Posts filed under ‘ALA’
I’m in Chicago in order to attend what must be my 20th American Library Association annual conference. I have lost count of how many annuals I have attended. My first was Los Angeles in 1983 when my family began accompanying my mother, who is also a librarian, to the conference for our summer vacation. LA was just the first of many other conferences. I also went to Dallas, New Orleans, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco (a couple of times), Chicago (also a couple of times) and several others that I have since forgotten.
ALA meant only one thing to me when I was growing up: free stuff. I looked forward to the seemingly endless rows of exhibits that promised loads of goodies to bring home. At first one of my parents would accompany me up and down the aisles but I was eventually allowed to walk through the exhibits by myself. As long as I met my parents at the previously established meeting time, I could spend as much time as I wanted looking at all of the books. At the time, it never occurred to me that I might one day attend the conference as a librarian.
Not long after I started library school in 2002, I asked my mother (as I did every year) if she was going to attend the annual meeting in Toronto. After she replied that yes, she was planning to attend, I remember imagining yet another experience of walking up and down the exhibit aisles filling my bags with swag. Then it slowly dawned on me that the upcoming conference would be an entirely different experience–I would be attending ALA as a soon-to-be-librarian. I would actually have to go to meetings and presentations!
My experience in Toronto was completely different from any of my previous conferences. I spent a lot of time walking or riding the bus from one meeting to another and I barely had time to go to the exhibits. People sometimes say that they find ALA overwhelming and before attending my first conference as a librarian, I didn’t really understand what they meant. How could a place full of free books be overwhelming? Toronto thoroughly disabused of this idea. Just figuring out which meetings and presentations to attend can take quite a bit of time and energy.
Now I am once again attending ALA in a new role. As a doctoral student, only a few of the meetings mesh with my particular research interests. This means that I feel quite a bit of pressure to attend all relevant meetings even when they are scheduled at the same time. I am constantly looking at my printed schedule to make sure that I don’t miss anything. The exhibits are, of course, secondary.
Before becoming a librarian myself, I had no idea that there were many librarians out there who were quite disappointed with ALA and its work. My mother always seemed recharged and energized for her work after attending a conference. Of course, this is the essence of some librarians’ problems with ALA. What does one get out of being a member other than the conference?
For me, being a member of ALA reminds me that I am part of a larger community. Before returning to school, I worked in a small theological library — a setting that is very different from a public library. By reading through my American Libraries every month, I was reminded that even though my library had a specialized mission, we were still part of the wider library world. Now that I am a student again, I feel even further removed from librarianship. Attending this conference has helped me remember why I am in a library and information science doctoral program. When I am in the McCormick Center, surrounded by 27,353 other librarians, I recall that my research is not just for my own edification but that it will also aide the profession as a whole.
By attending the conference, I am reminded that even though I no longer work in a library I am still a librarian. I still have one more day of running around the conference center to attend meetings and racing through the exhibits. And, like my mother, I hope to return to New Jersey from this conference recharged and energized for my classes in the fall.
Core competences for librarianship were finally defined at the very recent Midwinter Meeting in Denver, where the ALA Council passed the resolution, and this Tuesday, ALA sent out a press release summarizing the resolution and providing links to the core competences site and a pdf. The document defines the basic knowledge to be possessed by all persons graduating from an ALA-accredited master’s program in library and information studies.
The core competences “stress the role of library and information professionals in promoting democratic principles and intellectual freedom, knowing and applying the legal framework guiding libraries and information agencies – including laws relating to copyright, privacy, freedom of expression, equal rights and intellectual property – and identifying and analyzing emerging technologies and innovations.”
I especially enjoyed reading from their press release the “identifying and analyzing emerging technologies and innovations” phrase above myself!
Do take a look at the entire core competences doc for all of the details when you get a moment.
There have been dozens of posts made over the last few months reminding everyone to nominate their favorite Mover and Shaker from libraryland for the annual Library Journal supplement. I myself am in the midst of polishing my M&S nomination for submission before the deadline on Monday November 10th, so I thought while everyone was in nominating mode I would post a reminder that nominating season need not end on Monday!
There are lots of ALA professional recognition awards that you can nominate your colleagues and institution to win — and many of the awards given by ALA have a December 1st deadline, giving you three weeks to put together your nomination!
