By now, hopefully everyone is back at work — and relatively rested up — who attended ALA Midwinter. Midwinter attendees tend to be a different crowd from those who attend other conferences. The primary reason for Midwinter attendance is that you are on a committee that requires your attendance at a face-to-face meeting or you want to see the Newbery, Caldecott, and other Youth Media Awards announced live (which is absolutely, unequivocally fun if you’ve never done it).
So the folks at Midwinter tend to be the librarians who are going above and beyond their day job at their library or related site. These are the folks who, back home, live under that dark shadow called, “You’re An Overachiever.”
If there’s one thing I saw this past weekend, it was FATIGUE. The combination of what was, for most, a shorter holiday break, plus additional job responsibilities seems to have tuckered out our profession. And there were many faces we didn’t see this year that we usually do, folks for whom salary or benefit cuts, or an overwhelming workload, meant they could scarcely afford the time or the costs of being away from home. And we know that there are many of you out there who are running multiple libraries, or trying to balance part-time classroom teaching with the very full-time responsibility of maintaining, much less improving, a library collection and program.
School Library Monthly hears every day from folks who are working this hard and feeling this fatigue, and that’s why it supports the White House petition that, if 25,000 signatures are received, will be delivered to President Obama’s desk. Many of your colleagues have worked tirelessly to get the word out on behalf of the profession.
If you haven’t yet signed, SLM encourages you to do so, if only as a sign of support and thanks for those formal and informal leaders in the profession who have extended themselves on behalf of all in the profession. Signing sooner rather than later reduces their fretful anxiety. Remember: this is a REVISED petition. If you signed the petition a few months ago that was initiated by librarians in California, that vote does not count toward this new petition.