Well, let me get my carrier pigeon…

The Michigan Library Association just completed a Call for Volunteers. It was a chance to sign up for committees, work groups, etc. within the organization. They sent out a lovely brochure and a form to fill out. But here’s the thing…you could only submit it via fax or snail mail.

They must be joking.

I already serve on a committee, so I re-up-ed by calling into my monthly meeting and saying “yes I’d love to come back”. But there were some work groups I wanted to join, and quite frankly, I just ran out of time to get the form in the mail. By the time I realized that the only option was fax or mail, it was too late to mail and I was nowhere near a fax. I checked online to see if they had a PDF that could be filled out and emailed in, but no.

I spent a good part of the last week prancing about telling my peers to join MLA and participate.  They would consistently ask how much it was to join, and when I’d hand them the form or tell them to download it, they would balk at the idea of mailing it in.  (“I’m always at my computer, can’t I just email it in or fill out a form online or something?”)

The Michigan Library Association and ALA (to a lesser extent) are always jumping up and down about how people are not participating much and how that needs to change. Well, you have to make it easy for them, and a mail in form is not that easy.

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2 responses to “Well, let me get my carrier pigeon…

  1. There are some people who just don’t seem to grasp the concept of the digital age.

    The other day, I called a library to see if they wanted snail mail or email applications for a job (it did not say on the form). The secretary’s response was that “It needs to be mailed in. You see, I end up having to make many copies that go to many different people.” (she said this in a very exasperated voice, as in “why would you ever inconvenience me with an email application?”)

    . . . Because a forward button won’t do the trick? Or a “Print _ copies?” It was like the idea of having an application emailed to her was so horrendously inconvenient that it would ruin her day and take hours to provide the necessary info to all the right people. Suffice it to say I decided the place may not be the best fit for me.

  2. One more digital age rant–our checking account is electronic. When I want to send anyone a check, I fill out a form and a paper check is sent. Or, better yet, I get the account info (same as you would if the person wrote you a check) and the bank transfers the money to the person electronically. All he/she has to do is check their email and confirm that they are receiving money from me.

    My mother complains about this incessantly. “Those Funny Checks” she calls them, and tells me what a pain it is to have to click a button in her email. Because apparently having to drive to the bank to deposit a paper check is much easier.

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