The Death of Ideas 3

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I am a “next generation” librarian, librarian 2.0 (1.5!), “young librarian,” whatever you want to call me, and I recently made the choice to get involved in ALA. I am currently attending the annual conference and having to make hard choices about what programming to attend and what to research later. Rather than continuing to believe that it’s hard to get involved, I chose to show up and agitate–ask people how to get onto committees, talk to those around me who are already involved in the organization, not be shy about talking to presenters, giving out my card, the whole nine yards. As a closet introvert, this is kind of hard for me.

So, if I’m willing to get over myself and get out there and (sssh, don’t tell anyone) try to transform the organization from the inside, what is holding traditional librarians* back from participating in the new web, which could transform every library in the world (for FREE, I might add)? The questions that were asked at the end of the “Reinventing Reference” pre-conference session were very revealing; it was as if people *heard* what was said but didn’t *listen* to what it meant for them, their libraries and their library users.

I’m with Cindi… transformation of ALA — huge organization that it is — is best done from the inside. I’ve heard and participated in some incredible conversations these last few days. I’m fired up by the sense of promise in the air – and also a little irked at the resistance voiced by some as they smell change — but still I see the value of questioning and thinking.

Have you heard the conversations? Will you participate?

3 thoughts on “The Death of Ideas

  • Jude

    I’m happy that you’re trying to participate and make change from the inside. I’m a poor librarian. I used to pay my own membership dues, but that was only when I was making 4 times what I’m making now and dues were much less. Therefore, I can’t afford it.

  • napl

    I agree with Jude. Contrary to many other businesses, many libraries (especially smaller ones) will not pay membership dues or have the funds to support conference fees, travel and lodging. It is a sad state of affairs, but a reality. So I have to pick which of a dozen or more related organizations to join.

    I’m so glad some of you are working from the inside out. Thank you, and keep up the good work!


  • Michael C. Habib

    I agree wholeheartedly that one of the best ways to encourage change is from the inside.


    A lot of committees have virtual members who don’t have to attend conferences to participate in a meaningful way.

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