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ALA Council: How can I serve you?

I’m humbled to be reelected to ALA Council for what will be my fourth term, and congrats to Barb Stripling (ALA President), Trevor Dawes (ACRL President), Cindi Trainor (LITA President), and everyone else elected yesterday. As a sign of the times, I first learned this yesterday from a dear colleague’s post to my Facebook wall. So this is an unusually short post from me, because I’d like to shut up and listen: how can I be part of the change you want to see in ALA?

Posted on this day, other years:

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  1. The thing that I think is the biggest threat (or opportunity, but I think mostly threat at this point) for libraries (including academic and public, and possibly many kinds of special), that I’ve been surprised not to see ALA taking more public action on is….


    I think I’ve seen posts on this topic from you, so I think you’re well aquainted with the issue and nature of the threat. Ah yes for instance this one, a great post:

    I would expect ALA to be doing all sorts of visible things on this issue, including public (patron) education campaigns, lobbying with the legislature on fair use and first sale rights for libraries and ebooks, and speaking to publishers on behalf of libraries including negotiations.

    And/or whatever research and planning is needed to figure out _what_ to do there, including legislative/legal research, or discussion forums where library representative participants are educated on the issues and brainstorm courses of action for ALA.

    If ALA’s doing any of that, I don’t hear about it.

    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink
  2. Could include anti-DRM education, advocacy and lobbying too — DRM is one of the techo-legal issues that make it difficult or impossible for libraries to provide ebook interfaces to our users that aren’t a huge pain to use.

    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink
  3. Sorry to triple post on your blog, but reading your blog post gets me all excited that you’re in a position to have influence over ALA, because I think you ‘get it’ in your analsyis there. Even those three things you suggest at the end of the blog post as ‘starter’ actions — ALA could and should be doing them, if it’s unclear what else to do.

    “fight for the right to read, not just as a public library problem” — ALA could be doing advocacy/marketting campaigns on this.

    “Inform and engage our stakeholders” — ditto, informing and engaging the libraries that are members of ALA, producing marketting materials members can use to inform and engage their patrons and stakeholders, see above.

    “Study the structure and of our reading ecology and have economists and other strategists propose workable solutions” — ALA could be funding such studies and reports from technical experts, then publisizing them.

    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Congratulations on your re-election!

    As a library student and public library worker, one of my concerns is how my peers talk about ALA. In spite of everything the organization has done / is doing to be more dynamic and meet the needs of a changing workforce (ALA Connect, Young Librarians Working Group, etc.), the overall perception still seems really negative. Council Members can make a huge difference just by being open to input (thank you for this post!), but there will always be people who would rather complain – and eventually throw up their hands – than offer constructive criticism. I don’t necessarily think that spending time on an internal image campaign when people are so concerned about our image outside of the library world. Still, I can’t help but think some ALA pride would ultimately reflect outward.

    Mostly I agree with your previous commenter: you GET IT, and I’m really glad you’re back on Council!

    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink
  5. Dorothea wrote:

    With what’s going on with law schools getting dragged into court over dismal job-placement rates, I wouldn’t mind ALA getting in front of the question vis-a-vis library schools and librarianship. I assume this means a confab with COA, which given its recent changes in personnel honestly seems like a good idea anyway.

    Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink
  6. annoymous wrote:

    I would like to see if we can get down to one conference a year, why do we need two? I am only really funded for one, so guess what that means? Virtual attendance, really not just some events.

    Also, don’t forget up the genXers when you are considering emerging leader just b/c we have plugging away for a couple of years doesn’t mean that we can still be leaders with a little help!

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink
  7. clara wrote:

    Could you work with ALA to make their electron ebooks and tools more friendly for academic institutions to license, right now, it is easier to go with print.

    Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

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