ALA: jenny doesn’t speak here anymore

Jenny gives great presentations, is not full of herself, and knows what she’s talking about. She’s well prepared, gracious and charming. When she gets pissed off about something, I generally give her the benefit of the doubt that her rancor is completely justified and probably even understated compared to whatever offense she or her patrons have endured. This is just a long-winded way of saying that her objections to crazy ALA policies seem right on target to me. Keep in mind that when it comes to the topics she works on — blogging, digital rights management, gaming, audio content in libraries — she’s not just an expert she is one of the authorities and I’m frankly a little suprised even that she has to deal with this sort of thing. Maybe it’s the sort of thing we can sort out on Council… my Council position that I am not re-upping for, for somewhat similar reasons.

I will never accept another invitation to speak at an ALA-related conference until they reverse this ludicrous policy of CHARGING THEIR SPEAKERS TO SPEAK. It’s insane, absurd, surreal, and unethical. You don’t have a conference without your speakers. I understand they can’t reimburse speakers for travel expenses, but the very least they can do is comp their speakers’ conference registration fees. And the whole conference, too, not just a day. You either value your own professionals or you don’t, and the current policy tells me you don’t.

5 Responses to “ALA: jenny doesn’t speak here anymore”

  1. j's scratchpad Says:

    Charging Speakers to Speak at Conferences

    Jenny, the Shifted Librarian , and Jessamyn of librarian.net are conversing about speakers having to pay to speak at conferences.

  2. Lynn Jones Says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Frankly, I believe ALA could even pay their speakers, but the least they can do is waive the registration fee. One of the reasons I haven’t been a member for years.

  3. KR Says:

    I definitely understand being annoyed about having to pay registration to speak if you’re not attending, and to a certain extent I agree. That said, though, I am uninterested in hearing about how people are authorities in their field. Being an alleged authority is irrelevant in this instance; does that mean people who aren’t authorities (like me, for example) who are invited to speak should pay? That part of the argument just smacks of entitlement to me, and it really doesn’t help things any.

    Also, saying that ALA not comping speakers means it doesn’t value the profession is too melodramatic to be believable, sorry.

  4. elswhere Says:

    It seems to be standard practice at small conferences to not comp the speakers– I’ve spoken a few times at regional library conferences and never gotten comped (except at the pacific northwest private school librarians’ conference, which is REALLY small).

    Whether it *should* be standard practice is another question. I understand these organizations are nonprofits and need all money they can get, but it does seem like comping speakers is the least they can do. And if ALA, with its zillions of members, doesn’t do it, who will?

    The authority/big-name issue is tricky; it does seem like if you’re going to comp some speakers, then you should comp all of them. Or else have some criterion, like, speakers who present more than x number of times, or who present a keynote, get comped.

  5. Anna Says:

    I used to live in Alabama.
    I graduated high school there in Foley AL.
    I do agree completely:)
    Anna