Time for me to directly address an ALATT issue, which I rarely do.
You’re annoyed or concerned with a post? Hide it. Ignore it. Leave ALATT. We’ve gone on without you before, and it’ll go on even after I’M so annoyed that I leave.
1) I deal with the basicness on ALATT daily, and it’s fine, because lots of people are enjoying it, making friends, having fun, and sharing ideas with each other. Even if I personally find something ridiculous or basic, that doesn’t mean other people are.
1a) I’ve had lots of friends leave the group. I’m fine with that too. Lots of people I respect or admire have left. It’s only facebook, it’s ok!!
2) Soliciting financial support has been at the base of ALATT since the beginning. The reason there’s an “ALA” in ALATT was because it was originally ORIGINALLY a forum for us to share housing (aka a way to financially support each other) at ALA conferences. The infamous “ALATT Houses” were because we are all broke but we’re still trying to make it TOGETHER. Read the group description! This past ALA was the first in a row of 8 mw/annuals that we didn’t have a “house”, but that was because the ever awesome Jenny Levine from the ALA talked to conference services and had them set up a really inexpensive deal in one of the conference hotels. Everyone’s bill said “ALA Think Tank” deal on it or something!!!!!!!!!
2a) Once it started getting bigger, we helped financially support many things; the 2011 #sxswLAM group got a big financial boost from ALATT, ALATT helped launch and raise huge awareness (and raised some dollars too) for EveryLibrary. ANY time Urban Librarians Unite had a fundraiser, we’d boost that stuff. And going back to the ALA thing, Jessamyn West put it best in 2012 “They have managed to do the impossible: making the idea of joining ALA so that you could hang out with these folks seem like a really good idea”. Don’t say it’s NOW being used as a forum because that was ALWAYS one of the things it was used for.
2b) SO, when I originally saw this ridiculously passive-aggressive ask in our ALATT Ask box, I thought it was referring to the number of times per month we pin a post from someone asking for a donation. I was like “well, people are finally tired of me shilling for EveryLibrary" but then once I read it and realized people were referring to this, y’all set me off. Not to mention that I got multiple negative messages about it in my gchat and fb message box, as well as people reporting it as abuse(?). It got me thinking: none of yall were required to donate, so why would this spark ANY outrage? Why wouldn’t you just ignore it? Maybe it’s time to reflect on the systematic reasons why someone would actually BE ANGRY that someone else would be asking for help when, like I said before, this is a pretty standard request in ALATT. Do you think MAYBE what the person looks like or who the person is is possibly be informing your choice to be so ‘slightly offended’? If the answer is “no, that has nothing to do with it”, then what IS the answer to why you’re so slightly offended? Maybe start shifting your thinking.
3) The Tumblarians are schooling you on compassion, ALATT. You know how many reblogs her request got on Tumblr? It’s PAST 500 NOTES. That’s a huge outpouring of support from that community. Let me just tell you what the someone close to the situation said to me that prompted me to comment on this when I have almost always not commented on other, bigger, issues in ALATT:
“After all the Think Tank is supposed to be about community and having fun. So [even ignoring for the second the real reason people are mad about this], this shows the lack of support among librarians and should be addressed.”
For over a year I’ve felt in my mind, and even said to other people “ALATT lost its purpose and its focus” or “its become irrelevant” or “it doesn’t stand for anything like it used to”, etc. This was the reminder I needed that our group description still exists:
we #makeithappen and #partyhard TOGETHER! We>Me
3a) The super passive-aggressive line “I know plenty of “fellow librarians” struggling to make ends meet who aren’t asking for money” isn’t false, I too live paycheck-to-paycheck. BUT, did you ever think for a second that some people have it worse than you?! Again, no one is forcing anyone to donate. In the words of Daniel Ransom
JP here - I’m actually going to answer this one on MY Tumblr and cross-post to ALATT. Your passive Aggressiveness is TRIPPING.
“Fobazi’s contribution to our online community has been tremendous — I’ve learned so much from her — and by donating, we can help her not only gain independence from a dangerous home situation, but in effect help launch her career as a librarian. I know not everyone has the financial wherewithal to make a donation, but if you do, please consider it.”
TL;DR: THIS IS WHY SO MANY PEOPLE DON’T LIKE YOU, ALATT. Get over yourselves or get out.
Compassion and empathy make the world go around. Well, at least my world.
I am in a financial squeeze this month due to some unexpected car expenses and tuition being due for my son’s school and a few other bigger than normal expense. Still, I got enough that I was about to go downstairs to the library cafe for a latte and something to munch on… decided to fill my water bottle and eat a few almonds from the bag in my drawer instead so that I could donate that money to Fobazi plus a few extra bucks as I am sure I don’t need latte tomorrow either. People have to help others out… and if you don’t like it, then grow a heart.