The Delicate Process Dance

(Btw: we have over 80 posts on this blog. Woohoo!)

I’m sitting here in ALA Council listening to discussion about the recommendations from the Task Force on Library School Closings. Earlier today I negotiated discussions about two draft resolutions, one on biometrics and one on RFID, and offered to bring the matter to LITA. When someone from IFC asked me why LITA needed to weigh in–after all, OITP had reviewed the resolutions, wasn’t that enough–I said that LITA’s strategic plan notes that emerging technologies is one of its central concerns.

I did not add that it’s really good for LITA members to be continually challenged to think about intellectual freedom issues related to technology–and it’s really good for other divisions to be reminded that all library and information science professionals, including LITA’s members, have a place at the table on cross-cutting intellectual freedom issues, particularly issues that are so clearly commingled with technology.

Then I moved on to talk to one Councilor about another, non-LITA resolution, and to reassure another that I would not forget about his concerns about the online event planner. I made sure two Councilors who had been having trouble with their wifi connection were hooked up (one Councilor had never used a laptop, let alone wifi, but despite the fact that her laptop was buttoned down more tightly than a missile silo, soon she was happily emailing away). I also seconded a minor change to ALA’s strategic plan that ALCTS had introduced to ensure that the plan referred to international standards (in addition to local, state, and federal standards), and was pleased to see the motion pass swiftly and smoothly, with only minor objections, primarily from people who misunderstood what we meant by “standards.”

I was IM’ing someone in a big organization today and explaining that Councilors bring many competing (and complementary!) interests to the table in our debates and discussions. She started to commiserate, but I stopped her. I think this is a Good Thing. It’s good for ALA, and it’s good for those of us who get a chance (or in my case, three so far) to serve on ALA’s governing body and participate in this delicate process dance.

Sitting on Council can be like watching paint dry, given the necessary slowness of parliamentary procedure. But at the end of the day I’m proud to serve LITA in this capacity.

We’re voting on whether to close debate on the “Endangered Libraries List” (I loved the comment from one Councilor that he would only vote for it if ALL libraries would be listed on it), so I better wrap up this post. Do you realized it’s about 100 days to forum? Can’t wait!