Kenney: It's time for ALA to set its journals free

Brian Kenney: "librarians are the most vocal advocates for open access to journal content—except, apparently, when it’s their own publications. I suspect this is because of ALA’s outdated, carrot-on-the-end-of-the-stick, publishing model: keep the publications locked away as the supreme benefit of membership. "

Finally, there is common sense. If you want your content to be used, then readers need to be able to discover it through a search engine and read it in a click. Or find it in their feed aggregator. We need to be able to forward it, post our disagreements with it, blog about it, and have it pushed to us on Facebook. It must, in short, be integrated into our professional lives. Or else it becomes irrelevant, no matter how good it might be.


Or else it becomes irrelevant, no matter how good it might be.

Or it becomes irrelevant because it's an ALA journal, which have never had anything in them worth reading in entire life.

"Whoopee! I'm getting promoted / tenure!"

The ALA journal, in the few dozen issues I have read has the most banal content.

I read the Journal of the American Chemical Society as well, and that is exciting, with interesting content compared to the ALA.

I did like the humor column in American Libraries though by Will Manley.

a. What alternatives are there to the American Library Association?...

b. Why are so many librarians on the front lines so old school, not up to date?...

I belong to Cumann Leabharlann na hÉireann, the Library Association of Ireland. I'm Irish so that may not really be an alternative for everyone.

I don't think so many librarians on the front lines are so old school, not up to date as you say. I was the head of reference in a public library serving 65K patrons. Was up to date, and remain that way. I didn't use Second Life, but I did provide reference chat, and ask a librarian. I wrote an application to use bablefish translation to look for materials using worldcat that will allow the user to enter terms in english and have them searched for in different languages in worldcat. I was the only librarian who knew that you could search worldcat for items not in english (and I developed a loyal Korean following at my library)

I wrote a WAP frontend for the library website, and even worked with the cooperative to write it for the county cooperative but they kind of put it on the back burner.
So to suggest that librarians on the front line are old school may be your interpertation of librarians doing what is tried and true.

a. No. But that's a good thing. It's like saying "I don't have narcolepsy. But can I duplicate it somehow?" They have one important job: accrediting library schools. Which is good. And they help you out if Jesus Freaks invade your library and "check out" all the books on evolution and women's suffrage.

b. Old people in any profession will tend to be further behind their younger counterparts. Certainly exceptions abound. It's just a generalization.

Second, being a librarian is a stable job with decent (more or less pay) and people don't want to leave that. No one does. Private sector, public, etc.

They won't get me out of here with tear gas and dogs.

(sometimes I am so erudite I amaze myself)

There is an alternative to the ALA, it is called saving your hundred bucks (actually I can't tell you what the actual dues are as the ALA in their wisdom on the form called " Personal Membership Application" is not actually an application but a brochure that does not list the dues, nor collect any information that might actually result in one joining the ALA.

I really don't see how the ALA helps anyone out. Sure they get their knickers in a twist about what they perceive to be important issues, but frankly they are just a bunch of leftover hippies looking for something over which to be engraged.

Librarian & decent pay. Hardly. I've been out of the library for a little over 2 years and I have more than tripled my salary. I'm good at what I do, but even the garbage man makes more than I did as a librarian.

That might be because you live in Florida and up until the 1940s they were still arresting people who knew how to read.

Some librarians do ok. They fact that you could be making more doing something else doesn't mean anything in and of itself. I could make more as an airline pilot or a burn unit nurse. But I'm not.

Are you an ATP pilot or RN? Not being a smart aleck, just asking. If you are why are you working as a librarian - although if you are a pilot I could see that you would be happy just being employed somewhere as Alaska airlines just let pilots go yesterday.

Yes, Florida librarian salaries leave a lot to be desired. I am sure they are different in other parts of the country, but I think the ratio is probably pretty much the same. I know someone who does my job for E&Y in NY/NJ area and makes more than I do but the cost of living up there is higher too so I would assume it would be similar if one were to compare librarians in Florida and NYC.

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