ARCHIVED: Roger H. Parent's Informal Notes - 4/3/2000

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April 3, 2000


Upgrades to AALLNET & Members Only Section

The new AALLNET was launched on schedule in March. This required yeoman service from Jason Hinkle, AALL's Webmaster, who oversaw this major overhaul to the structure and design of the AALL website. As of today, 859 members have logged on to the AALLNET Members Only Section and 356 members have updated their record in the AALL database since March 1st.

Sally Anderson assisted Jason promote the new AALLNET and in particular the new Members Only Section. She prepared two announcements that appeared in AALL Spectrum. The second announcement featured a four-page insert.

Thanks to Sally and especially to Jason, the new AALLNET was launched - without a glitch - and welcomed by members.

CALL Membership Database Management

In March AALL's Chicago Chapter joined LLAGNY in taking advantage of our offer to provide ongoing membership database management of their 275 records for them. Many Chapters find managing their membership records troublesome especially as a volunteer activity. AALL's IMIS database and staff expertise in managing membership records can and - in these two instances - do provide a valuable, low cost service to Chapters. The Chapters are assessed a modest fee for this service that includes managing their member records, and preparing and mailing their invoices and directories.

This service is also advantageous to AALL because it increases our records of prospective members to whom we mail promotional flyers. It also increases the size - more than 300 additional non-member names from just these two chapters - and attractiveness of AALL mail lists that are sold to publishers and other vendors.

AALL manages 797 LLAGNY records - 277 are not AALL members / 520 are AALL members.

Registration Outsourcing

In March members were informed by broadcast e-mail that registration procedures for the 2000 Annual Meeting & Conference will be significantly improved; a benefit for both registrants and headquarters staff. After consulting with President Margie Axtmann and Treasurer Janis Johnston, AALL contracted with Convention Data Services, Bourne, Mass. CDS specializes in convention registration processing with access to the latest technology and trained staff.

Members and registrants for the 2000 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference will receive - for the first time - a confirmation of registration via e-mail, fax or surface mail. This response will depend on the information provided by the registrant. Badges and tickets will be mailed - for the first time - to registrants beginning in mid-June. These will be mailed in advance to all individuals registered before July 1.

After April 1st, members will also be able to register on-line - for the first time - through a link at http://www.aallnet.org/events/.

Those who are pre-registered will pick up their badge holder, lanyard, ribbons and conference materials at the registration desk that will be staffed by two CDS representatives.

All badges will be electronically coded with contact information about each registrant. Exhibitors can scan these badges to track leads and exhibit hall traffic. This practice has become an industry standard at many conventions.

Although this outsourcing represents an increase in Annual Meeting expenses, this cost will be partially offset by savings in temporary help used at headquarters during May through July, and by additional advertising revenue.

LEXIS Publishing has agreed to contribute $10,000 to place advertising on the envelope that will be used to mail registration confirmations and badges; "LEXIS Publishing Proud Sponsor of the Opening Reception" will also appear on badges.

Marketing: Membership, Professional Development & the Annual Meeting

An improvement to AALL's marketing remains a top priority this year. Marketing Consultants Sally Anderson and Mary McNulty have provided excellent support to AALL since last fall and substantially increased the promotion of AALL products, programs and services. In January, Sally Anderson, whose attention was focused on membership marketing, took a new full time position and thus discontinued her work for AALL. Her tasks were reassigned to Mary who now handles all marketing for AALL on an independent contractor basis. The Marketing Manager position at AALL headquarters remains open on an indefinite basis.

  1. Professional Development Programs
    1. Articles and announcements written for Chapter Bulletin
      The Chapter Leadership Bulletin has continued to serve as a primary tool for promoting the Professional Development Program to Chapter leaders. Articles in all the recent issues have stressed that the Professional Development Programs are professionally developed and presented by experts in their fields (Fall 1999); recognized the CALL, SCALL and LLAGNY Chapters for hosting copyright programs (Winter 2000); described the professional benefits to individuals who respond to Requests for Proposals, and announced the AALL Martindale-Hubbell partnership on the series "Technology Toolkit for Information Professionals" (Spring 2000).
    2. Articles and announcements written for AALL Spectrum
      The February 2000 issue announced the Video Teleconference and promoted participation in the Professional Development Programs. The March 2000 issue carried an interview with Joan Axelroth, lead instructor for the video teleconference. The April 2000 issue announced the new series of AALL Martindale-Hubbell eight workshops "Technology Toolkit for Information Professionals".
    3. Video Teleconference (in addition to Spectrum articles)
      The Video Teleconference has been the focus of recent and extensive marketing and direct mail promotion efforts to generate interest among members, and attract sites.

      An announcement has been featured on the front page of AALLNET since January.

      In February Mary prepared and mailed personalized "host invitation letters" - over the signatures of AALL President Margie Axtmann and PDC Chair Mike Saint Onge - to all Chapter leaders, AALL leaders including SIS & committee chairs, previous host sites, state libraries, and deans and directors of library schools. This mailing included a brochure on "How to Host a Site".

