Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Making an Effort....Or at Least Trying to

There's been growing discussion on the boards the last couple of weeks about participation in our national organizations. For the majority of us, this seems to be a sore topic full of frustration. I particularly liked Emily Ford's discussion of it, self-identifying somewhere around Level 2 (trying to be involved but generally feeling stifled).

I did finally re-up for another year of ALA, after much pondering, many consultations, and not a few rounds of ranting how this was resume filler that didn't seem to be doing much good to/for anyone. I appealed to NMRT, Madame Director, the RefQueen, and a ridiculous number of non-librarians (who don't particularly care) on their opinion of if I should rejoin. It meant I reconnected with one of my libschool cohorts but didn't provide much in the way of clarity.

Ultimately, I decided to give Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) a try. It's a division of ALA, such that to join what I was interested in, I had to join the overhead. With optimism of how welcoming they are, and the knowledge that I had a few friends in there already, I sent away the hard earned funds and the committee form. I signed up on the LITA list....

Thus far....that's been it. No one has emailed regarding committees and while the list has had a couple of interesting conversations, I've not really seen anything I felt inclined to dive into. This is rather dissatisfying as I was looking to actually get involved in doing something more than read lists.

Granted, I actually can identify projects LITA has taken on (e.g BIGWIG) and I know a number of the names and faces around LITA. But when I've brought the topic up on other library related networking places it's been met without much response. And that's kind of frustrating. I'm not sure if everyone is just focused elsewhere or if it's based on my inability to go to both conferences.

So tonight I fling myself at the list again, hoping to spark something. Not sure what yet, but something....

And yes, in the interim, there is the LSW.


Emily Ford said...

I'm glad my post stirred some thought. I have to say that I, too, am a LITA member and have to admit that I've been disappointed. I AM on a LITA committee. I tried to show up to a committee meeting for this committee (albeit prior to my official appointment on said committee) and I was the only one who showed.

However, I have liked some of LITA's conference programs. I guess newbies just get lost in LITA. What, if we don't watch LITA's tweets we don't know what's going on? :)

And I actually think I'm in that level 3 of ALA. Yes, I'm disenchanted--but I am on two committees, so it puts me there according to my own model--and it makes me incredibly uncomfortable.

Robin said...

Greetings, Ms Hedgeie :-) I found your blog via your post on the LITA mailing list. I connected right away with your experience as (former) youth services librarian-with-a-technology-bent.

I have a similiar experience with LITA, ALA, etc. I can tell you one amazing story about my involvement with ALA (I won't post it here, too lengthy and weird),

I am also a level 2 - but as Emily says disenchanted.

BTW your no oink storytime post made me snort coffee out my nose laughing. Kind of appropriate...

Have a great day!
Robin Bartoletti