Grassroots organizations within structured organizations can be tricky to facilitate (notice I did not say lead or manage). The officers of the AASL Affiliate Assembly pictured here are Diane Chen, chair of Affiliate Assembly, Carl Harvey, chair-elect, and Karen Lowe, recording secretary. Rosina Alaimo, past chair, was able to join her region for much of the meeting as both an officer and a delegate.
Notice the amount of papers you can see peeking through the left corner of the photo. I am such a lateral thinker that I have to see all the issues and ideas spread out in front of me. If I had taken the time to use Inspiration and drawn a graphical organizer, I might not have had to create a 3-D version on the table in front of me.
One of the constant problems with grassroots organizations with rotating new members each 1-2 years is that the corporate history becomes lost. Nancy Dickinson and taskforce are working on a plan to help retain the memory of what was discussed, what concerns were addressed, and which were tabled or returned to the originating affiliate organization delegate for additional information.
We are attempting to use the American Library Association Online Communities pages to store documents, chat, discuss issues in forums, and share joint calendars. I have to laugh at how long it takes adults to transition and capitalize on the new technologies. When I have demo’d similar sites for my teenagers, they have instantly shared these ideas and encouraged everyone to participate. Coming back to a site 24 hours after they have learned something, you can see that everyone and their brother have attempted to use the site to make it usable for themselves. Perhaps this is our problem. We are too entrenched in the attitude of waiting around for someone else to perfect something and work the kinks out, instead of being part of the solution.
What will it take for us to become like a teenager in the sense of living in the immediate, the urgent, the now?