Katy Watson has produced a summary of takeaways from the ALIA Board meeting held on 5 August. I was there. Let me highlight two of the take home messages. Katy's summary will be on the ALIA website soon.
First, new Online Communication Guidelines for ALIA lists. The goal was to frame these with a light touch, rather than having overly heavy-handed rules. Put another way, framing rules in a broad general way treats the users as grown up and able to interpret ambiguity, rather than saddling them with pages of detailed rules. We're assuming that it will all work out beautifully and foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and courtesy. They should be on the ALIA site shortly.
Second, there is going to be a significant survey of ALIA members before the end of the year. I am a great fan of surveying, because it provides a systematic overview of how people (members in the case of ALIA) see things and what their issues are. Surveys are a much better way of listening to the people than other feedback methods, such as complaints registers; complaints are generally much fewer, often unrepresentative, and a poor basis for decision-making. Here at my workplace (Swinburne Library) we have used our customer survey to generate budget and planning drivers for 2007 and 2008.
ALIA has revved up its blog and given board members the right (or obligation) to post to it. What a dilemma! Will I post the interesting things I think of (maybe there's an oxymoron hiding there) to this blog, and the others to the ALIA blog? Or vice versa? Can I recycle posts?