Now the traffic on the AL has died down a bit and the gawkers who came here to see what all the fuss was about have gone away, I wanted to post something that's been in my queue for a week or so. I've been so distracted by my sitemeter going off the map that I didn't have the time to post. Someone sent me a great quote from a listserv where some person called me "extremely unbalanced and seemingly deranged!" You could tell it must have been a librarian by the exclamation point! I could have called her a simpering moron, but that just wouldn't be nice. Let's just say I'll match my sanity and intelligence against hers any day.
I got a lot of requests to write something on that hippie shusher article, and you know I like to please the fans. Then somehow the whole world found out about it, or at least a lot more of the world than usually reads this poor thing that I don't admit to being my own. I need to figure out how this whole Internet thing works someday, I really do, so I can see where all this traffic comes from.
Speaking of shushers, I noticed a piece by the Webtamer last week about one of his students being shushed by the ALA Council. The shushed student is someone named Aaron the Librarian, and wrote about the issue on his own blog, entitled, in an eerie coincidence, Aaron the Librarian. From his blog:
"Councilor-at-Large Heidi Dolamore stood for me (with coaching on parliamentary procedure by Councilor-at-Large Michael Golrick) and asked the moderator to suspend the normal rules of debate to allow me to address Council on this issue being discussed.
The moderator asked for the indulgence of Council to allow me to speak and a bunch of councilors shouted 'Why?!'"
Did they really shout "why"? Doesn't sound like proper parliamentary procedure to me. Just to make sure, I checked Parliamentary Procedure Online, and found no mention of anyone shouting "why" in response to a formal request. Some councilors commented on his blog, and are definitely worth reading for the defense of shushing the guy. Heck, maybe he should have been shushed at that time. Regardless, I could have told him no one wanted to hear what he had to say about improving ALA. ALA old-timers like it the way it is. They're comfortable. Just leave them be.
Still, he's created an Improve ALA Wiki. I haven't checked it out much yet, but "abolishing the association" should probably be high on the list of priorities on the "platform for improvements" page.
If we really want to get all participatorily democratic, as the regressives claim they want to do, we should probably abandon the ALA Council as well. A face to face meeting every six months to decide issues? My goodness, how quaint. We don't need that anymore. We can just have all the members vote on stuff electronically, and let's say that if at least 35% of the membership doesn't bother to vote, then the issue is automatically eliminated from consideration. That sounds good to me.
I suppose we could also have term limits on ALA Councilors. Are there such things now? There sure seem to be a lot of the same names that pop up over the years. Let's say they're limited to two terms over their lifetime. That would weed out a lot of people. Within 10 years or so, all the poor losers who've been trying to get onto Council would've been on and cycled off for good, and there'd be nobody left to run, so the Council could just go away.
Anyway, I guess I should be glad someone thinks ALA should be improved, though we might not agree on what the fixes should be. The ALA could be "improved" in all sorts of ways that would make it even more ridiculous than it is. Maybe it should just stay the same after all. Better the devil you know.