A tiny little LITA-related post

Tiny, as in no more than ten minutes composition & posting time…

So in FriendFeed today, I got involved in a couple of discussions–one involving the worth (or otherwise) of ALA, the other involving what professional groups make sense for a systems librarian.

I’m just going to touch on the second one, where another participant said LITA was not a good choice because it was consistently five to ten years behind the times. I questioned that, and found myself defending LITA–and particularly feeling that, given LITA’s bottom-up nature, something’s terribly wrong if it is “five to ten years behind” (which I don’t believe to be true).

But then, while working on other stuff and taking a walk and doing the weekly recycling/garbage, I thought:

“Why am I defending LITA?”

There are others, who should have been aware of that thread, who are actually active in LITA–and who should be part of LITA not being behind the times. As noted in a number of earlier posts, I’m fairly well burned out on the organization–to the point that I’ll think hard before renewing (since, given my work status, LITA costs me more than ALA does). Oh, I might still renew–as a former president, it’s hard not to–but still.

It was, to some extent, a kneejerk reaction to an attack. I still don’t (necessarily) agree with the attack, but as with some other areas, it’s really not my battle these days.

If LITA is stuck behind the times, then something’s terribly wrong with the IG process–or all the techies have flown the coop. I don’t believe the latter, but I really don’t know.

Anyway, FF friends, just a note that I probably won’t be there to defend LITA next time. It’s up to the active LITA members to do so. Or not, for that matter: I’ve been heard to say that it’s interesting that there’s no Library Electricity Association, and these days IT is just about as omnipresent in libraries as electricity…

One Response to “A tiny little LITA-related post”

  1. Brett Bonfield Says:

    I can understand why folks may not want to get into it with someone who asserts on FriendFeed that LITA is 5-10 years behind the times, because making this allegation via FF seems pretty troll-ish. However, just because the context activates my troll sensors, the allegation itself is defensible.

    When I enrolled in library school three years ago, I immediately
    joined ALA at the student rate and signed up for sections and round tables based on their descriptions. I’m interested in IT, so joining LITA seemed like a no-brainer. And then, a couple of months later, I visited the LITA website for the first time. I know this sounds melodramatic, but I was aghast. I couldn’t believe the technology section’s website looked so dated or that its information could be so stale. I immediately asked ALA for my money back and used it to join ASIS&T.

    This year, I went ahead and rejoined LITA because I like what I’ve
    been reading and hearing from its leaders and I wanted to give it
    another chance. But the website still looks the same as it did when I
    asked for my money back three years ago. The home page still resolves to http://www.lita.org/ala/mgrps/divs/lita/litahome.cfm — I mean, ColdFusion?! Really? And many links appear to be at least as dated as they were back then. For instance, visit the second link in the menu, Resources & Services
    (http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/lita/litaresources/litaresources.cfm) and start poking around. I’d say 5-10 years is pretty accurate.


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