February 3, 2010
Got an Free WestlawNext iPod Nano? Want to Buy or Sell One for a Good Cause?
Sarah Glassmeyer, Reference and Access Services Librarian at the University of Kentucky College of Law, was, to quote, "absolutely livid" when she opened her FedEx package to find an iPod Nano sent to her by West along with some literature as part of the Company's WestlawNext marketing campaign. From her On Vendor Swag post:
I ... don’t feel comfortable being a billboard for the legal information duopoly in front of my students who expect me to speak freely about the pluses and negatives of each service, so I don’t accept the little gifts of pens, coffee mugs, note pads, etc.
But an iPod? I don’t really like to take pens and here they’ve gone and sent me an iPod? As I said to one of my correspondents today, “this is just re-goddamn-diculous.” (Pardon my language, but I was really mad.) It does have “Compliments of WestlawNext” written on, but in super-tiny font. It feels like a bribe, frankly. Gross.
I guess I was expected to tweet/blog my “Thank you, Westlaw!” for it? Well, thanks but no thanks, Westlaw. I hate to seem rude or ungrateful, but I simply cannot accept this gift. (1) I’m an employee of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and we have rules about the monetary value of gifts. (2) Even if I disclose the iPod receipt before blogging about the info sent to me [with the gift], I still wouldn’t ever feel right about saying positive things about WestlawNext. As I said to another one of my correspondents, “Congratulations, Westlaw, you just bought my silence.” (3) My usual rules of swag acceptance are in effect, no matter how much I love the way it looks or the fact that it shoots video or that my Zune seems to be dying and ZOMG IT’S SO PRETTY AND SHINY AND I LOVE NEW TOYS.
WestLawNext iPod Nano Going Up for Auction. Sarah plans to auction her WestLawNext iPod Nano (8GB with video capabilities, retail value of $149) and donate the proceeds to a good cause. Might I suggest giving the proceeds to a struggling public law library trying to pay for West print reporter volumes -- seen this year's price increases? 2010 pro forma pricing from West reportedly won't be available before March, but law libraries can get a good idea what they will be by opening shipments coming in.
Check Sarah's blog for forthcoming details about her auction. She invites other WestlawNext iPod Nano recipients wanting to do the same to contact her at Sarah dot Glassmeyer at gmail. By the way West, if you want Sarah to ship the iPod back to Eagan, just let her know.
Sarah closes her post with the following comment:
Despite all of my cheerleading for Free Law and complaints about pricing, duopolies, etc., I really don’t believe that vendors are the enemies. But I also realize that they are in business to make a profit and that will always take precedence for them. The vendor-librarian relationship is complicated enough…..please stop clouding the issue with over the top gifts of swag.
Good for Sarah. The iPod Nano may include a WestlawNext video but Sarah couldn't bring herself to open the box. Just another bonehead move from West. Remember to factor in the $149 cost when your West rep pitches upgrading to Cobalt to you. He or she will probably counter by saying the Company got a volume discount from Apple.
I, for one, am holding out for a WestlawNext iPad. [JH]
Hello! I don’t really like to take pens and here they’ve gone and sent me an iPod? As I said to one of my correspondents today, “this is just re-goddamn-diculous.” Thank you so much.
Posted by: Ipod | Nov 29, 2011 12:28:57 AM
I don’t really like to take pens and here they’ve gone and sent me an iPod? As I said to one of my correspondents today, “this is just re-goddamn-diculous.” (Pardon my language, but I was really mad.) It does have “Compliments of WestlawNext” written on, but in super-tiny font. It feels like a bribe, frankly. Gross.
Posted by: rechel drake | Nov 11, 2011 8:37:13 AM
It's not that pleasing to receive gifts just to have the favor in return. But since the present is already there, then that's right to sell it for a good cause. You maybe give it to a certain charity.
Posted by: Enzo | Sep 16, 2010 1:25:16 AM
How can you guys afford this when you are cancelling all pay increases for they year? Dont you care for your employees?
Posted by: John Doe | Feb 3, 2010 11:56:24 AM