Newsline August 2016

Later this month, it will be ten years since I joined NISO. It is truly amazing how quickly "time flies when you're having fun." For all the ups, downs, challenges, and successes over the past decade, I look back happily on the time. There is much to be proud of.

Back in 2006, NISO was in the midst of a challenging period. A Blue Ribbon Panel prepared a report for the NISO Board of Directors in 2005 describing an organization in a dire shape, with mismatched membership, challenges regarding international engagement, inadequate relationships with other organizations, a lack of technical infrastructure, and a process that was plodding and slow.

Some of the ideas the panel considered, such as certification, didn't make sense to pursue. Some ideas were tested and then dropped as unsuccessful. Other suggestions the group made, such as developing an educational program, have been tremendously successful. Some very strong recommendations, such as deployment of an improved infrastructure, were quickly adopted and have made a significant impact.

NISO has navigated many economic challenges over the past decade, including the Great Recession and the consolidation waves in our community. Even in this challenging environment we have been able to expand our resources and to add staff to the team in order to boost our portfolio. We have attracted both new voting members and more than a hundred new Library Standards Alliance Members. NISO has also opened up new channels of funding for our standards-development work through obtaining ten grants in the same number of years. With all these resources, we have attracted an ever-increasing number of contributors and new project ideas, and we have been able to get our work done more quickly than previously.

While this month is my anniversary, the success we have had over this decade is certainly not an honor for me alone. There are a great number of people who have been involved in these developments and many deserve a great deal of recognition. NISO is a community effort and literally hundreds of people have contributed to these changes. Dozens of Board members have served the community and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their leadership. The staff that have joined me on this journey also deserve recognition. Finally, the volunteers who have served on leadership and working groups to create our standards and best practices are the real heroes in this tale.

If there were time, I would like to send a personal note to each of you who helped us to arrive this anniversary. Even though August is a slower month than others, in reality, the success we have had means that we hardly have a slow period any longer. Since I don't have the time to reach out directly to the hundreds of you, please take this 120th Newsline introduction as my personal thank you. For me and the staff, there are several reports to write, grant applications to craft, new working items to prepare, presentations to plan, and budgets to draft. The reward for success is often more work. And it is that additional work that leads me to believe that the next decade will be just as fun as the last.

Thank you to all of you for listening, for engaging, and for contributing.


Todd Carpenter

Executive Director