Professional Development

Lauren P.’s ALA Midwinter, part III: LITA and a bit about Council

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 2:09 pm

My big lesson this ALA: conferences are for lots of things. In the beginning, for me at least, it’s a big mix. Over time, I’ve started attending a more specialized conference. ALAs can be about programs, vendors, meetings with individuals from across the country, committee work, governing work, and networking. For a few years, my ALA had evolved to primarily be about committee work. Now it’s looking like my ALA is evolving to be mostly about governance. And it’s really interesting! I’m going to do a series of posts over on my blog about council, my experience, and my votes if you’re interested in the details. We’re in the final session of Council at the moment. Today’s session is scheduled for about 4.5 hours and I’m blogging in the breaks.

As for LITA, I’ve really scaled back my LITA involvement for last annual and this conference. I’m about to ramp back up, though, as I’ll start doing conferences normally (without the family), but for now I’ve just had a few obligations. I did the panel on the first day, Sunday I participated in LITA’s Web Coordinating Committee, and yesterday I was there for most of the Town Hall Susan described.

To keep your ALA reading to a minimum, I’ll just focus on the Web Coordinating Committee. It’s sortof like the ZSR web committee for LITA. In the past year we’ve broken into two subcommittees: technical and communication. I’m on the communication end of things. We’re looking at how to redesign the site and to consolidate all of our web presences. My role is to head up a small sub group to make recommendations on how to consolidate the web site, wiki, blog, ala connect space, and all the social networks. I also am serving on a small sub group focused on redirecting the blog to be more about information sharing and less about the organization itself.

It’s really interesting to be part of the organization at a time when our web presences have matured to a sprawling organization. It’s something I think every organization will deal with at some point, but bigger ones with more web content generators will first. I also think it was brilliant to conceive of web work as two distinct roles: the technology (servers, upgrades, new tools, etc) and the communication (content generation, information architecture, etc). I look forward to where the web presence will be in a few years.

As it turns out, Council just ended! Here is the big news:

  • Resolution for encouraging job ads to specify if provide domestic partner benefits: passed
  • Resolution from COL on open access to government information: passed
  • Resolution on notifying conference participants about “do not patronize” lists: denied
  • Resolution encouraging congress to reintroduce and vote on the dream act: passed
  • Resolution on the removal and censorship of artwork from Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery: passed
  • Resolutionon Wikileaks and federal agencies: tabled
  • Resolution in Support of Wikileaks: tabled
Now, off to find the family!

3 Responses to “Lauren P.’s ALA Midwinter, part III: LITA and a bit about Council”

  1. Lauren, I’ve enjoyed reading your posts-and I’ve learned about a different side of ALA. As always-you continue to inspire! Thanks for all your posts.

  2. I really would like to learn more about the political structure of ALA. Hope you can share some of that with me :-)

  3. Thanks guys!


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