President’s Message – August Teaser 2020

By John Walsh

Dear AzLA members, colleagues, and Friends,

Image of AzLA President John Walsh

At this time, I would like to re-introduce everyone to the AzLA newsletter and announce that starting in September we will begin publishing our bimonthly newsletter. It has been over a year and a half since the last newsletter was published, and I am proud to be part of the group to relaunch it. The newsletter will be presenting AzLA news  and other information from around the state. We will also be spotlighting a different library each newsletter with a feature article. This opportunity is actually twofold, I would also like to introduce myself as the new president of AzLA. My name is John Walsh, and I am the Director of Library Services at Cochise College in Sierra Vista, AZ. It gives me great pride to be able to introduce myself as AzLA president because I am also proud of this organization and to be part of it.  I look forward to serving in this position for the next 14 months and hope that I am able to instill that AzLA pride throughout the membership. In these uncertain and complicated times, I can only hope to live up to the expectations of the position. 

While I have had to adjust to using remote technologies for all meetings, I have so enjoyed connecting with all the AzLA leadership and committee members who are actively participating in the AzLA community. This is a great point to segue into announcing our first virtual conference, “Vision 2020: Libraries Moving Forward.” The conference will be held on  October 14th and 15th through the WebEx platform supplied by the Arizona State Library (thank you, Holly). All members should be receiving registration instructions soon. I so hope all members will consider attending this free event, and I look forward to seeing everyone there. We have received a number of interesting proposals, and I believe this will be an exciting and engaging event.

As I stated in my statement as president-elect candidate, “my vision has always been for a statewide consortium of libraries that includes every library and every type of library, collaborating on everything; information provision services, shared collections, collaborative purchasing… everything. I also envision every librarian and all library personnel being members of this group. If we can harness the power of all Arizona libraries into a single voice, our accomplishments could be unlimited. The mission of the Arizona Library Association is ‘to promote library service and librarianship in libraries of all types in the state of Arizona.’ I have been living that mission for quite some time” (2019).

Yes, I have been living that mission throughout my library career and will continue to as president. I have chaired and served on the Sierra Vista Public Library Commission for four years. I have also been a corporate librarian for the Pima County Wastewater Department and retained membership in the Special Libraries Association for more than ten years. I have been very lucky in my librarianship journey and feel it is time for me to reciprocate and give back to the profession I have come to love. I have been privileged to meet so many of the members of AzLA and so many library folk throughout the state. 

As the president I am going to make a commitment to reaching out and communicating with every library in an attempt to unify us under the AzLA umbrella, again I can only hope to live up to those expectations.  So if you haven’t heard from me already, watch for my zoom invites in the coming months, I look forward to talking with you all. For I feel this is our time. We are well positioned with the current events happening across the state and country to unite behind the core strategies of our profession,  advocacy, information policy, professional and leadership development, and equity, diversity, and inclusion. We need to embrace this moment of social unrest and unify around our common values and community needs. These are such unpredictable times for libraries, but I have confidence that together, as one group, we can overcome any challenges and I am excited to start this journey with all of you. After this teaser newsletter, I look forward to bringing the president’s message to members each newsletter. Be well and be safe all. 

John Walsh

President, Arizona Library Association

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