Monday, February 20, 2006

Interview, eh? A Canadian student.

Welcome to the next exciting installment of my occasional interview series. I'd like to introduce Wendy Huot. Wendy's a fellow student at the University of British Columbia School of Library, Archival and Information Studies. She came to library school direct from an undergrad in Computer Science (which means that whenever a computer makes a funny noise and she's in the room, everyone looks her way and expects her to fix it). Since ALA handles accreditation for Canadian LIS programs, students in the six schools up here have a pretty big stake in what goes on in ALA. Don't we?

Heidi: Here goes. I know you joined the British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) last year (who wouldn't? the first year is free for students) but you've let your membership lapse. Why?

Wendy: I figure I'm probably going to be moving out of B.C. for my first post-library school job, so I figure I should save the money for membership in the provincial library association of wherever I end up. If I do get a job in B.C., I'll probably rejoin.

H: You've told me you're not a member of any other library associations. Why not? What would make you consider joining?

W: Being a student, I don't quite feel like I'm part of the professional librarian community yet -- I currently associate more with the library school community. There's a certain intimidation factor in the various professional/networking events the associations offer, and as someone who isn't a practicing professional yet, I don't feel like it's "my place" quite yet. I'm interested in the "continuing learning opportunities" that library associations offer, but I've got plenty of "learning opportunities" to focus on in school at the moment. I anticipate that I'll join the big professional associations once I get my first library gig, but I'm more interested in groups that are based on specialization or interest area rather than geographic location.

I considered joining CLA last year, but then I looked at the list of benefits and realized that, realistically, I wouldn't be taking advantage of many/any of them while still in library school. If I were to join, it would just be to give myself a false sense of feeling "professional," without actually *doing* anything.

H: Although you're born and raised in Canada, you're a dual citizen. It sounds like you're planning on working in Canada, at least for now. Would you consider joining ALA while you're in Canada? Would you join if you got a job in the US? Why/why not?

W: I would consider joining the ALA while in Canada, if someone gave me a compelling reason to do so. If I got a job in the US, I would definitely join. And why would I join? For Michael Gorman.

H: You went to the BCLA conference last year, right? Do you feel you benefited from attending a conference midway through your degree program?

W: Yeah; it was definitely a worthwhile experience, if for no other reason than that it gave me a mental picture of what a library conference is actually like. The sessions varied in quality, but they all gave me some food for thought. I can see the value of speaking at a conference, and I will consider doing it as a professional if I have an exciting project/approach that I'd like to share with the library community.

H: You came to library school right after undergrad, and you mentioned that you had a hard time meeting new people at the conference because you didn't feel equipped to talk shop with other librarians. Is there anything that could have improved your experience as a first time conference goer?

W: Actually, I can't think of anything the conference organizers could have done differently that would have made it less awkward -- and frankly, I didn't make much of an effort to mingle/network anyways. I have a better sense of what questions/conversation starters I'd use at my next conference, now that I have a better sense of the profession, the professional community, and the conference "experience."

H: What do you know about ALA? What's your impression of the organization? How does that compare to your knowledge or impressions of the Canadian Library Association?

W: It's big. Michael Gorman is the president. They publish reports and things I've referenced in papers, and I often wind up at their website for one reason or another. They've got lots of subcommittees. The big annual ALA conference is *huge.* I don't know what the subtle differences are between the ALA and the CLA; I just kinda figured that it's the American and Canadian flavour of the same kind of institution.

H: ALA handles accreditation for the Canadian LIS programs, yet there's zilch as far as an ALA presence in Canadian schools. Do you think ALA should make more of an effort to reach out to Canadian students? Do you feel any connection to ALA?

W: I feel their presence online, and in the library literature. I have no idea what they could possibly do to reach out to me specifically, as a Canadian student. What is this "reaching out" that you are talking about? What could it consist of? How could I benefit? Are we talking free pens or tote bags with the ALA logo on it? We all usually agree that "reaching out" is a good thing, but I don't know what the ALA could do for Canadian students that would be meaningful and beneficial for both parties.

