Finally I am here and working hard in San Diego, CA where there is NO snow (unlike Nashville). Instead I am surrounded by thousands of excited librarians, authors, and vendors who are “doing the work of the association.” Sometimes we take for granted the ability to gather together to accomplish great things. New ideas are generated, not just in committee meetings, but also in conversations around the dinner table, in vendor booths, waiting in lines for shuttle busses, and on escalator rides to view the beautiful scenery of San Diego from the Mezzanine.
There are many opportunities to be involved in ALA that don’t necessitate traveling to Midwinter. Virtual opportunities continue to increase. I love using ALA Connect and get frustrated when people don’t try it out since you don’t even have to be a member of ALA to do so.
There is a white paper being circulated on Connect http://connect.ala.org/node/124852 and the ALA website that discusses the purpose and the positioning of ALA Midwinter. I hope you will take a moment to read it and to actually COMMENT. I expect quite a few of us will say “Don’t they know that school librarians can’t get out of school and we don’t have any financial support from our institutions?!”
The fact is that most of the librarians here had difficulty getting time off work and getting financial support. We are having problems with the national economy. All of us are affected. It is not easy for any of us.
Getting beyond the money issue, look at the types of activities that are occurring and how ALA Midwinter is changing to meet the needs of members. Think BIG PICTURE and let’s meet on ALA Connect to chat about this. Or, you can leave your comments here and I’ll pass them along. I have no difficulty talking and sharing your viewpoints.
Remember you do not have to be a member of ALA to create a username and login for Connect. You can register and leave comments. Of course, I do believe in the value of being a member of the American Library Association and hope you will join.