It is with deep sadness that I must announce the resignation of Pam Dennis as incoming President of TLA. Pam has a phenomenal opportunity in my adopted home state of North Carolina and has accepted a job there. She will be sending out a note to all of you in tandem with this email. We will miss Pam tremendously! I know I speak on behalf of the association when I say that we all appreciate all she has done for TLA. She will truly be missed by all! Thank you, Pam, personally for all the support you have given to me! I have really loved getting to know you better this year and appreciate your friendship!! And thank you so much for filling in so brilliantly in my absence at the Memphis Conference! From my heart, I appreciate you so much! Thank you, Pam, on behalf of all of us!
Despite this sad news, TLA has to go on! On the recommendation of the Executive Board, I have agreed to fill in as President for this upcoming year with the Board of Directors that Pam appointed. Some are calling this my “do over” 😉 By filling in this year, Richard Groves will be given the opportunity to fulfill his duties as VP/President Elect. That year is critical in appointing his own Board of Directors for his presidential year but also gives him time to see the inner workings of the association from a different perspective. Ruth Kinnersly, Past President of TLA, will remain as past President for the upcoming year. Ruth and Heather Lanier (outgoing secretary) will head up the Strategic Planning Committee. I ask all of you to send us your good thoughts this year as we fulfill our roles.
Now… down to business….
Two weeks ago (can it really have been that long ago?), the TLA Boards of Directors (incoming and outgoing) met for our annual 2 day retreat and last board meeting of the year. We always have a good time … it’s a time to laugh and to learn… learn about each other, learn our association, and learn what is important to all of us … the future of TLA. We spent a lot of time talking about the future of TLA at this board meeting. We are 113 years old. We must ask ourselves… does the current structure and workings of the association match the needs of our members, potential members, our libraries and our patrons. Is our structure and inner workings still relevant today? Soon, I will be appointing a task force to work on evaluating our current inner workings and report back to us. I hope that we will have some plans to discuss at the September board meeting. Stay tuned! (And… let me know if you want to serve on the task force)!
During the coming year, we will be exploring these questions. My theme for this year is “Dare to Imagine.” While it includes daring to image a different structure for our association, it also speaks to more far reaching questions for all of us in the library world… why do we do this? Does it still make sense today as it did before? Dare we imagine new programs, new services, new structures…? For the answer to many questions… it could be “Yep, it works.” But for others (as was apparent in one of our exercises at the retreat), there are many things that no longer work. We must remain relevant now as well as into the future. Now that “everyone has a place at the table,” what will we do with them? Will we allow them to soar? To Dare to Imagine? I hope the answer is yes… and hope you will join me in this quest this year.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve our wonderful association!
Susan L. Jennings
Dean of Library Services
Augusta R. Kolwyck Library & Information Commons