ARCHIVED: Roger H. Parent's Informal Notes - 6/28/2001

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June 28, 2001

AALL Membership and Dues Renewals

In my separate and detailed report on membership through May 31st, (Executive Board July Meeting Tab 12), I reported on the improvement in AALL membership this year which ended on May 31st. AALL membership reached 5149 members an improvement over the past several years.
This can be attributed somewhat to the success of the "First-year Free" campaign. 176 coupons were redeemed. Staff is now tracking renewals to assess how many of these 176 "First-year Free" members will renew for a second year. We are offering a similar program in 2001, "Make the Connection"; both library directors and individual members who pay their own dues before July 1st are receiving coupons for free memberships. Our marketing consultant believes this is an excellent approach to involve our own members in promoting AALL memberships to their friends and colleagues.

Our Membership & Retention Committee, Chaired by Pat Kehoe, has continued to be helpful in efforts to retain members who did not renew memberships last year. We are also grateful to our consultant Mary McNulty for her assistance. In May the Committee contacted 80 members who had not renewed last year. The Committee asked about their reasons for dropping their AALL membership and urged them to consider re-joining. Twelve of those lapsed members asked for new invoices; 10 indicated they would not renew because they either had joined another association or they thought dues were too high. The Committee was unable to contact the majority of 48 lapsed members who were no longer at the employer of record or in the profession; others were simply unreachable.

These results are similar to those obtained in November 2000 when the Committee contacted 74 lapsed members. At that time, 25 requested invoices - they had forgotten to renew or misplaced the original invoices; and only 7 indicated they did not plan to renew. The Committee was unable to contact the majority of 38 lapsed members.

Dues Processing

Again this year, our staff was able to process membership renewals on such a timely basis that there were only negligible backlogs at any time. Staff will mail the second notices on July 2nd. As of June 22nd, 1763 invoices, 70% of the 2472 membership invoices have been received and processed. This compares to 62.6% of the 2952 membership invoices received and processed at the same time in 2000.

Dues Renewal Schedule for 2001:

  • July 2:
    Reminder notices are mailed to all members. Library directors are mailed a second dues invoice. End of the free coupon offer.
  • August 15:
    All unpaid members are faxed an expiration notice.
  • September 8:
    All unpaid members are mailed their last issue of AALL Spectrum and records are deleted from the active AALLNET online directory.
  • October 1
    Membership & Retention Committee will call a selected group of lapsed members.

Minneapolis Annual Meeting Sponsorships

Once again in 2001 AALL corporate sponsors have been generous in contributing to AALL events and those sponsored by entities like committees, Chapters and SISs. A complete list of all
contributors appears in the 2001 Awards & Acknowledgement Brochure distributed to all Annual Meeting registrants. All corporate and individual contributors will also be listed on signage in the Exhibit Hall.

This year for the first time individual member contributors will receive donor stickers for their Annual Meeting badges.

Exhibitors responded well to the introduction of the four levels of recognition: gold medal ($75,001 or more), silver ($25,001 - $75,000), bronze ($5001 - $25,000) and contributor.

$204,050 was raised in 2001. This impressive amount does not include the $120,000 remaining on the West Group pledge for the Strait Scholarship Endowment, the costs of the Opening Reception paid directly by LexisNexis, nor the costs of approximately twelve Chapter and SIS events in Minneapolis that will be paid directly by the corporate sponsor. When these activities are considered, over

$450,000 was contributed to AALL and its members this past year.
Of this amount $29,000 was contributed to scholarships and $3500 to grants; LexisNexis™ contributed $25,000 for a State, Court & County series of Resource Guides modeled after the PLL SIS series.

We are especially thankful to BNA, LexisNexis™ and West Group for their Gold Medal status and to CCH for their Silver Medal status.

  • West Group has been a noteworthy donor in establishing the endowment that will support the George A. Strait Minority Scholarships in the future. There were four recipients in 2001.
  • LexisNexis™ has been generous in sponsoring the Opening Reception in Minneapolis, and in pledging full support for the 2002 Reception in Orlando. This year for the first time two members will receive $5000 grants each from the Research Fund, and Endowment Established by LexisNexis in 2000. Four students received scholarships from the John Johnson LexisNexis™ Memorial Scholarship.

Editorial Director AALL Spectrum

A subcommittee of the LLJ and AALL Spectrum Editorial Board and Advisory Committee reviewed six applications for the Editorial Director - a volunteer position - and they'll interview three candidates in Minneapolis. We hope to announce the appointment at the July 19th Executive Board meeting.

Once selected, the Editorial Director will work closely with the Editorial Board and Maya Norris, AALL's Director of Publications, and provide editorial leadership to AALL Spectrum from the point of view of a practicing law librarian.

