Emerging Leaders Running for Office!

If you were a past or current EL you can support your fellow Emerging Leaders by voting for them in the 2011 ALA Elections! I’d link all of their info but it looks like you can’t get to it unless you have logged in to the ALA site for voting.

Eileen Bosch
EL 2010
Candidate: ALA Council

Keri Cascio
EL 2007
Candidate: ALCTS Member at Large

Amber Creger
EL 2008
Candidate: ALSC Newbery Commitee

Mara Degnan-Rojeski
EL 2010
Candidate: ACRL LPSS Member at Large

Jenny Emanuel
EL 2007
Candidate: ALA Council

Angelica Guerrero Fortin
EL 2009
Candidate: ALA Council

Ed Garcia
EL 2010
Candidate: ALA Council

Wendy Girven
EL 2010
Candidate: ACRL ULS Secretary

Chris Harris
EL 2007
Candidate: AASL Treasurer

Arianne Hartsell-Gundy
EL 2010
Candidate: ACRL LES Vice Chair/Chair Elect

Megan Hodge
EL 2011
Candidate: NMRT Leadership Director

Tracey Hughes
EL 2007
Candidate: MAGERT Vice Chair/Chair Elect

Florante Peter Ibanez
EL 2007
Candidate: ALA Council

Susan Jennings
EL 2010
Candidate: ALA Council – NMRT Representative

Darcel Jones
EL 2010
Candidate: ALA Council

Robin Kear
EL 2008
Candidate: IRRT Member at Large

Kate Kosturski
EL 2011
Candidate: ALA Council

Portia Latalladi
EL 2009
Candidate: PLA Board of Director, Director at Large

Kirby McCurtis
EL 2010
Candidate: ALA Council

Elizabeth Moreau
EL 2010
Candidate: ALSC Newberry Committee

JP Porcaro
EL 2010
Candidate: ALA Council

Jacquie Samples
EL 2008
Candidate: ALCTS CRS Vice Chair/Chair Elect

Wayne Sanders
EL 2008
Candidate: ACRL ANSS Vice Chair/Chair Elect

Wendy Stephens
EL 2008
Candidate: ALA Council

Holly Tomren
EL 2009
Candidate: ALA Council

Jennifer Wann Walker
EL 2010
Candidate: ALA Council
Candidate: SLAS Member at Large

Janel White
EL 2010
Candidate: NMRT Vice President/President Elect

Michael Witt
EL 2008
Candidate: LITA Director at Large

Lynda Kellam
EL 2010
Candidate: ACRL’s Law and Political Science Section Secretary

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Cool Guys Don’t Look at Explosions (and other thoughts on walking away)

I recently came across a job opening in an organization far outside of librarianship. It involved a lot of the things I was passionate about as a kid and am even more passionate about as an adult. This position was for a sailing non-profit organization that takes children out on the San Francisco bay to educate them about sailing, marine sciences, and more. For those of you who don’t know I love sailing, I love teaching, I love working with kids, and I am kind of a fanatic about oceanic conservation. Anyway, talking about my love for this job advertisement is not the point of this post. The point of this post is the following video…

What does this have to do with libraries you might ask? Well, I was thinking about, and have been thinking about budget cuts, checked-out librarians that refuse to retire, passionate and newer librarians who are dying to get the chance to do amazing work in libraries but can’t find job openings, ALA’s ludicrous and ineffectual institutionalization, ALA’s and state organization’s unwillingness to act as an advocate for librarianship, librarian’s unwillingness to fight for librarianship, library closures, library reductions in staff and money, libraries lack of ability (or refusal) to adapt to a changing information world, vendors that overcharge and under-deliver products and services that library patrons can’t or refuse to use, the hostile political environment of the people who claim that freedom isn’t free but someone else should pay for it, and all of the other systems in place that are working to keep libraries from getting ahead. So, my thought was… At what point do we become cool guys?

At what point to do we say forget all this, blow it all up, and walk away? Is it really worth it? There are many librarians who are having the same thoughts, Justin Hoenke also started questioning what is important, Tiffany Mair (who you should hire because she’s way better than me at everything) just had to apply for a job at Starbucks, and there many other amazing (typically younger and newer) librarians who have the passion and drive to fight for our profession but are questioning whether or not it’s all worth it. There are many days that I don’t think it is. There are many days that I want to blow it all up and walk away, but not today… Today, it’s worth it.

Of course, we’ll have to wait and see what happens tomorrow.

*added info- Roy Tennant wrote an exactly right response to this. His advice is what is keeping many of us here. So if you’re reading this (although if you are, you’re probably coming here from his blog) and you’re feeling the same way, read his advice because it will keep you sane. If I didn’t have the crew of the Think Tank and some great Library Friends to keep me sane I would have quit or killed someone by now. Also, working for an amazing organization helps 🙂

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The Great Librarian Write-Out!

