The head is clearing and I'm back in action. Thanks for all the "get well soons." I'm not sure what to say about some of the proposed remedies. "Thanks" seems a bit of an overstatement there. Regardless, I can now resume my rigorous blogging and martini regimen. I have to suffer for my art.
Apropos of nothing, you know what I'm really excited about? This new ALA Ambassador program. And who wouldn't be! it's HOT!! Have you read about this?
"Help the next generation of librarians and library workers navigate the premier professional event of their career - ALA Annual Conference. Long-time attendees at ALA Annual Conference and Midwinter are invited to become ALA Ambassadors. Help welcome new, first-time attendees to Annual Conference 2007 in Washington, D.C.! To volunteer as an ALA Ambassador, please register before February 1, 2007."
When I saw this, I said to myself, "Sign me up, Baby!"
Because there's nothing I'd rather do than help that next generation of librarians navigate ALA. I was even more excited to find out it was the "premier professional event of their career," because I don't even know what that means. Does this mean premier as in "1. First in position, importance, or rank; chief, leading, foremost," or premier as in "2. First in time; earliest" (OED).
This couldn't be premier in the first sense. Are we really to believe this is the most important "professional event" in any librarian's career? Wouldn't actually getting a job be the most important event? Or getting a promotion? Or publishing that first exciting library lit article? Or perhaps just checking the morning email?
And it couldn't very well be premier in the second sense for anyone who has a professional job. I think that would the be the first professional event, if indeed you were able to get a job. Or maybe the first professional event would be filling out all that tedious paperwork on the first day of the first professional job, once you're a real professional and before you've lost the hazy glow of excitement and realized what you've really gotten yourself into.
I remember my first ALA, when I was going only to see some friends from library school and booze it up and get away from one of my idiotic colleagues for a few days. I remember it being really boring, but I don't recall needing any help "navigating" it. After all, they had a list of all the programs and meetings and a map of the exhibit floor. How much help does anyone really need for this? Now it's even easier with this "event planner" thing. I mean, really, how stupid do they think new librarians are? On second thought, don't answer that.
Still, I'm excited, and I'm thinking of signing up to be an Ambassador. The great thing is that signing up for this is much like library school. You don't need any qualifications of skills; you just need to show up!
"ALA Ambassadors ... can help the next generation of librarians and library workers meet new colleagues, answer questions, navigate the exhibits and figure out just what programs or committees will have the most impact on their careers."
That's what I want to do. I want to give this next generation of librarians the low down on all of the career-impacting stuff sure to be going on at ALA. I want to introduce them to all my friends and point out how much more successful my friends are than they will ever be. And I want to answer all off their thoughtful questions like, "Can you believe how much they're charging for that junk at the ALA Store?" And I should be able to help them navigate the exhibits, so they know where to go to get the best tote bags, note pads, and sparkly pens to take home with them. I can point out the bovine efficiency of all the librarians who go through the exhibit halls with large rolling suitcases filling them with kitten posters and post-it notes.
Oooh, and the committees! There the excitement never ends. The problem would be finding a committee that wouldn't have a huge impact on their careers! Same with the programs. Many of this next generation might have limited experience of bad public speaking and unnecessarily flashy Power Points. Well, not anymore!
Somehow I don't think the folks at ALA would like to have the AL as one of their ambassadors, though. Oh well, maybe they could use a few of these folks instead.