One measure of my extreme goofy tiredness is my tendency to read ALA as “a la…” but we’ll leave that alone.
I just received an e-mail asking me what I thought about ALA’s recent RFP for someone to do “a feasibility study on a proposal to establish a â€œLibrary Corpsâ€” to “recruit retired librarians to provide assistance to libraries that need help.” (If you somehow managed to avoid the fray, catch up on librarian.net, on the ALA Council list (the “Interesting Ideas” thread), or at Library Dust.)
The short answer is: I don’t think much. I’m more cynical when I’m tired, but I don’t feel particularly threatened by “an RFP for a study on a proposal,” which I don’t see going anywhere anytime soon. (Maybe we’ll get an actual project going around the time that we’re supposed to see this projected wave of retirements.)
Appearances being what they are, though, it seems a rather clueless move on ALA’s part to release this without giving the backstory that’s later shown up on the Council list — that they actually apparently discussed and rejected the idea that retirees should replace new librarians. But that’s nothing new, nor is the fact that retired librarians come back to volunteer in libraries. (Read LISNews.org for regular heartwarming stories in that vein.)
At least now, though, I know where my proposed dues increase is going… for studies on proposals on… Perhaps ALA would like to pay me $15k to write them a report about how they could avoid similar brouhahas in the future. I’m not too proud to take it, if anyone there is listening!