Welcome to the final print issue of the Information Bulletin, and my first as president of WAML. This will also be the last one that I stick into envelopes as I either watch a movie (when I can rope Lydia or a friend into helping) or while listening to podcasts. I have never minded stuffing envelopes, but I am looking forward to helping to produce the digital IB.
The future holds so many possibilities for us, I hesitate to predict. Are we part of a dying breed? Will we continue to hover around 100 members as more libraries fail to fill positions as map library workers retire or move on to institutions that show more support for the spatial enterprise? As we become more hi-tech and do more outreach to all those spatial data service providers who don’t realize they are map librarians, will our numbers grow?
If I thought we were a dying breed, I would not have accepted your nomination two years ago. I accepted it because it was time for me to take my turn and I have a great debt to pay to you all. And I trust that when one of you gets a call from Katie Lage, you will happily volunteer to be president elect.
If I thought we were a dying breed, I would not have committed to spending at least as much time on the digital IB as I have on the print. In fact, I anticipate spending much more time on it, because the medium we are selecting has a huge amount of flexibility. Interactive maps and timelines are a snap to include, and now you can anticipate full color everywhere.
If I thought we were a dying breed, I wouldn’t be feeling people out about having two meetings next year. And speaking as the co-organizer of September’s conference at UCLA (which will be one month from the day I am writing this), once you find a location, there is nothing easier than organizing a WAML meeting. You should step up and host one (or two!) yourself.
Since my first meeting in Boulder in 2005, WAML has been an essential part of my identity as a map librarian. Nowhere else has offered me the breadth of programming, assistance, and camaraderie that WAML has. You are a wonderful group of people, and I know that you share my commitment to making us a stronger organization in the future.