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ALA Begging

Not only are librarians becoming carnies, they’re also becoming beggars, even at the ALA. Is this a small anomaly, or a glimpse of the future?

A kind reader concerned that librarians are turning into beggars sent me a couple of links: this sad page in American Libraries on Why You Should Go to ALA Annual and this request by a librarian to donate money so that another librarian can go to ALA Annual. Yet another kind reader sent the original donation request.

The ALA appeal demonstrates their usual blend of peppiness and cluelessness. It begins, “With more than 500 programs, 500+ exhibitors, thousands of attendees to network with, do you really need to explain why attending the 2012 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Anaheim is essential to your professional life?”

Since it links to a long page of suggestions on how to make the case for attending Annual and to an even longer list of librarian testimonials about how darned great Annual is, then, yeah, I guess they really do need to explain why attending Annual is “essential to your professional life.”

That “essential” amused me. Don’t get me wrong. I love going to Annual and hanging out for a few days wining and dining on my library’s or a vendor’s dime. But “essential”? As in, the majority of librarians who don’t attend every year can’t do their jobs effectively?

Let me put that another way. They might not be able to do their job effectively, but if so, is that because they didn’t attend Annual?

Also, if it were really essential, would so many libraries be cutting travel funding from their budgets?

It’s not that all the reasons for going are lame. “You’ll save your library time and money by reviewing products and services among the 700 vendors in the exhibit hall,” ALA claims. And you probably will. Whether it will offset the cost of attending is another thing.

Another claim: “Your library’s reputation gets stronger when you participate actively in your profession and show that your home institution is committed to professional development, innovation, and improving its services. So when they need to hire, the best candidates will already know why they want to work there.”

This seems like a dubious claim. The reality is more that libraries that can afford to spend money on professional development can also afford to pay more, and those that pay more attract the best candidates. But that professional development could take place at all sorts of conferences and workshops unconnected with ALA Annual.

You’re also invited to “Read what your colleagues say!” There you will find such informative testimonials like:

  • The experience was awesome!
  • I loved it. It was a fabulous experience!
  • An awesome experience!
  • Awesome! The conference to attend.
  • ALA was an absolute blast!

Fabulous is good, but awesome is better! I’m convinced. Now even I want to go to ALA Annual!

Unfortunately, the six figure salary LJ pays me to write this blog mostly goes for upkeep on the summer house in the Hamptons they gave me as a signing bonus, so I can’t afford to go to Anaheim in June.

The ALA has the same motivation as the carny librarians. The reality is that fewer librarians are attending ALA conferences because they’ve lost their funding for travel and professional development during the past few years of recessions.

Maybe the appeal should be even more desperate to attract librarians with so many more professional development options than they used to have. How’s this:

ALA Midwinter Meeting is dying. The meetings are becoming increasingly virtual as technology improves and budgets shrink. ALA Annual is one of the top fund generators for ALA. If Annual also shrinks and dies, so does the ALA. If you want the ALA around, start going to Annual. Don’t go to that cheap “unconference.” Don’t bother with “webinars.” Come give your money to us or we won’t be around much longer.

But how to afford it? That’s easy! Librarians should all support each other in our aim to go to ALA Annual. We should all start asking for donations.

Asking for donations from other librarians might seem pointless, since they don’t tend to have a lot of extra money. Maybe librarians could hold bake sales or walkathons. Sending librarians to ALA could become a charitable cause.

There could be donation jars in libraries: “Since my library is too cheap or broke to send me to a library conference, can you please give me money to go?”

If enough people donate, that might cover the conference fee and travel expenses. While at the conference, librarians could then live on the street and wear signs saying, “Will attend an ALA program for food.”

The possibilities are endless.

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Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    I have yet to work at an institution where the annual statewide conference wasn’t more than sufficient for professional development purchases. My libraries have happily paid for those expenses.

    Every year I think about pitching a trip to ALA annual and every year I don’t bother. What’s the point when for most librarians professional development can be satisfied locally at a bargain price?

