Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Michael Gorman, Candidate for ALA President

Magazine article American Libraries

Statement by Michael Gorman, Candidate for ALA President

Article excerpt

I accepted the nomination for the position of vice-president/president-elect of the American Library Association because I believe I have the skills, experience, and commitment to be an effective advocate for our shared values and a leader who can help the Association to seize its opportunities and rise to its challenges.

I have been a member of ALA for many years, have been active in a number of divisions, am a former president of the Library and Information Technology Association, and have served on numerous ALA committees. I am very familiar with the many issues affecting the relationship between Big ALA and its divisions, round tables, and other units. Those issues center, of course, on the important practicalities of communication, revenue and resource sharing, and representation. Each of these can be improved if the leadership of ALA and the leadership of its divisions, round tables, and other units can work together in a spirit of cooperation and unity.

A deeper issue

The practical aspects of the articulation of intra-ALA relationships are also the outward signs of a deeper issue--the tendency of many of us to live our professional lives in specialized areas. Too often, we tend to think of ourselves as, say, catalogers, academic librarians, school librarians, or information-technology specialists first and librarians second. I would work to bring librarians of all kinds together because I believe that our profession can be transformed if we were to think of librarianship first and our particular specialty second.

Thinking only of our own area of librarianship has real-world consequences. For example, the California "tax revolt" of the early 1970s (the forerunner of many such in other states) has led to the Golden State having the worst-funded school libraries in the USA. In the course of writing an article on this topic for the School Library Journal in the 1990s, I discovered no evidence of academic librarians standing together with our school and public library brothers and sisters. Now, 30 years later, California academic libraries like mine spend many thousands of dollars a year teaching incoming students library skills they should have learned when they were 11 years old. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.