Past Presidents, Staff Gather to Thank Library Champions
I spotted ALA past presidents Peggy Sullivan, Beverly Lynch, Sarah Long, Barbara Ford, Loriene Roy, Leslie Burger, Camila Alire, and John W. Berry among the crowd gathered at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina this evening to say thanks to the Library Champions, Major Donors, members of the Legacy Society, and others who contribute so generously to the programs of the Association.
ALA President Roberta Stevens took a moment at the mike to give special thanks to past president Betty Turock for her ongoing leadership of the Spectrum Scholarship Program and urged contributions to bring ALA to its current goal of raising $1 million for minority students in library education programs. ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels also gave thanks to the Champions, who have helped ALA continue its programs and services through a tough financial year, with more belt-tightening likely to be required in the next couple years.
I chatted briefly with Karen Archer Perry of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Kathryn Suarez of Neal-Schuman Publishers; both Champions have been very supportive of American Libraries magazine. Gene Shimshock of Innovative Interfaces, Vinod Chachra of VTLS, and John Ison of DEMCO were there, along with representatives from many other Library Champions, including 3M Library Systems, Baker and Taylor, Brodart, BWI/Follett Library Resources, Candlewick Press, EBSCO, Ex Libris, H. W. Wilson, OCLC, Polaris Library Systems, Info USA/Reference Group, Scholastic, SirsiDynix, and Swets.
The reception served as a bit of a pep rally for theMidwinter exhibits, which open tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. with a reception in the exhibit hall that lasts until 7 p.m., and as a reminder that ALA relies on the Library Champions and other donors to keep member products and services rolling out at a healthy pace in spite of the instability so many library budgets are experiencing. If you are attending ALA Midwinter, be sure to stop by the Champion booths and take a look at the wealth of products and services they offer.