Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that over a year has passed since I became President-Elect of AzLA, and I am now President! At the time, I was the Branch Manager of the Queen Creek Library, Maricopa County Library District. In early May 2016, after 13 years, I retired from the Library District, and that has actually allowed me more time to devote to AzLA. I attended the Public Library Association Conference in May 2016, ALA Annual Conference in June 2016, and I will be at ALA Midwinter at the same time this is published.
AzLA made tremendous progress in 2016! Amber Mathewson did a wonderful job of moving the organization forward, and I hope to follow in her footsteps. I want to thank Dan Stanton, Joyce Martin, Gina Macaluso, and Cindy McQuien for their service on the Executive Board. Gina will continue to serve in the President-Elect position. Several Committee and Division Chairs are stepping down, and I’d like to thank them as well: Andrew See, Christine Tuttle, Bob Diaz, Joyce Abbott, and our Conference Co-Chair, Jasper Halt, for all of his work planning the past two Conferences!
I also want to congratulate the newest officers of AzLA! I am looking forward to working with Gina Macaluso, President-Elect; Petra Pendroff, Secretary; Emily Scherrer, Southern Arizona Representative; and Danielle Angerbauer, Northern Arizona Representative on the Executive Board, as well as with the new Committee chairs!
ALA President Julie Todaro’s theme this year is “Libraries Transform: The Expert in the Library.” I have chosen that same idea but with a different take for AzLA in 2017. “Because of You – Libraries Transform” is going to be the Annual Conference theme. What libraries in Arizona are accomplishing is because of YOU! That not only rings true in the library, but in this organization as well. This past year we had a great Regional Forum in Casa Grande, and a wonderful conference in Tucson. These events were successful because of those who put in time, above and beyond, to plan and execute these events. AzLA is only as good as the people interested and involved in seeing the organization thrive! We have the YA Summit coming up on January 26th, in Prescott. That initiative has been led by Rob Wilson and Lauren Regenhardt and all of the people they have recruited to work on this program. They had a vision, they received the Board’s go-ahead, and they ran with it!
AzLA will also be hosting an E-Resources Forum, at the Burton Barr Library, on Thursday, February 23rd. If you are interested in registering, please visit the website for further information. The Board has also started planning for the 2017 Annual Conference that will be held at the Mesa Convention Center, October 24–27.
Through AzLA I have met and worked with people I never would have gotten to know otherwise. There are many that I no longer consider just colleagues—they have become friends. And that is because of all of the YOUs out there that have stepped up and become a working member of the organization. There are many more YOUs out there, and I hope you will join us this coming year: BECAUSE OF YOU – LIBRARIES TRANSFORM! Thank you for all you do!
Sandy Edwards is AzLA President.