Lauren for ALA Council

Many of you know that I am a supporter of ALA. Since first getting involved, I have found it to be a rewarding experience and have met many inspirational colleagues through the organization. I’ve also seen that there are things that need to change to align the organization with the expectations of people today. As such, I’ve advocated for more virtual meetings, online interaction, and flexible ways of doing business.

I’ve been doing this from the different places within the organization that I spend my time: LITA, as the (co)chair of the Distance Learning Interest Group; ACRL, through the Women’s Studies Section Instruction Committee; the Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship, where I learned about how council works; the Emerging Leaders Program, and various other small groups that I’ve rotated on and off.

So this year, when I was asked if I would run for council, I jumped at the opportunity. If you’d like to see the formal information I included on the ballot, other candidates I can vouch for, I have set up a website for the election. I also included the video you can see here:

Lauren Pressley for ALA Council from lauren pressley on Vimeo.

I believe that the best way to improve ALA is from within the official structure of the organization, and council is an excellent place to work on those goals. Please consider voting for me, and I’ll do my best to make ALA better for you.

If you’re also voting in the LITA and ACRL elections, I have a few candidates I can vouch for there as well:


Jason Griffey for Director at Large
Cindi Trainor for Director at Large


Kenley Neufeld for Director at Large

Hope for ALA pt 2/3 (or: Why I love ALA Connect)

I was thinking of the different ALA type posts I have in mind to write, and I realized it’s actually a series of three. One on LITA and how I think it’s poised to show the larger association what is possible and how to be relevant for library workers of today and tomorrow, one on ALA and how ALA Connect is a great step, and one on ACRL and how their recent made use of a number of tools that made it that much more relevant.

Since my LITA Endorsement post really made a case for how LITA can show the way to ALA, I’m counting that as post 1 of the series. This is post 2.

Jenny Levine has rocked it out. One thing that I’ve been observing is that as there are more options for collaborating online, people go outside of official channels. I don’t know that I would pass a value judgment on that act. In many cases I prefer the alternate, more open ones. But if I were working on a strategy for online communications for a large organization (like ALA) I would definitely be looking for ways to bring all the communication related to the organization under one roof, and I would be looking for a way that would save the members time and make their contributions easier. Upon first looking at it, I think ALA Connect allows just this.

Lauren Pressley | ALA Connect | American Library Association

Here are a few things worth noting:

  • When you first log in, use the same information you use to log into the ALA site. You can change this to another login and password once you’re in. (I didn’t realize this at first, so I created an account. After realizing the benefits of the original one, I had to get help deleting the one I created. Thanks, Jenny!)
  • Your account will already know some things about you: the sections, committees, etc, you’re involved with through ALA, your email address, job title, etc. Pretty much, if ALA knows it, it can populate your profile with the information.
  • You can friend people, just like on Facebook.
  • You can pull in your blog posts, delicious bookmarks, and flickr photos. They show up in the left hand sidebar.
  • Your committees, etc, have space where they can work. You can pull in similar information there, too. For example, I was able to pull in the DILG blog to their page.
  • If you are familiar with social networks or wyswyg wiki editors, you’re ready to go.

I think this movement represents a very positive shift within the association. It’s honestly the first time I felt I could point at something and say, “there, that’s a benefit I’m getting from ALA.” (I feel I get value from my ALA colleagues and from participating in committees, but this is something that’s ALA specific rather than something that could happen on its own or in other venues.) If all goes well, this could be a case of our association showing other organizations how to make use of online communication/information technologies to support the work of their organization. Way to go Jenny (and all the Connect team members)!

So, anyway, I’m really impressed! I love the informal groups that are popping up all over the web, but it’s nice to have a streamlined place for association work and communication. If you check it out, friend me! :)

ALA/LITA Elections

take by lakelandlocal

take by lakelandlocal

hi gang.

It’s that time of year again: ALA Elections! Any ALA member should get their ballot information this week, between March 17 and 19.  If you’re interested in the direction the association takes, and an ALA member, please remember to vote.  If you’re also a LITA member, please keep reading.

I believe in the importance of professional organizations. I believe ALA is in a good position to do good things for libraries and their staff. I believe that if ALA doesn’t change, and quickly, they will lose membership as people turn to other options. If that happens, we will have lost a powerful tool for the profession.

ALA is too mammoth to change much at the largest levels without a grassroots change from the membership. Having been a member of and observed many parts of ALA, I believe this change can best come from LITA. LITA gave rise to the BIGWIG Social Software Showcase and the Top Technology Trends panels.  LITA has innovative and enthusiastic members who work to adapt the organization for today’s world. LITA has connected me with colleagues who I respect and learn a lot from. With the right leadership, LITA can demonstrate how associations can stay relevant to their users, and can be a role model for its parent, ALA.

I’d like to offer LITA members my personal endorsement of the following candidates:

  • LITA President:  Karen Starr
    From her personal statement: “Creative change comes with long term investment, commitment, and patience. Every 10 years of the last 30, the library field has passed a milestone in its use of technology [...] Now we are involved with the digital world [...] The innovators and leaders of tomorrow are the LITA members of today. It is refreshing to work with a dynamic group on the national level who care, who want to define that future and who come together to work on what the big picture should look like. I look forward to the opportunity to work with LITA’s members to collaboratively implement the vision that sustains our country’s 21st century information infrastructure.”
  • LITA Director-at-Large:  Aaron Dobbs
    Aaron and I have crossed paths a number of times, both online and at conferences. I have always found him to be friendly, supportive, and fair, and he is a role model for transparency within ALA. From his personal statement: “As an advocate for LITA members, libraries, and library technology admins and users, I will move forward efforts re-thinking and improving how LITA disseminates our technology savvy [...] LITA should inform ALA’s internal debate by keeping the Association aware of how technologies in use today could be affected, depending on the resolution of these policy debates.”
  • LITA Director-at-Large: Maurice York
    I have met Maurice at a few ALA Conferences, and have always been impressed with his professionalism and focused attention on how to get things done. From his personal statement: “[...] I believe that LITA is positioned to represent the potential of a responsive and flexible professional organization to play an important role in shaping the profession at this critical turning point. My exposure to a wide variety of the aspects of LITA that make it hum–the interest groups, the program planning, the committees, the administrative and procedural concerns–has prepared me to join in the governance of the organization and take an active role in promoting these principles.”

I am hopeful that LITA can continue to offer cutting edge services to its users, demonstrate how technology can easily and practically be used for professional associations, and be a resource for all those interested in today’s library technologies. I believe that the three individuals above are the best for that job.

Thanks for reading and considering voting for these three candidates.

This endorsement represents my personal opinion and is in no way reflective of any committee, interest group, or other unit of LITA or ALA.