Money Woes

Meredith has a very long post in which she discusses some monetary policies at ALA, including why they make speakers pay for the privilege of speaking and the huge amount of money they waste each year. She makes the point that many speakers only go to ALA to speak, not attend the conference, and we get paid little enough to be charged for speaking. We do not have to be martyrs, according to Meredith, to be good librarians. Amen! The most amazing thing she points out is this:

Organization ALA NASW
Number of Members 64,000 153,000
Expenses $43,025,000 $19,591,637

Go read the entire post. It is long, but just keeps getting better.

I agree and, though I think her post well reasoned, I have a few things to add. Not only do I not always feel like ALA and other professional organizations represent me, but I am required by my institution to be both part of professional organizations and to present papers and speak at conferences. I am financially supported up to about 50% per conference by my library, but if I was not part of a two income household, I would not be able to attend the two ALA conferences all committee members are required to attend. Committee membership is required by the promotional guidelines of my institution.

Along with the above, ALA is in New Orleans in June and, regardless of the assurances that there will be plenty of places for us to stay, in addition to all those relief workers, I highly doubt there will be room for everyone. I can not afford to stay in the conference hotels and I do not think I will be able to find a reasonable hotel with open rooms. This is something I am very concerned about and I have seen nothing but platitudes regarding the conference industry in New Orleans from ALA.

Mr. Rochester told me I should just tell my committee I can not afford to go unless they paid for me to attend. I laughed heartily, patted him on the head, and said, “It just does not work that way.” He is an engineer, after all, and if they are required to go to a conference, their company picks up the entire bill.

–Jane, “it’s gonna take plenty of money”

2 thoughts on “Money Woes

  • December 20, 2005 at 4:09 pm
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    There are plenty of other conferences to attend outside of ALA and organizations to become involved with besides ALA. The majority of my esteemed & dear to me colleagues are not involved with ALA at all. Find the laternatives. why the alternatives rule:

    1. More focused in content
    2. Less attendance=more collegial atmosphere & chance to speak to that speaker that blew your socks off
    3. Cheaper because shorter conference
    4. Money pays out more than 50% because of the shorter duration/less big city venues
    5. in locations you actual want to visit personally

    National involvement does not equal ALA. Lastly, agitate like crazy for ACRL to abandon their ties to ALA.

  • December 21, 2005 at 11:10 am
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    Oh man, you’ve nailed it. I don’t go to any ala conferences but I do attend and pay attention to and like acrl. I’ve said so many times that I wish I could belong to the one without belonging to the other.

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