ARCHIVED: Roger H. Parent's Informal Notes - 2/18/1999

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February 18, 1999


Membership Profiles on AALLNET

Member profiles on AALLNET will be updated again in 1999 for the third year in a row. This is part of AALL’s ongoing effort to build a strong and rich membership database. Again this spring members will receive a profile form (sample attached to this report) with their membership packets. Those who have already completed a profile will be asked to provide some new information, and to review and update the information that is already on file.

This is a voluntary service for members. They may choose to submit their profile information or not. As a result of the comments received from members in January about the availability of their profile information on AALLNET, staff has clearly distinguished on the profile form between the information that will be posted on AALLNET and information that will be confidential. Members may choose to complete the profile form, or not answer some or all of the questions. As in the past, it remains a personal decision for each individual.

This effort to increase the amount of information available on AALLNET grew out of discussions with some Board and other member leaders two years ago when there was an interest in updating the 1992 Biographical Directory. Instead of putting effort and expense in developing a print product that would become quickly out of date, it seemed to make more sense to build on the strengths of AALL’s membership database. Staff was urged to create a new electronic biographical directory, to put the effort into strengthening the electronic membership database, to keep the information up-to-date annually and to make it available on AALLNET.

As of the date of this report and as a result of the comments posted on Lawlib in January, forty members asked AALL to remove their profiles from AALLNET, and twenty-five additional members asked AALL to send them a profile form and to add their information to AALLNET. This has been done. More than 2500 profiles remain on AALLNET.

Membership Dues Invoices

Consultant Helen Little completed her audit of member dues invoicing procedures and suggested significant changes that will be implemented in 1999. At her suggestion in early March AALL will mail to all AALL members a letter and flyer. These will explain the benefits of AALL membership and encourage their continuing support of the Association. This promotional mailing will also include the member profile form and an Opportunity for Giving flyer.

This first mailing will precede the mailing of the actual dues invoices to library directors and individuals by about three weeks. The dues invoices will be straightforward invoices that have also been redesigned for clarity and to look more like standard invoices. In the past the invoices and promotional flyers were included in the same mailing that led to confusion in purpose, according to Helen Little.

Helen Little also recommended an accelerated schedule that will be implemented in 1999 for Reminder and Expiration Notices. Reminders will be mailed on May 1st instead of June. Expiration Notices will be mailed on June 15th instead of August, and a final notice will be sent to all non-renewing members on August 15th instead of late September. It is hoped that this new schedule will improve cash flow and expedite the membership renewal process that has stretched out for a long time in the past.

These changes do not affect the production of the AALL membership directory. The deadline for final copy will remain June 1st. All members, both those who have renewed by June 1st and those who have not, are included in the Directory. In this way a member who pays late is still included in the all important membership directory. This practice has worked well over the past three years.

New Phone System at AALL Headquarters

In February the new automated attendant phone system will be installed at headquarters. Staff selected Lucent Technologies after reviewing comparable systems from Ameritech and ATI. Lucent Technologies was selected because of their excellent staff training program and customer service responsiveness, their on-line diagnostic service when there is a problem that needs instant attention, and their convenient Loop location for future repair and maintenance. This system will permit callers to contact staff directly when they know the correct extension or choose a directory of staff, or talk with a staff member. This system should substantially reduce the number of simple referral calls that staff handles at the present time. In addition there are new phone instruments for each staff and two additional ports for incoming calls.

The introduction of this new system will be monitored carefully to ensure – to the fullest extent possible – that a high quality of member service is maintained throughout the transition period and afterwards.

Special Committee on Volunteerism Will Conduct Electronic Survey of AALL Members

In February AALL’s Webmaster Jason Hinkle will assist Donna Bausch conduct AALL’s first electronic survey of a random sample of 500 AALL members. A simple survey instrument will be e-mailed to the random sample. Members will complete the survey electronically and return their responses to headquarters by e-mail. The results will be tabulated electronically as well at headquarters.

The survey will solicit member opinions on three topics of interest to the Special Committee: 1) member preferences for types of recognition for their volunteer involvement (certificates, press releases to local newspaper, etc.), 2) factors that influence volunteerism (personal growth, relevance to current job, learn new skills, etc.), and 3) common deterrents to volunteering (attendance at annual meeting, complexity of task, etc.).

Washington DC Annual Meeting and Conference Promotion

Hazel Johnson and staff are working together on new and expanded efforts to promote the Annual Meeting and Conference to non AALL members. These efforts complement the customary marketing efforts, such as articles in AALL Spectrum that encourage AALL member attendance.

For the first time AALL will offer Chapter members who are not AALL members a $50 discount on the registration fee for either a full or program-only registration. Current AALL members already receive a larger $100 discount on registration. AALL will mail flyers and extra copies of the Program Announcement announcing this special promotion to all Chapter Presidents and ask them to distribute them at their Chapter meetings this Spring. Chapter Council Chair James Duggan reviewed the text of the flyer and will assist AALL inform Chapter Presidents. Executive Board members will be encouraged to highlight this special promotion during their Chapter Visits this Spring.

In addition, AALL will mail widely and offer a similar promotion to SLA, ALA / GODORT, and ALA ACRL Law and Political Science Section members in the region near the Washington DC meeting.

Hazel Johnson has also worked with Kim Rundle on a special mailing of personalized letters to law related media, library school deans and selected VIP’s. As is customary AALL will offer these individuals complimentary registration to the Annual Meeting and Conference.

1999 Ballot Mailing Schedule and Election Results

The 1999 AALL Ballots will be mailed to AALL's voting members on Friday, March 5th. The deadline for responses is Friday April 2nd. This schedule complies with the Association's Bylaws requirements. The tabulation of results is scheduled for Monday morning, April 5th. In accordance with our established practice three members from the CALL Chapter will serve as the Election Committee upon confirmation by President Jim Heller. Usually the tabulation is finished by noon. Once completed and certified by the Election Committee, I will notify Secretary Susan Siebers. She will contact all the candidates immediately. Once all candidates have been contacted, Susan will post a message on the Executive Board listserv, on Lawlib and AALLNET informing everyone of the results. Watch for the posting of results on Monday, April 5th by mid-day.

1999 Annual Friends of the Law Library of Congress Wickersham Dinner

President Jim Heller, Washington Affairs Representatives Bob Oakley and Roger Parent will represent AALL at the annual Wickersham Dinner on Tuesday April 13th, 6:30 p.m. at the Supreme Court of the United States, Washington DC. The 1999 Honoree for exceptional public service and dedication to the legal profession is Senator George J. Mitchell.

The dinner is sponsored by the Friends of the Law Library of Congress, a nonprofit organization which contributes to the Law Library collection and sponsors research and educational programs that encourage greater use of the collections, and a better understanding of the law. The AALL Executive Director serves on the Friends Board.