A Greener Election Coming

The Association, division and round table nominating committees are still assembling their slates for the ALA ballot next spring, and you can still petition to be on the Council ballot, but there are changes coming. Following the September 15 Executive Board conference call, ALA President Jim Rettig announced that the Spring 2009 ALA election will be “all online.” He went on, “Over the last five years, since we first introduced online voting, the number of online voters has steadily grown, with the vast majority of members now voting online. Even more importantly, the introduction of online balloting has significantly increased member participation in the election process.”

Faced with a tight budget for the coming year, and seeking increased efforts by the Association to reduce energy consumption and be more environmentally aware, the Executive Board made the decision to conduct the election online. It is anticipated that the change will save half million pieces of paper and $90,000 in postage and printing–allowing those funds to be used to support other member services.

In the next few weeks, we’ll be asking all our members to provide us with an email address or verify that the one we have on file is accurate. Then, in March, 2009 we’ll e-mail out information on accessing the ballot in order to vote–or send a paper mailing with information on the election web site and an individual election password. The final calendar for the election will soon be posted on the Election Information page.

Participation in the election is important. “Those without internet access at home or work,” Jim points out, “can easily access the site through a visit to their local public (or in many instances academic or school) library. A printed version of a paper ballot will continue to be readily available upon request to members with disabilities and no internet access. At this point, you can help us all prepare for our first online election by logging on to the ALA web site (that’s in the upper right hand corner of the home page) and adding your email address to your member record (instructions on how to do this are provided on the site).”

You’ll be hearing more about how to participate in this election. My colleague Juanita Rodriquez, Member Services Director, or I will be happy to answer your questions.

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