September 15, 2011
Sharing Honest Information Based on Professional Assessments: If e-Networking AALL-Style Isn't Cutting It for You, Then Perhaps You Should Join the AEPC
In another very interesting 3 Geeks Elephant Post, the question asked was "why do you really belong to a professional association?". The consensus answer appears to be "networking" opportunities to stay informed about what the hell is going on. As one participant wrote:
The benefits of "belonging" are the tremendous wealth of shared knowledge colleagues share, valid reports from those who have already tested products I <you> may be about to test and honest information among peers.
Based on the above response, I'm thinking this person isn't a member of AALL (she identifies herself as "ALA, ILTA sponsor"). Networking-AALL style about honest information among with peers about products might be viewed as "anti-competitive" if shared by way AALL e-platforms even after the revised TOS was issued for joining AALL Communities (BTW, thanks Ron Wheeler for inviting me to join one community but I took a pass because the revised TOS remains sufficiently unacceptable that I have opted to remain an AALL member in "good standing" by merely paying my annual dues even though that ROI is highly questionable.)
Perhaps one should join the AEPC because it has no antitrustism-driven censorship:
Thanks to all of the contributors. As with all Elephant Post contributors, you are now automatically members in the Association of Elephant Post Contributors (AEPC). Congratulations on being part of such an elite community of big thinkers willing to share their perspectives with others on a common topic.
Ah, let's add that one of the prime movers of 3 Geeks contributed to the scraps of paper known as the recommendations output of the notorious Vendor Colloquium. He contributed to the recommendation to improve communcations within AALL because members didn't know what the hell was going.
That recommendation was drafted before AALL officialdom jumped out the plane heading for a crash landing without a parachute. If our elected officials and their executive staff were hoping to maintain the status quo by issuing the most restrictive in library association "business," e-communications policy after any survivors were released from the hospital, I hope the message that was the "physical therapy" known as being the fodder for jokes for AALL's antitrutism by members and vendors at Philly 2011: Cream Cheese, Cheesesteak or Karaoke registers before Boston 2012: Muster of the Minutemen (and Minutewomen). No professional association will very effective if its elected leaders and executive staff are not respected.
Networking Status Quo as an Important Benefit of AALL Membership. In bullet point fashion ahead of joining or renewing one's AALL membership:
- If networking is the reason for joining a professional association for sharing knowledge generally and, particularly for sharing honest information about products and services based on professional assessments, it is pretty damn hard to do that without generating "anti-competitive" consequences if one wants to abide by AALL's current e-communications policy.
- If one is going to abide by AALL's web communities TOS, networking as a benefit of association membership for being a means to share honest information about products and services is limited to hushed conversations in the hallways of the convention site, hotel lobbys, restaurants, etc., during annual meetings. Outside of annual meetings, we are left with private phone calls and emails.
- Beware of AALL lists, including even any unmoderated chapter listservs because chapters are supposed to abide by AALL membership communications policies, including new ones with respect to AALL's take on copyright and antitrust issues that AALL "requested" chapters to implement by Aug. 31, 2011. See, for example, the revised ORALL Listserv Rules and Conditions at 5 in the September issue of the ORALL Newsletter and the President's Column background discussion at 4-5. (observing "as chapters were not required to adopt the exact language of the policies recommended by AALL, [ORALL Committee on] Bylaws and Guidelines, after careful consideration, deleted nearly a full paragraph of AALL’s recommended policy for listservs which went into detail regarding antitrust language.")
I'm reminded of one law librarian's response to another thought-provoking 3 Geeks Elephant Post. It asked "what is your New Year's resolution for your profession" in 2011:
This is the year that I give up on those unwilling to see that we are living in the 21st Century, and that 20th (or even 19th) Century ideas should no longer be blindly followed. I will focus my energy on those in my profession that are able to generate ideas, and are willing to share them with others.
Damn good professional resolution, one that all law librarians should consider but not just for 2011. This one hits the proverbial nail on its head. Just wondering if that nail is sealing AALL's coffin.
I guess we will just have to wait to see what the next draft AALL "Antitrust Policy" provided by our association's legal counsel states. I think legal counsel should be advised, if not already aware, that some institutional buyer members will be asking their in-house antitrust experts for a second opinion. I've heard that some members asked their in-house experts about the first version of AALL's web communities TOS ... many of the responses bordered on being WTF. You might also add the "embarrassment factor" in the context of being the recipient of such a response. Having placed the question in the context of "this is what my professional association wants to rely upon as legal advice" it is not a "good thing" for trying to justify to one's employer that AALL membership is valuable.
What the heck, for now there is an alternative. Join the AEPC. All you have to do is contribute to a 3 Geeks' Elephant Post call for contributions. No dues, no censorship, just an honest professional response to the question asked. [JH]
September 15, 2011 | Permalink