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Insider Article [February 2014] [02/04/14] (President’s Column)
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President’s Column

photo of Derek Wolfgram

Thank you all so much for supporting the California Library Association with your hard work, volunteer leadership, membership dues and donations. As the professional association of librarians, library staff, Friends, Foundations, trustees and advocates, CLA helps improve library service to California residents, advance the interests of librarians, library staff, and librarianship, increase public awareness of the continuing value of libraries and leverages our ability to engage our communities in safe, active learning spaces and through mobile services. As you can see, the CLA year is already full of exciting new events, educational and career building opportunities with old friends and new partners.

We hope you are already planning to attend this year’s annual conference in Oakland, November 7 – 9 with its theme, Be the Change. What better place to talk about “change” than in one of the most diverse and eclectic communities in California?

Be the Change. You’ve seen it on bumpers, cards, buttons and even tattoos. It’s often said to be a quotation from Gandhi. No doubt he would approve of this simple yet radical notion being spread far and wide. Everyone can make a difference and those differences, however small, add up. The change can start with you. Indeed, the change must start with you. With us.

Libraries vary throughout California: small, large, well-funded, starved for support or just muddling through. But whatever the challenge, every library can change for the better. Every staff member and every library advocate can polish his message, can raise her voice, extend a hand, build a bridge in small, then huge ways to help communities change for the better. 

 We want this year’s CLA conference to be the place you can find tools, share ideas, make magic, build partnerships and find the courage to lead the change. Find new ways to reach out, to sing out or to teach.  Everyone can make a difference. The change can start with you.

Be the Change. I am delighted to report that conference planning is in the creative hands of Michelle Perrera, ably assisted by President-elect Robert Koratsu. Lori Ayres and Mary Menzel will be designing the programming. I encourage you to brag to them—your colleagues and friends—about new programs or processes or products that are helping you, your library or your community to change for the better. Diane Satchwell is leading an enthusiastic group of Bay Area members who are planning unforgettable local events. We look forward to seeing you there.

CLA owes thanks to Sean Reinhart for his dedication to CLA as a Board member, Membership Co-chair and ALA California Chapter Councilor. We are grateful to Traci Carignan, former CLA board member, who has assumed the Membership Chair duties.

This year we will be reaching out to you. We want to know how CLA can better serve its members. What changes would you like to see? Libraries really do change lives and empower our users by supporting literacy and lifelong learning. CLA exists to help you do that. Help us change to be the best possible library association for you.

Deborah Doyle, President
California Library Association