President’s Message

By Amber Mathewson

libraries transformThe Arizona Library Association exists because of you! The organization is here to support your goals within your community. We are an organization of volunteers who believe in the power of all types of libraries in our great state; we are an organization that needs YOU! The great thing about an organization like AzLA is that it gets stronger with each person’s experience. We are looking for:

  • Time – there are many committee and special interest group opportunities
  • Talent – we have a great new mentoring program as well as information on advocacy needs around the state
  • Treasure – you can support AzLA by designating it as your 501c3 choice by shopping online through or through your employer’s payroll deduction program
  • Testimony – telling a friend about AzLA and encouraging their participation as a member as well as asking your institution to become a member strengthens the voice of libraries

Recently, one of your colleagues, Amber Kent, hosted the AzLA Libraries Transform Regional Forum at the Vista Grande Library in Casa Grande. The following topics were presented: mentoring, partnerships, a YA Summit planning session, work force development, cultivating volunteers, and a fun tour of the library’s maker space! Thanks to Amber, Rob Wilson, and a committee of dedicated AzLA members, more than 50 librarians from around Arizona had the opportunity to learn, network, and collaborate on initiatives central to the work we do.

On May 2-3, Kathy Husser, your Legislative Committee Chair; Holley Henley, State Librarian; a community advocate; and I attended the National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C. The purpose of this annual event is to bring librarians from around the country together with the legislative body to further the conversations of libraries, literacy, and lifelong learning. We do this because of you.

Whatever it is that gets you out of bed every morning and into the library where you serve the needs of those around you, whatever drives your passion and makes you talk about library books or services to people in the grocery story, whatever makes you excited to talk about our job with people on airplanes – that is what AzLA needs from you. Bring that purpose, that passion, that enthusiasm to the organization and spread the magic throughout the state of Arizona! AND bring a friend!

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

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