« Opening: Assistant Librarian for Collection Management and Preservation, Library of the Supreme Court of the United States | Main | Is Thomson Reuters Going to Be a Sponsor for AALL's Annual Meeting in Philly This Year? »
February 28, 2011
Today's Agenda for the Proceedings AALL Members Will Not Be Able to View for Themselves: AALL's Vendor Colloquium
From scanning AALL's website, it looks like no webcast, live or archived, will be available to uninvited AALL members for the Vendor Colloquium. In Sarah Glassmeyer's recent post, On Transparency and Openness, she wrote:
All I’m asking to know is what happens at the colloquium. Exactly what happens. Not a second-hand summary live blogged or a later recollection written by a participant. I want a straight, unfiltered accounting of what happened. And I say this with all due respect to Mark Estes who will be providing the official blog of the proceedings. I’m sure he will provide the best blog possible. But it (and later accountings) will still all be filtered through the author’s experience of the event. Nuances can be missed, comments misheard… all humans are fallible, and it can’t be a perfect recreation of the event.
In a comment to this LLB post, Sarah observed "just looking at the agenda, it looks like this is going to be mainly prepared statements...what's the harm in showing that?" The scripted comments are particularly appropriate for today's agenda; rehearsed answers for tomorrow. We all know how some vendors tend to use a lot of words to say nothing.
Betsy McKenzie adds
even if there is no live webcast, there is hope for a good amount of transparency. There are several bloggers who are attending who can be expected to blog and Twitter a good bit during the event: Mark Estes, Greg Lambert, John Mayer and Rich Leiter all blog and Twitter, and we can hope will be actively reporting live during the Colloquium.
See Betsy's highly recommended post, Why Vendor Relations are a Sore Topic with Librarians!
Yes, We Can Hope. Of course that assumes AALL hasn't issued some sort of blogging-tweeting moratorium during the two-day proceedings. Imagine participants receiving strict instructions to leave their 21st century communication devices outside the meeting room. Or the Internet "pipes" having been shut down at the Lodge in Oak Brook today or tomorrow.
But seriously, why the "Cone of Silence?" I know I'm showing my age but like the use of the Cone of Silence in the 1960's Get Smart comedy television series the Cone of Silence never really worked. This behind closed doors thing does not work either. All it does is lead to a later muddling of the waters re who said what to whom and when and what was the response to that, etc. Could this be an unintended or an intended consequence hoped for by AALL officialdom? I doubt our vendors are afraid to speak openly for all to hear. They have not demonstrated any fear of reprisals from the law library community in years.
Transparency is an institutional matter, easily do-able by way of early 21st century web communications and one not left to hopes that individual meeting participants blog or tweet their personal observations. That comes after the event when one can place their individual comments in a shared context of having experienced the proceedings, too.
AALL's Better Late Than Never Seriously Half-Hearted Attempt to "Open" This Meeting. AALL issued a member's call for questions last Friday. I repeat, last Friday. See AALL Spectrum Blog's Vendor Colloquium Questions & Answers:
You can contribute by commenting to this blog or by emailing me (mark.estes(at)acgov.org). I will try to address questions/comments and, if appropriate, share them with the colloquium participants.
The post also provides some background reading:
- Law Librarians’ Responses to Questions for Discussion, Arranged by Topic
- Vendors’ Responses to Questions for Discussion, Arranged by Topic
- A bibliography of background reading was provided to colloquium participants but the last time I checked the AALL Spectrum Blog post the link was broken. Ah well, it happens.
See also yesterday's hurried-up AALL Spectrum Blog post, Background on the vendor colloquia series. Note the comments from John Mayer and Carl Malamud. My hunch is this recent blog posting activities is in response to the "firestorm of controversy" (quoting Betsy, below) over this meeting. At least that is a more postive, less cynical, assessment than AALL intentionally planning the timing of the publication of those posts for days when law librarians tend not to check their RSS feed, if they even take the AALL Spectrum Blog feed,
My hunch also is that the AALL Spectrum Blog will be our association's officially filtered source for reporting on today's and tomorrow's proceedings. In case you don't read the blog, here's the link. Better late than never for Friday and Sunday's posts? Ditto for any forthcoming AALL Spectrum Blog posts today and tomorrow (purely speculation on my part). As Betsy writes in her above-linked post:
There has been a firestorm of controversy after the colloquium was announced. AALL members wondered why the meeting would not be held at a regular AALL meeting, why the limited number of participants. And why the meeting seemed to be held in such a way that appeared to reduce the transparency. There is a huge amount of distrust right now between many of the members of AALL and their Executive Board, which is a very sad state of affairs, but which is illustrated by the reaction to the announcement of this colloquium.
