A week ago Wednesday I spent three hours with the folks at ALA Headquarters. Jenny was under the weather so I went on without her! (Jenny – you were missed at the big conference table!)
I presented Jenny’s modules and my modules of the roadshow, with a slant toward “association” thinking and a what could ALA be doing with the some of the social software tools. This was prep for the upcoming online course I wrote about at TechSource.
I just received my ALA membership card (yes I’m a card-carrying, conference going member) and on the back of the card is a list of the Benefits of Membership. One of them, the first one in fact, is “A voice in the organization.”
I asked the folks around the table: “How do members have a voice online at ALA?”
We also took a look at Meredith’s post “ALA, Relevance and the Almighty Dollar” as an example of the conversations going on outside of the association, after a few slides from the Cluetrain manifesto.
A lot of good conversation ensued, and the three hours flew by. I was impressed and truly believe ALA is getting a grip on Leslie Burger’s questions:
How do we build on the concept of a social network, the speed and ease of communication and information sharing of the bloggers? How do we make ALA a more attractive outlet for people who want to make a difference, for those who need help and ideas to bring back to their libraries, and make it a more welcoming, social organization.