July 1, 2010
AALL Executive Board Meeting Books: The Vendor Liaison Report Part One
I learned something interesting while writing my last blog post. On the AALL website there are posted Executive Board Meeting Books ("Meeting Books") that contain all sorts of information on what the Executive Board and various committees are doing. I spent some time over the past week perusing some of these Meeting Books.
As you may know I recently resigned from CRIV mostly because I believed that CRIV had been rendered obsolete and powerless by the appointment of a vendor liaison (Marian Parker) by the Executive Board. After reading the Vendor Liaison report and other items in the most recent meeting book I feel that all my fears over the demise of CRIV are confirmed.
To explain why I have to go back to my tenure on CRIV. In early 2010 CRIV members participated in an email discussion that was to result in a sort of report entitled "The Future of CRIV" being sent to Christine Graesser, the CRIV Executive Board liaison (I know all these liaisons are making me dizzy!). The point of sending this was to make some suggestions on the role of CRIV now that there was a vendor liaison and to ask for clarification on the respective roles.
One of the items in that was a recommendation that CRIV have a blog so we could communicate directly and timely with AALL members. Another recommendation was that CRIV be given an annual program slot to do a a program on current hot issues in vendor relations. I never heard about any response being received to that report and I resigned from CRIV about three months later.
So here I am this week reading the Vendor Liaison report dated June 14, 2010 contained in the Meeting Book and what do I see? This is a quote directly from Marian Parker's report "...I recommended that we start a blog for Vendor Relations which has been approved and the form devised." Marian Parker goes on to say "We have all agreed that it is a blog that I will manage, work as editor, solicit ongoing input from CRIV and vendors and have it serve as the primary forum for AALL to communicate its responses to vendor issues." So, in other words, the Vendor Liaison will have total control over the blog that CRIV suggested in early 2010. I will address the plans for the blog itself in a later post.
As to the request for a program slot to do hot topics on vendor relations, it is up on a Motion for Executive Board Action. The motion states in part "CRIV and the vendor liaison will collaboratively submit a program on vendor issues to AMPC." It later states "The AALL Vendor Relations Update will provide members with news about vendor relations and advocacy efforts during the year, as well as work in progress." Finally, it states "This could also be used as an opportunity to present the New Product Award."
Wow, a programming slot to present the New Product Award! Awesome! In other words, no hot topic on vendor relations and CRIV needs to get the okay for everything about the program from the Vendor Relations Liaison. I am too cynical to take the collaboration language seriously.
Also in Marian Parker's report was a discussion of a colloquium held in 1988 with the publishing community. Marian Parker recommends that its time to have another one and evidently the budget for it has been approved. Marian Parker went on to say that Joyce Janto invited representatives from five publishers and librarians representing various interests to serve on the planning committee.
Anyone see anything missing? Where's CRIV in this discussion? Why isn't CRIV meeting with the publishers to plan this colloquium? Now to be fair I have no idea as to which librarians Joyce Janto selected since so far I have been unable to locate that information. Its possible that there may be members of CRIV selected. I, for one, would like to know although still CRIV as a whole should be at the forefront of the planning.
CRIV is but a shell in my opinion. The once mighty CRIV. I am sad.
We can submit a resolution calling for restoration of CRIV's means to fulfill its mission. See the procedure at http://www.aallnet.org/about/resolution_guidelines.asp. But I doubt that a resolution, even if adopted, will help us reform vendor relations. CRIV's mission has for some time been limited in the kinds of consumer advocacy it can pursue. These limitations require sustained - and uncomfortable - inquiry about our individual and collective conflicts of interest.
Posted by: Michael Ginsborg | Jul 1, 2010 9:18:16 AM