Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Interview: Vote for Sam!

This just might turn into a series after all. Here's the second of my informational interviews related to running for Council. Samantha Schmehl Hines is also running for Council. We met on nexgen-l and met again, in person, at Midwinter in San Antonio. I might be stating the obvious, but I think the work that Council does is ultimately shaped by the people who participate. Getting to know my colleagues better is an important part of figuring out how the whole thing works.

Why are you a member of ALA?

I originally joined ALA when I was a library outreach coordinator for a nonprofit group after graduating from college. I thought it would be a good way to get to know what librarians and libraries need, and how my organization could help out with that. Joining ALA and my previous experiences as a page and ILL clerk made me realize that being a librarian would be a great career choice!

What is the most rewarding part of being an ALA member and what are you most dissatisfied with?

The most rewarding part of being in ALA is meeting so many great folks, and feeling like I'm supporting the profession into the future. As for what I'm dissatisfied with, that's a hard one. I guess I would say ALA doesn't always do the best job it can in reaching new librarians and proving its worth.

Why did you decide to run for council?

I'm already committed to go to Midwinter and Annual as an intern on the Intellectual Freedom Committee, so it wasn't going to be a burden on me to have to attend Council meetings. I wanted to give back my time and energy to ALA, as I feel that it has provided me with many opportunities to get involved in librarianship even before I got my masters. I also hope to help ALA show its worth to newer librarians.

What do you think you have to contribute to council that is unique (or perhaps currently lacking on council)?

I'm under thirty, I'm relatively new to the profession, I'm from the Rocky Mountain West (an area without too much representation), and I have a wide range of experience despite my age in academic, special, and public libraries in paraprofessional and professional positions.

If you were going to submit a resolution before council, what topic would it address? Why?

Oh, my. This is a tough one! Well, at Midwinter there was talk of a resolution supporting Google's decision to not turn over user information to the government. Nothing ever happened with it, for a number of reasons, but I could definitely see myself getting behind similar privacy concerns, intellectual freedom issues, and the like. I would make sure, however, that there was a strong relation between the issue and library services or ideals, and that the resolution wasn't just a political statement.


At 9:22 AM, Blogger Michael A. Golrick said...

Heidi, you should share this series on the discussion lists. While blogs are one way of reaching folks, I personally believe that it is only one medium. For some librarians, push is still better than pull.

And, yes, I'm a candicate for Council also, and interesting in having newer voices represented.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Angel, librarian and educator said...

These are very useful. While I am one of the newer people who, to say the least, question the value of ALA to me as a professional, I do find this series useful. Do keep them up.


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