From the President – November 2017

ASCLA has had a busy fall. We welcomed Jessica Hughes as the ASCLA Executive Director in early October. She has been busy learning about ASCLA and RUSA and assisting the two organization’s boards, committees, and interest groups in moving forward.

A major focus of ASCLA is the pending merger with the Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table (FAFLRT). The process is scheduled to take the full year of 2017-2018, guided by an ASCLA / FAFLRT Merger Planning Task Force consisting of executive committee members from both organizations. This fall the Task Force has been working on:

  • Selecting a new name to use for the merged division; See Poll results below
  • Preparing reports for the ALA Committee on Organization (COO) relating to the dissolution of FAFLRT and ASCLA’s change of scope for the newly named division; The reports will be presented to COO and ALA’s Executive Board at the Midwinter Conference
  • Preparing to revise the bylaws to reflect changes relating to the merger as well as general updates; The bylaws will be presented for member approval in the spring ALA election
  • Preparing to continue work in the spring on details of incorporating components of FAFLRT into the new merged division


The name for the merged division will be Association of Specialized Government, and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASGCLA). This was the top choice from the ASCLA / FAFLRT Poll to Name Our Division that ran from October 17 to November 6. There were 143 responses from members of ASCLA and of FAFLRT. The online Poll summary is available.
If the link does not work, paste the following in your browser:

The new name best fits the comments raised during the survey by being the shortest, with a (mostly) pronounceable acronym. The identity is similar to the familiar ASCLA, while it recognizes and welcomes new members from the government sector. Additional changes to the new division scope and charge can be addressed in in the update to the bylaws.

A Bylaws Revision Committee is beginning work on the updates to the bylaws, last updated in 2011. The Committee will seek comments from the Board and members before the final draft is submitted to ALA for inclusion on the spring 2018 ballot.

You have probably seen messages about the special opportunity to double donations made to ALA Divisions such as ASCLA. If you have not done so, please think of an end-of-year donation to ASCLA. Your $25, $50, or more will be doubled and help our division.

An anonymous donor to ALA is matching gifts made between now and January 15, 2018. See Do TWICE THE GOOD on the site. Or go straight to the ALA donation page and follow the links to Friends of ASCLA.

Best wishes to all during the upcoming holiday season and in the new year. Watch for additional updates during 2018 about the merger, a new mentoring program to begin in 2018, plans for Conference 2018 in New Orleans, and more. And please contact me if you have comments or concerns.

Jeannette Smithee
ASCLA President 2016-2018

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