So below is today's agenda for AALL's Vendor Colloquium or what you won't be seeing or hearing for yourself. Do note our association is spending $27,500 for the Vendor Colloquium.
What, They Can't Chew Gum and Walk at the Same Time? And why is this series of meetings not taking place at our annual meeting in Philly this year? Betsy writes
The answer to why the colloquium was not held during a regular AALL meeting seemed to be that vendors and regular members alike had so much else on their minds at the annual meeting, that they would not be able to focus on a vendor relations event during the annual meeting period or shortly after/before it.
Isn't this exactly the sort of meetings that would make attending our annual meetings worth the expense? [JH]
Today's Agenda for AALL's Vendor Colloquium
8:00 am: Continental breakfast
8:30 am: Welcoming Remarks: AALL President Joyce Manna Janto,
Introduction of the Facilitator, Maureen Sullivan, Introduction of Participants
9:00 am: Keynote Speaker: Roberta I. Shaffer, Law Librarian of Congress
10:00 am: Preparation for Participant Discussion and Dialogue: Maureen Sullivan
Review of the Goals for Discussion and Dialogue:
1) To discuss what information creation and dissemination mean today in light of “The Challenge” and the responses of constituent groups
2) To foster an awareness by AALL members of this new environment
3) To foster an awareness by vendors of the challenges that librarians face
4) To collaborate on developing a "Shared Principles" document that will reflect the discussion of these topics and serves as a voluntary guide for both vendors and libraries.
Review of Parameters and Procedures for Discussion
10:15 am: Break
10:30 am: Presentation 1: Each vendor provides a brief summary to address:
"What would legal publishers like to tell law librarians about their industry?"
Dialogue 1: Participants discuss their reactions to the presentations and identify common themes and concerns
11:45 am: Presentation 2: Three law librarians provide a brief summary to address:
"What would law librarians like to tell legal publishers about their institutions?"
Dialogue 2: Participants discuss their reactions to the presentations and identify common themes and concerns
12:45 pm Lunch
1:30 pm: Presentation 3: Facilitated discussion among end-user stakeholders:
“What would consumers of legal information like to tell or like to ask both librarians and publishers?”
Dialogue 3: Participants discuss their reactions to the stakeholders’ conversation and identify common themes and concerns
2:30 pm: Presentation 4: Each vendor provides a brief summary to address:
"What would legal publishers like to ask law librarians about their institutions?"
Dialogue 4: Participants discuss their reactions to the presentations and identify common themes and concerns
3:45 pm: Break
4:00 pm: Presentation 5: Three law librarians provide a brief summary to address:
"What would law librarians like to ask legal publishers about their institutions?"
Dialogue 5: Participants discuss their reactions to the presentations and identify common themes and concerns
5:15 pm: Wrap-Up: Brief overview of the day’s discussions and review of the agenda for the next day
5:30 pm: Adjournment
6:30 pm: Reception
7:30 pm: Dinner
Great post, Joe! I particularly like the Cone of Silence! Very apropos, and makes your point well. I, too, am very suspicious of the rule that AALL seems to have imposed on the bloggers and tweeters attending the colloquium that they may not broadcast live. I am sorry, I do not buy the rationale as Greg Lambert transmits it. If the AALL leadership wants to repair any bridges with membership, this is NOT the way to do it. Course, maybe that's not an interest of theirs.
Posted by: Betsy McKenzie | Mar 1, 2011 11:04:17 AM
Greg blogged this morning that participants have been asked to not do any live commentary during the proceedings. http://www.geeklawblog.com/2011/02/aall-vendor-colloquium-im-there-taking.html
Posted by: Sarah G. | Feb 28, 2011 6:59:08 AM
I still think this should have been done at the annual meeting this summer. AALL could have used its own suggestions for program planning to run this discussion. They are always telling us to be creative with our presentation format (and then not approving programs that try to use creative formats - but that is another rant). I am thinking of the one where you have an inner circle of speakers surrounded by a larger circle of speakers. The larger circle can rotate people in an out to ask questions of the inner circle. That is just one idea.
To ask AALL to stream something live is laughable. You can barely get a live internet connection during the most important event they throw - the Annual Meeting. Of course, if they asked the members of CS SIS to help out, I know several people who could get them up and running in a flash.
Posted by: Vicki | Feb 28, 2011 5:59:10 AM