2001 Salary Survey

902 library directors completed the 2001 salary survey by the June 1st deadline. This compares to 577 responses in 1999. Association Research Inc., Rockville, Md. is completing data analysis and expect to produce the final report before the July Annual Meeting. Executive Board members will receive a complimentary copy.

The salary data is based on salaries on June 1st, 2001instead of July 1st as in the past. The expedited production schedule will provide our members with up-to-date salary information well in advance of the fall when they customarily request that information to prepare their library budgets.

Results will be available in both print - for libraries that wish to purchase a copy ($95 members, $150 non-members) - and electronically on AALLNET Members Only Section.

AALLNET Marketplace

After consulting with President Bob Oakley, and all members of the AALLNET Advisory Committee in May, I informed Coe-Truman, the vendor that owns the marketplace software, that - after one full year of service - we will discontinue the AALLNET Marketplace on August 1st.

We've been monitoring marketplace usage for several months, and the minimal use doesn't justify the monthly expense of $1200 for the licensing fee. It had been our hope that advertisers would have an interest in placing banner advertising in the marketplace, and that advertising would pay for this resource on AALLNET. But there has been no interest from advertisers either.

Their major concern is that AALL will not permit advertising on AALLNET except in the marketplace. Advertisers want to place their ads on those AALLNET pages where there is heaviest traffic. As is the case with many associations, I understand that this would not be acceptable to our members.

Furthermore our marketplace usage statistics are so low that our advertising representatives cannot sell advertising space based on usage. I've asked Reggie Swanigan, our Network Administrator to explore the possibility of creating an in-house simple database of vendors. This will be discussed with the AALLNET Advisory Committee in Minneapolis.

Chevy Chase Trust Investment Fund Transfer

Upon the recommendation of the Finance and Budget Committee, the Executive Board, at its meeting in March 2000 approved a change of the Association's Investment Manager.

The management of the Association's Portfolio of invested funds was transferred from Barnett and Company of Chattanooga, TN to Chevy Chase Trust of Bethesda, MD.
Mr. Tom Cholis, and Mr. Bill Lauer, Managing Directors of Chevy Chase Trust will manage the portfolio on a daily basis.

The investment authority for both the Permanent Investment Fund, and the Scholarship Fund were transferred from Barnett to Chevy Chase, and Chevy Chase was instructed to follow the AALL Investment Policy that has been in effect since its adoption in 1995.

The Short-term Cash Management Account, on the advice of Chevy Chase has been retained intact and will continue to be invested as essentially a short-term investment/checking account with Chevy Chase as the manager. This account consists of short-term cash equivalents and Money Market funds that require oversight, but little, if any, day-to-day management.

Tom advised us on June 12th, that all instructions had been properly received and that the accounts were opened at Chevy Chase. On June 21st, written instructions were delivered to Charles Schwab (the brokerage firm retained by Barnett & Company) to liquidate the former holdings and to transfer the funds to Chevy Chase Trust.
Chevy Chase will initiate monthly reporting of account activity effective July 1st.

Headquarters' Lease for Offices

The Association's lease of office space in the Monadnock Building will terminate on July 31, 2002. The AALL has leased space in the Building continuously since 1987.

The current lease provides that AALL give notice of our intent to the Landlord by December 1, 2001. The lease also includes an option for the AALL to renew the lease for an additional five years at the then (7/31/02) current rates in effect for similar tenants.

Staff initiated discussion with the building management in Spring 2001 with regard to the termination or extension of the existing lease.

As a separate matter, we also signed a short-term lease to acquire an additional 845 square feet of space adjacent to the current offices, with that lease to expire co-terminus with the existing lease on July 31, 2002.

We have received a firm offer from the Landlord to extend the lease on the entire 5,333 square feet of original and recently acquired space at a rate of $21.48 per foot, (with a 3% annual escalator) for an additional five-year term expiring on July 31, 2007. This rate is based on the Landlord's estimate of the rate that will be offered to similar tenants in July 2002.

Staff has also engaged in discussions with a space broker who will negotiate leases on behalf of a prospective or current tenant.

The Broker has presented options for space in various buildings in the vicinity of the Monadnock Building at rates varying from $19.00 to $26.00 per foot. In all cases, these offers include, not only a fixed percentage increase (usually 3%), but also include a tax and operating expense escalator which allows the landlord to assess each tenant a pro-rata share of the real estate taxes and general operating expenses; a requirement not applicable to the Monadnock Building. The broker has stated that the Landlord's offer is very competitive in the current Chicago market.

Staff has arranged to visit at least two buildings to assess the quality of space offered at rates that are competitive with the current Monadnock Landlord's offer. The Executive Board will receive a final recommendation from staff at the November 2001 meeting.