Revisiting SCOE

With the start of fall, many of us are turning our thoughts to welcoming students and faculty back to campus.  This year, fall is also a good time to revisit what’s happening with the ALA Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE), which has been working since last October to learn more about members’ needs and develop recommendations for the future of ALA.

You may recall SCOE from our ACRL Insider post in June.  At that time, we drew your attention to the committee’s work conducting a comprehensive review of ALA’s governance, bylaws, fiscal structures, and options for member participation.  We also touched on the general timeline for SCOE’s work, noting that SCOE would consult with ALA and ACRL members and staff over the summer on its preliminary recommendations, and that we expected to see final recommendations emerge in September.

The ACRL Board of Directors is keeping close tabs on SCOE’s work, and we are well served by the participation of ACRL Director-at-Large Emily Daly on the committee.  While we haven’t seen the final recommendations yet, we expect they will be delivered shortly.  

In the interim, SCOE has shared a simple, bare bones overview of the SCOE Preliminary Recommendations that compares the existing and proposed models for key features of ALA including Executive Committee, Council, and the divisions–including ACRL. This overview document is the simplest possible explanation of what a future ALA might look like, and it is intended to be viewed alongside the full slide deck of recommendations or in conjunction with a virtual input session, which you can review online through the SCOE ALA Connect group (group membership is required):

July 8th Input Session

July 19th Input Session

You can also join the ALA Connect Group: “Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE) Project: Discussion Forum” to view additional docs or slides or listen to recordings (joining the group is required to view documents and recordings linked above).  All members are encouraged to join the SCOE Discussion Forum and provide your thoughts on SCOE’s work thus far.

It is worth noting that these recommendations are still in draft form.  SCOE has met multiple times since Annual to consider and respond to members’ feedback, and the committee will meet again in person in mid-September to finalize recommendations in preparation for a presentation to the ALA Executive Board in October.  

We expect that SCOE will present its final recommendations to ALA Council at the 2020 ALA Midwinter Meeting.  The way forward from there depends on the nature of the recommendations–some changes will require Council to vote twice, likely at the 2020 Annual Conference  and 2021 Midwinter Meeting, followed by a vote of all ALA membership in Spring 2021. Other changes may be made on much shorter timelines, particularly if they don’t require a Council or membership vote.

ALA SCOE timeline

What’s certain now is that SCOE is doing vital work on behalf of ALA and that ACRL will be affected by its recommendations.  Again, we urge all ACRL members to engage with SCOE by joining and following the ALA Connect Group: “Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE) Project: Discussion Forum“. 

The ACRL Board will continue to monitor SCOE’s work and keep our members informed.  We look forward to the many positive changes to come from these recommendations, and we are committed to representing ACRL member needs and interests as the conversation develops.