The Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table (FAFLRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) voted to proceed with merging with the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) division of ALA in the spring 2017 election.
“Our [FAFLRT] diminishing membership has made it difficult for us to ensure representation on affiliated groups and have robust programs and services for federal and armed forces librarians”, said Karl Debus-Lopez, FAFLRT President. “This merger with ASCLA will provide our members with more networking and educational opportunities, access to more financial resources and a dedicated staff provided by ALA; The missions of FAFLRT and ASCLA are closely aligned and there will be the opportunity to create interest group(s) that reflect the needs of federal and armed forces librarians”.
“With such compatible missions and some overlapping membership, the merger makes sense”, said Michael Golrick, ASCLA President. “We’re very excited and confident that we will bring together the strengths of both memberships and let our voices be heard for specialized libraries”.
The merger will allow for a bigger and guaranteed voice in ALA policy setting and an increased presence within ALA, greater ability to advocate for needs of specialized libraries and agencies and staff assistance to allow more programming and career development activities through online learning as well as ability for more robust offering of programming at ALA’s conferences with the assistance of staff. Once finalized in the fall 2018, the merger will result in the addition of up to ~300 new members to ASCLA’s current ~800 members.
FAFLRT promotes library and information service and the library and information profession in the federal and armed forces communities; Encourages appropriate utilization of federal and armed forces library and information resources and facilities; and provides an environment for the stimulation of research and development relating to the planning, development, and operation of federal and armed forces libraries. FAFLRT is a supportive network for professional growth and advancement and a focal point for discussion of key information management and technology issues of federal and armed forces libraries.
ASCLA is the premier destination for members to find information and build capacity to serve populations that are served by state library agencies, specialized libraries, library cooperatives and library consultants. ASCLA enhances the effectiveness of library service by advocating for and providing high quality networking, enrichment and educational opportunities for its diverse members.