March 10, 2011
Judgement Day? Back to the Past Because It's 1999 Again: Topic for Today's Episode of Law Librarian Conversations is the AALL Vendor Colloquium 2011 (or we've always got Philly 2011: Cream Cheese, Cheesesteak or Karaoke)
The topic of today's Law Librarian Conversations will be AALL's Vendor Colloquium. According to the announcement, Colloquium participants AALL President Joyce Janto, AALL Vendor Liaison Margie Maes, King & Spaulding's Greg Lambert and Hamilton County Law Library's Mary Jenkins have been invited to participate in the podcast. The program's host, Rich Leiter, also attended the meeting. The program will be taking callers with questions and comments. From the announcement:
We're eager to hear from listeners about questions that you wish the panel to address, and we also invite participation from critics.
Better Late Than Never? Not Really. Well, it's a bit after the fact but let's not hold that against Rich Leiter. His intention is well-meaning, and this podcast is evidence of that. However, critical analysis requires primary source documentation to examine for ourselves the actual proceedings instead of trying to rely on someone else's "eyewitness testimony." We are law librarians; we know this, don't we? We know the problems associated with eyewitness testimony, right? It's a subfield within legal psychology.
Yes, we know this even when our professional association prefers to ignore it. Second-hand information or officially sanctioned blog post summaries are no substitutes for providing transparency in the conduct of our association's offical business. It's bad enough that this important meeting was official AALL business held behind closed doors particularly when this could have been presented in the open this summer in Philly 2011.
It is made worse by censoring individual participants at the meeting until afterwards by our association's insistance on a publication moritorium. Stealing from our vendors' playbook? That's what our vendors do when they provide sneak previews of new products and services.
Add due-paying insult to injury by filtered official blog posts during the meeting along with the distribution of preparatory materials at the very last minute so few had any time to digest them. Absolutely no criticism of Mark Estes who posted to AALL Spectrum Blog is intended; hell, use the less than "professional grade" AALL website search engine and you just may find a newsletter article by him about an earlier Vendor Colloquium. He's been reporting on AALL events for one helluva long time. I'm pretty sure Mark knows what century we are in. Isn't it time for a by-laws admendment to require transparency and accountability in AALL's conduct of our official business by way of timely communications that are not based soley on print conventiions requiring long lead times for publication? Desktop publishing is so 1999.
As for AALL using web communications in a timely manner to address uninvited membership concerns by way of utilizing 21st century media, the following Spectrum Blog post hardly requires comment. See Vendor Colloquium: The reporter’s role – and other reporting ("Discussions about the possibility of reporting the Colloquium by blogging began in early January, because the publication lead-time for AALL Spectrum meant that a feature-length article would not appear until after the AALL Annual Meeting in July.") Loop back to Estes' newsletter article summarizing an earlier Vendor Colloquium, assuming you can find it.
Hello AALL, It is the 21st Century. Isn't it time to look at the calendar? At least ALA knows how to address, communicate and solicit member input using not-bleeding edge technology. See ALA Task Forces Work on Coordinated ALA Response to E-Book Marketplace Issues.
Our professional association's handling of the entire Vendor Colloquium is well beyond being a professional embarrassment. The he said-she said recounting of the meeting just might leave some members with the below Saturday Night Live concerns.
Do note Law Librarian Conversations is returning to BlogTalkRadio this week so here is the link. Today's program is scheduled for 2:30 PM Central Time.
This Podcast May Be Interesting in a Second-hand Sort of Way. I'll probably be taking a pass on spending any real-time listening because a couple of the panelists are likely to be nothing more than "talking heads." But that's just me; I've got WEXIS invoices to pay. See my "Cone of Silence" post for why. Comments by some of the other panelists may actually be worth the time to listen to today.
For AALL, It is Still 1999. The 2011 AALL Vendor Colloquium is history -- undocumented history circa 2011 standards. It is your call to see who actually engages in a frank discussion and who does not in today's Law Librarian Conversatios' podcast. But with no shared experience serving as a basis, how can non-Vendor Colloquium participants make informed judgments?
It's also up to you to wonder why AALL officialdom is behaving like it is still 1999. Time for the music video with lyrics! Just a suggestion for Cincinnati Law library director Ken Hirsh's annual AALL Karaoke night. Perhaps this should be an official annual meeting event. And yes, I was "dreamin' when I wrote this" post. Can't wait for the YouTube video from AALL Philly 2011: Cream Cheese, Cheesesteak or Karaoke. "Oops, out of time." [JH]
I'm not sure which category ("talking head" or possibly "worth the time") you're lumping me in, Joe, but I'm looking forward to the remarks and discussion today and to continued associational deliberation about the future of legal info publishing and AALL-vendor relations. I expect that the working group's draft action plan will be wide open for comment and then modification. Call that "talking head" but here we are and that's one step forward.
Posted by: Mary Jenkins | Mar 10, 2011 6:22:35 AM