Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fool Me Once ALA, Shame on You. Fool Me Twice... damn it!

Wow, it's already been a year since I forked over my 30-some dollars.  Stupid me also joined an ALA sub-committee because it had a mentoring program, something which I have always been interested in (note to self: jaded Children's Librarians do NOT make the best mentors).  I guess that's the second time I was fooled-- shame on me.

I was hoping to get paired with someone in the local area who understands the region and it's unique opportunities.  Nope, I get someone from Canada, eh.  No offense to our Northern brethren, but the person does not even work in the library field which I marked as my primary interest (nor secondary for that matter) on the application form.  Here's how my mentoring has gone: I sent an email to my mentor, giving them my background in education and experience in libraries and what I was planning to do after I graduate.  I was at least expecting a reply with their basic history as well, but NNNOOOOPPPPPEEEEEE, all I get is a one sentence reply that they are available to answer any questions I have.  If I wanted/needed virtual reference I would have gone somewhere else, I wanted a mentor.

My opinion on ALA isn't much better.  Every other month it seems like they publish the same regurgitated articles in their magazine: "Why Libraries Matter."  Really?  It's like constantly hearing someone bragging about how humble they are.  Who said that libraries never mattered in the first place?  The conspiracy theorist in me suspects the ALA is behind that.  Of course when it comes to budget cuts, people will choose public safety over libraries, who wouldn't?  Until they make a book that can put out fires on its own then my opinion will stay the same.

ALA - it's been a great year, thanks for all the junk mail, I really loved getting those catalogs for bar code scanners and those creepy bronze statues of children reading on benches.

ALA Student Membership - $35
ALA Committee Membership - $10
Receiving unlimited shredder fodder on library equipment which I will never buy/use - Priceless

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