Archive for the 'force' Category

First, please read the statement ALA released from the Task Force late yesterday (as Task Force members were flying home from DC). Just so you know, ALA staff that are a part of and assisting the Task Force worked on it quite a lot with us, though the entire 20 member task force approved its contents. It is written to address and update everyone related to what the Task Force is working on and has set as priorities given our charge via the ALA Council Resolution that passed at the ALA Annual Conference this summer. Press Release

Second, I will copy and paste below a few comments I left on my facebook page in response to reaction from my linking to the Boing Boing piece today on the Task Force’s work. These are my observations and opinions alone, but they are unadulterated and what I believe in relation to all of this and what ALA and I and YOU can do (with ALA anyway).

Kate Kosturski This is good, Michael, but ebooks and DRM issues have been around for quite a bit of time (well, in the tech world). Why so long for such a task force to be established? I feel as though the community had an opportunity to break new ground in this realm for some time, and just didn’t react until things didn’t go their way.

David Leslie Like Kate said, thanks to the success of iTunes and Amazon, this ship has sailed. The next fight is going to be magazines and journals IMHO.

Michael Porter Kate, I SO agree. I ran for ALA Council because I felt exactly the same way. Before I was “installed” as a Councilor I worked with my (soon to be) fellow Councilors to pass a resolution that had ALA take a stand on these issues….finally. I ran and was elected to ALA’s Executive Board at Annual this summer with this as my primary issue.

Kate Kosturski It is one of the things that frustrates me about this profession – our very reactive approach to advocacy, marketing and issue formation. I do hope you get something done though. I’ll go back to watching my cartoons now (ah the joys of being home sick).

Michael Porter
I absolutely agree we are behind the ball here in some respects. But I am trying to help use what I know to lead. Kate, you are right, but we have things and people in place that are doing all they can to chart a path forward. Please support these people and these efforts. ALA is a org with a rich tradition and deep respect in circles we must have entry into in org to tackle this. So please…

Kate Kosturski When you put it that way, I’ll get behind you. :) (I’m also just very much burnt out from hearing about HarperCollins and ebooks.)

Rosario Garza Agree with Kate and David — ALA is VERY LATE in addressing this issue, which just reinforces the image of it being a stodgy, slow-to-react organization. Have been VERY DISAPPOINTED with the official pronouncements to date.

Michael Porter ‎…keep think, talking and working on this….help be a part of the solution…WE FINALLY HAVE SOLID TRACTION. The work to get these Task Forces up and funded and selected and running has been a LONG while in the making. It is coincidence that recent developments cam e up these past coupe weeks as they did (though clearly again, this was overdue). I was frustrated and have done all I can to work within the system and in outside ways to assist (libraryrenewal.org and my day job at WebJunction). Please, when the site for the Task Force goes live, jump in…help us chart the wisest course forward and, most importantly, all of us…we each will have to do work to make this happen. It will require effort from all of us. Real time and energy and follow though…beyond a blog post or comments.

Also, please understand that this Task Force is not all of ALA. We are a piece of it. We cannot do everything, we cannot act as ALA spokespeople to many degrees. We are simply members trying to work to do the right thing within (and sometimes to expand) the scope of ALA. I know that we all share the same frustrations and concerns you have. It’s why we are trying to take action by diving in more and also trying new things that are outside the ALA system *cough* Library Renewal *cough*”

Finally, later in the afternoon/early evening there has been one last development of note. Again, this is what I (just) posted to my facebook wall. I invite your comments here, there or wherever you think they will reach me most effectively (no comments from the peanut gallery there!):

After multiple urgent conversations and email threads with some folks from both ALA Task Forces working on electronic content access issues (EQUACC and eBook), some senior leadership at ALA and some additional key staff at ALA, we will be have a meeting tomorrow morning to discuss immediate action ALA should consider or take.

I’d ask for your feedback to take to this meeting while at the same time implore you to consider the position of the org, relationships the org must maintain and build and also consider the limitation of the org.

I would also ask that you read the thread below (the Boing Boing) thread. My comments there provide context we must consider. As Eli Neiburger said in a recent Library Renewal post, Outrage is Not Adaptive….even when it is understandable.

Having said this, and trusting your read the thread below (above in this blog post)…how can I best represent libraries tomorrow in that meeting?”

So…yes, this is short notice. And yes, I have already been directly collecting feedback from literally dozens of us in Libraryland to take back to ALA on this…and I have been working with others who are doing the same (including Librarian by Day, Bobbi Newman) to ensure we have done all we can to get traction in appropriate ways at ALA. I’m doing all I can.

So if you are concerned or upset by this entire situation, please ask yourself, Are you doing or willing to do all you can? Am I willing to do that in the most thoughtful and productive ways? Please remember how much easier it is to complain and how very hard it is to DO. So send your suggestions, and if you are outraged be prepared to and committed to do work on this for years. The future of libraries, not just in America, but the world over is truly at stake. Also, remember as you think on this that ALA is not a panacea, they are a piece in this unfolding puzzle. And they can definitely do more and improve, yet we are many pieces in the puzzle together. If we carefully use our voices and power for thoughtful, carefully planned, intentional action we can ensure vibrant libraries in a world dominated by access in electronic formats vs. print or physical formats. We can do this. We MUST do this.

