Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Back to the ALA Renewal Question....

Despite the fact that in five months, their customer service department could not be called upon to let me know just when my registration expired--ALA contacted me via email this morning to let me know that it was time to renew.

And in five months, I still am no clearer on whether or not I really want to renew, particularly for anything beyond "basic" participation. What is the purpose? I've been told to "get involved" with committees--which means adding more money along with my time and expertise. And there are a huge amount of options to try and guess at: do I join committees that are relevant to what I'm doing now, committees where I most want to be in five years, or save the money and look at some of the other groups (SLA, etc)? It's suggested that I present at conferences? I've already discussed the fact that children's librarians + Annual conference in the middle of summer reading programs are generally not a good idea. Should I focus on national conferences where I pay for the privilege of presenting? Should I look for conferences where I might at least get free admission to the conference for presenting?

Jenny did manage to get the wiki updated so we can see some of the divisions that have virtual committees. I'm still a little baffled why one must join a division to then join a virtual committee but at least we know a few more of the options. Also--other than Jenny's link from my last meander through this topic, I can't get to the wiki. If someone could help me breadcrumb it, that would be fabulous but ten minutes of stumbling around the ALA website hasn't worked yet.

According to the email I did finally receive this morning---I have until June 30 before there will be a lapse. So, it's something to consider and I'll be reaching out to the wiser powers that I know mostly from places other than ALA for their wisdom.

Your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

New ALA motto: We exist to exist!

LSW motto: We exist to drink beer!

Your choice!

Hedgehog Librarian said...

I am inspired to sing the "Beer" version of Do-Re-Mi...in my head.

Brian C. Gray said...

Considering that committee activities drive programming, communication, resources, etc. of a division, it seems very logical to require membership within that division.

Hedgehog Librarian said...


I think I'd like to see more general ALA committees rather than always being shunted into a specific division. We're always expected to cross train and that gets awfully expensive if one tries to do it through committee work.

Brian C. Gray said...

There are quite a few ALA committees: http://ala.org/ala/ourassociation/committees/committees.cfm

The problem often is people either need to demonstrate or express interest in this committees or it will be hard to get involved. I would see if any of this interest you. But, I do not know how much cross training an overall ALA committees really offers.

Due to the size of ALA and all the issues of the profession, I imagine it is very hard to have "general" committees. The focus is what helps to get the work accomplished.

I would suggest that anyone of the major ALA divisions still offers many levels of cross training, unless you find your interests run across the entire spectrum of librarianship.