This morning, I renewed my membership to the American Library Association for the first time as a professional and not as a student. It was certainly a bittersweet moment which left my checking account a bit lighter…

What you are about to read is nothing new in the Michigan LIS-world — a common complaint, which now I can officially join the ranks. With my ALA membership, two divisions (PLA and YALSA), and round table renewal, my overall cost was less than renewing my entire membership with the Michigan Library Association.

Setting cost aside and just browsing the conference notes from colleagues, I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that the Michigan Library Association is geared more towards larger suburban and urban public libraries than smaller, rural libraries.

Newsflash? No…

Taking a gander at statistics compiled from the public library survey (2012), almost 60% of Michigan’s public libraries are on the smaller end of the spectrum: Class 1 – 3. Am I missing something? Or is MLA?

At $170.00 for an unaffiliated individual membership (meaning that my employing institution is not a member and I am not getting a discount), I damn well want my State organization to at least acknowledge the existence of small, rural libraries and subsequently offer workshops/seminars that are relevant.

Kicked to the curb. Hold on…  

It’s so rural where I live that we don’t even have curbs. 
How about this: kicked to the ditch.

With my savings, I opted to join the Freedom to Read Foundation — a cause near and dear to my heart — and will likely attend a few workshops hosted by the Historical Society of Michigan.

I wonder if they will miss me… Doubtful.

Source
Library of Michigan. (2012). Michigan public library survey statistics. Retrieved from
http://www.michigan.gov/libraryofmichigan/0,2351,7-160-18668_61707—,00.html

Author’s Note: I’ve considered trying to be part of the solution by collaborating with area libraries in order to develop a conference presentation which will target small, rural libraries; however, it seems that MLA membership is pretty sparse in this region… Thoughts: Lack of interest? Or do they feel as though they haven’t been adequately represented?