Saturday, July 29, 2017

Governance, Process

One of the things I get to do at ALA Conferences is to chat (at least briefly) with ALA's Parliamentarian. Eli Mina became the official, paid parliamentarian for ALA a number of years ago.

Among the important changes in the culture of governance at ALA which is a direct result of his actions is the level of civility, and spirit of cooperation on Council. (I still monitor the list, and usually attend at least one session of ALA Council each meeting.)

Among the key concepts he has taught me is one that applies to a lot of life: Suffering is optional.

An equally important concept is that the goal of Parliamentary Procedure is to allow business to be accomplished while protecting the rights of the minority. This latter is highlighted in one of the articles he has posted on his web site. He talks about it as "community engagement" while I think that there are bigger implications for decision-making at all levels.

In another part of my life, I am serving on a nominating committee. That is always an interesting process, and the person running this one is doing a spectacular job. He is doing what Eli suggests in his article about nominations and elections.

In my list of saved links, I have one more word of wisdom from him, and I really don't need to say much more than quote the title and give you the link: "Pause before pushing send"

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Reading to children, the importance of

Some time ago, a friend posted this story on Facebook. It just speaks so much to me about two things. First is about some of the ways that we as parents act in trying to ensure the success of our children. The other is the subject near and dear to my heart -- the importance of reading, out loud, to children. I think I am just going to leave this here:

Once one of the parents at my school noticed that V had good reading skills, and grabbed my arm in a quiet panic, wanting to know what my secret was. " her books?"

She was so disappointed, hoping I'd let her in on the strategy, the technique that would let her rack up points too in the parenting game I was winning without even wanting to play. Something quick and linear and effective, for people who don't have time to read bedtime stories.

(She and her husband both have incredibly intense, travel-heavy jobs that leave them with insane schedules. I like them both a lot, though I rarely get to see them. But no, I don't have the magic bullet, that isn't snuggling up with your kids and reading bedtime stories.)