It’s time for librarians to get out of the echo-chamber of librarianship and get some good words out to the people. So I’m proposing an award (my own personal money) of $250 for the best library-related article to be published in a non-library magazine or journal. Yes, that’s right… My own personal money!! That’s how important this is to me!

There are thousands of amazing writers in our profession who write their own blogs and write for our professional magazines and journals, but rarely (or never) do I see an article written for the public in a major national magazine about how libraries help society in some great way. I don’t think there has ever been a time when such articles should be appearing amidst the news of library closures, resource cutting, and layoffs. Its time that we got the word out about libraries to as many people as possible!!

It seems to me that there are hundreds of topics for articles that could be written that would be applicable to the content of a major magazine. Off of the top of my head I’m thinking

-Saving Businesses Money (or starting a business) with Library Resources
– Forbes
– Entrepreneur
– Fortune
-Business Week

-How someone learned about their cultural identity at the library
– Ebony
– Latina
– Out!

-Pet Care information

But this is only scratching the surface of the possibilities. I could keep going but I think you get the idea. If you want to participate and win $250 for your article published in a non-library journal or magazine, here are the criteria;

-You must be in some way related to the library profession, a library vendor, a patron, a friend of a patron, or at least heard of the idea of libraries at one point in your life.

-It must be a pro-library article speaking positively about the benefits of libraries in some aspect of society and addressing the need for folks to get up and go to the library for some reason or another.

-The article must be printed between February 15 2011, and the first day of the ALA Midwinter Meeting on January 20th 2012

-It must be published in a non-library related magazine or journal with a national (United States) or international circulation. More points will be given to an article in a magazine with the largest circulation, and you will receive bonus points for a feature article.

-You must submit, your name, the title, and date of publication (for verification) by emailing us or commenting below.

The articles will be judged by the members of the Think Tank at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Dallas Texas in 2012. The winner will be announced January 24th 2012.

If you want to help us up the ante for prize money let us know by commenting below or sending us a message. Also, any money raised through our Café Press store will go towards added prizes and awards and other library advocacy projects as well so feel free to shop away! http://www.cafepress.com/libraryadvocate

Please be sure to sign up for the event on Facebook!!

*This event is brought to you by the members of the Think Tank.*
JP Porcarro
Allen McGinley
Jenn Walker
Tiffany Mair
Andrea Davis

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Punk-Ass Book Jockey
Librarians Against DRM
The Dark Ages Began With Closing A Library

Patrick “PC” Sweeney for ALA Councilor at Large #libday4

On the last day of ALA Midwinter I thought I would check out the Council Session that was going on that morning. As I stood in the back of the room I watched the session and got a much clearer view into the inner-workings of ALA. While there I sent out a couple of tweets regarding decisions that were being made and much to my surprise I got responses back from councilors who were on the floor of the council right then. It was fascinating to interact with the councilors as they sat through the session and made the decisions that would guide our organization. However, I was a little disappointed because it seemed that, while I did get responses from almost a dozen councilors, this was just a very small percentage of the officials in the room and these were the only ones online that day. It seems to me that the organization can open itself up and use some of these new online tools to communicate and respond more freely with the concerns of the members.

So, with the “gentle encouragement” of Aaron Dobbs, who tweeted that I should come over and say hi, I am going to try to run for ALA Council and hopefully add to the voices and open the dialog with ALA members through online resources. I submitted my form electronically and I have sent my petition in the mail. In case anyone else is considering trying their hand at running for council, getting the petition signed is easy (you only need 25 signatures) and filling out the form is completely painless (basically, just a summary of my resume) and you’re on your way. For anyone interested here is what it all looks like. I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts on running for ALA Council.

Degrees and Certifications:
Sacramento State University, BA Philosophy 2003 San Jose State University, MLIS 2007

ALA Activities:
ALA Emerging Leader 2008
ALA Committee on Professional Ethics: Intern 2010
California Library Association ALA Student Chapter

Offices Held in ALA-APA:
ALA Student Chapter: Co-Chair, Web-Coordinator 2006

Honors and Awards:
SJSU Student Association Award for Online Educational Outreach

As Library Coordinator of the Twelve Bridges Library I was given the opportunity to assist in the planning and development of the construction of a 40,000 square foot joint-use library (public, high school, community college) and managed the redevelopment of its website.

As a 2008 Emerging Leader I was given the opportunity to work with an outstanding team of new librarians to develop a mentoring plan for RUSA.

As ALA Student Chapter Co-Chair and Web-coordinator I was able to learn manage an organizations website to increase its visibility and value on the web.

As an elementary school librarian I was able to see firsthand the importance of the role of the school librarian and the services that libraries must provide to children and teens.

As manager of a volunteer program of over 250 retiree volunteers I was able to gain an understanding of the need to provide library services to the growing force of retired Americans.


