Moving On to Advance Our Profession
The results of the bylaws vote were announced last Thursday and, as most of you know, the recommendation that we change our name to “Association for Legal Information” was defeated–80 percent opposed to 20 percent in favor. A record 60 percent of you responded and I am thrilled by the participation. A lively discussion has begun, and it is clear that members want to have input, and to be a part of a conversation about the future of our Association and the profession as a whole. It is a critical time for all of us, and your participation is vital.
I have spent much of the time since the vote reading your comments, and it is clear that many of you were dissatisfied with the recommended name. Many wanted the name to have more direct references to people, many were worried about the proposed name’s acronym being confused with another organization, and many wanted to retain our name because of its long history and strong brand. The vast majority of the comments repeat this again and again: “We do not want to take ‘library’ out of our name; if we do, use ‘librarian’ instead.”
Many of you were also frustrated with the process, feeling that it did not include all of you in the discussion. I regret that, and want to assure you that the branding group and the Executive Board worked with the best of intentions. As a result, we can walk away from this with an even greater understanding of our members and the importance of how they identify themselves professionally; this greater understanding will inform the remainder of the project.
I would also like to clarify the extent and the goal of the rebranding initiative. Everything a company or organization does defines its brand. From its logo to the text on a webpage, from the way a phone is answered to the verbiage in an out-of-office reply. Brand is the combination of everything an organization communicates, directly and indirectly. The goal of this project is to champion the profession and the people who work in it. This will be reflected in a myriad of ways. Recommending a new name as part of the process was only one consideration.
Now that the vote is over, I hope that we can take what is positive–a large number of engaged, energetic members–and use our energy to help create a great future for AALL.
We will have the first town hall next Tuesday, February 23 at 2:00 p.m. (CST), where we will answer your questions and listen to your comments. We will also soon begin working on tagline and message development, which are important aspects of rebranding. I hope you will join in as we ask for your ideas and your success stories.
The Association for Legal Information My Communities discussion will be archived after the town halls, and replaced by a new community so that we can discuss other aspects of rebranding. Your suggestions and your stories are important; so we will be asking for you to share them with us in the community.
Please contact me if you have questions or want to discuss something. All the details are not yet in place, but we will be making more announcements very soon. Thank you for taking so much time to express your opinions in the comments after you voted, which has been very helpful.
Join in for the first town hall, by registering today. A second town hall will be scheduled very soon.
Keith Ann Stiverson