As you may have heard, ALA, ACRL’s parent organization, is considering a range of significant changes to our 142-year-old association. In June 2018, then-ALA President Jim Neal appointed a Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE), facilitated by consultants from Tecker International. SCOE consists of 19 members from across the association who represent the Executive Board and Council, divisions, round tables, committees, and ALA staff. ACRL is very ably represented by ACRL Board of Directors member Emily Daly.
This group was asked to conduct a comprehensive review and study of ALA’s governance, member participation, and legal structures and systems. SCOE was asked to explore ideas for the future of ALA’s governance groups such as the Executive Board and Council. ALA’s relationships with its divisions (including ACRL), round tables, and committees are also under review.
As part of this review, SCOE is also charged with proposing new models that will revitalize ALA’s success, strength, and agility as a 21st-century association.
What does SCOE do exactly?
With input from across the association, SCOE is exploring new structural models and reorganization possibilities for the future of ALA. The work of SCOE includes a strong focus on membership engagement, ensuring that the diversity of voices that enrich ALA are heard by incorporating the perspectives, interests, and contributions of a wide variety of stakeholders and affiliated groups. Its work is mission-driven and embraces ALA’s core values. At the end of the process, SCOE will present its findings and recommendations to the ALA Executive Board for their consideration. Following review by the Executive Board, any proposed changes would likely be reviewed by ALA Council and brought before the full ALA membership for a vote.
Why should you be interested?
As busy as we all are with work and volunteer responsibilities, it is easy to focus on our individual homes in ACRL or ALA at the expense of larger conversations. We know that many ACRL members are most engaged with our division or with a component of it, rather than with ALA as a whole. You may work most closely with your Instruction Section peers or be most involved in your Technical Services Interest Group. We all find great value in the professional networks that we build with our ACRL colleagues.
However, SCOE is developing new models of governance and membership that may affect the way all of ALA, including ACRL and its component groups, looks and functions in the future. Some of the changes SCOE might propose could be required by bylaws or the ALA Constitution to go to the full association membership for a vote. But other changes may not require such a vote to be put into action.
It is important that all ACRL members be engaged in the process now to make sure our voices are heard while SCOE is still developing its recommendations.
How can you keep up-to-date and add your voice to the conversation?
On Monday, April 29, SCOE hosted an online Information Session on Prioritization and Member Engagement through Divisions. A recording of the one-hour session has been posted to the SCOE ALA Connect group (login required). SCOE Chair Lessa Pelayo-Lozada also gave an update on the project at the ALA Virtual Membership Meeting on May 9. You can watch a recording of the Annual ALA Virtual Membership Meeting on the ALA website, the SCOE report begins at the 45:27 mark.
If you would like to provide feedback to SCOE before its initial draft model is released in the lead up to the upcoming ALA Annual Conference, please leave feedback by joining the Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE) Project: Discussion Forum on ALA Connect or email Lessa Pelayo-Lozada at email@example.com. You can also share your thoughts by filling out the SCOE Virtual Session Feedback Survey.
SCOE at ALA Annual
SCOE will hold five open sessions at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. at which members can comment on the proposed new organizational models. These 90-minute sessions will all take place in room 103B in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center:
- Saturday, June 22, 12:00–1:30 PM Eastern
- Saturday, June 22, 2:30–4:00 PM Eastern
- Sunday, June 23, 12:00–1:30 PM Eastern
- Sunday, June 23, 2:30–4:00 PM Eastern
- Monday, June 24, 12:00–1:30 PM Eastern
Virtual participation will be made available for those who cannot attend in person, check the SCOE ALA Connect group for access information. For those who aren’t able to make it to Annual or attend one of the conference sessions virtually, there will be another virtual presentation at 2:00 p.m. Eastern on Monday, July 8. Registration information for the online session will be posted when available.
Make your voice heard!
No matter how you choose to participate in the process, we encourage you to learn more about SCOE’s work to date and give your honest feedback. Together, we can help build a new ALA that both embraces the future of the profession and continues to provide avenues for ACRL members to connect and grow.