  2. Jennifer says:

    I did actually join ALA for the first time recently and plan to shell out for the conferences for the next couple years b/c I want to be on a committee – but I frankly don’t care about the committee, I want the experience on my resume. I’m trying to shift to an out of state job sometime in the next couple of years and I’m hoping the committee experience will help. Plus, it sounds like it might be an interesting experience. I’ve saved up for this for several years (I’ve visited the exhibits a few times when they were nearby or a city I had friends and could stay at cheaply)

    • will manley says:

      Jennifer, as a resume filler, ALA membership is a mixed bag. A lot of library directors will not hire librarians who are active on ALA committees because they fear they will spend too much time on ALA work and not enough on actual library work.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Hmmm, I should qualify that. By “don’t care” I don’t mean I intend to blow off the work – just that I’ve never had a lifelong ambition to be on an ALA committee and don’t really care which one I’m on – I’m flexible!

    • Formerprof says:

      Two thoughts leap to mind:
      1. You should re-examine your lifelong priorities
      2. Prepare to be disappointed with your committee experience

      Formerprof

  4. John says:

    That second link is broken. =)

  5. Joneser says:

    Perhaps the ALA should be sending letters to library directors, begging them not to cut jobs up so that their employees can afford to go to ALA.

  6. not a hipster librarian says:

    I’d have to attend ALA on my own dime and use vacation time. I think taking a real vacation of my own choosing makes me a more effective employee.

  7. MG says:

    If I want to go I have to use my own money and my own time. I am a professional librarian with an MLIS but my position was downgraded a few years ago to non-professional. What does that mean? That means that any conference that I have to travel to is on my dime. Travel; conference fees; EVERYTHING. I don’t get sick leave; vacation; personal days; holidays. Even though our library isn’t open during those holidays I have to make up the lost time. Sorry feeling grumpy right now.

  8. KB says:

    Maybe ALA should stop begging for people to attend its conferences and take a closer look at the barriers to entry. $130/year for membership, plus an average of $50 or $60 on top of that to join a section? To join an organization whose direct benefits to me are tenuous at best? That’s serious money to most librarians, ALA, no matter what your average salary surveys might claim.

  9. Jennifer says:

    I certainly wouldn’t say it was necessary, but if you can figure out a way to do it – seems like it will be an interesting experience, even if it’s not exactly what I hope for (and I don’t really have any expectations, so whatever happens will be interesting). I will probably get time off to go the conference, although I’ll have to pay my expenses myself so I’m not as badly off as some librarians.

  10. Bibliotecher says:

    I don’t know if I’m more upset at the fact that she’s begging for people to pay for her ALA trip or the fact that people actually donated money.

  11. gatoloco says:

    I think the larger story here is that there are significant barriers to professional development for many librarians. Deprofessionalization, difficult and low paying part time work without benefits, and a breakdown in the mentoring process, are just a few barriers that many have to overcome just to be involved. I can certainly understand why someone was asking for financial assistance. Many in the profession cannot cover, or barely cover, living expenses, essentially paying to be a librarian. If the ALA does not want the profession to appear as a bastion for middle class white women, they have their work cut out for them.

    • gataloco – this was my takeaway from the comment string.

      Juxtaposing this AL post witht the last one points out one of the systemic problems I often refer to:
      1) The primary workplace for librarians is a library.
      2) Libraries increasingly offer unspecialized services which minimizes/eliminates the need for professional development.
      3) Without professional training and staff development, how can libraries offer specialized services that differentiate them from retail outlets and other social institutions?

      It’s a self-perpetuating downward spiral. I’ve become convinced that putting more money into the existing structures wouldn’t do enough to reverse the trajectory. It would help, to be sure, but there are enough other systemic problems that need to be addressed in order for our libraries to thrive versus merely survive. IMO, we need to re-imagine the existing system to preserve aspects that are strong and provide support where it’s weak.

  12. Charlie says:

    Your blog is awesome!

  13. This is really sad. Truly. They have to go begging.

    Consider that the ALA gets almost a million dollars from George Soros’s Open Society Institute so Soros can use the cover of the ALA to propagandize communities nationwide: http://tinyurl.com/KnowTheALA

    When you see OIF leader Barbara Jones constantly thanking the Open Society Institute for helping it create “Privacy Week” and other non-library matters, don’t you want to cringe?

    Don’t you think the OIF could ask George Soros to kick in another $50,000 or so to make the thing free for everyone? Really, I’m not joking. Soros is greatly benefitting by the ALA’s pushing his agenda on children and communities nationwide. At least he could show some gratitude and pay for librarians to attend ALA meetings, especially now that he essentially owns the ALA.

