Friday afternoon is not a great time for major career revelations.
I was talking with a coworker this afternoon about ALA. She was talking about why she’s a member, and I was talking about why I’m not. For her, ALA is a source of professional development and community. As I’ve said before, I feel I get enough professional development and community from blogs, wikis, email lists, podcasts, and talking with other library professionals (in person and via phone, email, and IM). ALA just seems irrelevant to me.
And then a thought came upon me like a dramatic prairie dog: what if there are other library professionals who don’t get their development and community solely from the internet? What if there are librarians who look to ALA for development, community, and support? What if they’re not getting everything they could from ALA? Aren’t they my community, too? What if it’s not just about me?
Oh, hell. I suddenly felt that it was my responsibility to rejoin ALA and do my best to work from within and make it the better. If not for me, then for my fellow librarians and future librarians. Which sounds really arrogant and grandiose, now that I type it out. But still, there it is.
I’m still not completely sure this is something I want to do. I know that as long as I’m not an ALA member, I’m not going to gripe about it, because unless I’m willing to join and work on it, I’ve got no right to kvetch and moan. Of course, if I do actually rejoin ALA and really get involved, I hear there’s a good chance I’ll get a pony with a monocle.