ALA Elections: very little advice

In the past I've given my ALA election picks, but I just don't feel as strongly as I used to. In fact, my membership is due for renewal, and I'm on the fence about re-upping.

President, I'm not super excited about either of them, and won't be voting for President, but I will say that more people whose opinions I trust are supporting Camile Alire. Then again my father has endorsed Linda Williams.

If I can find my ballot (I vote the old fashioned way--on paper!), I'll see that there are already circles next to
Monika Antonelli
Bernadine Abbott Hoduski
Theresa A. Tobin

I know all three of them, and think they are all great. This is an enthusiastic endorsement.

For some reason I didn't select Diedre (Dee) Conkling immediately, but I will vote for her as well. Chalk it up to anti-library director bias! I don't necessarily dislike or distrust all library directors. I've worked for two excellent ones. I just think they don't need my help getting elected disproportionately to ALA Council. Same with men. I will not vote for any men for ALA office except under very special circumstances--like if he's trans.

Council candidates I am considering, based on youth, front lines status, and other factors for underrepresentated on Council (like being a school librarian):
Tiffani Conner
Deborah S. DeGeorge
Alison Ernst
Carrie Gardner
Mary Laskowski
Linda Shippert
Sally Decker Smith
Linda J. Underwood
Lisa Von Drasek
Courtney L. Young

I'd love feedback either public via a comment or private, since I don't know any of them.

I'd also like comments on maintaining one's ALA membership. Mine which would cost a minimum of $120 + $12 for SRRT. (The magazine alone ain't worth it, and I'm not going to ALA Annual this year.)



#1 c-dog

my membership fee the last time i renewed was $160! which is ridiculous considering i'm not at all involved in anything ALA related. basically i'm paying that for the magazines (i get AL, C&R Libraries, and the other C&R Libraries publication--none of which I read much of. once in a while something will catch my interest). anyway, i only renew out of a sense of professional obligation, and also because of the fear that i'll put it on my resume and get busted as not being a member. i guess it comes in handy when you want to attend a conference and there's difference in price between members and non-members. you're in a unique situation though, being ALA royalty and all. ;)

#2 heidi

i've worked with both courtney young and linda shippert and think they're great. i'm all for ALA membership, albeit in an "i love to beat my head against a brick wall" sort of way. i learn a lot from my involvement, but a lot of what i learn falls into the category of understanding how big unwieldy bureaucracy works, which helps me navigate my smaller local bureaucracies. also, the washington office works on important stuff, and i'm happy to think of my membership as supporting them.

#3 jenna

Thanks, Heidi. I'll take your advice on Courtney and Linda.

re: ALA membership, I was where you are a few years ago, but now I've learned how the bureaucracy works--and I hate it! But your point about helping to fund the Washington Office is well taken.

And btw, somehow your blog fell off my roll, so thanks for being here to remind me to rssify you again.

#4 jenna

My final choices for Council (based on the criteria I mentioned above and also, of course, their statements):

  • Monika Antonelli
  • Deborah S. DeGeorge
  • Alison Ernst
  • Bernadine Abbott Hoduski
  • Mary Laskowski
  • Linda Shippert
  • Sally Decker Smith
  • Theresa A. Tobin
  • Lisa Von Drasek
  • Courtney L. Young

Yes to Bylaws Amendment
No vote for President

Still undecided about renewing my membership!

#5 K.R.

My ALA membership is somewhat ridiculously expensive, but I stay in it because I am very fond of the ALA Office on Diversity and I like to commune with other queer librarians. I guess straight people might not need that as much, though.

#6 jenna

Interesting. Without ALA, I might not have met most of the people who are now my library community--radical librarians and zine librarians, though less so with the latter, since many of them are not ALA members or even MLS holders. My ties with the zine library community are more electronic and/or based on having met folks at the Allied Media Conference.

Regardless, now that I have those communities, I don't feel as strong a need to keep up with the Association. Then again, I do think that at least annual face to face meetings are important to develop and maintain those ties. Since for my purposes, there is no parallel to the Office of Diversity, I just don't know if it's worth the dough to maintain a membership. I may decide to pony up, just because I make a reasonable salary (though probably not compared to comparable positions in IT), and I do want to contribute to ALA's lobbying efforts. I just wish I liked the magazine better!

#7 K.R.

It's tricky. I would probably know a number of my librarian cohorts if I weren't in ALA, but I don't know if I'd know all of them. (Also, I am kind of co-chairing something in ALA right now, so I should probably remain a member.) I see your point, though. I view ALA as an easy way (for me) to get to know cool library workers, but that isn't to say that there aren't other avenues.

Yeah, the magazine is not terrifically interesting. I wish there was a way you could tell ALA not to send it.