    I am being serious. The ALA has allowed Soros money to force it into yet another non-library drain on resources in time and money. The OIF keeps sending out messages about privacy violations but nothing about librarians subjected to library crimes, for example. At least the OIF could ask Soros to kick in extra money to get librarians to annual meetings for free. After all, some of those meetings will include sessions on how to effectively use Soros money to cover Soros’s tracks from the public by using the ALA, a trusted American institution, to provide Soros’s misinformation.

    Hey, Barbara Jones, get Soros on the phone. Tell him you want him to kick in extra money so the ALA can drop the pay walls that only block “intellectual freedom.”

    Intellectual freedom. Sure, if you have money, that is.

  14. Dan – I’ve not come across evidence of a nefarious Soros agenda executed by the ALA. If you have references besides your own blog, pls post ‘em in a reply.

    WRT online privacy, I believe libraries could embrace this issue as a high-end information service to differentiate themselves from the private sector and other governmental organizations. (It’s totally in line with their heritage: libraries have always maintained the privacy of their patrons. Their knowledge and operations are way behind on this issue now but could be brought up to speed and establish the library profession as influencial in this arena with the right structural supports.)

    The problem with ALA’s involvement here is they’ve done a lousy job. They know very little of the issue, push all the wrong buttons (as they do with Banned Books) and communicate like they are talking to a bunch of 8th graders. The ALA Privacy Revolution, IMO, reflects poorly on the library community.

    • Well, Jean, on my post I said, “I asked the leader of the ALA section that publicized the curriculum [EN 27] who wrote it and was told she had no idea. The curriculum, ostensibly about privacy, ‘espouses the Library Bill of Rights and the public library’s take on privacy and challenging books,’ [EN 28] among other things, and urges children to break past Internet controls set in place by their parents, jailbreak devices, etc. [EN 29] ” The EN numbers references 3 reliable sources, all of them from the ALA itself.

      How does the leader of an ALA section announcing the release of a new curriculum for public school children in grades K – 12 not know who wrote the curriculum? How come it took George Soros money to make it happen? Exactly why is the ALA creating a”privacy” curriculum for schools? Why does that curriculum teach students how to circumvent their parents? Why does the ALA support a curriculum that teaches children to defy their parents?

      Be that as it may, the point here is that the ALA, being used as it is by George Soros, a billionaire, should at least exact some price from Soros in exchange for allowing him to use the cover of the ALA to create a curriculum for school children and for allowing him to use public libraries as distribution points for his propaganda. Get Soros to pay for librarians to attend meetings that include how to further distribute the Soros propaganda within communities.

      I realize what I am saying makes little sense without knowing about George Soros and his efforts to destroy America as we know it, but people will have to learn about that elsewhere. In the meantime, a billionaire is giving the ALA money to spread his false message, the ALA is doing so with alacrity, so the ALA might as well extract more money from him to pay for the annual meeting fees that cause the ALA to go begging, the point of this AL blog post.

      By the way, I do not trust the ALA to teach school children on privacy issues. PC World? Mac World? Sure. Intel? Apple? Why not. Etc. You know, experts on the issue. The ALA has zero experts on computer privacy issues. It’s another non-library fiasco.

    • Dan – though I appreciate the time you put into your reply, it doesn’t provide anything to help me assess its veracity.

      Here are the conclusions I’ve drawn from years of studying the library ecosystem:
      1) In general, the people who work in libraries bring an extraordinary level of integrity and commitment to their work.
      2) Libraries and other organizations in the ecosystem are very bureaucratic and this engenders waste and a lack of accountability. It’s pretty common for people in the ecosystem to be doing stuff and not really knowing why. This is a big problem, though hardly unique to libraries. In fact, it’s endemic within governmental and many non-profit institutions as well as many for-profit companies.
      3) Libraries are susceptible to being duped by monied interests because staff in management positions act in the small context (their town, their multi-library system, their consortia, etc) whereas the monied interests recognize the enormous power in the large context of libraries’ collective budgets and incredible brand. Each of the situations I’ve looked at (for example the ALA partnering with Dollar General), points to a lack of sophistication but in no way points to malfeasance.

    • Jean, the ALA never announces that it is propagandizing people. You have to pull it out of the record, like when I proved the OIF was anonymously using Wikipedia to promote itself and its political interests. Call up Helen Adams, like I did. Ask her to identify who wrote the curriculum for public school students.

      Better yet, she just sent out more propaganda about 2 hours ago on “Choose Privacy Week.” Quoting now, “It’s Choose Privacy Week (May 1-7, 2012), and here’s a resource you can pass on to parents: “What Parents Should Know About Privacy Online.’”

