President’s Message – September/October 2020

By John Walsh

Dear AzLA members, colleagues, and friends,

Happy Fall everyone (Autumn Equinox 2020, Tuesday, September 22 @ 6:30 AM MST). Fall has always been one of my favorite times of year. The temperatures start to cool (hopefully!!), the students return to school (hopefully!), and this Fall, I am looking forward to AzLA’s upcoming virtual events. The Membership, Marketing and Outreach (MMO) Committee and the AzLA President will be presenting the first event through two opportunities to relax and have fun with your colleagues. On Friday, September 25, 2020 MMO has scheduled two zoom events to engage the membership. In the morning at 9:00AM, enjoy a guided meditation with members of MMO in the Mindful Coffee Break. Later that same day, at 7:00PM, bring your favorite cocktail to a night of Kahoot trivia and fun library stories at the Chapter Cocktail Hour. We look forward to seeing everyone there. 

The second event is the AzLA Presents: Vision 2020 Conference Webinar Series. As most of you are aware, this year’s Annual Conference has changed platforms from a two day event to a webinar series. AzLA Presents: Vision 2020 Conference Webinar Series will begin on Wednesday, October 14 with the first of a series of webinars. The Conference Committee is still working out the scheduling details and programming. The first event will present two keynote speakers, Brian Pichman and Christina Roberts of EPI-USE. It is scheduled to be a half-day event with an opening and a closing and a single program in between. Short Vendor demonstrations will be included in the programming and we hope to be able to present the election results. We believe with this conference webinar series, AzLA is introducing an exciting new avenue of membership engagement and hope all members will join as we explore Vision 2020. 

I can’t believe we are halfway through September. Though the first half of the year seemed to be the longest half year ever, the second half seems to be flying by. As mentioned Fall has been one of my favorite times of the year, ever since I was young. The signs of seasonal change seem to bring an encouragement that yes, time indeed continues to move on. And “as time moves on, it’s gonna change before too long. (Phantom Planet).I believe, with the events of this year, there is “gonna” be change, and I also believe that change will be better. The current environment even feels transitional, almost evolutionary. Historically, libraries and librarians have made librarianship better as they faced the challenges of big change. The dawn of the internet and digital resources were predicted to make libraries obsolete. Instead, libraries became more important to our communities than ever. I have often thought that when that change happened we went from the keepers of information to the teachers of information. Libraries identified new community needs and through an all inclusive approach, filled those needs. The future is so unpredictable that I am not sure of what next month will bring. Though, with so many of us still working from home, it really does feel like we have entered a transitional period. Whatever it may be, libraries will be stronger, we will be better because we will change together. WeAreAzLA! and together we build strong libraries and libraries build stronger communities. 

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