ALANYC Board members Rose Jaworecki, President-Elect, Lucy Shyti, Communications Officer and Stephanie Ransom, Vice President and Business Partners Relations Team Leader attended ALA’s Chapter Leadership Institute (CLI) in July. The CLI is truly an educational conference where chapter leaders gain a better understanding of ALA’s function as a whole and from which, attendees return to their chapters with a greater insight of how chapters can work with ALA. The CLI offered three full days of relevant and productive information beneficial not only to the ALA as a whole, but also to our specific chapter. Attendees were able to network with about 250 other chapter leaders, regional representatives, directors, speakers, sponsors and ALA staff and were given the tools to come back to our Chapter with fresh ideas and new connections. Some of these ideas included sessions on increasing membership, membership retention, business partner engagement, strategic planning for Chapters, and more, all with the purpose of invigorating us to lead successful Chapters.
One such session was in Strategic Planning – What Every Chapter Needs, by Michael Bumgarner, CLM and Debbie Eisbury, CLM, who discussed the importance of strategic planning within our individual chapters to ensure succession planning, continuity, assessments, vision, and mission. Some food for thought was for each chapter to consider a 3 or 5-year future vision looking at the strengths, weaknesses within the chapter to determine any opportunities or threats within and create a self-assessment to determine who we think will emerge as leaders, and identify the area where they may need more growth or development as well as combating any perceived weaknesses and capitalize on their strengths. One example was if the individuals you identify as future leaders should attend a few leadership training sessions to grow, then start the process now. Speaking to potential candidates to ensure our vision is as realistic as theirs and offer them the tools needed to succeed. Allow them to attend the Chapter Leadership Institute, possibly two or three times, as each conference always offers new and innovative ideas and techniques you can bring back to your chapter and utilize. If there is interest but the candidate has not had to be completely responsible for a task, give them tasks to do or let them chair more projects. Get them involved and invested.
The Board for the CLI conference added a version of Bold Bites into the curriculum and invited a few of the Chapters to speak on a topic that could motivate and perhaps refresh the ideas of the Association. The New York Chapter was one of three Chapters chosen to share their Chapter initiatives or motivational ideas for this year. ALANYC attending board members participated and delivered a 15-minute presentation on our fitALANYC initiative in which we combine the Mind, Body and Soul to educate and revitalize the entire person. They shared some of the programs that we have had to date and others that were forthcoming. All was very well received by those in attendance.