May 13, 2011
Is It "Just Me" or Have Your Noticed a Rise in the Number of Deadline Extensions for AALL-Sponsored Programs This Year?
From grant applications, to solicitations for recommendations for professional achievement awards, to scholarly contributions to be reviewed for AALL official recognition, to membership nudging to take surveys (even at the SIS-level), the frequency of extending previously announced deadlines to garner more member involvement appears to be substantially higher than last year (and earlier years, too). No, I'm not going to waste a second of my time to produce an empirical, statistically significant analysis (I'll leave that to some LIS student who wants to measure the value of AALL dues in the context of actual interest and widespread real participation in these oh so tradition-bound programmatic, if not institutionally problematic, activities).
One can speculate on why deadline extensions are bordering on becoming a de facto normal now. Could it be because
There is a smaller pool of candidates and/or publications because AALL officialdom and librarian-scholars and LIS students are still grapping with categories that don't necessarily fit the "New Normal" in the marketplace and its consequences, namely our very expensive commercial vendors who self-identify as professional legal services publications, not legal publishers anymore.
Or because award requirements oftentimes require AALL membership that movers, shakers and "opinion leaders" who write about in what is and has been happening for years now would never think of paying membership dues to AALL.
Or because law librarians who pay dues as a pro forma percieved-professional obligation don't see-- haven't seen for years -- any return on their investment of time spent responding to either the original or extended deadlines.
And then there are the repeated calls at the Chapter level for "who wants to meet informally over lunch, etc., at Philly 2011: Cream Cheese, Cheesesteak or Karaoke. That could present a scheduling nightmare for the well-meaning organizers of such events if response rates were high. But the repetitous listserv calls I've read are more in the vein of --
Are you going to Philly? Are you intested in meeting if you will be there?
Far less about the mechanics of setting a date and time that is convenient for most whor espond "yes" to both questions; far more about about getting "to yes" about going to Philly on the lists. Hey, at least these well-meaning folks were trying to organize something. [JH]