June 17, 2010
AALL on the AALL Vendor Liaison Issue: "AALL vendor liaison would provide more legitimacy for CRIV"
How many think CRIV has a legitimacy issue? Please raise your hands. How many think the AALL Executive Board has more of a legitimacy issue? Raise your hands.
Do note that one reason given for needing an "AALL Vendor Liaison" in AALL's recently published statement (reprinted below) about this issue is
Consistency when dealing with vendor issues at a policy level is difficult with annual turnover of Association leadership. The vendor liaison will provide continuity and can assist CRIV in carrying out its charge.
I serious doubt CRIV has any real difficulty carrying out its charge on its own and without any help by way of a gatekeeper appointed by the Executive Board needed, if it is unleashed to do its job. If there is a problem with "annual turnover of Association leadership," perhaps the Association should consider reforming along the lines suggested at Taking the Proverbial Bull by the Horns: AALL as an Agent of Change.
Meanwhile, note well:
- Executive Board appointments are multi-year;
- One hopes the current AALL President talks with the VP-President Elect once in a while; and
- CRIV memberships are multi-year terms so there is plenty of continuity at the Committee level.
What utter nonsense.
If "policy" is the problem, the recently approved 2010-13 AALL Strategic Directions is clearly stated and, if anything, eliminates the need for an AALL Vendor Liaison.
I did have a chuckle over AALL's "chatter" characterization of LLB's post on this issue. It's the same characterization TR Legal's Anne Ellis used in her Message from West on AALL Sponsorship Policy in response to another LLB blog post.
"Chatter" aside, because really that's just chuckle-worthy, it does look like our association's leadership is taking tips from TR Legal's playbook on how to respond to members in the law library community who comment publicly about matters of some import to fill the large gaping information hole. Not a word in the offical response about the association ad revenue-library interests advocacy nexus. AALL's response is exactly the sort of stonewalling reaction I (many, most of us?) expected to hear if we were going to hear anything from our association.
It takes the membership to reform an association. In response to the question, "how many think the AALL Executive Board has more of a legitimacy issue?" I raise my hand. You, too? [JH]
Here's the full text of the message "From the Desk of Catherine Lemann."
There has been some cyber-chatter this week regarding the Executive Board's decision to create an AALL Vendor Liaison position, and I wanted to take this opportunity to address some of the issues raised by interested members.
The Vendor Liaison position was approved by the Executive Board in November 2008. The approval was based on a report and recommendations made by AALL member Penny Hazelton, a past AALL president and director of the University of Washington Law Library and the University of Washington Law Librarianship Program. Hazelton had been retained by AALL as a consultant in June 2008. The Executive Board asked her to study the vendor relations issues facing AALL and advise regarding the creation of a Vendor Liaison position. After conducting her research, Hazelton recommended a Vendor Liaison position be created by the Executive Board.
After a search and interviews, Marian Parker, associate dean for information services, director of the professional center library, and professor of law at Wake Forest University School of Law, was selected as the AALL Vendor Liaison in April 2009. This is a part-time volunteer position with an honorarium. Parker has just completed her first year of service in this capacity. The Executive Board recognized when the position was created that it would be crucial to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the vendor liaison, the Committee on Relations with Information Vendors (CRIV), and the Executive Board.
During this transition year, both Parker and CRIV have been active and worked hard, and the committee members should feel proud of their accomplishments. It was regrettable that two valued members resigned from the committee. During this past year, CRIV and the vendor liaison have worked together to clarify ambiguities and establish mutually productive working relationships.
There were concerns voiced by some members of the committee that the new vendor liaison would diminish the role of CRIV. Of course, this was not the intent of the Executive Board in creating this position. The board's view, after months of study and consultation, was that an AALL vendor liaison would provide more legitimacy for CRIV, giving vendor issues more priority, and reinforcing the importance of these issues for the Association. Consistency when dealing with vendor issues at a policy level is difficult with annual turnover of Association leadership. The vendor liaison will provide continuity and can assist CRIV in carrying out its charge.
The new 2010-13 AALL Strategic Directions plan clearly demonstrates the importance AALL places on vendor relations. CRIV will be a critical participant in the conversation. It has been a challenging year for all of us, and as with any change, it has been necessary to make adjustments as we learn how we can most effectively work together. I think we are off to a good start. AALL members can expect that CRIV and the AALL vendor liaison will continue to work cooperatively to represent our members and the law library profession on important matters relating to vendor relations.
Source: AALL June 2010 E-Newsletter.
This is my letter to AALL President Catherine Lemann
To: "Catherine Lemann" ,
Date: 10:37:09 AM AST Today
Subject: Re: AALL E-Newsletter - June 2010: CRIV and the AALL Vendor Liaison
Dear Ms. Lemann,
I am very concerned about the fact that valued members of
CRIV resigned in protest over the role CRIV has been relegated to.
CRIV has been very active in resolving and aiding the vendor issues
members raise over a period
of many years. Please do not dismiss the resignations of two members as
This Committee is formed by working librarians that deal with vendor issues
On the other hand, I am not familiar with any work or issues that the AALL
Vendor Liaison has
solved for the membership. Please correct my ignorance by supplying this
It is important that the roles be defined and CRIV permitted to do
the excellent work they
have always been known for. I would like to see the members that resigned,
ethical and policy considerations, reinstated.
(Speaking only for myself)
Posted by: Phoebe Ruiz-Valera | Jun 17, 2010 10:03:00 AM