Professional organizations

Plus ça change…

Le grand sigh: it’s been over a year since I wrote this post and nothing has changed.  Not that I really expected it but, well, one does hope a little!

Today I learned that Wendy Stephens will be the new YALSA Blog Editor.  She was one of the blog crew when I was Editor of the AASLBlog and later took over that “publication”.  Look at the difference between AASL and YALSA, blogwise.  I’ll wait.

AASL’s blog is moribund and updated rarely… YALSA’s is vibrant, with content updated several times a week.  Why the difference?  Could it be because YALSA’s leadership has embraced the blog as a means of communication and encourages people to blog by blogging themselves?  AASL’s President and Executive Director have rarely contributed to the blog (if they’ve contributed at all).

I’ve also been contrasting YALS and KQ.  I’m currently Chair of the Editorial Advisory Board for YALS, and our goal is to create extended web content that expands on the print issue.  KQ, where I was Associate Editor for KQWeb, has removed most of that additional content and doesn’t seem to want a web presence.  Again – could it be the leadership?

Or… possibly it’s the leadership reflecting the membership?  As a friend suggested, school librarians don’t seem to want to publish (most authors in KQ are not practicing librarians, they’re teaching others to be librarians).  They don’t want to build their professional profile within the profession, but they’ll create a personal-professional blog. They’re “a little lazy, apathetic, not ready for prime time in most cases…” (to quote my friend).

For all our talk about advocacy and being change agents, why aren’t more AASL members willing and eager to collaborate and participate as an organization? Why are the really interesting programs and initiatives not coming from AASL? Why are so many of my AASL friends retaining membership, but moving to other divisions for their professional learning and activities?  And why isn’t AASL more interested in reversing this trend?

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