Thursday, January 25, 2007

ALA Midwinter Brief Report

Got back from Seattle last night. It'll be a few days before I recover fully.

Some good news--the ALA Council voted against SRRT-backed resolutions on impeaching President Bush and on defunding the Iraq War, with most people apparently understanding that what you think of Bush or Iraq is irrelevant because these issues have nothing to do with American libraries. See the details at SHUSH. And the other good news is that the Council passed the resolution calling for a minimum salary of $40K for librarians. So for those few of you making below $40K, your problems are solved!

Now to the important stuff--martinis. I checked out Von's Grand City Cafe on Pine St. in Seattle. They had a neon sign in the window advertising the "best martinis in town." How could I resist? I suspect they must have bought the sign used from some other bar, though, because I was unimpressed. The martini wasn't that good. They served it in those squat martini glasses, the ones without the stems, which I don't like. A martini should also be an aesthetic experience, and the aesthetic purity of a martini glass should never be compromised. Also, their olives were the size of golf balls, and they were stuffed! I was appalled. What, are we in some third world country where they can't get regular martini olives? I grabbed a quick martini at the Westin while waiting for my date. Regular martini glasses and the drink was ok, but they used the same enormous stuffed olives.

I thought this might be some bizarre martini ritual of the Northwest, but then I went to Vessel on Fifth St., which is a newish bar in Seattle. Very Nice! Lovely place, a bit too mod for me, but the drinks and service were excellent. The waiter was very attentive and friendly, and I don't think he was just checking out my gams, though that's always a possibility. They serve martinis in small, elegant cocktail glasses, not martini glasses, but then they brought the rest of the drink in a little "sidecar" floating in a glass of ice water, with small, unstuffed olives. Civilization at last. And the polite young owner was cute in a scruffy, willowy, black-clad hipster kind of way. I had other drinks in places I can't tell you about, but none matched the quality of Vessel.

Now to food. We couldn't decide between Etta's Seafood or the Seattle Fish Club, so we ate at both. I thought Etta's was better, but perhaps I chose poorly on my main course. Both were good, though. All in all, a pleasant ALA dining experience.

Oh, and I attended some meetings and did some work and generally solidified my national reputation. Great fun.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, maybe I'm dim but sure do hope you're joking about the "few" who make under $40K.......

Anonymous said...

From what I've seen, entry level librarians, in a public library, make around $30-32,000 starting. Don't know about academic or corporate.

Even though I already have 10 years of library experience, none of it is with an MLS (currently in school). It's my hope that the 10 years I have isn't blown off and someplace wants me to start at the beginning when I graduate and go for my "first" librarian position.

Anonymous said...

Well played AL, well played!

--Taupey

Anonymous said...

Dear 4:26 PM "Anonymous": the real joke is now that ALA Council has passed a resolution everything's going to be okay. Does anybody outside library-dom (or very many people INside it) pay Council resolutions any mind?

janitorx said...

So, the ALA wants us to believe that all entry-level librarians around the country are going to earn at least 40k? That will go over well in the Midwest and South where librarians with several years experience earn that much. If it did come to pass, I don't think they will be too happy to earn nearly the same salary as someone with no professional experience. Plus, library administrations would have to cough up more money for their experienced staff to avoid salary compression. This will be a nightmare for HR. Anyway, this is a toothless resolution (as my husband would say)!

AL said...

You're all very cynical. The ALA Council has spoken. Salaries will be raised.

Anonymous said...

The Central Committee has determined that the People's Librarians compensation will be raised in accordance with the Five Year Plan; however, the actual amount in each paycheck will change or not change depending upon regional variations determined by the Subcommittee of Economic Parity. Excess compensation will be provided to a fund for relief of our brothers and sisters in flood ravaged New Orleans and will also be used to ameliorate the effects of global warming. So all your contributions, brave Librarians, shall ultimately benefit the People! Long Live ALA!

--Taupey, Squealer's Second Cousin

Carlo said...

Dear 8:06 am Anonymous
In answer to your question [Does anybody outside library-dom (or very many people INside it) pay Council resolutions any mind?
]

...certainly not the ones who set our salaries!

contrarian said...

Welcome back to the real world AL. YOU are my martini.

panjandrum said...

If it makes you feel any better, I made $7k last year as a translator with a PhD and 20 years' experience.