H: Michael Gorman, ALA president, is focusing on LIS education during his term of office. Conceivably, this could have an impact on Canadian LIS education, too. Has this issue been brought to your attention at all? Have you paid much attention? If yes, what do you think about it?

W: I've heard a tiny bit about Gorman's LIS education focus, and it seems like a good focus, given that the profession is at a bit of a turning point right now and in a position to redefine itself. As for ALA influence on Canadian LIS education, I don't know much about the issues surrounding this or whether I should be concerned or not.

H: What role do library associations play in your professional growth and education as an LIS student?

W: Well, as mentioned previously, going to the BCLA conference was really beneficial. They publish some reports and articles that help me form a better sense of the role of the library, the library profession and its values. The student chapters of the BCLA/CLA and SLA have sponsored some great talks from guest speakers.

H: Are you as involved in library professional organizations as you would like to be? Why/why not? What factors affect this?

W: I'm not very involved with the professional organizations, but I guess I'm as involved as I want to be. My plan is that I'll become more involved when I become a practicing librarian. I look forward to partaking in some professional development opportunities (workshops, conferences). I look forward to reading the association publications and recognizing the names of people I know and feeling apart of the professional community.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


I've gotten two membership renewal reminders from ALA, one in an email and another on a postcard. The email notice was much more told me which divisions etc I'm currently a member of, and it included instructions on how to renew online. I think the postcard was trying to be persuasive:
Your membership in the American Library Association is set to expire on March 31, 2006. Don't miss out on your chance to continue as a part of the association that works for libraries and for you. We value you as a member and hope that you will continue to use all the professional resources available only to members...

(boring stuff about what phone number to call to renew)

...It's more important than ever to work together to support libraries, library funding, and library workers.

Renew Today!

You tell me. Do you feel persuaded? Personally, I could do with a few more specifics. Kindly remind me, what are those professional resources available only to members, exactly? I've gotten a few email newsletters with links to the ALA website, but every time I've clicked through and been asked to login for members-only content, I've decided it's too much bother and moved along to something else. Maybe for the next postcard ALA could list three accomplishments they're really proud of and demonstrate how my membership (or at least my dues) contributed.

Trouble is, by the time you get the postcard, you've probably already made up your mind about whether to renew or not. Either you feel you've gotten value for your membership throughout the year or you don't. And that doesn't happen with a postcard. It doesn't even necessarily happen when you get one really great experience out of your membership. It happens when you get one really great experience out of your membership, then you turn to ALA and ask, "What's next?" and ALA says, "Here, try this."

Here are the boxes I checked last time around:
  • Basic Dues

  • Library Administration and Management Association (and all the sub-sections, 'cause they're free after you buy into LAMA)

  • Public Library Association

  • Young Adult Library Services Association (I joined about six months into my membership year)

  • New Member's Round Table

  • Social Responsibilities Round Table ('cause it's free for very socially responsible)

I signed up for a bunch of stuff because I thought I'd give it a try at the cheap student rate. When I renew, I think I'll go for NMRT and YALSA again, but that's it for now. I like the Public Libraries journal, and I love the PLAblog, but I can enjoy both of these without being a PLA member. I might sign up for ACRL at some point just to see what it's like. I'm sticking with NMRT and YALSA because I've gotten involved in committees. I'm sure there were opportunities to be more involved in LAMA, I just didn't find them. The difference with NMRT and YALSA is that the opportunities found me.

If you're curious about a section and want to give it a try, I'd suggest joining halfway through the year. The online form calculates membership cost based on how much time is left on your annual membership...if you've only got six months left, you'll get in at half price.

I've been stalling on my renewal because I thought I'd wait and see if wherever I'm going to move to has a deal for reciprocal ALA membership when you join the state association. But last night it occurred to me that I should just pick a state that offers joint membership and join. Kind of a neat way to hear about what somebody else is doing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

You know you're a big library dork when... take pictures of libraries while you're on vacation.

This is the public library in Quepos, Costa Rica. Unfortunately, it was closed, so I don't know what it's like on the inside.

I didn't set out to find the library, but I did make sure to go back and take a look after I noticed the sign saying "library thisaway."

