ALA Council/Executive Board/Membership Information Session – Sat., June 29, 2013

ALA President’s Report – Maureen Sullivan

Maureen provided brief updates on the work being done on her presidential initiatives.  About 100 individuals from the U.S. and other countries participated in a program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education to explore how to lead effectively through the challenges of the digital age.  Additionally, 40 people have been chosen to participate in a leadership development program for ALA during August 2013.

ALA President-Elect’s Report – Barbara Stripling

Barbara provided brief updates on her presidential initiative: Libraries Change Lives.  Barbara has led the development of a Declaration for the Right to Libraries .  It is a statement of the value of libraries for individuals, communities, and the country.  Libraries of all types will be able to use a soon-to-be- released toolkit to plan signing ceremonies and to build community public support and gain media attention.  Other areas of focus for Barbara’s initiative will be on literacy, innovation (including developing library TEDx events), and community engagement.  She is also committed to continuing past initiatives on e-books and advocacy for school libraries.  Barbara plans to develop a School Library Week to draw attention to the plight of school libraries around the country.

Executive Director’s Report – Keith Michael Fiels

Keith highlighted a school library campaign that is being planned and also the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction awards, now in their second year.

Endowment Trustees Report – Kate Nevins, Trustee

Kate listed recent issues affecting the market; among them were the “spring swoon,” a possible end to bond purchases, and cutbacks in Federal spending.  Among the portfolio concerns going forward are potential overreaction to the possible end to Federal Reserve bond purchases; slowing economic growth in China; and a tepid rate of expansion for the general economy.  The market value of the ALA Endowment as of May 31, 2013 was $34,951,042.

Additionally, Kate reported that the Endowment Trustees analyzed the ramifications of a proposed resolution that directs the Endowment Trustees to “divest all holdings in the fossil fuel industry and invest in renewable energy initiatives.”  At this time, the Trustees do not support the proposal.  “Given the current marketplace, serious data suggest that such a divestment would ultimately harm the fund’s ability to fulfill its time-honored mandate.”

Budget Analysis and Review Committee Report – Clara Bohrer, Chair

Clara provided updates on the following: FY 2013 budget; end of year projections and actions needed to cover the projected $1.9 million deficit; fossil fuel divestment financial impact; an organizational membership special promotion; and FY 2014 budget development.

Treasurer’s Report – Jim Neal

Jim presented information on key strategic issues affecting ALA and its financial future, trends in ALA’s income and expense areas, opportunities for new business development, and an overview of the budget plan for FY14.

Strategic issues for the ALA FY14 are: continuing economic challenges; nonsupportive political environments; virtual professional participation; globalization of information issues; massive changes in the publishing industry; and limited growth in the MLS workforce.  Financial issues for the ALA FY14 budget are: declining or flat primary revenue sources; the need to diversity and enhance revenue sources; the need to invest in technology and systems; the need for continued focus on efficiencies and productivity; placing the highest priority on member value and engagement; and keeping resources focused on strategic priorities.


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