A Year in the Life of AzLA – or How Time Flies

By Amber Mathewson

As autumn approaches, it always seems like a time of renewal. From all those years of getting school supplies and gearing up for a new school year, I can’t help but get excited about what is ahead in the coming year. This fall however, marks the end of my time as AzLA President. I have truly enjoyed this time in working with librarians from around the state promoting library service and librarianship in all types of libraries. I am so honored to have been chosen to serve in this way and thank each and every one of you for the ways that you transform lives with the work that you do and the opportunities that you afford those in our communities.

I am so proud of the work that AzLA has accomplished this year. After a year without a regional forum, Amber Kent of the Vista Grande Library in Casa Grande hosted a tremendously successful regional forum. This forum helped to jump start our rejuvenated Mentor Program with Joyce Abbott, leading the charge. Having the opportunity to work with a mentor in the profession is one of the best ways for a librarian to gain confidence, build a network and boost career planning. In addition, Rob Wilson and Lauren Regenhardt really stepped up and began the discussion for a YA Summit to be held in Prescott at the end of January.

This year marked the evolution of the eResources Special Interest Group, and Literary Award Committee. AzLA is an ever evolving organization with room for new ideas and new initiatives to help lead the change within the Arizona library world. The eResources Special Interest Group under the leadership of Michael Porter is planning an eResource Vendor Forum in February which should be of great interest to libraries around the state.

In addition, Amanda Brite has done a great job in keeping our website looking and functioning well. If you haven’t logged on in a while, update your profile and make some new connections! Andrew See and the Web and Social Networking Committee have kept our social networking moving forward and our Marketing and Advocacy Committee under the wing of Christine Tuttle has gotten AzLA out in front of audiences such as the Tucson Festival of Books and major SCORE events. As chair of the Professional Development Committee, Becky Brendel has worked tirelessly to provide webinars and other professional development opportunities available. If you haven’t done so, check the webinar series and other great AzLA professional development content on the AzLA YouTube channel!

I am so thankful for the dedication and commitment of Jasper Halt and Bethany Wilson for putting together a fabulous annual conference that is coming up November 2–4, 2016! Libraries Transform! #AzLA2016 will be a wonderful time for all of us to get together for learning, networking, professional development, mentoring and fun! Please plan to attend at the beautiful Hilton Tucson El Conquistador.

Last but certainly not least, I would like to acknowledge and thank the amazing work of the entire executive board of AzLA. These many individuals work hard throughout the year to ensure that libraries and librarians around the state have a voice and have the support they need in times of need and in times of prosperity. You have chosen an amazing president for 2017 in Sandy Edwards – she has been working tirelessly this year to ensure a smooth transition into office. In November, I will take on the role of Past President and therefore will continue to support the efforts of the organization in yet another capacity. How time flies when you are having fun and helping others to transform!

Amber Mathewson is AzLA President, and Deputy Director, Pima County Public Library.

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