Supporting The ALA: Worth it or not?

Here's An Interesting Post From Caveat Lector, and One More, And Another, all on the ALA's new President, Michael Gorman. The eclectic librarian and the Free Range Librarian, The Librarian In Black, TangognaT, have similar, negative, thoughts as well. They all seem to agree, Gorman is bad for the ALA.
Though Karen Says "Don't Agonize, Terrorize."

LISNewster & ALA Councilor, Rochelle Hartman Asks Is there anyone else who is not renewing ALA membership for specific reasons (besides poverty)? I'm not, and here's why:


Voter Apathy Extends to ALA Members

Daniel writes "A recent announcement on the ALA-Chapters Relations Office List documents the mediocre turnout in the current ALA Election (see below):

Voter turnout under 20% that has lasted weeks is 'apathy incarnate'. If this is the way we vote in our association election, let's be less judgmental about people who aren't voting in local, state, and national elections."


Michael Gorman Abdicates

Anonymous Patron sent in this Library Journal alert on the ALA leadership.

Michael Gorman, president-elect of the American Library Association (ALA), has stepped down just months before assuming office. "It was the blog people, they did it," said RLG's Walt Crawford.

I liked the Laura Bush story better, but I guess I'm biased.


Dump Gorman as a THREAT to old-fashioned culture

David H. Rothman writes "Many clueful librarians voted for Michael Gorman because they worried about the future of books and sustained thought in the era of McInformation--they laudably cared about the basics. But could ALA's president-elect himself be a threat to culture by not understanding the potential of electronic preservation? Is he really fit to lead ALA, given his vision deficit and the lack of professionalism that he showed in an anti-ebook article in the Los Angeles Times and his anti-blog rant in Library Journal?


Michael Gorman Responds

ALA president-elect Michael Gorman has pulled a "Sony Barari" on his blogger piece: he claims it was satirical.

Is disdain the best way to criticize problems with the blogosphere?

Furthermore, Gorman says:

Rest assure that my views on 'blogs' have nothing to do with my activities as ALA president-elect or president. I merely air my views and believe that everyone (including me) has a right to speak in any way they wish and that others have a right to respond.

Given how others are reading this story (cf. ALA President Not Fond of Bloggers and More Tedious And Self-Serving Attacks On Bloggers), is that an excuse a president should be making?


Campaign to Save America's Libraries: Toolkit

For those of you in communities where library services are threatened, the American Library Association has updated its "Campaign to Save America's Libraries" toolkit. Included are talking points, articles, and PR tools.

Everyone loves libraries, but libraries can't live on love alone. The Campaign to Save America’s Libraries provides new, easy-to-use and customizable tools for library advocates. Please join this important grassroots effort.


ALA Support Staff Survey on Voluntary Certification

An Online Survey on Certification of Library Support Staff is available until December 17, 2004.

The survey is an outcome of the 3rd Congress on Professional Education: Focus on Support Staff (COPE3), which was held in May of 2003. The
COPE3 Implementation Recommendations asked that the American Library Association (ALA) Library Support Staff Interests Round Table (LSSIRT)
study the issue of national certification for support staff. In response, LSSIRT created a Certification Task Force with a charge to
"study the issue of national certification for support staff, prepare and administer a national poll for expectations, compile statistics from
research, and keep the LSSIRT Steering Committee informed of Task Force progress."

From the results of this Certification Survey, LSSIRT would like to determine the level of interest, and the perceived benefit, of a voluntary certification program. Your participation will help the American Library Association make a decision on how to proceed. The survey is brief and should not take more than five minutes to complete.
This is designed to be filled out BY SUPPORT STAFF as to whether or not
they want a national certification.

commentary: Rochelle would like to ask all you support staffers out there to please consider filling out the survey, even (or particularly) if you are not involved with ALA. ALA has not been particularly accessible to support staffers, and it's important for ALA to get input from the many of you out there in the trenches.


An Alternative To The ALA? The ALC: Americans for Libraries Council

Americans for Libraries Council (ALC) is a national nonprofit that advocates for libraries at the national level and develops and promotes programs aimed at realizing the potential of libraries in the 21st century. The Council believes that a national agenda is needed to help leverage the vast, varied and rapidly evolving capabilities of America's libraries and to reinvest in libraries as key assets for information literacy, opportunity and democracy.


  • to focus attention on libraries as national assets, essential for a healthy economy and vital democracy
  • to provide effective models for library services and library support
  • to establish a new base of financial support for library preservation and innovation
  • to increase advocacy for libraries in the corporate, philanthropic and civic sectors

Update: 11/05 09:17 EST by R:Link fixed

Ask ALA and get your voices heard!

This call from Rachel Singer Gordon has been posted on several lists (newlib, nexgenlib, NMRT-L ...). Here it is for any LISNewsters who might care to participate:

Hi all -

At ALA Annual this year, I had the chance to talk to ALA's new Membership Marketing Manager, John Chrastka. He's offered to answer your questions about ALA and its connection to younger librarians in an upcoming "NextGen" column in Library Journal. With all the discussion here about the benefits (or disappointments) of association membership, this is a great opportunity to get
your questions answered and your voices heard.

So, think about what you'd like an ALA rep to answer, and send your burning questions to me at by next Friday, August 13. I'll pull out
the most representative to send on to John.

Feel free to pass this on to other appropriate lists/individuals as well.


- Rachel


Interview with ALA Councilor Jessamyn West

conservator sent along a wide-ranging interview conducted during the recently concluded Democratic National Convention with ALA Councilor Jessamyn West. Chuck Munson interviewed Jessamyn West for Infoshop News .



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