Posted tagged ‘professional organizations’

Balancing Acts

December 9, 2008

Everywhere I go lately it seems librarians are getting busier.  Staffs are shrinking, additional responsibilities are heaped on, and a few of us are crazy enough to take on extracurricular activities (2 workshops and 2 game nights a month, what is wrong with me!?!).  Fortunately we largely seem to be the sorts that enjoy to keep busy, but at some point something has to suffer.

And what I’m starting to see is a cut back at the professional organization level.  One of my side tasks is to sit on the board of the MLA’s technical services section.  We’re on a recruiting drive at the moment for our next slate of officers and it’s not an easy task.  Hell it hasn’t been so easy to hold on to all of our current officers due to conflicting professional responsibilities.  This is a very sad turn of events although a very understandable one.  These sorts of roles play a key part in the development of the profession, and right now they seem to be withering from neglect.

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Getting Involved

September 22, 2008

I’m back from a long weekend and a short MLA meeting and it’s time for a sales pitch.

To anyone who has read this site frequently it should come as no surprise that I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the professional organizations.  I think my main issue with them is that I have a vague feeling of unfulfilled potential (with the exception of advocacy of course, they are good at that) coming from many of them.  But there’s also the more general concern that they are too geared towards the larger libraries at the expense of everyone else.

The solution is simple, do what you can to make your voice heared, starting with joining your local organization.  I’m still new to this but my short time in the MLA has been one of the more rewarding experiences of my career to date.  It’s a place where a newcomer like me is welcomed completely and where the interests of a mid-size public library like mine can be given equal weight with the concerns of a giant like the BPL.

Finally, a shameless plug.  On October 28th the MLA will be holding a full day program entitled Introduction of Library Digitization.  If you are in the Worcester area I highly recommend attending.  There will be presentations of funding sources, technical considerations, copyright law, and examples of projects from all types of libraries.  I hope to see some of you there next month.