I didn't really sell my soul, but it kind of felt like it.
Last night I paid a lot of money to join ALA.
I joined the organization, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (and the cataloging/classification and serials subgroups), the Library and Info. Technology Association, the NMRT, the Social Responsibility Round Table, and the Intellectual Freedom Round Table.
It was a lot of money, but I did it.
Want to know why?
I keep thinking that if I want to make a difference in the library community, I have to be a part of its largest player. Yes, there are numerous issues with ALA, but I want to help fix them. I would argue that ALA is the first library-related organization that comes to mind when people think of libraries. ALA is everywhere, from @ Your Library to Capital Hill. With all of that influence built up, if you want to move and shake, you've got to join.
I hope that I can become active in the organization. I also hope that my optimism (and hefty fee) won't be for nothing.
And, for the record, I didn't actually get a tee shirt. Alas.