ASCLA: Envisioning the Future of Library Systems

ASCLA – ICAN Consortia Management Discussion Group
ALA Annual Meeting, June 24-29, 2010  Washington, DC

When: Sunday, June 27, 2010
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Where: JW Mariott – Congressional/Senate ballroom, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave Northwest
Facilitator: Sheryl Knab, Western New York Library Resources Council, Buffalo, NY
Topic for discussion: Envisioning the future of library systems

Background: We know systems are efficient organizations and bring tremendous return on investment both to our members and our funders. However, NY system directors have real concerns about the viability of our organizations as we witness the dissolution of many systems in other states (New Jersey, Illinois). Many NY directors are discouraged at the mixed messages from our legislators who support us on one hand and propose to cut our budget on the other. However, if we look back at our funding history, we have always been fighting for more money and for more recognition for the efficiency of our operations. There is no indication that this pattern will change. So how do we move forward? How does a system regroup after tremendous cuts? How do we move beyond the funding issue to action? How do we change our behaviors that may be impacting how we are perceived by our members, the public, and the legislators? How do we improve our own “interface” to attract greater visibility?

Join us to discuss our future as systems. Help us identify what philosophical shifts, if any, must take place in order for us to move forward and secure our future. Tell us of concrete changes your system has made to increase your viability with your members or with your funders. Let us know of your successes collaborating with other systems or groups. Be prepared to share what’s working, what’s changing, what’s new.

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