      West group mailed two brochures and postcards to all AALL members and Directors of ALA ACRL libraries.

      In February, March & April, AALL sent broadcast e-mail announcements to all members.

    4. Talking points created for Board Chapter visits
      Mary drafted scripts to be used by Executive Board members at their spring chapter visits. These scripts included information on Professional Development programs, listserv discussions, the video teleconference, and the "Desktop Learning Series" in AALL Spectrum.
    5. Advertising Space Ads
      Mary worked with a designer to prepare quarter-page and half-page ads for use in AALL Spectrum, Chapter newsletters and SIS newsletters. These ads were mailed to all newsletter editors with a request to use them often on a space available basis.
    6. Mailing to All AALL Members
      In April the revised Professional Development Brochure will be included with Membership Renewal letter and mailing to members.
  2. Annual Meeting In February Mary prepared a broadcast e-mail to AALL members announcing the availability of Annual Meeting information on AALLNET. She helped with a second broadcast e-mail in March announcing the availability of housing and registration forms on AALLNET. In March Mary designed a "Discount Flyer" for Chapter members who are not AALL members. This is the second year that AALL has offered a $50 discount to first-time attendees. This flyer was distributed at Spring Chapter meetings and will be mailed in April to all Chapter Presidents with a personalized letter from AALL President Margie Axtmann and AMPSC Chair Anne Matthewman. This same Discount Flyer will be adapted and mailed to affiliate associations like the ALA Divisions and Roundtables, ACRL LPSS, GODORT, and PLA.
  3. Membership In order to promote the "opening" of the AALL membership and to encourage institutions to add new members who would not have been eligible for membership in the past, Sally Anderson recommended and Mary McNulty created a "First Year Free Flyer". This flyer will be mailed to all library directors offering them one additional free membership for a first-time member, if they pay their dues on or before June 1st. This special offer will also encourage directors to pay their dues earlier than in the past. Many institutions wait until the fall to pay their dues thus creating extra work for staff, which must prepare reminder notices, and - in too many instances - personally call directors about their late dues payments.

Professional Development

In 2000 AALL planned to offer 18 professional development programs. These programs included: eight 1-day programs; one satellite teleconference; five 1 - day workshops held in conjunction with the 2000 Annual Meeting; two 2.5 - day programs; the AALL, CALL, BIALL Joint Study Institute, and TRIALL (Teaching Research in Academic Law Libraries, a program developed by LEXIS Publishing in conjunction with AALL).

To date, three 1-day programs have been offered: two Copyright Programs for an actual registration of 86 (budgeted for 70 registrants) and one Basic Legal Research co-sponsored with the Illinois Library Association which had 16 registrants. SCALL has agreed to host a Copyright Program at the end of May.

The Education Manager and Meeting Manager will have sites lined up by mid-April for late spring and early fall programs. Programs to be scheduled include: Training the Internet Trainer, Managing Solo Libraries, Managing Multi-location Libraries and Space Planning for Corporate and Firm Libraries. This will bring the total number of 1-day programs offered in fiscal year 2000 to 8 as agreed upon by the PDC.

Four workshops have been scheduled in conjunction with the 2000 Annual Meeting. One of the workshops has two parts and will be allowing additional registrants for an afternoon session. Another of the workshops, Legislative Advocacy Training, originally proposed as a fee-based workshop, is now being offered as a Leadership Training for Chapter Leaders and no registration fee is being charged. A transfer from the President's Discretionary Fund will offset expenses.

The Professional Development Committee has postponed until fiscal year 2001 two, 2.5 - day programs that were to be held in conjunction with the 2000 Annual Meeting.

Registration for the Joint Study Institute opened recently and there currently are 2 Australians registered, and inquiries have been received from 1 member of CALL and 1 member of BIALL. 2 Americans have submitted registration forms which will be held until after May 1st in order to give CALL and BIALL members and Australian Law Librarians an opportunity to assure their attendance. It is anticipated that this program will reach the budgeted number of 50 registrants.

To date more than 50 sites (budgeted at 80 sites) have registered for the Satellite teleconference and serious inquiries have been received from 15 additional sites including the U.S. District Court Libraries. West Group is also hosting an additional site for the MALL Chapter at no charge in consideration for underwriting a portion of the cost of the program, bringing the total number of sites to 49. The satellite teleconference will not meet the budgeted number of downlink sites, resulting in a loss.

The actual outcome for FY 2000 will be based upon the offering of 14 professional development programs. These programs will include: eight 1-day programs; one satellite teleconference; three 1 - day workshops held in conjunction with the 2000 Annual Meeting; one ½ day program at the Annual Meeting (fully subsidized by the President's Discretionary Fund); no 2.5 - day programs; the AALL, CALL, BIALL Joint Study Institute, and TRIALL (Teaching Research in Academic Law Libraries, a program developed by LEXIS Publishing in conjunction with AALL). The TRIALL program is revenue/expense neutral.