Professional organizations, Rants

What is wrong with us?

For years I’ve been hearing about how ALA/AASL doesn’t care about independent school libraries. How we had to break away from AASL into our own group (AISL) because “they” wouldn’t give us our own section (we now have one).

And for years I’ve been reading requests from local (and not so local) colleagues wanting information about collections and staffing and program so that they can go back to their administrators and lobby for additional funding or staff or whatever. FOR YEARS. All the data we’ve collected has been anecdotal, with no real ability to say “our peer schools (in size, location) have these things, why don’t we?”

AASL has given us that opportunity: Keith Curry Lance has been hired to undertake a longitudinal study (years of data gathering/reporting). Independent schools – even those not part of AASL – are encouraged… begged, even… to participate. For free. Ok, you have to invest the time it takes to answer 20 questions, but still!

So, of the 33,000 independent schools in this great country of ours, how many responded? Just over 200.

I just don’t get it: are we so interested in bitching about how invisible we are, how much of a bastard redheaded stepchild we are, that we refuse to help ourselves? is that really what we want to be doing, rather than participating and helping both AASL, ISS and ourselves?


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