ALA GLBT Round Table News: From the Chair by Roland Hansen

By Roland Hansen

I’ve been reflecting on my past year as RT Chair and have decided that this has been a transitioning kind of time for both me and the RT.  New technologies and methods of communication set up by the Past-Chair David Vess, have come to the fore and now work to define how we function as a RT,  and as members of the RT.  One major example is the Agenda Item Parking Lot, available in ALA Connect for all to see, if you use Connect of course.  At last count there were more than 2,000 hits to this document alone.  We are all learning and transitioning from one way of doing things to new ways of doing things.  I want to thank David for all of his efforts, innovations and initiatives in really advancing the use of technologies within the Round Table.   This has also been more of a collaborative effort than I had expected.  Along with David, I have worked closely with Ann Symons, who will Chair the RT after me.  Since the election of 2013, the three of us have basically been managing the business of the RT in a collaborative way.  It isn’t what I expected to have happened, but it seems to have worked, at least for this transition time.  And along with the three of us, we have had monthly input from the Board by way of monthly conference calls.  It is truly a team effort.

For myself, I have decided to retire in August 2015.  I think I can afford it – I’m told I can by those that know – and I want to have some time to do some things I STILL have on my bucket list, like compile my family history and go to Germany to visit the ancestral town of my grandmother and her ancestors.  So now I am looking forward to my year as Past-Chair.  At this point I want to welcome Ann Symons as Chair, and Peter Coyl as Chair-Elect.  I look forward to working with them.

And I have to put a call out to all the RT members, especially new members and The Younger Set.  Now it’s your turn.  Please consider running for a board position, and/or running for Office.  We need you to carry on our work.  I was thinking about the new GLBTRT News format the other day.  I was around when we started The Newsletter that morphed into the current one just recently ceased in paper format;  that was a big leap.  There were lengthy discussions on how to distribute it, because then (the 80s) there was only one way – US Mail.  Should we just send it w/the Gay and Lesbian words visible to all?  (We were the Gay and Lesbian Task Force then, 1988)  Should we put it in a plain brown wrapper?  Yes, it was considered as a possibility.  Should we not have any return address/sender information?  What about ALA members in the public library sector?  Could they get fired if the newsletter was sent to their place of employment and people could see it was a gay publication?  Issues that now we find amusing or quaint.  But they weren’t amusing or quaint at the time.  People had serious issues with this one simple task we wanted to do.  Simple now I guess given what we can transmit electronically, and given the increase in the visibility and acceptance of GLBT people in general and GLBT Librarians/Library Workers as well.  I will be compiling the slate of candidates for the Spring 2015 Election, so please be thinking about your involvement.  Contact me directly if you are at all interested.

Elsewhere in the News blog you will see the RT Schedule for the ALA Conference.  Tickets are still available for the Stonewall Book Awards Brunch, some will be available at the door as well.  It is Monday June 30th at 1030am, Paris Hotel, Champagne Room One.  Also, the Social is Sunday night, 6-8pm at the GLBT Center of Las Vegas, 401 S. Maryland Parkway.  And the Annual Membership Meeting will be Sunday at 10am to 11am, Convention Center Room N218.  We will have a general update on RT business, and I would also like to take maybe 30 minutes or so to talk about member expectations of the RT, and specifically how we should be spending RT money.  I hope to see as many of you as possible there, and during the Convention.  It’s been an interesting and still challenging year.



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