July 19, 2012
How will "AALL and its members ... influence legal and government information policies in the public and private sector"? The answer can be found in AALL's Proposed Vision Statement, Vivid Description and Goals
So ... tomorrow, the AALL Executive Board is going to review its revised "Strategic Directions" statement only now it has a jazzy new title, "Vision Statement, Vivid Description and Goals." OK, well, whatever. At least it didn't add "Clear" to "Vision" because that might make one think of the Pearle Vision "naughtly librarian" ad. Disclaimer alert -- there is nothing wrong with naughtly librarians.
The title also didn't add "Vital" to "Goals." That would have been false advertising ... at least for those invoice-paying law librarians who have been calling upon AALL to engage in robust consumer advocacy. In fact, you won't (or at least, I didn't) find "consumer" or "consumer advocacy" specifically mentioned once in the text. Download the complete extracted text from the Board's meeting book.
Under the heading "Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy," the stated goal is "AALL and its members will influence legal and government information policies in the public and private sector." The first two listed (but not numbered by priority) objectives related to the goal are:
- Improve communications with information vendors regarding their products, product development, and related policies and services. (H)
- Expand relationships with policymakers and organizations on the local, state, and federal levels to advance legislation and public policy issues affecting libraries. (M)
In case you are wondering:
H stands for "Must begin objective in next fiscal year" and
M stands for "May begin objective, if resources permit, in next fiscal year."
(Emphasis in the original "priority key"; resources implies $$ and AALL employee staff, full-time and/or part-time, committment.)
Hasn't AALL engaged in an endless pursuit of trying to improve communications with vendors? Has it produced any real results? How is this objective in any way, shape or form related to "Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy"? Is it some veiled threat that if our vendors don't do what AALL has for years called upon them to do, AALL is going to ratchet things up a notch? If so, all the vendor community will do is have a collective chuckle based on the "maybe next year" priority for taking action to "advance legislation and public policy issues affecting libraries."
There is a way to reprioritize the above objectives. Just convert the vendor liaison position into a volunary non-paying one so that there would be some financial resources available to "[e]xpand relationships with policymakers and organizations on the local, state, and federal levels to advance legislation and public policy issues affecting libraries" as a "must begin objective in next fiscal year."
The entire 5-page "Vision Statement, Vivid Description and Goals" draft is well worth reading for this and other reasons. For one, the language in the draft does not dovetail into the proposed membership bylaw revision on its face. [Here and here plus cites and their comments to the blog posts.] Of course, the statement does fit nicely into AALL's de facto antitrust policy and now we know what priority the E-Board thinks consumer advocacy for law libraries and their patrons deserves.
Apparently the revision was finalized in May and submitted to the E-Board on June 20th by soon to be outgoing President Kirk. The motion for Board action is "[t]hat the Executive Board approve the proposed plan's Vision Statement, Vivid Description and Goals." Of course that language is boilerplate much like last year's Antitrustism policy. In this year's case, the draft strategic goals statement has a greater chance of being approved because it has all the top-down markings of the unofficial direction the E-Board has been mapping out for the rank-and file.
The matter will be presented to the E-Board on Friday, July 20 at 1:30 PM. That's about 15 minutes after the scheduled lunch break ends. Don't know about E-Board members but, usually after eating lunch, all I want to do is take a very long nap like Rip Van Winkle. [JH]