D’Andraia and Ogburn share plans for ACRL: Cast an informed vote in the election this spring

Frank D’Andraia; Joyce L. Ogburn


Ed. note: C&RL News offered candidates for ACRL vice-president/president-elect, Frank D’Andraia and Joyce L. Oburn, this opportunity to share their views with the membership. Although many of the issues facing ACRL are discussed informally at meetings, we want to use this venue to provide a national forum to all members. We hope this will assist you in making an informed choice when you vote in the election this spring.


Frank D’Andraia

Joyce L. Ogburn

FRANK D’ANDRAIA

They call it the Great Recession. I call it a great responsibility to reach out more to you now. As ACRL President I will actively participate in ACRL Chapter meetings; promote the profession to other national academic associations; and place additional emphasis on membership services and professional opportunities.

I am honored to be nominated by my peers for vice-president/president-elect of ACRL, and it will be a privilege to serve the membership in this capacity.

ACRL is a distinguished and vibrant organization with a rich tradition of bringing academic librarians together for discourse on how to strengthen our role in learning, teaching, and research. My goal is to maintain and enhance this atmosphere of collegiality and excellence and address the formidable challenges we face from competition. To remain relevant, we need new tools and fresh approaches to our work. When elected, I will strive to support and advance our association and increase efforts to provide members with the necessary information and resources to face the challenges that lie ahead for us all.

In particular I look forward to championing the effort to broaden the range of professional development opportunities offered through our existing educational programs and, in cooperation with other information associations, work to enhance our efforts to connect practitioners within the field to each other. Another priority is offering more training opportunities through a variety of pathways, including more interaction and collaboration with ACRL Chapters. The recent McKinley survey, commissioned by ACRL, revealed it is essential our association find better ways to “. . . share timely information about the profession to members” and “create and disseminate standards of practice.”

As a practitioner my career pattern reflects significant administrative experience in a number of university systems located throughout the United States, a majority of which take pride in being student centered. Some of these institutions are residential research campuses with scholarly traditions rooted in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Most importantly, many of these are comprehensive institutions with statewide roles and missions, including a commitment to educating students to be successful citizens and future leaders in an increasingly interconnected society.

Recently I accepted an invitation to teach in the State University of New York’s Information Studies graduate program at the University at Albany. I was delighted to return to the classroom and share my extensive knowledge and experience with students, and to have the opportunity to shape future library leaders. Since moving from practitioner to professor, I have a new appreciation for MLS students, the future of our profession and association.

During my career, the variety of my assignments and their increasing levels of responsibilities and complexity demonstrate the depth and breadth of my leadership experience in academic and research libraries. My achievements on and off campus in a number of academic, philanthropic, and community service endeavors, as well as my extensive commitments within ALA, and more particularly ACRL, underscore the varied interests and skills I have to offer our association.

Thanks to these experiences, I am particularly attuned to issues facing academic libraries and those that work in them. During my career, I have maintained an active level of commitment in the association and other divisions of ALA. Most recently I successfully completed service as cochair of the ACRL 14th National Conference Colleagues Committee and chair of ACRL’s Marketing Academic and Research Libraries Committee. Because of my extensive involvement in ACRL over the past two decades, I am familiar with our association and how it works. I support the current strategic plan and priorities, and the work of the Board. While participating in the workings of the association, I have gained important insight about our organization and direction. Although current members bring an astounding level of talent and creativity to ACRL, I am convinced we need to remain vigilant about expanding membership through inclusion and diversity so that our association may continue to flourish and progress.

The strengths I will bring to the office of vice-president/president-elect include my familiarity with the association’s structure, my diverse work experience in various regions, my enduring commitment and a deep understanding of the challenges currently confronting the profession, and how all of these elements relate to you as a member of ACRL. As vice-president/ president-elect, I envision working diligently to attract and enroll members, for it is a crucial component to a dynamic and successful organization.

Elected officials can grow distant from the community they support and serve due to a lack of meaningful and sustained contact. I am committed to being visible, approachable, and welcoming. Rather than knowing our association solely in terms of budgets, strategic plans, and Web pages, I look forward to the privilege of actively meeting and interacting with the membership. In a period of economy and increased competition in academia, advocacy is more important than ever before. As former ACRL President and current ALA President Camila Alire said, “Academic library advocacy is no longer just a library director or deans issue . . . ” And I would add it is now our collective issue. I pledge to search for new ways to provide academic libraries with a competitive edge in the environment we operate. I look forward to the opportunity to serve as an advocate and spokesperson for the association. Continuing to make the library the center for initiatives and innovation and learning is vital to our success, as is the effort to continue to build bridges between the association and other professional higher education organizations and to strengthen our legislative advocacy initiatives.

The position of vice-president/president-elect of ACRL offers a unique chance to make both a contribution and a difference to the profession. I’m thrilled to be asked to stand for election.

JOYCE L. OGBURN

It is an honor to be considered for leadership of ACRL as vice-president/president-elect. Attaining this office would represent the apex of my career, which has been founded in this strong and vital association.

