October 22, 1997
Publisher Relations Update
In my Informal Notes on September 26th I reported on the productive meeting held at AALL headquarters with staff from West Group. At that meeting we reviewed plans for a 1998 satellite teleconference on managing change that will be the first jointly sponsored educational program for AALL members. West Group has agreed to continue financial support of a three-year series of educational programs to be held outside the Annual Meeting. We explored possibilities for improving activity and hence traffic in the Exhibit Hall in Anaheim by making arrangements to hold product demonstrations in the Exhibit Hall. We expressed our enthusiasm for a continuance of the annual West Group party at the AALL Annual Meeting.
Immediately after the Fall Executive Board meeting, on Monday, November 3rd President Judy Meadows, Frank Houdek, Jim Heller and I will meet for a second time with Brian Hall, President & CEO of West Group in Deerfield, Illinois. We will continue discussion of the issues mentioned above and begin planning for the forthcoming CRIV visit to West Group. Our meetings with Brian Hall are intended to foster improved communications on behalf of AALL members; and to share information and where possible engage in joint problem solving.
CRIV members will participate in their second publisher site visit to West Group on November 19-20th, and they will hold their second all-day working session on the 21st. These visits are intended to build better and more productive relationships between publishers and law librarians. Both Past-president Frank Houdek and I participate in these site visits and CRIV meetings.
CRIV has indicated particular interest in learning more about the recent changes that have occurred at West Group. They are soliciting comments about these changes from members and they anticipate discussing these with West Group executives. CRIV is interested particularly in learning more about the changes in organizational structure and operations that have occurred, in identifying key contacts who can be helpful to members, and in knowing more about the company's future plans and their time frame. CRIV is seeking new ways to foster ongoing and effective dialog with West Group.
At their all-day working session on November 21st, CRIV will continue exploring ideas for enhancing its role and effectiveness in the future. The committee is exploring many worthwhile ideas. They are developing guidelines for a moderated publisher listserv on AALLNET; considering ways to enhance and improve CRIV's role as ombudsman working directly with publishers on behalf of members; preparing lists of key publisher contacts; developing useful aids, forms, guidelines, tip sheets for law librarians; and redesigning the annual CRIV forum to create better opportunities for information sharing and constructive dialog.
The committee met at CCH headquarters on September 23-24, 1997 for their first publisher site visit. The focus of the meeting was on CCH Customer Service operations. The staff worked with the committee chair, Judy Lauer to report on the visit and issue a press release on October 14th [copy attached]. The press release has been posted on AALLNET, broadcast e-mail to all AALL members, and distributed to all Chapter and SIS newsletter editors. The press release informs members about some of the recent changes at CCH and provides a few tips on communicating with their representatives and customer service personnel. CRIV is preparing a more detailed report on the meeting scheduled for publication in the December issue of AALL Spectrum.
Under Mike Saint-Onge's editorial leadership, plans are well underway for publication of the first in the AALL LEXIS NEXIS series of eight resource guides for law firm librarians. The first title, Hiring a Law Librarian, is scheduled for publication this Winter. This series builds on the success of the marketing Tool Kit Law Librarians Make Information Work, 700 copies have been sold.
Both Holley Moyer and Judy Floyd Evans are planning a visit to AALL headquarters on December 9th to meet with Martha Brown and me. This visit, the first one in several years, is intended to strengthen our relationships with corporate library liaisons who play a primary role in shaping the nature of their company's involvement with the Association and its members.