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The Concerned Librarian’s Guide to the 2012 ALA Midwinter Exhibit Hall -
It is done. Thanks to everyone for their help in making this happen. - Andy
thank you for doing it! an excellent, excellent post. - RepoRat
awesome and a ton of work. very useful... A note about Macmillan, though. The NPG people say that it's Macmillan-US which is the offender and that it's a division of Macmillan so NPG is not a division of Macmillan-US but Macmillan .... I'm confused but that's what they say. - Christina Pikas
That is a thing of beauty. Bravo!!! - laura x
Right on, Andy - Rachel Walden
Wow! An exquisite and thorough piece of work, thank you, thank you! - Galadriel C.
*Shared on ALA Council email list* - awd
Steven Bell's insight into what the TAIGA folks expect from their librarians? - John Dupuis
i dont understand open access as a personal issue. Isnt it more reprehensible to take home vendor swag? or are employees expected to turn over those "gifts" to their bosses? - barbara fister from iPhone
Re: Bell: Um, wow. - laura x
For librarians who work at universities, like Mr Bell and his staff, how about, you know, "academic freedom"? - DJF
What Laura said. Though I think Susan S. and John Dupuis have ably addressed the relevant points. - Catherine Pellegrino
I sort of turn over vendor swag to my employer in that the ballpoint pens and USB drives supplement our Old Mother Hubbard stationery cupboard. I eat the jellybeans all myself though. And I don't consider talking to vendors about DRM or open access or whatever to be "personal advocacy" seriously what? - Deborah Fitchett
"How DARE you have, much less act on, a professional opinion that's different from OURS?" Yeah, btdt, it's a lot of why I don't work for an academic library any more. WTF does Bell think prof dev IS, srsly? - RepoRat
whoa Bell. whoa. WHOA. EDIT after Steven's comments below: that dude might hate being my boss. - jambina
RR- Probably What We Done Good and sitting on committees - Pete
probably. BAH. - RepoRat
I mean, I would check with bosses before I spoke; but only to make clear I'd be speaking on my behalf. In the law librarian world we have a vendor liaison committee, so I guess if something like this hit here they would make some of the running. - Pete
Am I the only one reading Bell's comment as a pitch-perfect example of concern trolling? - Catherine Pellegrino
I think my response may have been a wee bit impolitic. But less so than was my initial instinct. - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
Catherine, yes -- and I would add that any admin who gigs a professional for exercising voice on matters important to the profession prolly oughta be turfed out. (Circumstances alter cases, to be sure. But this one? Shee-it.) - RepoRat
(what's concern trolling?) - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
@Rudi I like this definition - Hedgehog
Oh. Yeah. That's exactly what he did! - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
Yep. With a side order of "chilling effect." - Catherine Pellegrino
fuck that noise. - Jenica
At least he didn't sign as VP elect, ACRL..... - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
Hey guys. Help me out here. I'm not sure what you mean by concern trolling either. I'm presenting a scenario and asking a question b/c i'm interested in knowing what Andy's readers - and Andy - think about the issue. Don't interpret the question to mean that I wouldn't support librarians who want to take Andy's advice. As I said in the question, you can certainly view this as an advocacy role that supports the library's community. But I think there are some interesting management issues here worth exploring. Why not ask the question - or what's a better way to ask it? - steven bell
"VP elect, ACRL" You're kidding, right? Please tell me you're kidding. Oh, yeah, I guess you're not: - John Dupuis
Steven, when you ask a question of "is this action ethical?" and then follow it up with a comment "hey, don't interpret the question to think I don't support this action, I'm just asking a question" then you are "concern trolling". The fact that you associate this professional work with "personal advocacy" is very troubling - copystar
Steven, teh concern troll question has been answered. To address the content of your comment: If you truly don't support the position you're outlining, you could have asked "What would you suggest librarians do if faced with administrations that don't support such advocacy on what is considered professional time?" As written, up to and including your word choice and tone, it is clear to the reader that YOU do not approve of this kind of advocacy on professional time or on behalf of your libraries. If that's not what you meant, you should clarify. ASAP. - Jenica
Steven, I guess I fail to understand how a decent manager could object to having a well-informed, articulate staff member advocating on behalf of the profession out their representing his or her institution. Do you also encourage your employees not to drink or do karaoke at conferences? Not to wear "She Blinded Me With Library Science" tshirts, lest they look less than professional? It's an interesting management question if by "interesting management" you mean telling well-informed professionals how they ought to think and behave. - laura x
Way Laura X explained it sounds pretty good to me. - Angel R. Rivera
Thank you Jenica. I appreciate the way you responded. And I want to make clear that as an administrator, I do support librarians who want to use conference time for advocacy activity. Clearly I didn't word my comment in the most effective way.I think most of the folks here know that I'm a strong supporter of academic librarians who advocate on behalf of their libraries and the profession, and I see now how my comment didn't reflect it. If my question gave the impression that I'm not supporting librarians' freedom to advocate for what they believe that is unfortunate, and it certainly wasn't my intent. - steven bell
Ithaka just broke with AAP's stance on RWA. Move 'em to the orchids column. - RepoRat
Steven, you ask a bunch of questions in your original comment, like, "Would you spend an hour or two at your desk calling vendors to have a chat about legislation? Probably not. Is it acceptable practice at a conference?" Without meaning to unduly belabor the point, if you truly were "a strong supporter of academic librarians who advocate on behalf of their libraries and the profession," then I think you would already have known the answers to your original set of questions. There is no "interesting management question" here. It's hard to reconcile your two sets of comments. - John Dupuis
fwiw, my boss knows that I contact vendors to advocate positions that I think will help MPOW and really scholarly communication and information retrieval in general. I feel that I've been very successful in some areas - eta - yes, i do this on work time. - Christina Pikas