Let the comments and emails commence. And hey, while your at it, wish me and all those folks buried in this luck, patience and understanding. We are pretty wiped out at the moment to be honest and can use the good thoughts and energy.

Lots has happened (of course) with the Task Force and I wanted to provide a live update about where we are. I’m co-chairing the meeting atm so pls pardon typos.:

Yesterday we spent the afternoon breaking into our Working Groups, coming back to report and adjust ideas and plans, and then breaking out and coming together again to refine plans for each group. As a reminder and a way to understand the approach that seems to be forming, here are those working groups again:
Working Groups:
-Environmental Scan
-Electronic content and accessibility
-Model Projects
-Perpetual Licensing
-Public Relations Campaign

During the course of the day, the necessity to communicate what we are working on in a way that is timely and also allows for questions and feedback became something that (very happily) overtook part of our scheduled plan for the day. We unanimously agreed and insisted that we must create a blog/web page very quickly (days NOT weeks). Our plan is to ensure that this page allows for regular updates, allows feedback and can also give folks a chance to be informed, looped in, ask questions, and be heard in a public forum we are all engaged in. It does take time to monitor and respond to all of this and we have much work to do, but we all felt very strongly that even in the face of the being unpaid volunteers in this work, that there is simply no way to do our work effectively without this wider forum.

After we wrapped our work for the day, we all went out for dinner (and, ok, maybe a drink) and talked well into the evening about our working groups and next steps. ALA President Roberta Stevens joined us at dinner and was sure to talk to folks as they needed or wanted to.

In the next days you’ll hear more details and communications as a result of our work. Meantime, on behalf of my fellow Task Force co-chair Linda Crowe and the rest of the Task Force I wanted to thank all of you for the conversations and emails and texts and thoughts you have shared and sent to me and or to the group. We are trying hard to do the best, most wise and productive things we can here and appreciate your input and attention. We believe this issue will shape the future of libraries in the country and the world and we are committed to doing all we can to ensure libraries remain viable, vibrant and integral to society, Democracy and the lives of everyday people the world over.

One last thing to note in this post is that in today’s USA Today, the work of ALA’s Electronic Content Access Task Force was highlighted briefly by ALA President Roberta Stevens.
(Roberta Stevens)”hopes the librarians’ new task force on “equitable access to electronic content” can work collaboratively with publishers: “It’s ultimately in their interests to make books available in libraries ó in all formats.”

*update*
-Web site for our task force will likely have:
1. A blog
2. A list of each TF member including their email (this includes eBook Task Force Members as well)
3. A conversation forum on specific topics (likely, though we have to poke around a bit on this idea)
4. May have a Twitter scrolling feed for a hashtag we ask any interested party to use when sharing issues or or links with the Task Force, ALA or anyone interested in the topics attached to the work of the Task Force.

-We will be having a session at ALA Annual on our work. Likely two hours…first hour to update on our work, second hour to break into working groups and talk with individuals.

Here’s a fast overview of what we have talked about so far today and what is on our agenda. We are breaking into working groups (mentioned below) now. The concerns many of you have shared with me were passed on to Task Force members and ALA staff as well. ALA President Roberta Stevens will be at dinner tonight will us and these concerns will be shared with her tonight as well. *whew*

With that, here’s what we have been are working on right now:

ALA Task Force on Electronic Content Access:
I. Welcome and Introductions

II. Group Discussion
-Meeting started with a debrief of the recent developments and conversations in the last couple weeks.
-Need to communicate and include member/interested party updating and communication/conversation.
-Review Charge
-Review Assumptions (things we need to do or think about:
Assumptions:
-Provide a report to Council @ ALA Annual
-Communication *must* be improved
-National PR Campaign will be recommended
-Ask for funding to move TF work forward
-Some issues will be handed off to other ALA units.
-Broad dissemination or retreatís activities
-Develop a plan to keep membership informed (see above)
-Will seek Council advice
-Advocacy will be recommended.

Working Groups:
Electronic content and accessibility. Develop project plan with charge and funding recommendations
Environmental Scan: Will identify library, author, publishing data. Identify questions that need answers. Define research projects(s) if necessary. Develop charge and funding recommendations.
Model Projects:
Generating a list of projects that are or can be done by libs in the short term: Provide a reason to do each, recommendations, resources need, timeline plan
Perpetual Licensing: Current benefit of licensing as it. Describe models that might be more effective. Look at lending and preservation. Come up with model proposals for publishers.
Public Relations Campaign: Why should we do this? Including various library type perspectives. Identify audiences. Identify assumptions about these audiences and how to communicate with each. Messaging and tagline ideas.
Groups are breaking to work on ideas/plans. Will reconvene late in the afternoon for review and feedback.