The announcement I just received from ALA about the application for Emerging Leaders is the final straw in my decision to not renew my ALA membership next year.
The description of the program sounds exciting to someone who is eager to get involved in ALA:
The program is designed to enable more than 100 new librarians to get on the fast track to ALA and professional leadership. Participants are given the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, network with peers, and get an inside look into ALA structure and activities.
But then I read the requirements:
- Be under 35 years of age or be a new librarian of any age with fewer than 5 years post-MLS experience, and
- Have a recent MLS degree from an ALA or NCATE accredited program or be in an MLS program currently, and
- Be able to attend both ALA conferences and work virtually in between each,
- Be prepared to commit to serve on an ALA, Division, Chapter, or Round Table committee, taskforce or workgroup upon completion of program, and
- Be an ALA member or join upon selection if not already a member.
So ALA will happily take the money from library “support staff” (BTW I hate that term) for membership but does not allow those same members to apply for leadership opportunities within ALA such as this one. Isn’t this the American Library Association (as opposed to the American Librarian Association)? When will ALA recognize that not all library “professionals” have nor need an MLS.
No thank you.