Tuesday, January 17, 2017

ALA Exec Dir Keith Fiels on Town Hall at ALA Midwinter

[alacoun] Thinking about the Town Hall conversation...

Keith Michael Fiels <kfiels@ala.org>Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 4:48 PM
Reply-To: Keith Michael Fiels <kfiels@ala.org>
To: ALA Council Listserv <alacoun@lists.ala.org>
Dear ALA member colleague:

Over the last two months, many members have expressed concerns about the effects of the recent election on the positions and advocacy efforts of the Association. This dialog, which has included blog postings, emails, Facebook posts and Tweets, has ultimately shown that our values are shared and clear, but there are tensions about how to take action that reflects these values in the current political environment.

The goal of the facilitated Town Hall conversation on Sunday, January 22nd is to move our thinking forward so that we can better navigate these difficult choices. We invite you to join this conversation and to share your aspirations and ideas.

Our facilitator for the session will be Cheryl Gorman (some information about Cheryl’s background follows). To help frame our thinking, Cheryl has offered some questions to help focus our time together. Please think of these as “thought starters”:
  • As we think about the member dialogue sparked by the recent election, what is our intention? What’s the deeper purpose (the big “why”) that is really worthy of our best collective effort? 
  • What do we know so far and what do we still need to learn about? 
  • Are there specific areas where our core values are being challenged that need more attention than others?
  • As you reflect on the member discussion since the election, what’s taking shape? What are you hearing underneath the variety of opinions being expressed? What’s in the "center of the table”?
  • If there was one thing that hasn’t yet been said in order to reach a deeper level of understanding and clarity, what would that be?
Please note that the session will be streamed by American Libraries as a Facebook Live stream. Because the primary purpose of the meeting is to hear from members, the session has been structured to provide an opportunity for as many members to speak as is possible given the time available.  ALA leadership is there to listen, not talk. If questions are raised, they will be captured in a “parking lot” and answered as a follow up to the session through the American Libraries blog. The blog will also provide a permanent link to the Town Hall video recording, and be available to continue the conversation.

Looking forward to our January 22nd town hall conversation,

Keith Michael Fiels
ALA Executive Director



Cheryl Gorman is the President of Integare Consulting, where she brings diverse partners from all sectors together with community members to create community-based programs and large-scale change initiatives. She specializes in supporting leaders and organizations to effectively lead community change; develop talent strategies; build community capacity; and design, manage and evaluate community-based programs. Her passion is training and coaching practitioners in the field. For the past eight years Cheryl has been a key member of the Harwood Institute team – a nonpartisan, independent nonprofit that teaches, coaches and inspires people and organizations to solve pressing problems and change how communities work together. Cheryl has trained and coached leaders at the local, state and national level across the United States, in Australia and most recently Canada. This has included working with staff teams at the American Library Association and United Way Worldwide.

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