      Go read that document. “In conjunction with Choose Privacy Week, sponsored by the American Library Association….” Bull. It is sponsored by the George Soros’s Open Society Institute. Sponsor: “A person or organization that provides funds for a project or activity carried out by another….” That’s George Soros in this case. Saying it is the ALA is a flat out lie. Leaving out George Soros is intentional. The ALA is intentionally misleading parents. Intentionally misleading communities. Hiding the true sponsor of “Choose Privacy Week.”

      Ask Helen why that is not mentioned in “What Parents Should Know About Privacy Online.” When you get the expected non-answer, ask her if parents would think a school privacy curriculum coming from the ALA would be more reliable and free of propaganda than one sourced to the Open Society Institute that is dedicated to the destruction of the USA as we know it. Then found out why the curriculum is presented as being “sponsored by the American Library Association” instead of being sponsored by the Open Society Institute, which it is.

      You know, at library talks, the OIF freely credits OSI with the financial backing. Why has that disappeared from the material Helen is telling people is the official word to tell to parents? Ask her that–you won’t find why the ALA hides this from parents in this publication that she promotes to librarians for dissemination. You won’t even get that answer directly from Helen. But at least you’ll have tried.

      And not just you. Everyone reading here. Everyone, why is the ALA deceiving parents? Given the ALA (Judith Krug) admitted it takes certain actions under its name instead of the ACLU’s name because the ACLU has “baggage,” anyone could reasonable conclude that the ALA false sponsorship claim is just one more attempt to foist something on the public that another organization having “baggage” would find impossible to do otherwise. And is this what the ALA is for?

    • Thanks again for further information; I was able to learn enough to say “we’ll need to agree to disagree” on this one, Dan.

      Your first link referred to ALA efforts to promote Net Neutrality and I’m 110% behind that — it’s a huge equal access issue and one our libraries should champion.

      I found the ALA page “What Parents Should Know About Privacy Online” to be quite well done. The information presented was sound, concise, readable and well-organized. The webpage was well-designed and contained no broken links. And the sponsorships/alliances for this effort seem okay; I didn’t see evidence that libraries are being co-opted to do commercial work or are providing a tacit endorsement for an exploitive commercial operation (which seemed to be the case with the Dollar General grants I mentioned earlier). I’m usually critical of what the ALA produces and it delights me to give kudos instead.

      I also took a look at the Open Society Foundations funded by George Soros. Seems that organization’s values and mission are well-aligned with the mission and values of our libraries: the promotion of human health and welfare through knowledge, dialogue, freedom, equal access to resources, respect across boundaries.

      So I learned a lot today. Thanks.

    • Jean, “Your first link referred to ALA efforts to promote Net Neutrality and I’m 110% behind that — it’s a huge equal access issue and one our libraries should champion.”

      Perhaps, but you do not do that by intentionally hiding who you are on Wikipedia and astroturfing for another George Soros funded organization. That is dishonest. Especially for the “Office for Intellectual Freedom.” Especially for the Deputy Director of that Office, who may have even been Acting DIrector during part of that time. It might even violate 501(c)(3) tax code. More of her anonymous activity on Wikipedia included revealing the “canoodling” of a Major League Baseball player at a Chicago restaurant with someone other than his wife. I think that is a crime. I also think that she may have violated the ethical rules of her legal profession.

      As to Open Society, going into detail on that is really off topic.

      As to the ALA piece on privacy, other than hiding that George Soros is the sponsor, the information was pretty good/useful.

    • not a hipster librarian says:

      Hey Dan — Here’s a link you may find useful: http://www.thesatirist.com/satires/PoliticalSatire/ConspiracyTheoryTest.html

    • @not a hipster librarian, truly, funny, but I report on what the ALA is saying and not saying, not on any theory.

      Um, let me take this moment to say main stream library media, like the LJ, does NOT report on things it does not want people to hear, like the CIPA author saying about 3 months ago that the ALA is misleading a third of American communities regarding CIPA. In such an environment, it makes it harder for me to find something to point to, and I have to point instead to the original sources, like the ALA itself, as I have done in the Soros matter. When that is done, it makes it harder to see any pattern as you have to sit and read and/or watch all relevant media first to make a decision. Only them will you get the big picture. So watch the ALA talking about the Soros money. Watch the glee with which the OIF reports there are more libraries than McDonalds and the libraries can serve as posts to distribute Soros information. My being the only one to monitor this does not mean it is not happening. Absolutely no mainstream media reports on the t-rr-r cells coming across the border with w-apons of major effect. That does not mean it is not happening.

