July 22, 2010
In Case You Were Wondering
Some librarians asked me why I didn't do more than ask a few questions at the AALL Members Forum. The answer is that its not really an opportunity for an open discussion. You get two minutes to speak and no guarantee of any response from the AALL Executive Board. They already know my opinions on the Vendor Liaison and CRIV and the programming at AALL. I just couldn't see that making a two minute statement would add anything. It would be nice to have a forum that really is an opportunity for discussion with give and take. But honestly (and I am sure this will draw some boos) that the Members Forum ended with a sing along to Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (modified to be about librarians) leads me to believe the Members Forum isn't taken seriously.
The members forum is a mere formality. Folks who have attended them regularly know that it's not to be taken seriously. It's nothing more than a bit of comic relief after the wooden performances of board officers' presentations re association business.
The only thing missing from NOCALL's Hippie 2.0 performance was the sugar cubes dosed with LSD ... a major disappointment, IMHO.
Posted by: Joe Hodnicki | Jul 22, 2010 3:42:01 PM
Hi Sarah, I won't put words in Caren's mouth about her "end goal for posts about AALL" but I will say this, it's time to reform AALL to represent the major types of institutional members structurally because our association simply doesn't do a good job at that. My opinion on the matter can be found at http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/law_librarian_blog/2010/07/a-continental-congress-for-all-aall-members-attending-philadelphia-2011.html
As for you being disappointed in Caren resigning from CRIV, well, I think Caren expressed why she did that well in her letter of resignation, republished at http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/law_librarian_blog/2010/06/two-criv-member-resignations-prompt-one-question-why-has-aall-has-appointed-a-paid-aall-vendo.html. Had I been in a similar situation, personally, I would have done the same to expend my time and energies on something productive.
Posted by: Joe Hodnicki | Jul 22, 2010 2:57:54 PM
I was one of the NOCALL members that did the performance of "Age of Librarians." The group of us that did this discussed the fact that we wanted to make sure that we did it at the end of the Open Forum once everyone that had something to say got their chance. We were even prepared to not do it, if there was a lot of healthy and important discussion that started to take place, since we know that the Open Forum is an important part of the AALL Annual Meeting. Our performance in no way meant to diminish the importance of the annual opportunity AALL members are given to speak their minds on important issues. We thought, at the very least, that the performance at the end would provide a bit of levity, especially since we were expecting more discussion from members than actually occurred.
Posted by: Holly | Jul 22, 2010 11:09:50 AM
No, the Members Forum is not the venue to get immediate answers from the Executive Board. However, it is a way – an official channel, not a blog which they may or may not be reading – to alert the leadership and other AALL members about concerns that you may have. They could then respond back via official channels so that everyone can see.
Speaking of wondering, I have been wondering what your end goal is in writing your series of posts about AALL. I am an active blogger myself and am in no way suggesting that you should not be posting. Nor am I an AALL apologist. I believe that there are many things that the association can be doing better. But all of this information has been public for years. Why the surprise at it?
Perhaps you should consider running for AALL leadership if you are interested in affecting change in the organization. I must say, I am very disappointed that you gave up membership in CRIV…as I said, I am an active blogger, but I know that speaking out can only do so much to affect change. Real power to change an organization comes from within – holding office, working on committees, etc. That’s why I was thrilled to be appointed to AMPC this year. I hope that AALL members propose some great programming ideas so that we can construct an annual meeting that is worthwhile to all AALL members.
Alternatively, you could consider joining the Special Libraries Association. I am a member of that organization as well and, while it too has its problems, it does seem to have a more active Private Law Librarian component. Or do you want a separate Private Law Librarian organization altogether? Maybe this would be a good blog post for you to write: “How can AALL best serve private law librarians?” Or, better yet, “How could any professional organization best serve private law librarians?”
Posted by: Sarah Glassmeyer | Jul 22, 2010 10:38:06 AM