I've been less active recently (kids will do that to you) but SLA has had some weirdness about this, too. There is an IT division that usually attracts the web masters, programmers, and technical services types... BUT SLA has a lot of solo librarians who end up doing a bit of everything (they have a division) AND there's also the Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics division (my home) which supports high level researchers in math, cryptography, information security, computer science, etc. Engineering and Sci-Tech division members also support computer scientists. Typically the computer science round table will be a jointly sponsored session and the lead division will call the tune about the type of things covered.
I know a bunch of members of PAM have CS, math, physics, and other technical degrees and do their own programming for analysis purposes. (see, for example, Christopher Erdmann's work).
I haven't been a member of (or interested in) ALA since library school :) These are all reasons it's nice to be able to listen in here on Code4Lib!
P.S. - I'm more like a liaison librarian, but have been a solo librarian, and use code in my work to solve various problems... the real work at my larger institution is handled by more famous members of this group :)
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jason Bengtson
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2015 8:34 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] lita
It's funny; I work in medical libraries, although I've been considering attempting a move to regular academic libraries for a while now. In the Medical Library Association we don't really have a LITA. We may have some kind of technology interest group in there somewhere, but I find tech interest on this side of the discipline to be very spotty. I approached the responsible party at MLA about creating a technology section and couldn't even get them to return my emails. I turned away from my AHIP (MLA's
Academy) membership a while back in disgust at some of their policies, although before I did I noticed with some interest that you could (and I
did) get points for developing some apps or digital tutorials and the like; nevertheless it felt very tacked on. The one case study I submitted to JMLA (the association's main journal), on an XML/XSLT based staff list tool I created for the website of the University of New Mexico's medical library, was flatly rejected as being too technical for the journal.
*Jason Bengtson, MLIS, MA*
Head of Library Computing and Information Systems Assistant Professor, Graduate College Department of Health Sciences Library and Information Management University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center 405-271-2285, opt. 5
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On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 2:51 PM, KLINGLER, THOMAS <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> ...and maybe a little influence by the current ALA membership payment
> options. Used to have to pay your base membership and a division (or
> two?) Recently, you can go cheap and pay ONLY the base membership cost!
> No forced division membership.
> Tom Klingler
> Assistant Dean for Technical Services
> University Libraries, Rm 300
> 1125 Risman Drive
> Kent State University
> Kent, Ohio 44242-0001
> 330-672-1646 office
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
> Of Roy Tennant
> Sent: Monday, January 05, 2015 11:42 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] lita
> Also, I would point out that libraries increasingly hire
> non-librarians in technology positions. That likely means that even if
> said persons might eventually find Code4Lib, their allegiance to a
> profession as epitomized by ALA is unlikely.
> On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 8:37 AM, Debra Shapiro <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > LITA is now the smallest ALA division.
> > Personally, as someone who’s been involved with LITA for 20 years, I
> > think the decrease is due to all the reasons Kevin cites below, and
> > also because of something of an identity crisis - related to the
> > advent of the Internet, as Eric says.
> > LITA is the technology division of the ALA. *Everything* in
> > libraries is done with technology now, so ALA members who once
> > might’ve chosen to join the technology division choose instead to
> > join other divisions, related to their other interests. Look at the
> > list of ALCTS (the cataloging division) programs for any given ALA
> > conference, or ALCTS list of CE webinars, and it’s all topics that
> > might’ve once been
> more the purview of LITA.
> > Of course I ran for LITA prez on that platform 6 years ago and lost
> > so what do I know …
> > deb
> > On Jan 5, 2015, at 10:28 AM, Kevin Ford <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > > > I think this just goes to show, with the advent of the Internet,
> > > > centralized authorities are not as necessary/useful as they once
> > > > used to be. —ELM
> > > >
> > >
> > > -- Maybe. I think it it recession-related. The high water mark
> > > for
> > nearly all of the groups on that list is 2007 (2006 for one or two).
> > The overall stats for ALA show the same membership pattern
> > (increasing until 2007, decreasing thereafter):
> > http://www.ala.org/membership/membershipstats_files/annual_memb_stat
> > s
> > >
> > > I'd be interested to know if LITA's membership decrease is greater
> > > (as
> > percentage) than the others. Perhaps that would suggest forums such
> > as code4lib peeled off some of those would-be LITA members.
> > Otherwise, it just looks like a broader decline in ALA membership,
> > probably for a few
> > reasons: fewer librarians in the workforce, fewer institutions
> > willing to pay professional membership fees, less willingness to pay
> > those fees out
> > pocket, etc.
> > >
> > > Yours,
> > > Kevin
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On 1/5/15 10:12 AM, Eric Lease Morgan wrote:
> > >>>> I’m curious, how large is LITA (Library and Information
> > >>>> Technology Association)?  How many members does it have?
> > >>>
> > >>> Apparently it has around 3000 members this year. I found this on
> > >>> the
> > ALA
> > >>> membership statistics page:
> > >>>
> > >>>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> Interesting and thank you. Code4Lib only needs fifty more
> > >> subscribers
> > to equal LITA’s size. I think this just goes to show, with the
> > advent of the Internet, centralized authorities are not as
> > necessary/useful as they once used to be. —ELM
> > >>
> > [log in to unmask]
> > Debra Shapiro
> > SLIS, the iSchool at UW-Madison
> > Helen C. White Hall, Rm. 4282
> > 600 N. Park St.
> > Madison WI 53706
> > 608 262 9195
> > mobile 608 712 6368
> > FAX 608 263 4849