When I'm visiting a library I've never been to before (perhaps because of aforementioned library dorkishness, or perhaps because I've got a job interview), I like to take public transit there if it's possible. It helps me get a sense of how easy it is to get to the library. I'll usually stop people on the street and ask for directions to the library, not because I don't know where I'm going, but because I'm curious about whether people know where the library is. Usually the first person I ask is able to point me in the right direction. The only time I've really had trouble was on the way to a library board meeting a bit south of here. I had to ask three or four people because it took me a while to find someone who spoke English.

Telephone interview for children's librarian job

It's a suburban county system in a large metro area. Four person panel: someone from HR and three branch managers. At just 25 minutes, this is the quickest interview I've done, and to be honest, it felt rather rushed. Interviews of this type are more typically 45 minutes to an hour. I know I said 30 minutes for the last teen librarian interview, but I think I was underestimating. This time, I looked at the clock when I hung up because I was so surprised it was over already.

This is also the first time I wasn't given a choice of interview times. They sent me an email with the time and date of my appointment and I got to RSVP with a yes or no.
  • Why are you interested in the position and how does it fit with your short and long term goals?

  • What is your experience providing story times and children's programming? Please describe age levels and types of programs.

  • Discuss your experience developing collections for children. How do you make selections, what is your area of expertise, and how would you market the collection?

  • Promoting early childhood literacy is an important part of being a children's librarian. Give a specific example of something you have done to promote literacy. (They had an alternative question if you couldn't think of an example, but I didn't write that down and I can't remember what it was.)

  • Describe a time when you had to deal with a discipline problem in the library.

  • What experience do you have working with diverse populations?

  • Give an example of your experience providing technology instruction to children and their parents.

  • I also got to make a "closing statement" where I was asked to tell them what I knew about the library and why I would be a good candidate.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

This post is brought to you by the number four

Okey dokey, Meredith.

Four jobs I’ve had:
  1. USPS Letter Carrier (boy, did that suck)

  2. Courtesy clerk (aka bag girl aka janitor) at an organic grocery store

  3. The person you call when you want to complain about a parking ticket

  4. Artist

Four movies I can (and do) watch over and over:
  1. HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban ('cause it's the only DVD I own)

  2. LA Story

  3. Gosford Park

  4. The Incredibles

Four places I’ve lived:
  1. Salamanca, Spain

  2. Glendale, AZ

  3. St. Louis, MO

  4. Hamburg, Germany

Four TV shows I love:
  1. Canadian: Rick Mercer, This Hour Has 22 Minutes

  2. Teen dramarama: Gilmore Girls, The OC

  3. Crime: The Closer (especially the opening titles: black screen, nice serif font in white, just the title...classy), Crossing Jordan, CSI

  4. Cartoons and medical: The Simpsons, House

Four places I’ve vacationed:
  1. Costa Rica

  2. Monaco (just for a day)

  3. Venice

  4. Manhattan

Four of my favorite dishes:
  1. cheese

  2. cheese

  3. dolsot bibimbap

  4. nectarines

Four sites I visit daily:

  2. bloglines

  3. LISjobs (via bloglines)

  4. - Jobs in Librarians/library administration (via bloglines)

Four places I would rather be right now:
  1. the beach

  2. on a ferry

  3. on public transit

  4. on a train

Four books (or series) I love:
  1. Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston

  2. Shopgirl by Steve Martin

  3. The Haunting of L by Howard Norman

  4. Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

Four video games I can (and do) play over and over:
  1. Tetris

  2. Snood

  3. Sudoku widget

  4. Mastermind widget

Four bloggers I am tagging:
  1. Scrappy Librarian

  2. Sam

  3. Tinfoil+Raccoon

  4. lis.dom

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Letter of recommendation

My boss at the agriculture library passed this along to me last week:

My undergrad is in art history. I've been working in the engineering library for about a year and a half, and added in some hours at the agriculture library about a year ago. I endured about a week of panic at the beginning. Every time someone came to the desk, I was overwhelmed by the realization that I had no idea what they were talking about. Eventually I remembered that I had other skills to fall back on and got really good at asking questions. In the mean time, I developed a great poker face. I don't even chuckle when someone asks for the journal Poultry World.

