Have you ever considered that maybe ALA has problems because of librarians?
I mean sure, it’s easy to blame the staff, and council and exec. But when you really come down to it who is that?
And who are we? I know who we say we are. We are fighters for truth and civic discourse! We are all for freedom of information and public service! We are the LAST BASTION OF CIVIL SOCIETY DAMMIT!!!!
Are we though?
During Arc-gate, (remember that) librarians cyberbullied teenage book bloggers over free stuff. We talk shit about the winners of the Mover and Shakers awards every year. “Ugh, did you see who won? They aren’t even a librarian, didn’t really do anything, I could have done that”
When Daryl Issa got The Madison award this week, did we ask why? Or jump to saying awful shit about staff and threatening thier jobs? (B., the answer is b)
And oh sweet baby Jesus the ALA executive director thing. Try to debate the issue in it’s merits and just wait to get shouted down by people telling you you are a horrible person and don’t value the MLS/libraries/puppies. OR do it from the other side and have someone make cheap cracks about your age in a national publication. (seriously, what did that even accomplish at this point?)
This isn’t who we say we are. So what the hell do we do?
When I get frustrated, I try to tell myself that everyone in ALA is tryingto do the right thing. I may not agree with them on what that is, but no one is part of some grand conspiracy to take down librarianship or libraries. No one is actively attempting to undermine our core values.
Do I always succeed at that? God no. Am I always the best behaved person in the room? Nope. But can I usually come back around and say, I was kinda an asshole and I’m sorry? Yeah, usually.
Whatever happens with the ALA Executive director vote, and the Madison Award we know three things;
1 – Some one is going to be unhappy
2- We all have to wake up together the next morning and
3 – Libraries are more important than all of this BS
We all need to do better, and hell if we are all gonna wake up together tomorrow morning anyway, it would be nice if we could at least manage to go out for brunch, still talking to each other.