The results of the vote on the proposed AALL name change were announced on February 12th, to the surprise and satisfaction of many. In a landslide, 81.9% of voters cast their vote against the name change. This came as shock to many including Jean O’Grady of Dewey B Strategic who stated:
” I wasn’t surprised that the name “Association for Legal Information” was rejected. I was stunned that it was voted down by a huge majority. I expected a close vote. Boy was I wrong”
Read more in her recent article, The “No’s” Have It : AALL Members Embrace Tradition and Reject Transformative Rebranding.
Here are two more perspectives from the legal arena on the proposed name change.
Andrew Plumb-Larrick, former Acting Director of the Judge Ben C. Green Law Library at Case Western Reserve’s law school discusses his take on the AALL’s proposed name change in his article, AALL or AfLI: What’s in a Name? In his thought-provoking piece he states:
“But as someone now working outside of the well-understood “boundaries” of the profession, I think the name can be a hindrance. In libraries, I managed projects and teams. I directed long-term strategic planning. I managed multi-million-dollar budgets. I negotiated large contracts. I worked with University-level stakeholders on huge administrative questions — related to the organizational position and structure of the library, the response of the law school and university to crisis-level cost pressures, and to possible opportunities for new business. I dealt with issues of marketing, technology planning, and infrastructure. But this is all experience that can be, and at least sometimes is, discounted for having happened as a “librarian” in a “library.” Whether that is right or not isn’t the question here. Whether it is a reason for us to seriously consider what the rest of the world thinks we are saying when we call ourselves librarians is the question.”
Fred Shapiro, Associate Librarian for Collections and Access, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School, Proud member of AALL since 1982 also gives his take on the suggested name change in WHY I DISAGREE WITH THE PROPOSED AALL RENAMING. He also provides many insightful points in his statement, including:
“One of the reasons I love librarianship is that it is a variegated profession that encompasses many functions and aspects. In addition to the important managerial and technological roles, librarians play social roles, intellectual roles, cultural roles, psychological roles, etc. I believe that AALL is focusing almost exclusively on the managerial and technological roles (take a look at any recent issue of AALL Spectrum) and neglecting the rich tapestry of other roles that librarians play. The name change will further this unfortunate narrowness.”