I still remember my first question at the agriculture library. Someone wanted to know about gable top milk cartons. I'd never heard someone describe a milk carton that way (though it makes sense, if you think about it), let alone considered that someone would be interested in studying such things at university. But I managed to figure out that she was interested in the sterilization of food packaging, and I found her some books on the topic.

Working in a library doesn't just mean that you have to stay on top of the newest Internet gizmo, sometimes it means becoming familiar with entirely new bodies of knowledge. Which is scary at first, but eventually, you'll get the hang of it. Last week someone asked me for a book about PVC and I caught myself saying, "Oh, you mean polyvinyl chloride? We've got a great three-volume encyclopedia right over here..." Going to library school is like learning to use a compass. Once you've got down the basic principles, you should be able to find your way around just about anywhere, even if you've never been there before.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Midwinter job interviews

It's hard to tally up how many interviews I did at Midwinter. It was more of an ongoing thing, where I could end up in an interview situation at any moment. There were some definite interviews, then some kinda sorta interviews, and a whole lot of networking and making contacts. The entire weekend was such a blur, I'm having a hard time remembering any specific questions. And being on time for the interview wasn't as much of a factor. That is to say, I was on time, but the folks I met with almost uniformly weren't. Each one lasted about half an hour. I scheduled most of the appointments after arriving in San Antonio.

I met with a fellow who had contacted me about an academic library job. This one started out with me answering questions, but the last ten or fifteen minutes was mostly him trying to sell me on the job. He asked me about the kind of job I'm looking for and more personality type questions rather than anything about specific skills. Oh, but he did ask me about my languages, and we switched over and spoke in German for a bit.

I had an appointment for an interview with one of the large public library systems who had a booth at the placement center. There were people from HR staffing the booth, but I met with one of the regional administrators. She asked about my experience/interest in working with different age groups: children, teens, adults, seniors. There were some general questions about my experience, and then she asked me to tell her what I knew about the system and to describe my ideal job. This was definitely a screening interview. I wasn't interviewing for a specific job, just making an initial contact.

I managed to meet up with someone from an academic library who I had contacted through the placement center website. He didn't really have any questions for me, it was mostly him answering my questions. I asked about the workplace, details about the job, and what they were looking for that wasn't in the job description.

Midwinter redux

I know most folks post their schedule beforehand, but I didn't really know where I was going to be until I was there.

  • Went to the NMRT meet and greet.

  • Dinner with folks I met at the meet and greet.

  • Wandered the exhibits for 10 minutes. Met Nancy Pearl.

  • Got a squished penny at the Alamo.

  • Volunteered at the NMRT resume review service, then had someone look at my resume.

  • Wandered aimlessly. Ran into: someone I went to college with, someone I used to work with, someone I was trying to schedule a meeting with, someone who works somewhere I used to work that I saw at a party in December, someone I had interviewed with a couple of months ago. All sorts of good things came out of these chance meetings.

  • Forgot to eat lunch.

  • Went to the NMRT all committee meeting. Volunteered for a committee.

  • Met with someone for an interview. Saw someone I knew in the middle of the interview.

  • Went to the NMRT social, stayed for dinner.

  • Interview at the placement center.

  • Observed Council session I.

  • Went to the Best Books for Young Adults session. Bumped into someone I hadn't seen yet. Left halfway through.

  • Went to the President's program with Andrei Codrescu. Spotted someone I'd met on an interview panel.

  • Left early to chat with someone about a job.

  • Back for the last few minutes with Andrei.

  • Blogger salon.

  • Dinner with folks from the blogger salon.

  • Met someone for breakfast. Turns out we were on the same flight, so we shared a cab to the airport.

Here's my helpful hints: If you don't have business cards, make yourself some. There's a template in MS Word, and you can get them printed up at any copy shop. Conference lunch fare (in the convention center, at least) tends to be of the hot dog variety, so I went all school lunch style and brought juice boxes, granola bars, fruit leather, and little containers of applesauce. I packed enough for breakfast, too.

