I haven't worked in a actual library in many years. I'd love too but no one could have predicted this financial insanity that is before us. I have kept the Counsel of Library Technicians Listserv active to keep an eye out for positions and to find out what folks are talking about in the profession.
Let me cut to the chase; there will not be a professional association if library workers, clerks and paraprofessionals and interested others don't step up and lend a hand. I think there are a number of things that could help the situation. But I am not a member.
It might not be appropriate for me to stick my two cents in but sometimes an outside perspective can help. I don't have magic up my sleeve. This is my opinion, not the LT program, the library or anyone associated with PCC.
This is a extract from a post:
It's great that you've been a member for over 10 years, but I must comment that this is the first time I've seen a posting from you. So - if the end result of the unwanted posting is to get people commenting, I find that a good thing.
The COLT web site is still active, but I just tried it also and couldn't connect. Possibly where it's being housed is down. The COLT Board will look into it. (It seems to be ok now.) I'm going to take this opportunity as a last communication before our July Board meeting to state COLT's needs.
Basically, we need a Board -I know how hard it is to find resources pertaining to library paraprofessionals and library workers. It is an old/new concept. From Pages, to Clerks to ??? who are we and what is our identity?
a.. Vice/President/ President
d.. Members' Registrar
e.. & 5 Regional Directors
The current Board has stayed on for an extra year trying to work on things. We've asked for input from the membership and have received NOTHING. Tricia, that's was annoys me - the continual silence we've received. I can tell by your response that not hearing anything didn't sit well with you either. Yes - we've received messages about how it would be a shame for COLT to end, but it cannot keep going without members getting involved.
The current Board recognizes that for COLT to be viable, changes to its mission and way of doing things need restructuring. We need members who will take on the challenge. COLT will be holding a Board meeting in . ALA hasn't assigned our room yet, but when they do, we will post it to the list. This meeting is open to all. If you are going to be in Chicago, please attend and give us your ideas, your minds, your bodies!!! Keep posting to the list,
COLT Past President
Many of us would like to be full time librarians but some of us would be happy pushing carts and sniffing book dust. What if we would like to just help out? Is there a place for us at COLT?
When I look at the listserve it is mainly job listings. I don't get a sense of community. Every once in a while a question will pop up or an announcement of interest but I don't know the members of COLT or have the same sense of community like I can get from the INFOLIT or FARLTR listservs. Those folks ask questions, pass on information and have wonderful discussions.
The community, not the technology sets that kind of engagement. Where is the Southern California library paraprofessional community? The national or international community? Outside of our LT program I don't know.
I do know about burnout. You can't keep asking the same people to pull the wagon and do the work without support. I've had that experience and it is not fun. Obligation will only take you so far.
What Can Be Done About It?
Yeah, I'd thought that might come up as a question. Well I'm going to take a risk here. I am going to ask a question on Twitter and some of the other social networking sites to see if there would be an interest in keeping COLT or being a part of it. I'm going to ask if there is or isn't a value could they drop a comment in the comments.
Not sure that I will get any responses. But if there are I'd like to know what they would want from an organization, what do they expect and what could the contribute? Not necessarily money.
I know one thing I'd change is the look of that COLT web site. No disrespect intended but it is so 1997 -ish. I bet it is hard to change information and have folks contribute if they don't know HTML. There are probably other constrictions as well.
I am bias, I think a monitored blog format works well for groups and it allows for updates when needed and not when the IT person can find the time to do them. A well designed web site could allow for easy uploading and changing of information as well.
Anyway, we'll see what does and does not happen. I certainly will pass on any comments to the organization. Feel free to put in your ideas as well.