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Yes, it is assuredly a problem that ALA is a behemoth without a welcoming public face. My fear, though, is that we'll get a shiny makeover of the public face without the slightest attention to more substantive issues. ALA needs to be more than Librarian Kaffeeklatsch Central, and no, the lobbying arm (which, I note with annoyance, has barely noticed the CURES Act) is not enough to grant relevance.
If ALA is smart, ALA will see the writing on the wall too. Librarians are finding valuable and congenial ways to network that have nothing whatever to do with ALA. Being Librarian Kaffeeklatsch Central will be less and less a draw as time passes. ALA will have no choice but to do more and look deeper if it wants to capture Gen-X and Millennial librarians.
Read the full article."
Yes, you'll want to clear your calendar for Satuday February 18 for an afternoon of riveting viewing on C-Span 2's BookTV. FOCL submitted information about the ALA President's program featuring the much talked-about "mugging" of Michael Gorman by Andrei Codrescu who pulled Cuba out from behind his back and used it, iron-skillet style, to clobber and stun not only Gorman, but those in attendance.
But, never mind that. The real excitement comes before that, at 2pm CST, when the Bloomington (IL) Public Library Books & Bites non-fiction bookclub struts its stuff in a recorded discussion of Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel & Dimed. While I did not attend, it was widely reported that the discussion got a little racy!
I hope to have a drinking game ready for this double-header. Stay tuned!
Update: 02/18 17:55 GMT by B :steve fesenmaier pointed out either the schedule changed or we got it wrong, BookTV says Codrescu is on today at 5:45 eastern. I just checked my TV and that's what's listed.
mdoneil writes "Not us here at LISNews.org where we have wonderful polls, but at the ALA. The quote "We would be better off without these polls," is by Michael Gorman regarding the 75% of the respondents to a recent poll at AL Direct that urged the ALA to condem Cuba.
The quote was from a Wall Street Journal article from Friday's edition entitled "Madame Librarian" (on page W11) A link to the fee based article is here. It is also available online from several vendors for those with electronic access.
This is not the kind of press the profession needs, yet it will be the kind of press we will get until get rid of Gorman and those that think as he does.
The last line of the article certainly gives us each as librarians, and the ALA as a whole, something to think about: "All something to remember in March, or any time the ALA next tells us that, on issues of freedom, librarians know best.""
Daniel writes "The subscription-worthy blog from the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) has what appears to be an excellent summary of the ALA President's Program with Michael Gorman, Bill Johnson, and Andrei Codrescu. This might provide some additional context for GregS' recent post Am I dreaming?. From the summarized remarks, I think Codrescu makes a good case on behalf of Cuba's informal librarians. The whole "but are they really librarians?" thread troubles me some. Whether or not they are professional librarians, are they not people who wish to share books and other information that the Cuban gov't doesn't approve of? Isn't intellectual freedom a worthy enough goal to defend without needing professional librarians? I recommend this LITA post because it also talks about the rest of the program, which seems worthwhile. I recommend the LITA blog because it's always interesting even if some of it is over my head."
"I saw it and I couldn't resist," Krug said of the librarian-slam-turned-money-making button. "The head of our store said it was the fastest-selling button he's ever seen. They were flying off the shelves."
Proceeds from the buttons, which cost between $1.25 and $2, depending on the number purchased, go to the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom."
"Krug acknowledged the buttons fly in the face of conventional stereotypes of librarians."
Library Journal has a story titled "Author Codrescu, at President's Program, Slams ALA's Cuba Stance" Codrescu grew up in Communist Romania and is a commentator on NPR.
That sure champions the cause of libraries and librarians. Lets make librarians more of a fringe group than they already are. Rather than a shushing Nancy Pearl, lets all become Abbie Hoffman.
I don't know about anyone else but I am not a radical militant librarian. I am a patron serving, responsible librarian.
When will the ALA ever learn to stick to its core mission as expressed in the original charter?"
A coalition of bookstores and libraries in Western Massachusetts have joined together to form a new year-long program, Books Building Bridges , to promote literacy, education and libraries both in the U.S and Iraq. Many events are planned and more participants are sought ( get involved ).
Their first event, "Learning in a Time of War" is scheduled for Tuesday, November 29 at the Northampton Center for the Arts at 7:00. Professor Safaa Al-Hamdani, founder of Books for Baghdad will be among the guest speakers; director of the Jones Library in Amherst MA, Bonnie Isman will facilitate.
Michael McGrorty has posted an ALA Council Survey. to determine the preferences of librarians, library workers and other interested parties in the activities of the Council of the American Library Association. Toward this end, participants will be asked to make choices from lists of possible answers. The creator of this survey does not claim that the questions contain or represent all the interests or activities, or even all aspects of any particular interest, of the ALA, its Council, or of individual Councilors.
Grumpy Librarian writes "ALA has announced the two candidates for ALA president:
Loriene Roy, professor at the University of Texas at Austin's School of Information; and
William Crowe, who heads the University of Kansas' (KU) Kenneth Spencer Research Library
Anyone have opinions on either of these?"
We used to run interviews with the candidates every year, if there's any interest out there in LISLand we could do that again this year.