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 …
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_stats
> I'd be interested to know if LITA's membership decrease is greater (as a 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 of pocket, etc.
> 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
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