I'm expected by my dean, AD, dept. head, and colleagues to treat my time at conferences as a mix of personal and professional time. I'm also expected to advocate for positions I feel strongly about, and my faculty is even trying to figure out where we should stand as a group on issues of open access. Nobody thinks an official line means we can't have our own professional opinions, though. Andy, I am in awe of this document and can't believe you found time to put it together. Mt conversations with vendors at MW will focus on some of this stuff, esp. the ebooks issues, and I think you've done a great service to the profession for compiling all this helpful info. Thanks! - kaijsa
THE MAP!!! I love the map too much. Thank you so much for doing this (even though I won't be there to take advantage of it). - Meg VMeg
I'm calling Bell's supervisor to see if it's OK if Steven spends his time on LSW with us mutherfukers. - Steele Lawman
I will make a short post tonight to remind people that they can play the home edition of the game and call/email their vendors to ask how they feel about it. - Andy
Yeah, this just seems more fun than calling/emailing. Plus: map. - Meg VMeg
To answer the questions Steven has raised, I think it actually speaks more towards the work culture that has developed over the last couple of decades. It's the idea put forth that basically sounds like "Hey, we expect you to take work home with you, but don't you dare do any personal stuff while you're at the office". In other words, the work life can invade the personal life, but not vice versa. I would be interested to ask managers and executives the question, "If you believe that you control people's production output during the time they are at the office because you pay them, do you want them to stop thinking about their work when they are on their own time?" Because that's essentially the message I'm getting; like a robot, I'm expected to be in work mode when I'm at my desk and since you're not paying me for work mode away from it, I should shut it off. And that's a shame, really, to overall innovation. It's been proven time and again that insights and innovations happen in spaces that we don't generally associate with work. (For myself, I do a lot of thinking about my writing when I'm in the shower.) To me, while our measurements of time are definitive, the actual passing of time is not; I think about personal stuff at work just as I think of work stuff on personal time. I cannot divorce myself from my job nor can the job divorce me from the person that I am. Work happens when it happens, and so long as I meet my goals and expectations, I don't anyone should really care as to when something was thought of, acted on, or otherwise done. If I was to accept your perspective that library managers want their people to be doing "work things" on conference trips that are paid for by the employer, I have a few questions of my own. When and where does the work day begin? Am I 'on the clock' when my bag hits the curb at the airport or when I'm waiting at the gate? If my flight is paid for, does any reading or viewing material have to be work related or is the actual... more... - Andy
I think the scariest thing about the points that Steven raises in his initial comment is that there is someone out there right now who is ACTUALLY hearing that from their boss. I don't doubt for a minute that there is probably some Grade A Number One Arsehole who is telling their subordinates, "We pay for your trip so we own you while you're there." I hope that in raising his points Steven and the responses that people have given him that those workers have some ammo against such a boss. - Andy
In other thoughts, I think a color coded issues map might be in order for Annual as well. This will be a good dry run for that. :D - Andy
hey, how come the ACRL hasn't issued a statement about SOPA and the Research Works Act yet? - copystar
So Andy has done heroic work in identifying the Vendors of Concern and creating the Map of Awkward Librarianly Confrontation. Has anyone started work on the Instrument of Our Displeasure? I'd made some suggestions a while back about ways to try and be nice to vendor grunts while trying to get the message to vendor fatcats and educate our fellow librarians. Iris and I were thinking about getting to work on that, but if someone else has started, we wouldn't want to duplicate that. - Steele Lawman
No plans I'm aware of. We're anarchical here -- go for it. :) - RepoRat
While I link to other people's stuff in my post, I think a post outlining talking points and essential background information would be a healthy companion piece to the color coded map. - Andy
Fair enough John. I accept that critique. I can see how folks would interpret my comment and come to the conclusions they did -which is not quite what i intended. Even ACRL leaders can occasionally make a bad call. I always try to do good things for folks on this list and others and for the profession in general, and that's what I'm going to keep doing - and being mindful about my messages. As far as ACRL commenting on SOPA and the Research Works Act, a statement - which I anticipate is coming - would emerge from the Library Copyright Alliance (ACRL, ALA and ARL). - steven bell
Steven, I'm glad to know that you meant something different from what I read in the comment. And as for SOPA and RWA, is there any way you could encourage ACRL to take a position on those issues that would complement the work coming out of the Library Copyright Alliance? They are so fundamentally related to college and research libraries that it seems like more powerful voices would be better than fewer. - lris
Penn State just peeled off the onion for the sake of an orchid. :) At this rate you'll have to redraw the map! - RepoRat
I dont think Penn State is on the map. Ithaka, which owns JSTOR and Portico, is. The blog post is easier to update than the map, but I might just leave the map as is so people talk to JSTOR and can thank them for their stance. - Andy
I missed this due to being at CES, where I was representing libraries and drinking beer with Makers. But I was drinking said beer _very professionally_. - Jason Griffey
Also: I told Andy this privately, but: huzzah and awesome work. This is really, really great stuff. Steve, I _really_ want to work on the Instrument of Our Displeasure, but I'm killed right now. Dead with deadlines, and just can't. But I want to help with it in some way, aside from my plan to try and talk with Vendors on video about their thoughts. - Jason Griffey
I'd like to thank everyone for their compliments. It really made my day and that blog post really was supported by the people here on FF. I couldn't have done it without all of you and considering the overwhelming response to it, I am thankful for all the help I received. - Andy
All deserved, Andy - and perhaps if more orgs/publishers disavow this legislation and have booths at MW, they could be congratulated and thanked. Congratulatory flashmobs via Twitter? And we could take all of their publicity material with good grace and make the booth workers feel good? (I say "we though I won't be there.) - barbara fister
"flash"mobs?! - awd