    • me says:

      “Um, let me take this moment to say main stream library media, like the LJ, does NOT report on things it does not want people to hear, like the CIPA author saying about 3 months ago that the ALA is misleading a third of American communities regarding CIPA.”

      Of course the author of the bill said that. He wants it to pass. Its called politics.

    • @me, perhaps, but an honest media outlet would still report that. The Bradburn v. NCRL case has been downplayed too. It’s not just that one incident.

      Besides, CIPA was all over the news for a very long time. The ALA even spent a huge amount of money on it. No way the CIPA author saying the ALA is thwarting communities cannot now be seen as newsworthy, unless you are trying to ignore/bury the story because it disagrees with your worldview. And you should see what the LJ editor called the CIPA author and the NCRL library director on the LISNews web site. Bias doesn’t even cover it.

      Shouldn’t media outlets report on the news instead of deep sixing the stories it does not want people to hear because it disagrees with the message?

    • Joneser says:

      OFGS. George Soros escaped from Communist Hugary. The Open Society is being extremely transparent in all of the activities mentioned above.

      Quite unlike many other institutes and foundations I could name.

  15. Bobsina says:

    But hey, Conference is a really great party! As folks at the ALA say, “what happens at Conference stays at Conference”.

  16. Cut Both Ways says:

    That ‘Privacy Revolution’ site may not have much substance, but it links to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, which has a cluttered layout but is terribly informative: http://www.privacyrights.org/background-checks-and-workplace

    Dan and Jean, teaching an online security class is par for the public library course, and I’ve yet to see a dime from Soros.

    • Hi Cuts Both Ways – thanks for posting the link to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. I checked it out along with other resources including Electronic Privacy Information Center. I also revisited the ALA’s Privacy Revolution — which I had not been to in about 6mos. A few thoughts, that actually come back around to the theme of this post.

      1) Firstly, the ALA has greatly improved its site and remedied what I had deemed basic and serious mistakes. My bad for not revisiting the site again before deeming it an embarrasment in my earlier comment here.
      2) The three sites discussed here are laudable for their intent and the work that has been put into them. I wonder though at how effective they are in terms of educating the public and providing an impetus for public action around more rigorous consumer protection.
      3) With the proper training and resources, I believe libraries could make an enormous contribution in this arena — and re-establish themselves as experts/trusted stewards in certain knowledge areas.
      * Continuous training would be needed on the substance of this issue. It’s huge, complex, and rapidly changing.
      * Training would also be needed on how to communicate effectively to diverse audiences – to boil down the mountains of available information into accurate, concise packets the public can digest and act upon.

      A question, I guess, is who would provide that training & certification — and what needs to happen within the profession so that librarians did not need to use their own money/vacation time or “go begging” to get it.

  17. a reader says:

    I am not sure how relevant these conferences are for providing professional development. I belong to another national library organization and have attended their national conference once. It was well attended and included many sessions however, much of the material was not relevant to me or my employer. I suspect that if there were not a publishing requirement for our academic brethren, that many of these programs would disappear as their is no other compelling reason to create them. I find that our listservs and local organizations offer far more value for the money.

  18. Sharon Rowe says:

    I have been a professional librarian for 25 years. In that time I have attended exactly three ALA conferences. Two were in my state and I went on my own dime and vacation. The other one was in a city where I was able to stay with family and saved my library a significant amount of money on my business trip.
    I also have not been a member of ALA for most of my professional life because I do not find it relevant. I can count the number of intellectual freedom challenges in my career on one hand with fingers left over – it has happened but is not something I think about in my regular work life.

  19. John Jackson says:

    Hey guys, don’t feed Dan Kleinman’s crazy. He seems just a few comments away from going postal and I for one would like avoid being a victim of his declining sanity.

    Also, getting called out by the Annoyed Librarian is now checked off my bucket list. Huge fan! =)

    • Cute, John Jackson. Still, I have a valid point that the ALA could somehow get a billionaire who the ALA is helping to chip in a little more to stop the ALA from going begging. Truly, it is really sad that librarians simply cannot afford to go to ALA meetings. An impossible hurdle to many librarians is hardly an eye blink to a billionaire.

