Over the years I’ve heard complaints about ALA and reasons for not belonging many along the lines of the ones Jim Rettig mentions in his recent article Is the Association Ripe for Rebellion?
- It costs too much.
- It should be possible to join one of the Association’s 11 divisions without joining ALA.
- It doesn’t care about librarians, just about libraries.
- It spends too much time on issues that aren’t relevant to libraries.
- It’s a mouthpiece for left-wing radicals.
- It doesn’t do anything for me.
I’ve steered clear of ALA discussions on this blog for several reasons including the contribute/criticism approach and I tend to agree with the thoughts of Abby the Librarian (ALA is Not Your Mom), but a recent conversation with a friend got me think about the generalities of many complaints like “it doesn’t do anything for me”. I am running for ALA Council this year so this seems like an ideal time to introduce ALA discussions to this blog.
Have a thought about ALA? Love it? Hate it? I want to know. But here’s the rub (you knew there was one right?) You can’t answer in generalities. Really love ALA and all it does, tell me what and why. If you feel ALA doesn’t represent you, explain why. If you have a complaint, propose a solution. Think something should be different? Explain why and how we make the change. Not a member? Past member? Faithfully paid dues for 20 years even when you had to scrounge under the soft cushions for money,? Tell me why.