Our Appreciation and Gratitude for ACRL – A Message from the ACRL Presidents

As 2022 draws to a close we have an opportunity for reflection, especially during these unusual times. In 2020, the year began with such promise, but quickly turned into an annus horribilus. And then 2021 arrived and could have been described as “Annus horribilus: The Sequel.” We are now closing the third year of the pandemic, and though 2023 beckons with hope and optimism, we all continue to navigate myriad pressures. Many in the profession are continuing to manage stress, a sense of being overwhelmed, and protracted uncertainty. With this in mind, we thought it important to acknowledge our professional colleagues, the ACRL staff team, and the challenges they have faced alongside the membership over these past few years.

The team in Chicago continues to work amidst a staff shortage, which was compounded by vacant key positions in ALA. Yet, our highly educated and experienced team members continue to bring passion to their duties, always thinking of members first: listening, caring, and striving to benefit the profession as a whole and helping to amplify our members’ voices in libraries, campuses, and on the Hill. The team strives to function as trusted advisors, strategic thinkers, and partners with our goal-area committees, sections, interest groups, discussion groups, editorial boards, and multiple communities. (For a snapshot of the breadth of those communities, please see  6.2 ACRL structure chart (libguides.com)).

In the midst of ongoing uncertainty, ACRL staff are learning new processes, reviewing revised governance documents, and participating in new cross-functional ALA groups as ALA evaluates and modifies our organizational structure and budgeting process. These significant changes and demands mean that the team may not be able to respond to queries and requests as quickly as they would like, and we ask that you grant them the grace of time.

We know that members are experiencing these same pressures and considerations. As a member-led organization, ACRL relies on the labor and expertise of volunteers. Our Board, committees, sections, discussion and interest groups, editorial teams, budget and finance committee, and other communities of practice are only effective because of the dedication and work of membership. This labor is seen, valued, and appreciated by your ACRL staff colleagues, and we are grateful for your engagement with the Association.

Even with these challenges before us, we can highlight the community-building and positive outcomes that come from involvement with ACRL: the extension of professional networks and providing opportunities to reach out to others for support, being engaged in the evolution and development of the field, and advocacy for professional values like open research, freedom to read, and equitable practices. We can look forward to ACRL 2023 in Pittsburgh (March 15-18) as an opportunity to come together and reconnect in-person and virtually, facilitating professional development and problem-solving with others in your fields of interest.

The combined efforts and expertise of the ACRL membership and staff are truly remarkable. As your President, Vice-President, and Past-President, we are encouraged and energized by all the work underway. 2022 may not have offered much relief to our shared circumstances, but as we reflect on what we have accomplished and where we strive to go, we are grateful to be part of this dynamic and dedicated Association. 

Feedback, questions, and celebrations can be sent to acrl@ala.org. Not a member? Join today.

– Erin Ellis, 2022-23 ACRL President

– Beth McNeil, 2022-23 ACRL Vice-President

– Julie Garrison, 2022-23 ACRL Past-President