AALL members voted in record numbers to reject being rebranded as the Association for Legal Information. On February 10th these results were announced by AALL President, Keith Ann Stiverson:
“The proposal to change the name of American Association of Law Libraries to the Association for Legal Information has failed by a vote of 1998 (80.11 percent) opposed, to 496 (19.89 percent) in favor. A record number of members voted on this proposal, with 59.51 percent casting a ballot.”
It is unclear as to whether this rejection was due more to opposition to changing the name or opposition to the proposed new name. What is clear is that the issue of publicizing and affirming the relevancy and value of law librarians and legal information professionals must continue to be addressed. Ms. Stiverson stated that: “The recommendation to change the name of the Association has started a conversation about the future of AALL, and the profession as a whole, that we hope to continue. We want to spend time this year discussing the future of law librarians in more detail.” I think that an open and inclusive debate with both members and non-members is critical to this future.
I voted no because I thought the proposed name was unclear, ambiguous and misleading (ALI was already a powerful law brand). I might have voted differently for a clearer and more forceful name. Other AALL members voted yes and blogged about it. For example, on her deweybstrategic blog, Jean P. O’Grady posted her reasons for supporting the change and later her reaction to the no vote.
On February 23rd AALL members will be able to participate in a virtual town hall meeting to discuss the vote and future steps. I hope members on both sides of the vote will participate and contribute to this important discussion about the evolution and enhancement of our profession.