  20. elena schneider says:

    I was an ALA member for 1 year. I got a free subscription to the magazine which I never read and basically could indicate on my resume that I was a ‘member’. THAT was the only benefit I got out of dishing 100 bucks out for membership. I get most professional development within state at a much cheaper rate and can read the raggy magazine at work if I really want to. As far as parties? yea, can make my own for 1/2 the money and effort. Gonna call this one a no-brainer. Will take the money I saved and go shopping or go see Madonna in concert…

    • Randal Powell says:

      I was a member of ALA for 1 year as well and didn’t benefit from it either. A hundred dollars or more is a lot of money for no benefit. The best professional development for forward-looking information professionals is probably concerned with increased technological competence, but there are better places to get those skills than through the ALA. The ALA also strikes me as being way more political, bureaucratic, and conservative (small c) an organization than I will spend my money to support.

      The highest ideal of libraries should be to help people become better (actualized even). I don’t think the ALA is currently structured to do that. The leaders of the ALA need to ask themselves what their value proposition to a librarian, or information professional, or anyone, really is. Can they win over hearts and minds? Unless they can come up with a convincing value proposition for today’s world, they will just continue to stumble along for the foreseeable future, getting ever smaller and less effective as time passes.

  21. Mlisa says:

    I agree. I went to Annual once and found it to be overwhelmingly large, a little disorganized and far from being “essential”. The programs I attended were mostly dull and I didn’t feel like I learned much at all. Since then, I have attended smaller regional and/or niche interest library conferences. From those, I’ve actually taken ideas home to use at my library and received interesting publications.

  22. Tired Librarian says:

    Wow! there’s a whole world, nay, universe of things a conspiracy theorist can obsess about, and this Dan Kleinman has decided to obsess on the ALA.

    He’s claiming that the ALA (how can he know that?) is writing on some baseball players website that he’s fooling around on his wife. Yeah, because librarian types are sooooo sporty. Most of us probably couldn’t NAME a current baseball player.

    Kinda sad, isn’t it? Even the ALA doesn’t deserve this (or maybe it does, I don’t know or care).

    • @Tired Librarian, I do not make statements I do not and/or cannot back up with reliable evidence. The evidence is not in my possession–it is a matter of public record, namely, edits made on Wikipedia that anyone can see. I had previously disclosed the universe of relevant edits in another context: http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2010/12/ala-pushes-net-neutrality-on-wikipedia.html

      I did not tease out in that post about the matter of the MLB player, but if you look at what I previously linked and you have familiarity with Wikipedia, you should be able to put two and two together. It’s really sad to see all the George Soros pushes for “privacy” using the ALA and its OIF while the OIF’s deputy director, or was she acting director then, revealed the private life of a married man in a manner that may have violated defamation laws and/or the ethical rules of her legal profession. But I digress.

      That’s it for now–this post is about something else.

    • Way Barra says:

      That sure was some top-notch investigative journalism, Mr. Kleinman. Too bad those ALA sleeper agents got you banned from Wikipedia for exposing the truth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:LegitimateAndEvenCompelling

    • @Way Barra, @Tired Librarian, this is an AL/LJ blog post on the ALA going begging. I commented here that the ALA ought to extract more money from a billionaire to remove the money hurdle for some librarians. That’s a LegitimateAndEvenCompelling comment, since you brought that up. This is not an ad hominem attack post on me having nothing to do with the topic at all, as both of you have done. Go to my own blog if you want to spread your venom there, but it won’t change the past behavior of certain ALA leadership that may be unethical or defamatory in nature.

      And look at the comments here about how awful are ALA meetings. I’ll bet if the ALA concentrated on library and librarian issues, that right there would result in improved image and work product. The latest subject of ALA attention, for example, is promoting the open borders and immigration agitprop of, what a coincidence, George Soros, CAIR, and the ACLU: http://www.oif.ala.org/oif/?p=3729 Open borders and immigration has nothing to do with librarianship. If the ALA doesn’t want to go begging, maybe it could concentrate on library/librarian issues that are relevant to librarians and motivate them to find a way to attend the meetings.

  23. Anon says:

    I wonder why there’s anyone would think that ALA conferences are nothing but booze/drug/sex fests?

    http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/03/people/movers-shakers/jp-porcaro-movers-shakers-2012-community-builders/

  24. George Soros says:

    HEY guys, I’m here! Everything said here about me is true, muahahahahaha.

    And now that this comment is public record, please link to it! It is now a FACT!!!!

    signed,
    “Notorious” George Soros