Wednesday, March 16, 2011

ALA Elections

One of my friends is on the slate for an ALA committee, and since elections just opened, she's all atwitter about how it might end up for her. On the one hand, she really wants to be elected, and on the other hand, she didn't want to promote herself *too* much because she, like myself and other people I know, really dislikes it when people promote themselves for ALA committees.

What a strange profession we are in. Librarianship could definitely be described as a self-effacing profession; we are considered the quiet types, and the ones who selflessly help others all the time. So it stands to reason that even when we're supposed to put ourselves out there for the purposes of getting elected to a committee of our peers, we kind of balk at it.

What I found even more hilarious was that another of our friends commented that she "almost never" votes for people who actively campaign for ALA positions. She finds it smarmy and distasteful. And I totally agree with her, but I am forced to ask myself why that is. The people who actively advertise themselves are the ones who really want the position...why should that disqualify them from my vote? This friend made clear that she normally votes for who she knows and respects, which should of course be the criteria for any of us to make our decisions. But when I don't know who to vote for, why do I automatically distrust the person who has actively campaigned? Because they're not self-effacing enough, not shy enough to fit the bill of what I think of as a librarian?

Sometimes my trains of thought lead me to embarrassing places.
"Wicked people never have time for reading. It's one of the reasons for their wickedness." —Lemony Snicket, The Penultimate Peril.