[Guest Blogger Mark Gediman]

There has been a lot of discussion lately regarding AALL committees, services and programs.  What seems to missing from some of this discussion is a desire to see constructive change.  In my mind, it isn’t enough to identify a problem, you need to also show a desire to fix the problem.  The tone of this debate may be as important as the actual debate.

Anyone with kids knows that it isn’t enough to point a finger at someone and say it’s the other person’s fault.  I know with my kids,  the one who says “no” to a suggestion without making one of their own automatically loses the debate.  In order for any discussion to succeed, it needs to be structured as a dialog, not a diatribe. Not doing so forces the singled out parties to be defensive and not willing to listen to what the other person has to say.  This does not allow for a constructive debate.  As someone who has contributed to the discussion, I can say from experience that you get further presenting your issue as a discussion.

AALL is an organization that is made up of different groups, and more importantly, individuals.  It can only evolve through the involvement of the individuals collaborating together for change.  I am proud to be a member of such a diverse organization that is made up of people that are genuinely committed to the growth of the profession.  They may stumble along the way, but it is our job as members to help them as they go along.  This is what makes the organization valuable to both the profession and its individual members.  So much for my two cents.