From the President: Sustainability

By Sandy Edwards

What do you think of when you hear the word “sustainability”? Most of us think about the future of the environment. However, sustainability is a complex concept. The most often quoted definition comes from the UN Bruntland Commission: “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

At the April quarterly Board meeting, a discussion was begun on sustainability for AzLA. Other than incoming dues throughout the year, our main source of income is from our Annual Conference. This can make cash flow difficult during other times of the year because we do not have a steady stream of income throughout the year, yet we have monthly expenses for our Association Managers, Webmaster, Lobbyists, and Conference Planner. One thing we can do is to get sponsors for the Annual Conference. The more sponsors we can get, the more money we will make on the Conference.

So, what else can we do to help this situation? At its April meeting, the Board voted on two proposals to start this process. The first item is to begin advertising on the AzLA website. Guidelines for advertising were approved by the board, and that information has been finalized. The second item approved is to start promoting Corporate (Vendor) memberships. There was discussion on this topic and a list of Corporate Member benefits was approved. This information has been added to the website and we will be promoting it to vendors as well. So, if you have a vendor you work with, please encourage them to become a Corporate member, and/or advertise on the website or in the newsletter.

Another idea that was brought up was doing quarterly events around the state, such as a 5 or 10K run.  These would be spearheaded by a “Special Event Coordinator” for that region (Central, Southern, and Northern) and they would work in conjunction with their Regional representative. Here in the Phoenix area, we are pursuing having a bar/restaurant sponsor an AzLA fundraiser for an evening (just like the schools do).

If anyone has other ideas for possible ways of raising funds, please do not hesitate to share your ideas with me at [email protected]

The organization can always use its members’ expertise. Are you interested in getting involved in AzLA Divisions, Interest Groups, and Committees? Do you have project management or fundraising skills, an interest in conference planning, or a desire to get involved in outreach? We are pleased to announce the creation of a volunteer opportunities page located on the AzLA website.  If you are looking for ways to expand your involvement with AzLA, take a moment to visit the page and see how your unique skillset could further association goals and potentially take your career to the next level. We look forward to hearing from you “Because of YOU – Libraries Transform!!”

Sandy Edwards is AzLA President.

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