Since AALL is not changing its name why does our association need to rebrand?

Odd isn’t it that there were no dissenting votes on renaming AALL at the Executive Board level. Considering how the vote turned out, one would think there might be some representation of rank-and-file interests on the Executive Board (read some opposition to the proposal). My hunch is that some officers were not initially in favor of the name change but were persuaded by something – the merits of the case, peer pressure, etc. – to vote for the renaming. So the question remains — Whose interests does the Board represent?

AALL remains “top-down,” not “bottom-up” in the handling of association affairs. Sometimes that can’t be helped. Sometimes it can. In the case of the renaming proposition, I think the Board heard loud and clear that members wanted more direct participation before the Board takes any action whatsoever. Will that lesson be institutionalized in the Board-Membership relationship?

What about the rebranding initiative (with its $185,000 price tag)? It sounds like rebranding is moving forward but is rebranding needed now that AALL is not changing its name? I, for one, think rebranding was only necessary if AALL’s name changed; it doesn’t seem necessary after the renaming debacle.

To the best of my knowledge, the rank and file will not vote on whether or not rebranding should proceed. But there is an opportunity for members to express their opinion about rebranding, including the desirability of moving forward. AALL has scheduled a virtual town hall for Tuesday, February 23, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. (CST) “to provide time for further discussion and to answer any questions you may have.” First question: Since our association is not changing its name, why does AALL need to rebrand? — Joe


  1. Should AALL and other library organizations team-up with a communications company to produce and strategically place ads that raise awareness of the librarians’ roles and value in organizations?
    The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) educates viewers in their TV spots about the value of the HR professional. Ads appeared on CNN, Fox and NBC stations. SHRM had print and online ads in business journals. The 2008 press release states: The ads are part of SHRM’s first ever multi-platform, national campaign designed to raise awareness among business leaders and other groups about HR’s critical role in ensuring every organization’s success.” AALL goal to advance the profession of law librarianship could be served by a similar campaign.

    Mary Stultz

  2. Even though our name didn’t change, we still need a ‘rebranding’ campaign in order to brand law librarianship. Mary is right in that we should have an advertising campaign to get us out of the backroom and being recognized as viable contributors to the practice of law.

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