Funding AALL Representatives / Cataloging Liaisons

In 2015 budgetary constraints within the American Association of Law Libraries resulted in the discontinuation of funds for a wide variety of Association representatives. Background and documents associated with the 2015 rescission and TS-SIS/OBS-SIS response are compiled in a PDF file (781 KB). A quick response on behalf of TS-SIS and OBS-SIS led to the reinstatement of funds for the three representatives/liaisons to committees within the American Library Association and MARC Steering Group. However, in 2016 funding was reduced, and then in 2017, funding was again withdrawn; the response that followed came from the Association Council of SIS Chairs. This page discusses the efforts since 2016 to continue and reinstate Association funding for Cataloging Liaisons.

2016-2018 Update

In August 2016 TS-SIS and OBS-SIS were notified that budget allocations for the 3 ALA cataloging-related committees was reduced from $9,000 to $4,500 for 2016-2017. In 2017-2018, that amount would be reduced to $0.00. It was recommended that TS-SIS and OBS-SIS reach out to other SIS’s to assist with the funding shortfall. TS-SIS, OBS-SIS, ALL-SIS, GLL-SIS, and PLLIP-SIS worked together to cover the shortfall for 2016-2017. In addition to covering the shortfall, additional conversations between TS-SIS, the SIS Council, and the AALL Executive Board ensued.

The TS-SIS Board moved forward in two directions. The first, in July 2017, was to put an action item before the AALL Board (128 KB PDF) to ensure the continued existence of these positions and place the oversight and ability to appoint liaisons to those that were funding them. At the request of the AALL Executive Board, the name of the positions was changed from Representatives to Liaisons. This motion passed during the July 2017 Executive Board meeting. The three liaisons completed their terms in June 2017, but agreed to an additional one-year term as the SIS Council worked to address financial shortcomings.

The conversation then moved to the funding of the three liaison positions. During the SIS Council meeting at the 2017 AALL Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas, the Council voted to continue discussion about funding the liaisons with the AALL Executive Board. A grassroots funding effort occurred within the SIS Council and collectively $4,450 was raised to financially support the liaisons for the 2017-2018 year. In the coming months a sub-committee of the Council worked on a proposal to reinstate funding for the liaisons. This proposal was approved by the Council (60 KB PDF) and went forth in November 2017 to the AALL Executive Board.

The AALL Executive Board voted to table the proposal before them to research alternatives. The ALA Liaisons Review Special Committee was appointed by the AALL President in January 2018 to investigate the following:

  • Study of other professional library associations funding and/or support for similar positions, including number of positions funded, in what amount, and for which ALA committees.
  • Assess the value of the ALA liaison program to AALL members, including definable outcomes in support of law librarianship.
  • Research alternative options for the program, including:
    • Researching the number of day(s) for the meetings of each committee and limiting attendance to just those day(s).
    • Investigate the possibility of attending the committee meetings virtually.
    • Work with ALA to determine more cost effective ways to encourage participation in the work of the committees by other library groups.

The ALA Liaisons Review Special Committee made a recommendation (339 KB PDF) prior to the March Finance and Budget Meeting to support the Cataloging Liaison program with the full $9,000 funded by AALL. In April 2018, the AALL Executive Board considered the Special Committee’s Report in conjunction with the tabled motion and voted against funding the cataloging liaisons.

The documents below are relevant to Cataloging Liaison funding since 2016.