ARCHIVED: Roger H. Parent's Informal Notes - 5/27/1998

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May 27, 1998

Membership Survey Response Rate Reaches 47%

Consultant Helen Little is now preparing the detailed analysis of the 667 responses received from AALL members. Her report will be presented at the Executive Board's July meeting.

Prior to preparing and mailing the survey instrument, Little held six focus groups, between March 14th and March 26th, in cooperation with the CALL, SEALL, and NOCALL Chapters. Four focus groups were held in New Orleans and Chicago, and one each in San Francisco and Sacramento. The comments and ideas discussed during the focus groups were used as the basis for preparing the survey instrument that was sent to all 1400 library directors on April 20th. Helen Little expressed great appreciation for the enthusiastic support that she received from AALL members who planned and or participated in the focus groups.

The forty-four members and non-members who participated in the focus groups explored and shared their opinions about:

  • Reasons for decisions regarding memberships in AALL and other associations
  • The extent to which members support alternatives for growing and maintaining the membership:
    • Opening the AALL membership: who should be a member?
    • Setting dues and fees
    • Determining who should hold the membership, the institution / employer or the individual
  • Their likes and dislikes, concerns and questions, and preferences about various membership options.

The first draft of the survey instrument was reviewed on Tuesday, April 7th at headquarters by AALL members Susan Siebers, Executive Board, Rebecca Corliss, CALL President and member of the Professional Volunteerism Special Committee, and Georgiana Wellford and Gayle Lynn-Nelson, Mentoring and Retention Committee.

Grants & Scholarships Awarded

41 AALL members applied for scholarships this year; this compared to 39 applicants in 1997. The majority applied for Type I Scholarships, law school graduates studying for a library degree. Other applicants were evenly divided among the other four types of scholarships. On May 1st, Rhea Ballard and the Scholarship Committee awarded scholarships to 15 applicants; this compared to 12 scholarships in 1997. For the first time this year, Dora Bertrum from St. Louis, Missouri received the John Connolly Congressional Information Service Scholarship.

26 AALL members applied for grants this year; this compared to 30 applicants in 1997. This year we extended the deadline from April 1st, the customary deadline, to May 1st in order to allow ample time for applicants to complete and mail the required information. Grants cover the registration cost for the Annual Meeting. Grace Mills and the Grants Committee awarded grants to 24 applicants; this compared to 16 in 1997.

Topics for 1998 Chapter Roundtables Confirmed

Eight Chapter Roundtables will be held in Anaheim. This is the second year that AALL members and Executive Staff have offered these educational programs to the Chapters. The following topics will be addressed: Government Relations, Public Relations, Chapter Treasurer Training, Website Management, Continuing Education, Council of Newsletter Editors, Meeting Management and Membership Recruitment. The Roundtables will be scheduled throughout the Annual Meeting and will be conducted by an AALL member working with a staff member. Letters of invitation were mailed to all Chapter Presidents.

Anaheim Annual Meeting Update

Exhibitor booth registrations remain strong and steady compared to prior years. As of May 27th 158 booths have been sold compared to 149 booths at the same time last year for Baltimore. We are now at 76 % of our budgeted goal of 208 booths.

Martha Brown is now sending Board members weekly reports on registrations for the Annual Meeting.

For the first time in Anaheim three publishers, West Group, LEXIS-NEXIS, and CCH, will be sponsoring "Tech Centers" on the floor of the Exhibit Hall in addition to their booth space. This concept is being tested in Anaheim and the Association is grateful to these three major publishers for their willingness to try a new idea. These "Tech Centers" will provide registrants with an opportunity to attend publisher demonstrations and lectures right in the Exhibit Hall instead of hotel suites or other locations that draw registrants away from the exhibits. These publishers responded to an AALL Executive Staff concern that the larger publishers were drawing registrants away from the exhibit floor by holding demonstrations in hotel suites.

Medical Library Association Centennial Celebration Held in Philadelphia, May 22-27, 1998

President Judy Meadows and I represented AALL and attended the President's Banquet on May 25th. The event, attended by approximately 200 guests and representatives of the library and medical communities, was hosted by MLA President Rachel Anderson. MLA was founded in Philadelphia in 1898; today it is a professional organization of 1,200 organizations and 3,800 personal members. Judy Meadows, AALL, Duane Webster, Executive Director ARL, and Judith Fields, President SLA, spoke on behalf on their associations and congratulated MLA on its milestone.

Two New AALL Partnerships Explored

While in Washington DC on May 7th Roger Parent met separately with Frank Gavin, Director, Institute for Court Management, National Center for State Courts, NCSC, Williamsburg, Va., and Elizabeth Bazan, a member of the President's Special Committee on Affiliated Bars Program, Federal Bar Association, Washington DC. Both organizations are interested in exploring opportunities for partnering with law librarians and AALL.

Frank Gavin is responsible for the NCSC's Court Executive Development Program for court administrators and judges. This program has provided "certification", ie. a Fellow of the Institute of Court Management, for nearly 800 graduates from 45 states since 1970. The successful program consists of an intensive curriculum on leadership, management and judicial administration. It entails course work, a three-week residency, and an oral exam/presentation before graduation. Frank Gavin is interested in working with a small group or task force of AALL members who might advise on course content for future programs. He seemed especially interested in topics such as the impact of technology and publisher mergers on legal information.

The NCSC also conducts an annual education program for law librarians. Frank Gavin expressed interest in working more closely with AALL on this program in the future.

Both President Judy Meadows and President-elect Jim Heller will attend an invitational meeting, an Assembly of Court Associations, on June 6th in Washington DC. This meeting sponsored by the NCSC will permit Judy and Jim to explore further these and other ideas with NCSC leaders.

Judy has also agreed to select and appoint a few AALL members to pursue these initial conversations and serve in an advisory role to the NCSC. These AALL members would also work closely with the PDC to integrate any future developments into AALL's overall professional development program.

Elizabeth Bazan, an appointed member of the FBA's National Council, has also been recently appointed to their President's Special Committee on Affiliated Bars Program. At her request Roger Parent visited her office located in the Madison Building of the Library of Congress where she works as a researcher for the Congressional Research Service. The FBA's current President is exploring partnerships with sister organizations as a new presidential initiative. In the past the FBA has not pursued such alliances and they do not have an infrastructure in place to support or encourage them. Their President wishes to change this. Roger suggested a few initial steps such as sharing publications, sending representatives to each others meetings, and perhaps forming a joint committee on a topic of mutual interest. The FBA is especially interested in copyright and intellectual property rights issues. Bazan agreed to report back to the FBA on AALL's willingness to explore opportunities for working more closely with them, and she will send information about FBA activities and interests to President Judy Meadows.