Rockstar Librarians

flaming guitar image

If you don’t want the responsibility that comes from having power, get off the effing stage. There are so many people who do want it and who will use it well. And if you choose to keep the power, without being responsible, then understand: many of us will turn our backs on you. We won’t come to your talks, follow you on social media, work for your organization, or vote for you when you want to govern our associations—whatever form of power you have been granted, it will fade if you are not responsible. I, for one, am tired of granting power to people who don’t deserve it. I won’t do it anymore, and I hope others will join me in that. Continue reading

My problem with library conference codes of conduct

Yes, I continue writing blog posts to procrastinate on this code of conduct I agreed to write. I’ve come to realize, the reason for my procrastination isn’t so much that I’ve lost faith in codes of conduct—although they are insufficient, they are absolutely necessary (yes, a weak logic joke)—rather, discussions so far have led me to believe that I am not going to be allowed to write a really good one. Or, I can write it, but it’ll be voted down altogether or horribly nerfed; so, why not just avoid the pain and try to write something that will pass? … Continue reading

Code of conduct pledge and cosigner list

Although I’ve mentioned it a couple of times, informally, I would like to more publicly/formally talk about my participation in the Code of Conduct Pledge (#CoCPledge) movement—and hopefully add value to the movement with a sortable list of co-signers. (I’m not using this post to make all the arguments about why codes of conduct are important, but I’ve written about it before, and I will again.) Now, I’m no John Scalzi, and I know there aren’t any events/organizations that would miss me so much that they will drop everything to develop one of these statements (and the buy-in and policy … Continue reading

#alamw14 in glimpses

A photo from Council Orientation

I don’t yet have the space, mentally, to process ALA Midwinter and summarize it properly. But here are some moments and some impressions: When I finished my schedule back in Anchorage, I realized how much of my schedule was eaten by Council (three and a half actual Council meetings, two Council Forum meetings, the Orientation, the Executive Board/Membership meeting, the Executive Board Candidates Forum), and I despaired. That was a low point, in part because I had just found out that my workplace is seriously considering taking away travel funding (which is, even now, only awarded on a competitive basis … Continue reading

Being Good Backup at #alamw14

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The concern has been raised that people might misunderstand the point of the BACKUP ribbons, or misuse them. And I suspect that it’s not immediately obvious to everyone 1) what you’re committing to and 2) what you’re empowered/allowed to do, if you choose to wear one. I thought perhaps writing up my interpretation of these issues might help. (Disclaimer: I am not ALA; I have not run this by them; ALA does not endorse or supply BACKUP ribbons; this is my and Lisa Rabey’s project, not an official thing. I’m not even sure my interpretation and Lisa’s are the same.) … Continue reading



I think my schedule’s finalized. I’m glad I looked at Daniel’s (the Alaska Councilor’s) schedule, though: I had missed one of the required meetings (ALA-APA Council). Speaking of: wow, does Council take up a lot of conference, especially if you need to attend Orientation and you want to try to be a good Councilor and go to the Forums. I have 37 unread email threads in my Council folder, right now. I’m planning on going through them Wednesday afternoon while I wait my turn at the DMV. If you have more energy than I do today, here’s the Council list … Continue reading

Professional association memberships – miscellany


If you’re just joining in, here are parts one, two, three, and four. A number of other comments came up, which I think merit repeating, but which I wouldn’t say were themes, per se: There are people who join professional associations for help getting jobs – networking, getting better known in the field. Some people really do value the continuing education that our associations provide. Daniel Cornwall wrote, “I want ALA to find ways to change their revenue streams so that they can offer free or really low cost ($25 or $50 per course) training to members. Or maybe offer … Continue reading

Professional association memberships – the greater good


If you’re just joining in, here’s the intro, plus parts two and three. “It’s easier than ever to create engaged groups of people without a significant financial or time expenditure.” – Jacob Munford   The theme I’m calling “the greater good” was more of a driver than I had expected, honestly. Combining “lobbyists” and “advocacy” explains a surprising number of people’s willingness to pay dues. Similarly often, people cited a desire to support the profession / a sense of duty / a belief in the association’s mission / wishing to participate in the field. (My hypothesis had been that this … Continue reading

Professional association memberships – engagement


If you’re just joining in, here’s an intro and the previous theme. “I prefer to pay dues for organizations that I’m actively participating in (presenting or attending conferences, committee work). If a year goes by and I haven’t done anything with the organization, I drop the membership.” – Karen Keys   A number of current and recent students replied to the association membership question, and a clear theme emerged: if we (AkLA, ALA, whoever) want to keep them, we need to get them engaged right away. As people’s cheap student/intro rates disappear, they take stock and often drop the organizations … Continue reading