Judy Nelson submitted written questions to the candidate for ALA Treasurer, Jo Ann Pinder. The questions and her responses are provided below.
1.Please tell us a few ways in which you think division contributions are integral to the success of ALA financially.
Many members only join ALA so that they can join a division.
Divisional national conferences provide revenue to ALA in the form of new members and overhead from profits.
The work of the Divisions is more closely related to the practicing librarian. This practical information shows in a very tangible way why ALA membership is beneficial.
I have been active in 3 ALA Divisions, serving as president and councilor of one. I understand the needs of the divisions and their importance to the success of ALA. As ALA Treasurer, I will bring this experience and perspective to the office. The strength of ‘big ALA’ comes from its Divisions.
2. At times, it is hard to plan our programs and initiatives as we are dependant on information from other departments within ALA. How would you help facilitate reporting and communication between departments such as PIO or Publishing and the divisions they work with?
This is a staff issue and one out of the direct purview of the elected officers. But, as a member of the Executive Board I would make issues of this nature known to the Executive Director and facilitate the communication needed to solve the problem.
3. What are some ways that ALA can reach outside of the library community to bring new revenues and initiatives to our organization and to divisions?
Good question. Looking for ways to increase revenue makes the accomplishment of our mission easier. The fundraising of ALA has greatly increased since I became active in the association. But these funds are not always what the Divisions need or want. More focus needs to be placed on division needs for the dollars gained. In order to do this, the divisions need more of a say in ‘big ALA’ work. Before we spend the time and energy on outside sources, we need to examine how we can make better use of our existing revenue. There are some ways that we can make better use of our dollars. (While every political candidate talks about ‘cutting the fat’, as an active member of ALA, I have seen first hand areas where we can be more cost-effective.)
That said — looking to natural partners and grant sources in a systemic way in coordination with all of ALA interests in mind, should be done.
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