President’s Letter

Greetings CALL Colleagues,

We are at that time of the year where we feel pulled in two directions.  Trying to squeeze every last bit of relaxation we can into the final weeks of summer while also sprinting into fall, preparing for new students and new associates.  The tension between those tasks feels even more precarious this year as we factor in our “return to work” plans.  Are we going back to the office? How often? What will it look like? One thing we have gotten very good at over the past year is not only making plans, but also making contingency plans and maybe contingencies to those plans too.  The What Ifs loom large over all of our heads, which can be a source of stress, but I am choosing to look at this time as a source of opportunity.

I recently moved homes, after spending 15 years in a wonderful and cozy little apartment.  It is remarkable how much stuff a person can collect over that period of time.  It starts slowly, but after a decade the closets are filled, the storage unit is jam-packed and you wonder “where did all this stuff come from?” As stressful as moving was, I also found it to be a nice time for reflection.  It provided the opportunity for us to have thoughtful conversations about what we wanted to bring to our new home and what we wanted to let go.

I am trying to bring that same optimism and thoughtfulness to our discussions on return to work.  We have a once in lifetime opportunity to reshape our work environments and processes. The pandemic has challenged us in so many ways, but it has also pushed us to reconsider our essential services. Just as I had to ask myself “how many giant lobster pots does one family really need?” we should also ask ourselves “how many copies of this treatise do we really need in print?” We previously worked onsite Monday-Friday, but now realize that remote work is a viable alternative.  And not just an alternative, but an opportunity to provide flexibility to our employees while potentially expanding services to our patrons.

In that same spirit, CALL is also in a position to reflect on what we learned over the course of the pandemic and what changes we want to make going forward. When we were forced to cancel our spring business meeting back in May 2020, we had no idea that we would have a full year of virtual meetings ahead of us. But I am so proud that during such tumultuous times, CALL continued to gather virtually for our business meetings, continuing education events, happy hours, trivia night and book clubs.

We have heard from members that they liked the flexibility that virtual events offered, but that they miss the social aspect of meeting in person.  In the upcoming year we are going to offer a mix of programming with the goal of trying to fill both needs.  Our upcoming September Business Meeting will be held virtually, but we are also going to plan an in-person social networking event to give everyone an opportunity to gather for the first time in over a year.  We would very much love to have an in-person business meeting in 2021-2022, but we are cautiously playing it by ear.  The Executive Board will meet after the September business meeting and evaluate our options for the remaining meetings.

Regardless of when and how many times we can meet in person, I am very much looking forward to another year of events and programs. One of the biggest takeaways from last year is that the work of the association goes on, even if we can’t be together in person.  Our members are the core strength of our association.  Thank you to Lindsey Carpino for her leadership and to everyone who worked to make last year a success for CALL and I am excited to see what we can accomplish in the year ahead!