ARCHIVED: Roger H. Parent's Informal Notes - 10/30/2001

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October 30, 2001


The 2001-2002 AALL Directory and Handbook remains the most comprehensive resource on the American Association of Law Libraries. The member listings and the standard information about the Association from last year's edition have been updated and verified by Maya Norris. However, the directory now includes the Research Agenda; a scholarships and grants section that includes the Ellen Schaffer Foreign Librarian's Grant, the Marcia J. Koslov Scholarship and the AALL Research Fund, among others; and the recently approved Competencies of Law Librarianship.

The cover design adheres to the color scheme of yellow, teal and hot pink as chosen by President Barbara Bintliff. The new meeting logo is on the cover, and this year the information about the date and place of the 2002 Annual Meeting and Conference is also on the cover.

The 2001-2002 AALL Directory and Handbook will be mailed to members the week of November 5.

Placement Listings on AALLNET

Staff is preparing enhancements to the electronic listing of job opportunities on AALLNET. Reggie Swanigan, our Network Administrator, is creating a database that will significantly improve members' access to jobs that are listed now in simple chronological order by date of receipt at AALL. Members tell us that the listings on AALLNET are their preferred and primary tool for learning about current job openings. Obviously these listings on AALLNET are more current than those appearing in AALL Spectrum ten times a year.

Within the next few weeks, members will be able to search a new database by such fields as type-of-library, geographic location, date of posting, and job title, in addition to keywords. Reggie is preparing a prototype for the Placement Committee and the AALLNET Advisory Committee to review. Rachel Shaevel, our Membership Coordinator, handles placement listings and she will work with employers to promote and integrate the change. Placement revenue is important to AALL and thus employer support and enthusiasm is essential.

Reggie and Rachel prompted this enhancement by examining the better format of the placement listings that are available on other association websites.

The LLJ and AALL Spectrum Editorial Board and Advisory Committee is considering discontinuing the placement listings that appear in the magazine. The Committee believes that members rely on AALLNET now, and that the announcements in AALL Spectrum tend to be out-of-date. The Advisory Committee will consult with the Placement Committee before making this change.

AALL Membership and Dues Renewals

  • Members by Members Type

    At the end of October 2001 the AALL membership totaled 4888 paid members - slightly higher than on the same date in 2000 when AALL had 4812 paid members. This includes dues paying members, honorary (3) and life (78) members. These membership statistics reflect a significant 7% improvement over October 1999 when membership totaled 4556 paid members.

    As of September 10, 2001 87.8% of memberships have been paid, and 305 invoices are still outstanding. Keep in mind that many of these unpaid invoices represent more than one membership.

    The current status of dues payments is better than last year at this time, when 83.2% of invoices had been paid, and 496 invoices were still unpaid. Unpaid members have now received their final issue of Spectrum magazine (September issue) and their final faxed cancellation notice.

    Since June 1, 2001, the beginning of the AALL membership year, 382 new first-time members have joined AALL compared to 367 new members last year.

    As of October 31, 2001, 138 new members have joined AALL by taking advantage of the 1st year free offer, called "Make the Connection" and 55% of the 176 new members who joined last year under a similar first-year free offer have renewed. This retention level exceeded our expectations!
  • Institutions/Employers by Type

    At the end of October 2001 the AALL membership database included 2042 institutions compared to the 2014 separate institutions/employers in October 2001.
  • SIS Memberships

    At the end of October 2001 SIS memberships totaled 6418 compared to 6317 in 2000.

AALL Marketing

In early October I reported to the Board that I signed an agreement with a Chicago-based firm, Southward & Associates, Inc. that specializes in association marketing. Both Fred Southward, President, and Beth Palmer, AALL Project Manager, will meet with the Board on Saturday November 4th to present four marketing concepts - images and key messages - for discussion and reaction.

During August and September the staff conducted and concluded a thorough review of our headquarters marketing efforts and expenses to promote attendance at annual meetings, and to recruit and retain members. As a result of this review staff agreed that AALL would enjoy many benefits by organizing our headquarters efforts in a different way, and by working with one marketing firm instead of several different independent contractors as we have in the past.

This change can be accommodated within the approved budgets for marketing and may indeed result in some savings from coordinating design and printing from one source.

Southward will bring to AALL considerable association experience in creating images and messages that will be used on all our printed products and that will convey to our members the idea that AALL is a dynamic, professional association dedicated to meeting their needs.

The staff's three main objectives are:

  1. To seek high quality marketing expertise that would guide our efforts in these two critically important areas of activity.
  2. To create a unified, coherent and contemporary image and messages about AALL programs and services that would be readily recognized by our members and others.
  3. To bring under one roof the design, creative writing, editing, and printing of AALL printed materials.

The immediate focus - in order to keep the process manageable in the short term - is on printed materials that are used to promote the annual meeting and membership. Once our work on these areas is finished successfully, staff intends to extend the scope of the effort to AALL Spectrum - in consultation with key members of the Advisory Committee and the Editorial Director - and to AALLNET - in consultation with the Advisory Committee.