ALA, at large, not at large

I found out via a roundabout way that my bid to be the Vermont Library Association’s chapter councilor wasn’t successful. This is good news and bad news. The woman they elected was probably more qualified than me, and will probably not dislike her time on Council as much as I have historically. I am not sure if she will advocate as strongly for web site improvements and increased technological access to ALA generally, but I’m sure there are things she is planning on promoting. I would have liked to have been a Councilor representing a specific group and not just the “at large” world but I’m young and there is still time.

For me, this means that ALA in New Orleans is the last meeting I will go to as a Councilor, for a while, if not forever. This means I can, if I want, cancel my membership to ALA. It means I can plan a Fourth of July party without being on my way back from a conference. It means that I don’t have to travel out of state twice a year in addition to all the other travelling I do. It means I probably won’t try to explain some of ALA’s decisions that I find inexplicable. It means I’ll get more involved with my local chapter — the irony being that if I had been at VLA’s annnual meeting, I might have had more of a shot at getting elected, but I was in Ohio at the Small Libraries Conference talking about the digital divide, and the libraries I worked with back home.

I’ve been following some of the ALA L2 kerfuffle which I was more interested in as a friend of Michael Stephens and Jenny Levine than as an ALA member. As a Councilor, I didn’t hear word one about this endeavor. As a member, I’m not surprised that ALA chose to hire a consultant group that talked a better game than they delivered, though for them the price was right. All I know is that if your consultant starts making blog posts like this one complaining about being complained about, and not getting paid enough, it’s going to be a hard tailspin to pull out of. I wish everyone the best possible luck making the best of things.

6 Responses to “ALA, at large, not at large”

  1. Dorothea Says:

    Not just blog posts, but actual threats! I’d have been livid if I were in any way involved, which I’m terribly glad I’m not.

  2. Nancy Wilson Says:

    Hi Jessamyn, I’m not sure I’m more qualified than you–I’ve just been around longer! I’m happy to continue your struggle to improve the ALA website and other technology improvements. I can’t advocate as effectively as you with specific technical solutions but I sure can speak from a users perspective. Please do also get involved in VLA, the organization can really use someone like you–energetic, smart, and tech saavy.
    And don’t forget–my term is only three years!
    Best wishes, Nancy Wilson (your new ALA councilor from Vermont)

  3. jessamyn Says:

    Hey great — I love your email address! I figure I’m into working with libraries for the long haul so waiting a few more years just gives me more time to get ready for whatever is coming up next. Congrats on the election.

  4. Michael Golrick Says:

    I’m sorry that you won’t be back on Council, but I also realize that it is not your niche.

    ALA’s loss is VLA’s gain. I know you will make your state association better.

    Keep on top of the ALA tech stuff, and I’ll probably still turn to you for answers and advice!

  5. Veronica Says:

    Jessamyn….

    Yeah, you rocked as a Councilor, but thank goodness for us little plebs you have more time for us now! I can honestly say that all of us little librarians-in-training have benefited more from your wisdom than you can imagine, and I know it’s selfish, but I need the insight you give and the time you bestow more than anything ALA is doing right now. So you keep on with your bad self…and realize that we might all just start a cult in your honor! Just imagine the trading cards…..

  6. Michael Says:

    Jeez. Now there’s nobody to eat bagels with anymore.