This was my second big ALA gathering. I went to annual in Chicago partially so I could get the whole business of being overwhelmed out of the way and focus on interviews and job stuff at Midwinter. When you're heading to your first or second conference, don't be fooled by the big glossy program. In fact, I would suggest skipping most of the sessions as a first timer. There's a good chance that somebody will blog about what happened, so you don't have to physically attend to get the content. If you do go to a session, get there early, mill about, and introduce yourself to people. Because conference is all about people, folks. Make sure you go to a social every night that you're there. And schedule some time for aimless wandering. By the end of the weekend, I started to think of myself as a pinball. The more I let myself be jostled around, seemingly at random, the more I started to bump into really exciting stuff.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Yet another teen services interview

Okay, it's a large system in a large metro area. Three person panel, roughly 30 minutes. They had some telephone issues, so I got a couple of phantom calls before we managed to establish a connection.

They started off by asking me if I'd had a chance to find out much about the library on the web (though this wasn't one of the official questions). Then they told me a bit about the job, including the salary range and their hiring timeline. Oh, and they reminded me to answer the questions as if they'd never seen my resume or application.
  • Give us an overview of your experience and education as related to young adult services.

  • Imagine you have to give book talks to two English classes, one middle school and one high school. What books or authors would you recommend?

  • How would you go about developing ideas and planning for teen programs?

  • The YA librarian works closely with the teen advisory board. How would you go about introducing yourself into the group and gaining their trust?

  • As a YA librarian, you also interact closely with parents. How would you deal with the following: a parent who thinks the subject matter of materials in the teen section is inappropriate, a parent who asks for book suggestions for a 4th grade child reading at an advanced level, and a parent of a teen who wants to attend a teen program.

  • What are the benefits of community outreach and what are some ideas you have for community outreach?

Once again, I wore my pyjamas. And just to make things exciting, I had to deal with the plumber coming into my apartment in the middle of the interview.

So, I've done enough teen librarian interviews to identify a few trends. You're going to be put on the spot to talk about some YA books, and you're going to get the angry parent/inappropriate content question. Be prepared.

Interview: a student perspective

This interviewing thing is fun. Maybe if the librarian gig doesn't work out, I could try to find work as a talk show host.

Next up is Sara Zoë Patterson. We actually met through this blog and have been emailing back and forth a bit. We've never met in person. She wins a prize for correctly guessing where one of my job interviews was (and I thought I was being so discrete and vague). Sara Zoë works in a high school library in Hampton, NH, as a library facilitator, and she just started the distance MLIS at Rutgers.

Heidi: You've already told me you're not an ALA member? Why not?

Sara Zoë: I guess I'd ask you, why? My boss is, out of a feeling of obligation and duty. And what does it get her? Used to get her free Oprah books for our library, but we haven't seen them lately. And the American Libraries publication is the most irrelevant, fluffy, waste of paper I've seen. We can't afford to buy stuff from them for Banned Books week, or Teen Reading Week, even at the member price. I do appreciate what they do on behalf of intellectual freedom.

H: Is there an ALA student chapter at your school?

SZ: Probably. There are many student orginizations at Rutgers, and their members are very dedicated, as evidenced by my always full email inbox. I considered joining ALA as a student member, but on the website it says you have to be full time, which I'm technically not, and it wasn't worth it to me to see if they would really hold me to that.

H: You mentioned that you had a chance to go to a big conference (well, a free ticket to the exhibits, at least) but you decided not to go. Why?

SZ: I couldn't figure out why I should go at the time. Now I realize I could've at least gotten plentyo'free schlock. And I could have skulked around meeting people I've only met online. But at this time last year I wasn't clued into those things or those people. So at this point I would travel an hour to go for free. But I'm not sure I'd travel much further, and I'm really not sure I would pay money. Part of that is my own newness and cluelessness.

H: But you've been to state level conferences, right? How did you find the experience?

SZ: I actually love going to conferences. I've been to several, I've spoken at one and will speak again this year. I love the content. Hearing new ideas, talking to people about what they are doing and what their experiences are - that's why I love the concept of blogging so much and why I read so many. It's like conference content all the time - someone presents, and then there is a nice conversation about it after. So I've been to NH state library conferences, New England regional, and several times to a NH technology in education conference. I always come back jazzed up with either an idea to implement or something that alters my thinking in some way.

