction of online balloting has significantly increased member participation in the election process.

It’s no secret that the coming year promises to be a difficult year financially for all of us. It is also a year in which every organization is looking at ways in which it can reduce energy consumption and adopt “greener” approaches. For these reasons, the decision to save nearly a half million pieces of paper and $90,000 in postage and printing is good for the association – and environment. Funds that would have been used for paper ballots can now be used to support critical member services and advocacy activities on behalf of libraries.

Under the new procedure, members who have not provided ALA with email addresses by March 1, 2009 will receive a paper mailing with information on the election web site and an individual election password. Those without internet access at home or work can easily access the site through a visit to their local public (or in many instances academic or school) library.

A printed version of a paper ballot will continue to be readily available upon request to members with disabilities and no internet access.

At this point, you can help us all prepare for our first online election by logging on to the ALA web site (that’s in the upper right hand corner of the home page)  and adding your email address to your member record (instructions on how to do this are provided on the site).

Further information on the upcoming election and new procedures will be forthcoming in American Libraries, AL Direct, and member mailings. In the meantime, ALA Librarian Karen Muller ( or Member Services Director Juanita Rodriguez ( ) can answer any questions you may have.

Looking forward to the Association’s first all online election,

Jim Rettig
ALA President

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