November 1, 2010 (Vol. 16, No. 19) – From the President

***The Prez Sez: OLA Board Begins a New Year
The new OLA Executive Board met at the State Library in Salem on October 8th to begin a new year of advocating for library services and supporting library staff. 

Your new executive team is Past President, Connie Anderson-Cohoon from Southern Oregon University;  President, Rob Everett from Springfield Public Library; and Vice-President, President-Elect, Robert Hulshof-Schmidt from the State Library.  They are joined on the board by additional voting members, Secretary, Emily Papagni; Treasurer, Liisa Sjoblom; State Librarian, Jim Scheppke; ALA Representative, Hannah Gascho Rempel; Member-at Large, Anne-Marie Deitering; ACRL President, Jane Scott; CSD Chair, Krist Obrist; OYAN Co-Chairs, K’lyn Hahn & Susan Smallsreed; PLD Chair, Colleen Winters; and SSD Chair Susan Bacina.  We are ably assisted by Association Manager, Shirley Roberts along with a number of Round Table, Committee, and Task Team chairs.  All this adds up to a formidable group of librarians and library workers who are dedicated to improving library service in Oregon and in helping the library staff delivering that service become even more successful than before.  If you work with or encounter any of these people be sure to thank them for their service to Oregon libraries and for their service to you.

The good news is that our just completed fiscal year (’09-’10) saw the organization finish in the black, and plans are well underway for what promises to be a highly successful annual conference.  The theme of the conference and for my tenure as your president is, “Libraries build Communities build Libraries”.  In my mind, and in my actions, libraries are integral to the communities they serve; be that a private sector employer, a university campus, a government agency, or a city, county, or district public library. By the same turn, those communities are the life blood of their institutions.  We could not survive without our communities.  In fact they are the reason we exist. 

The bad news is that whatever organizational or jurisdictional context we find ourselves in, times are tough, and we are going to have to exhibit both cohesiveness and resourcefulness to get through them.  OLA is devoting itself to helping you, but we can’t do it without your engagement and participation in the association.

 In the coming weeks I will talk to you about specific aspects of the board work plan that we hope will support you and your involvement in OLA.  I encourage you to become involved in our common endeavor by encouraging coworkers to join OLA for the first time, renewing your own membership, offering your skills and insights to an OLA Division or Round Table, and by visiting our website and reading our Vision 2020 Statement, which is the culmination of a 2 ½ year process designed to “paint a picture of the challenges and opportunities Oregon’s libraries will face in the next decade.”  This vision was created by tapping into your experience and imagination and it will be your experience and imagination and energy that will ultimately determine whether we achieve it or not.  Consider my last statement both a challenge and an invitation to join us.

Rob Everett