I spent the last two years serving on the ALA Awards Committee and this year I was appointed the chair of the jury for the ALA/Information Today Library of the Future Award. This is not only a really prestigious award but a really cool one too — as is evident by the list of past winners. Look over the requirements, then think about what your library is doing and how you might possibly qualify:
… to honor an individual library, library consortium, group of librarians, or support organization for innovative planning for, applications of, or development of patron training programs about information technology in a library setting.
Criteria should include the benefit to clients served; benefit to the technology information community; impact on library operations; public relations value; and the impact on the perception of the library or librarian in the work setting and to the specialized and/or general public.
I know, for a fact, that there are many libraries with innovative, forward-thinking and amazing technology-focussed programs that are deserving of this award, so step forward and nominate yourselves or your colleagues.
There’s a new library blog that might be of interest to Library Garden readers: CEBuzz. CEBuzz is a group blog brought to you by ALA’s Continuing Library Education Network and Exchange Round Table, aka, CLENE. (I’ve been active in CLENE for years and am currently coordinating the new blog.)
The mission of CEBuzz is to provide a thought-provoking resource for those interested in and responsible for Continuing Education (CE) and staff development in libraries. To that end, the the blog will:
- Provide coverage of trends in learning theory and practice
- Provide links to online learning resources
- Provide coverage of “hot topics” in CE and staff development
- Announce learning events of interest
I think we’ve put together a great team of authors, who’ve already generated some wonderful posts. So if you’re interested in continuing education and/or staff development check us out. Or just pop our feed into your reader: http://feeds.feedburner.com/CeBuzz.
Oh, and if you’re an ALA member and interested in joining CLENE for a mere $20 (and getting a free preferred professional membership in the American Management Association thrown in) you can add us to your membership right online.
Man, this is cool!
Immediately after I posted that bit about “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional,” right before the Futures Conference, I realized it needed an amendment. It needed me to add that I am such a hypocrite!
I am a huge advocate of using “2.0″ things for libraries – blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc… and not being AFRAID of CHANGE and of doing some different things. And here I am, NOT blogging really! I posted that post and then went off to take a shower and it was there that I realized that I have to admit and face up to MY fears and issues if I am going to be talking to others about CHANGE – FEAR – GROWTH and their issues.
My fear is of not being perfect; not being good enough – liked – accepted; etc…. That is why I have been avoiding blogging. This is a true soul-baring admission. I want to blog. I often think of things to blog. Yet, I allow my fears to hold me back.
Well, no more! I am realizing my fears, admitting them, and challenging them. Just as I want to be able to challenge everyone else to do! So, as I go forth and blog and challenge you (hopefully) you can know that I do so with a clear conscious having admitted this and having started to face my own fears!
At the conference Robert said to me that people appreciate honesty and that’s what is most important. Well, consider yourselves warned . . .
[Thanks to Robert and Pete for discussions surrounding this topic at the conference! It helped a lot!]
5 Things I learned @ Conference
- Helene Blowers is sooooooooooooooooooooooo cool!
- Running the NJLA Podcasting Station w/IT was even more fun this time around!
- If you’re going to ask a speaker to come to said NJLA Podcasting Station, it’s best to be prepared, or they might just walk away!
- If you go to a luncheon at Ocean Place, don’t order the vegetarian meal (or so I heard).
- Pete is a snappy dresser!
If you went to conference and want to share “5 Things” on your blog then, “Tag, you’re It!”
Friday, June 22, 2007,
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Sponsored by the CLENE Round Table
[CLENE: The Continuing Library Education Network and Exchange Round Table]
In today’s environment, library staff have to work harder than ever to stay informed and keep up with changes. How can libraries encourage all staff to continually develop their skills? A systematic staff development plan can address the learning needs of library staff and increase their effectiveness on the job.
This half-day session is a step-by-step introduction to the process of addressing the issue of staff development from needs assessment through planning. Do you need a staff development plan?
Speakers: Cal Shepard, SOLINET
Tickets: CLENE-RT Member: $110; ALA Member: $130; Non-Member: $180
NOTE: If you plan on coming and you’re not a CLENE-RT member, why not take this opportunity to join? It’s only $20 to add CLENE to your ALA membership, and joining CLENE gives you many benefits including… wait for it… preferred professional membership in the American Management Association!
Interested? Click here for details: http://www.ala.org/ala/clenert/clenemem/membership.htm