By Jennifer LaBoon, TLA Executive Board Representative at Large - School, 2013-2016; TLA Strategic Planning Steering Committee, 2015-16; Fort Worth ISD Coordinator, Library Technology
Happy New Year, School Library Colleagues! The new calendar year is a great time to reflect on our profession, where we are headed, and especially how our state association is working to provide leadership, services, and support to meet our professional needs. Texas Library Association is in the midst of the strategic planning process, designing a map for the next three years. The time is now to provide your input! TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!
A TLA committee has surveyed the membership in a variety of ways, and analyzed the results to see where the association is now. These results were assembled into what is called an Environmental Scan. Thanks to everyone who participated in the data collection process beginning last summer at Annual Assembly in Austin! The results can be accessed by visiting the TLA website’s Strategic Planning Page: http://www.txla.org/stratplanupdate Give it a look. Please. It is in your own best interest as a TLA/TASL member.
From here, you can email feedback to the committee to include your thoughts on the findings and how they should shape the future of the association. The committee hoped to identify the current political, demographic, and economic factors and trends that impact our profession and our state.
The statistics are quite interesting—did you know that of the 4,400 who reported their age, that almost 60% of our association is age 46 or above? The committee raises the question of how to transition our younger members into leadership positions as our aging membership retires. How would you like to see that aspect of TLA improved?
Another finding that speaks to school librarians—how do we accommodate the need for both connected and unplugged physical spaces in our libraries? With makerspaces, 1:1 devices for students, and digital content becoming prevalent, what is the role of the library as place in meeting the changing learning environment? And, perhaps more importantly, how do we communicate that role to our stakeholders?
The deadline is quickly approaching: January 15! Take a little time as you get back into your routines following the holiday break to take a look, and let us hear from you!
School librarians who are serving on the Steering Committee representing you are Sharon Amastae, Naomi Bates, Liz Philippi, and myself. Please let any of us know if you have any ideas that need to be shared!
We convene in Austin next week—Friday, January 15th. Thanks again to all who have participated in the process already. And thanks to everyone who takes some time to read over the Environmental Scan posted on the website and is willing to share additional thoughts!
Hope you all have a wonderful 2016! Start the year right by looking at what TLA could be doing for you.