President’s Message

By Gina Macaluso

I completed a 10K run in the heat of the Tucson weather on Sunday and as I ran, I contemplated my time as President of AzLA. As I come to the end of my presidency term, I have the same thoughts and feelings as I do in a race. No matter the length of the race (5K, 10K, ½ marathon), I am always exhilarated and excited about the possibilities of what is to come. Somewhere in the middle, I begin to doubt myself, I think I will not make it to the end, or that I want to quit. I look at the people around me and wonder if they are feeling the same thing. I can’t tell but know that I am getting energy from them anyways. As I come towards the end and see the finish line, there is a burst of energy that, YES, I can finish strong and cross the finish line.

Although not a race, I had the same experience with AzLA. I was so excited to share my vision of Libraries Transform Because Access Equals Opportunity. This vision helped me stay focused though a successful regional forum and, now, to the annual conference. The Board of AzLA had some tough issues to tackle during the middle dealing with finances and I often felt despair with the budget situation. But with smart decisions and renegotiations, the budget for AzLA was stabilized. We still have more work to do, but we are working with a positive instead of a negative. Most of this is thanks to our Treasurer Rene Tanner and her excellent evaluation of the finances. President-elect Michelle Simon has also worked closely with Rene and I and will continue the tough decisions that need to be made for the betterment of AzLA. A special thanks to both Rene and Michelle for all their hard work this year. Thank you to the AzLA Board for taking on extra tasks this year. We lost several board positions this year so thank you to Amber Mathewson for stepping in as Past-President and to Natalie Menges for stepping in as Secretary. A special thanks to Jean Kilker for all her work on issues related to teacher/librarians. There is more we can do advocating for school librarians. And finally, a huge THANK YOU to the Conference Chairs Erin Lorandos and Christine Dykgraaf and Conference Program Chairs Rob Wilson and Natalie Menges for taking on extra conference task after the loss of our conference manager. You are the people who gave me energy to finish this race!

I look forward to finishing my term as President with an amazing Libraries Transform Because Access Equals Opportunity conference.


Gina Macaluso

President, Arizona Library Association

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