Thursday, March 10, 2016

Vote for me for ALA Council!

Image (creative commons) courtesy of

Well hi there, everyone! Long time no blog! 

Actually, that's not true. I write regularly for Awful Library Books, Library Lost and Found, and The Gale Blog, and just finished co-authoring a weeding manual for PLA with the illustrious Mary Kelly. There's definitely writing happening!

In light of the upcoming ALA elections, I thought I'd just shamelessly use this, my own self-named platform to toot my own horn.

Seriously, though. I was involved with an ALA committee under LLAMA called the Competencies Committee for two years (2013-2015), and it was a great introduction to the inner workings of ALA. We worked on a list that differentiated between management competencies and leadership competencies. It was a fantastic learning opportunity and something for which I am proud to have contributed. 

When I was nominated to run for ALA Council I jumped at the chance. I've watched their proceedings at ALA annual conferences for several years, and am definitely interested in participating. I believe wholeheartedly that our profession is only as strong as those who contribute. As a proud librarian with passion for my chosen field, I genuinely want to participate in bigger-picture discussions and have a voice and a vote in the governance of our professional association. I plan to keep learning, listening, and contributing to this industry throughout my entire career (and, if I'm being honest, probably even beyond my working years). It's time to offer up my 27 years of experience as a Page, a Circulation Clerk, a Reference Librarian, and a department head to the greater good.

My "Statement of Professional Concerns" (available here) states that this is an exciting time to be a librarian. I am excited at all the opportunities to create and collaborate, and to provide those same opportunities to library users. I want for all libraries, everywhere, to be able to provide resources and experiences to their users that uplift and improve their communities. Remaining relevant to our users is crucial, so adequate funding, grass roots advocacy, and professional development opportunities are some of the things I'm looking for from our professional association. 

The last thing I want to say is that I prefer practical solutions. There is huge value in debating and theorizing to form our own philosophies of library service, but in the end we have to do something in order to affect change. What I just said in the paragraph above is a philosophy. What American libraries need are practical solutions to their funding crises. They need to know what to say and what to do to remain relevant to their communities. Professional librarians at all points in their careers need mentors. They need outlets to continue to learn, analyze, and renew their philosophies. Those are the practical solutions that I am stepping up to help our professional association offer to its members.

So vote for me! Elections begin next week.

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