Professional Concerns:
With the emergence of new technologies, growing information access points, and the loss of institutional knowledge through the retirement of large numbers of professionals, the ALA Council must be ready to critically analyze the changing forces of the organization and place ALA in a position to adapt to those changes quickly and efficiently.

As a Library Branch Manager, I have had opportunities to evaluate the change present in my profession. I participated in the construction of a state of the art library and implement programs and services that are reflective of the role of libraries as community resources. I am engaged in learning and evaluating new technologies that patrons are using to adapt their use to library organizations. I have worked with diverse groups of patrons to create services that suit their changing information seeking behavior. And finally, I have managed organizations to increase their visibility and value within communities.

Blogged: Beer and Burgers with John Berry at Bukowski’s in Boston (who says alliteration is dead?)

ALA midwinter brought about many great experiences and I met amazing people who I have admired for a long time. I saw a couple of great presentations, finally met many of the great people that I’ve been following on Twitter, and networked with people who are challenging me to be a better librarian. However, as the post #alamw10 excitement wears off, I’ve been struggling to find something to write about. While many of my experiences were fun and exciting and everyone I met was amazing, one of my favorite experiences was sitting with a man that some people in the profession love and a man that has ruffled more than one feather in the library profession; John N. Berry III

Before the conference I really had no concept of who John Berry was. I definitely knew his name, I’ve read his blog, read some his articles in library journal, and definitely know about him from some of the musings of other librarians, writers, and bloggers who have expressed both love and contempt for the man. But really, I never took the time to see who he was, had no idea what he looked like, why he is such a prominent figure in American libraries or why anyone even knows his name beyond his blog and articles. In any case, I hope you understand how embarrassing this is for me to admit that I didn’t know who he is now that I do know.

So, when I had the opportunity to meet him at the Emerging Leaders Reunion and Social at J.J. Foleys I was a little confused. One of the fantastic people who I had met at previous conferences was talking to an old man at a bar and when I came to say hi I was told, very solemnly, that THIS was John Berry! I was told this as if I should have some idea of who he was. I really had no idea who he was, not putting the blogger/writer (whose name I did know) together with the old man sitting at the bar (who I didn’t know) drinking hard liquor and happily chatting with everyone around him. So I stood there at the bar and patiently half-listened to him talk about whatever it was he was talking about at the time. After a little while he told me I should go to the reception for the Librarian of the Year that was happening the next night. Well, I smiled and nodded and pretended to put the information in my phone and walked away to meet some other of the Emerging Leaders at the social and didn’t really think about it again.

At least until the next day at the Tweet-up for YA and Children’s librarians when I saw him walk by and someone in his entourage turned to see me looking at him and said “Yes! THAT was John Berry!” Again, as if I should really know who this man was and admittedly I should have known by now. But I didn’t know and I was getting pretty curious as to why everyone else in the world seemed to know who he was. Luckily, I had yet another opportunity to meet him.

That night a few of the people I knew at the conference told me that they were going to the Librarian of the Year social and since I had heard about it from so many other people at this point, I thought that I might as well go. Because so many people had told me about it, I was surprised by the low number of librarians present. It turns out that this was a fairly exclusive party and in all honesty I really had no business being there at all. In fact, one of the people at the party made it a point to figure out why I was there, and when I could produce no real reason she glared at me as if I had just crashed a reception at the white house. So I stood, off to the side, trying very hard not to get kicked out, and there was Mr. Berry talking to >Josh Hadro who is the associate editor of Library Journal and Nate Hill who runs the blog for PLA (who I name here because I feel I should thank them specifically for this opportunity). Luckily, before I could really embarrass myself these two good folks filled me in as to who exactly I was talking to and finally everything made sense, except for why I hadn’t put together who this man was before I started talking to him.

As the night progressed I had the immense opportunity to really meet John Berry. We talked about my thoughts on Library 101, who should be asked to write for Library Journal (as if I have any idea at all), who we all thought the Annoyed Librarian might be, and generally what we all thought of the profession as a whole. He challenged my opinions, joked and poked fun (in a good way) at my inexperience in librarianship, said some things that I know where just said to ruffle some feathers and make the conversation interesting, and throughout the entire time he was more than an interesting person. So when we had the opportunity to move the conversation and eat burgers and drink beers at a dark hole in the wall called Bukowski’s (thanks entirely to Nate) I jumped at the chance. And, for the next two hours I sat transfixed by stories and opinions about everything from librarianship and politics to Allen Ginsburg, Malcolm X, and so many others that I lost count or reference. I’m not going to pretend I can remember or retell any of the stories he told us that night and I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t remember every word he said but he was wealth of institutional knowledge and it was a night of live oral history as I’ve never experienced.

So, while you may have your own (good or bad) opinions of the man from his blog posts and articles I encourage you to take the time to meet him (buy him a drink) and listen to the story of librarianship as told by John Berry. I just hope someone takes the time to write a book about this historical archive of our profession.