I believe in ACRL

ACRL is the epitome of a member-driven organization. It is responsive to its constituents, and its structure reflects the diverse interests of the members and its strategic directions. Through this structure ACRL supports the professional growth of members and leads initiatives on their behalf. Members have many avenues for involvement and leadership through committees, discussion groups, task forces, working groups, and now interest groups.

I value ACRL’s ability to walk the fine line between guiding activities and facilitating member-initiated action. If elected, I would respect this organizational strength, listen to member concerns, attend to the surrounding dynamic environment of academic pursuits, and steer the organization in strategic response. Moreover, I will continue the strong advocacy role that ACRL has played in the arena of higher education and academic scholarship.

Our members have power and enthusiasm, passion, and commitment. ACRL taps into and leverages these strengths to advance an agenda that is broad and ambitious. As librarians strive to assume and continue leadership roles on their campuses and beyond, ACRL assists with growing necessary skills and mounting programs that achieve long-lasting and far-reaching results for libraries and higher education. I believe that ACRL will continue to be a positive force in academia, with the result that members will have more opportunities to learn and be involved, more advantages in influencing trends, and ample possibilities for crafting an exciting future.

ACRL has proven its ability to make a difference for its members and in advancing our goals. It partners with other organizations to capitalize on the skills and influence each wields. For example, ACRL and the Association of Research Libraries joined forces to initiate and manage a popular and effective Institute on Scholarly Communication, modeled on another ACRL success story: the Institute for Information Literacy. ACRL joins ALA and others in advocating for issues that embrace our values, expertise, and goals. ACRL also uses technology to reach members in multiple ways, offering great value in the form of Webinars, podcasts, and other means of communication. Our members create influential and lasting standards. ACRL publishes high-quality resources that reflect both professional research and practice. Moreover, ACRL’s many and diverse programs strengthen the position of librarians and libraries in the academic environment.

ACRL is my home

ACRL has been my home for more than 20 years, where I have grown professionally and have experienced how well ACRL leadership facilitates all levels of involvement within the association and with its many partners. ACRL has given me many opportunities to provide leadership in creating new possibilities for the profession and exploiting the strengths inherent in associations to pursue and accomplish large and ambitious goals.

Through my years of leadership in ACRL I have gained experience leading at the section level by chairing several committees within the Anthropology and Sociology Section (ANSS), in addition to serving as the section chair and launching the ANSS Web site in 1995. I participated in the Choice Editorial Board when the content and services of Choice were transitioning to becoming predominantly electronic. I was cochair of ACRL’s Scholarly Communications Committee when advocacy succeeded in making the dream of public access to NIH-funded research come true. Moreover, I can bring to the presidency experience with governing boards of the Center for Research Libraries, the Greater Western Library Alliance, and the SPARC Steering Committee, all of which have been deeply committed to enhancing organizational effectiveness and the support libraries provide to our researchers and students.

My passion has been scholarly communication, but this is not an isolated or specialized niche. Strong and sustainable scholarly communication enriches the opportunities for advancing both scholarship and literacy—they are not separable. As we strive to create a sound system of scholarship, its many parts intersect, from the generation of knowledge to the ability to use that knowledge wisely. It is a system that encompasses an increasingly complex array of approaches, technologies, philosophies, and practices. Its behavior and manifestations affect students, researchers, teachers, and citizens alike. Scholarly outcomes are increasingly essential to national policymaking. Facility with the language and process of scholarship, as well as facility in translating scholarly practice and results to an audience of learners, is an important component of academic librarianship. ACRL adroitly highlights, combines, and supports all the parts that make up that system.

ACRL’s issues are my issues

Our academic libraries are critical to the achievement of highly productive research and teaching. Appropriately, ACRL’s members are leading changes that are enveloping higher education. We support traditional research and learning practices even as we promote and adopt innovative models based in new approaches, methodologies, and technologies. We deftly navigate information-intense landscapes to teach our users how to understand, interpret, and harness them to create new knowledge. We have embraced the advocacy role and have taken on national policies that have a profound impact on how an educated society perceives and accesses knowledge. Moreover, we have redesigned everything about our libraries to address the expanding universe of intellectual content, as well as the great differences in how people engage with many forms of knowledge.

The ACRL strategic plan is sound and far-reaching. It sets high standards for the association and encompasses our shared aspirations for professional development and practice. I will make it my cause to help position our members to achieve maximum contribution to the success of their institutions, while addressing the larger issues of research and learning.

Under my leadership I will continue the efforts to embed librarians, as well as library services and collections, into the fabric of research and learning, to influence national policy agendas, to shape the larger world of scholarly endeavors, and I will endeavor to ensure that ACRL continues to be an association that delivers incredible value to the members.

ACRL has been at the forefront of exploring critical issues, providing learning opportunities for the membership, engaging in national-level issues affecting higher education and scholarship, as well as providing tools for change. With ACRL’s considerable strengths in leadership and collaboration, I will guide our professional energy to act strategically in shaping and responding to a rapidly transforming educational and research environment. This will require us to imagine the possibilities of a future we all can believe in and bring to fruition. I am looking forward to envisioning and enjoying this future with you.

Copyright © American Library Association, 2010

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