H: What kind of benefits/value would you look for or expect from ALA membership?

SZ: This is the rub, isn't it? People aren't interested in ALA but they can't be specific about what they want, either, can they? My boss and I had a good talk about AASL today - (I'm not totally committed to being a school librarian, but being in a school library makes it very relevant to discussion - and by not committed, I mean I'd like to explore public librarianship a bit) - and she was outlining the places where she finds AASL falls very short - in communicating how to deal with NCLB, and practical info on moving to a standards based curriculum. To get back to your question, ALA has always given me the impression that it is an organization for public libraries primarily. And if so, no biggie. Us other kinds of libraries have other organizations. But it should be more honest about this. Maybe ALA should slim down and do what it does well - fight intellectual freedom fights. And stay out of job availability prediction altogether.

H: You just started your MLIS, right? Was ALA introduced to you as a professional resource when you started your program?

SZ: Real ALA was not introduced, but the Rutgers chapter of ASIS&T was, in a big way. They helped out at our orientation, student members tutored us through a lot of techy stuff, recruited us and so on. Oh wait, now I went back to look at some things to make sure I was giving you the right names of the organization, and I realized our listserve (for all Rutgers MLIS students) is called LISSA after the Rutgers student chapter of ALA. Maybe the website will be of interest to you. At any rate, I didn't realize it had anything to do with ALA.

H: As a library student, do you feel connected to ALA? In what way?

SZ: No, but I'm interested. I'm glad to see ALA blogging, I subscribed to the YALSA blog and have been really pleased with its range and relevancy thus far. I think ALA itself is just too far-ranging to be that relevant to that many people - there are just so many sub-groups - so this model of having the subgroups blogging works for me.

And I know this is dumb, because as a future librarian I should have the curiosity and wherewithall to find this out myself - but I want someone to personally tell me why ALA matters to me. I am looking for some sort of personal recommendation, and I just haven't seen that. All the bloggers that I read don't love it, my mentors and people around me don't have any use for it. I don't really have that much connection to the grad students who are further along than me, except through our listserve which is populated almost entirely by messages about lost cats and books for sale and trips to various libraries in NJ.

H: Are you as involved in library professional organizations as you would like to be? Why/why not? What factors affect this?

SZ: I am a member of the New Hampshire Educational Media Association - the school library association. I've been invited to serve on the scholarships and awards committee - but I turned it down because I want to apply for said scholarships and awards. As a member, when I talk at their conference, I get no reimbursement - but I do get into the whole conference for free! - and I could get gas comped if I really needed it. Also if I have to stay overnight because the conference is far away they will put me up - though its usually a room sharing situation - all this is to say that the dinky little NH organization is doing better by its people than ALA at this point.

Back to the point - I will probably join the New Hampshire Library Association soon, I've been meaning to do it, and there are a couple of committees that I'm interested in - the state's teen reader award, for one. These organizations are pretty small, but that keeps them relevant. It's easy to email the person in charge and suggest something - you may get an email back saying, "Great! Go for it!" because everyone is very volunteer and part time, but things happen, statements get made that create action. We fight our own fights here for issues of keeping funding where it should be, keeping state standards or improving them (as we got passed last year) to improve student access to libraries and librarians. Since we are small, we can be quick on our feet. Of course, we have a smaller pool of people to draw from, and in the ebb and flow of things there are years where the people running the organization are not so progressive or hard working.

One thing that gets me as involved as I am (which for a para, is a lot), is that they sought me out. They saw my webpage, saw the stuff I was doing with digital audiobooks, and came to me - which was flattering. But it was individual. And they kept in touch.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I had a really good chat with an urban library administrator at Midwinter. Here's something that she said that's stuck with me:

"I don't like the word paraprofessional. They're professionals in their own right."

Well said.

I mentioned starting as a paraprofessional in my "Statement of Professional Concerns" for the ALA election. I decided to use the word clerk instead. How do you feel about the word?

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.