- Over the past year PALA welcomed 45 new members and overall membership has increased by about thirty percent. As of today we have 106 active members from 16 states (Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kansas, California, Colorado, North Dakota, and Washington, D.C.). We also have one member from Canada.
ACTIVITIES AND DEVELOPMENTS
PALA’s activities and developments over the past year included:
- On February 24, 2013 PALA held its third Annual Meeting and Open House at the Polish Museum of America. The event was attended by 85 participants and included a general business meeting, scholarship presentation, lunch buffet, and informal networking opportunities. Stuart Dybek delivered the keynote speech and two campaigns, the Jan Karski campaign and All Polonia Reads to Kids, were presented during the event. The Annual Meeting and Open House concluded with a tour of the museum and library.
- Prompted by one of your members, PALA Board supported the campaign for PNCC Studies inclusion in JSTOR by writing a letter of support to the Prime Bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church.
- In May, PALA, as represented by Aldona Salska, appeared on a Polish radio station to speak about libraries and answered library service related questions from radio listeners.
- In June, PALA made an appearance at the American Library Association Annual Conference (Chicago, Il). PALA board members staffed an exhibit booth that not only promoted PALA but also Polish writers, publishers, and film makers. During the conference, PALA partnered with ALA’s Ethnic and Multicultural Exchange Round Table for a Taste of Town Tour visiting the Polish Museum of America and a Polish restaurant, twenty-one individuals attended this event. PALA also hosted an informal networking dinner for conference participants at Szalas Restaurant.
- In October, three PALA board members, Aldona Salska, Elizabeth Marszalik, and Joanna Klos presented a program at the Illinois Library Association Conference. The program entitled “Serving Immigrant Communities: The Potential for Ethnic Librarians” explored steps libraries can take to better served their immigrant communities and promoted the work of ethnic librarians and their networks. The program was very well received.
- In November PALA became a co-sponsor of the 25th Polish Film Festival in America which provided an opportunity for PALA to promote Polish history and culture, as well as increase PALA’s visibility. As part of co-sponsorship PALA hosted the screening of the film Baczynski.
- In December, revisions to the bylaws were proposed by the Executive Board and approved by the majority of the membership. The major changes included an addition of the Executive Director position and shortening the president and vice-president position term from two years to one year.
- In partnership with the School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University, the scholarship committee received a winning essay and will present the third and final Vera May Barnes Zubrzycki scholarship during the 4th Annual Meeting.
- A strategic plan 2013-2014 was developed to provide a focus for PALA’s future goals and objectives.
- A new program has been planned out and will launch this year. The Polish Book Club, in partnership with Loyola University, will meet throughout the Chicago area libraries and at Loyola University to encourage readership of Polish literature and works highlighting Polish history and culture.
COOPERATION WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
PALA’s cooperation with other library and education organizations continued this past year.
- Two PALA Board Members, Malgorzata Kot and Elizabeth Marszalik visited with the Polish Librarians Association, June 6, 2013. The visit reinforced PALA’s cooperation with the Polish Librarians Association and resulted in continued mutual support. The visit also included a tour of the National Library of Poland and was followed with the publication of an article about PALA in PLA’s Bibliotekarz professional publication.
- In August PALA’s board member, Leonard Kniffel, attended the IFLA conference in Singapore. Leonard Kniffel met with fellow PALA members and Polish IFLA delegates and discussed the need for Polish organizations to be present on the international level. The meeting concluded with plans to organize a more formal meeting at the next IFLA conference to be held in France in 2014.
CAMPAIGNS SUPPORTED BY PALA
During this past year PALA has continued to support the two campaigns that we joined the previous year.
- Aldona Salska represented PALA at the Jan Karski book launch reception and panel discussion in Washington D.C. on March 18, 2013. PALA distributed information about the Karski Campaign while exhibiting at the American Library Association Conference and My Report to the World: Story of a Secret State by Jan Karski will be the first title launching PALA’s Polish Book Club. Leonard Kniffel, a supporter of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation, represented PALA November 22, 2013, at the first anniversary celebration of the Foundation at the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York, where U.S Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power received the Spirit of Jan Karski Award for her exemplary work in advancing the issue of genocide prevention.
- As part of PALA support of the campaign All of Polonia Reads to Kids, Elizabeth Marszalik has completed the online training course and applied her knowledge to host a highly successful event in October at the Indian Trails Public Library, thought which Polish parents and children learned the benefits of reading out loud twenty minutes a day, every day.
Thank you very much for your attention and support. This concludes the Annual Report.
Submitted by PALA Board Presented by Joanna Klos at the 4rd Annual Meeting on February 23, 2014