Sunday, May 07, 2006

Bad News from ALA

Sadly, Greg McClay reports that his bid for a seat on ALA Council has failed:

Since I'm the only person who listed a website as their place of work I think that had to perk enough interest for people to actually read the profile. So 2000+ voted for me and 12,000+ voted against. That's unfortunate. Especially since there will probably be another resolution on the Boy Scouts in NOLA, and there will definitely be one calling for the impeachment of the President. So ALA is going to continue to be run roughshod by the inept and unprofessional (the anti-intellectuals so to speak ). And there's plenty of weak-kneed fence-sitters who are going to let them. If that's what the voters wanted then that's what they got.

First of all, I wish to thank Greg for having the courage to run. While myself and others dropped out of the organization, he was willing to stay in and fight for his beliefs. This leads Greg to make an obvious point:

What now? I run again. Voting was up but its still only 25% of membership. And maybe if some of those librarians who said they would vote for me if they hadn't passed on renewing their membership were to re-up (a-hem) then maybe we can get that vote total up.

This raises several key questions. For starters, are there enough such people to make up the 10,000 vote gap? This leads directly to the question I asked in the wake of my "infamous" Chronicle article: Is it worth it to fight to restore ALA to a non-political course, or is the association a lost cause?

I didn't have the answer then, and I still don't. There are plenty of people dissatisfied with the current direction that ALA is taking. If we were all to join (or rejoin) the association, would there be enough of us to make a difference? Unfortunately, I remain skeptical.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I continue to have misgivings about ALA. Here are just a few things going on as of late:

- The Boy Scouts are under attack by "progressives" in ALA who view the Scouts as anti-Gay and anti-athiest.

- A resolution to impeach President Bush will be presented at ALA's annual conference in New Orleans.

- Some "progressives" in ALA are upset that Madeline Albright is the keynote speaker at the annual conference because they think she is a war criminal.

- Councilor Mark Rosenzweig is asking what kind of follow-up ALA's Executive Board has done regarding the Resolution Against the Use of Torture (by the American government).

All of these things are completely irrelevant to library issues.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Ed Merwin, Jr. said...

Because of such issues as those touched on by "anonymous" I too have strong reservations about the politics of ALA. And now I just had the "pleasure" of paying my dues increased annual membership on-line; Yippy! The ONLY reason I retain my membership is professional membersips look good in my post-tenure review file. To bad some proper thinking librarians don't walk out when these issues come up for discussion/vote. Once outside, they could demonstrate. I wonder if any of the media would cover such an action?

12:22 PM  
Blogger Annoyed Librarian said...

I don't think there can be much of a change to ALA; the higher echelons seem to be dominated by the radical left, and most librarians just don't seem to care. I despise the ALA and every non-library related issue it stands for. I have to be active in at least one of the divisions to keep my job, but I have as little dealing with the larger association as possible.

As for proper thinking people demonstrating, I can't imagine it happening. Only fanatics demonstrate except under the duress of an unbearable situation (dictatorships and tyranny and the like). A question to consider is, who really cares what the ALA does? I'm a professional librarian, and I ignore everything that comes from them. I would think non-librarians would be even less concerned.

2:43 PM  

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