I think this deserves its own thread--thanks for bringing it up, Christina!
I'm also interested in investigating how to formalize Code4Lib as an
entity, for all of the reasons listed earlier in the thread. I can't
volunteer to be the leader/torch-bearer/main source of energy behind the
investigation right now (sorry), but I'm happy to join any group that takes
this on. I might be willing to *co*-lead, if that is what it takes to get
the process started.
And, yes, anyone who has talked to me or read my rants about the
proliferation of library professional organizations is going to think my
volunteering for this is really funny. But I think forming a group to
gather information gives us the chance to determine, as a community,
whether Code4Lib delivers enough value and has enough of a separate
identity to be worth forming Yet Another Professional Organization (my gut
answer, today? "yes"), or whether we would do better to fold into, or
become a sub-entity of, some existing organization; or, (unlikely) should
Code4Lib stop being A Big International Thing and just do regional stuff?
Or some other option I haven't listed--I don't even know what all the
options are, right now.
One note on the "no, let's not organize" sentiment: the problem with a flat
organization, or an anarchist collective, or a complete "do-ocracy," is
that the decision-making structures aren't as obvious to newcomers, or even
long-term members who aren't already part of those structures. There is
value to formality, within reason. I mean... right now, I don't know how to
go about getting "permission" to form this exploratory group, right? Having
some kind of formal structure would help.
So... how do we do that? Can we do that? Who wants to help?
On Tue, Jun 7, 2016 at 12:21 PM, Salazar, Christina <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> It's probably too late for a 2017 but I really do think it's time to
> reopen the question of formalizing Code4Lib IF ONLY FOR THE PURPOSES OF
> BEING THE FIDUCIARY AGENT for the annual conference.
> Local (and national) politics aside, it's very difficult to stand in front
> of your boss (or worse, a total stranger) and ask them to be willing to
> cover financial liability for an unaffiliated, purely voluntary
> organization. In addition, we're no longer talking about a couple thousand
> dollars financial liability, we are now getting into a HUNDRED THOUSAND
> DOLLARS liability.
> I question the sustainability of this present system for the long term.
> PS (I know, everyone says no no no, we don't want to be organized, but my
> feeling is that we need a better way to manage the funding part of the
> conference... Or choose to go local only.)
> Christina Salazar
> Systems Librarian
> John Spoor Broome Library
> California State University, Channel Islands
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
> Brian Rogers
> Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2016 8:27 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [CODE4LIB] Update Regarding C4L17 in Chattanooga
> Greetings from the Chattanooga C4L17 Planning Committee:
> This is a follow-up to Andrea Schurr’s May 18th email (
> https://goo.gl/bs2au7) regarding the survey around potential impact on
> attendance of the 2017 Code4Lib conference, given the host of
> discriminatory/concerning legislation in Tennessee.
> Please see the summary of results below. We thank the individuals who took
> the time to respond and provide thoughtful answers as to the issues at
> hand, as well as suggest possible solutions. We met as a group last Tuesday
> to decide how to proceed. As many pointed out, they were not easy
> questions, and so predictably, there were no easy answers.
> We’ve determined that given this community’s commitment to providing a
> safe and accommodating environment for all attendees, it is morally and
> fiscally irresponsible to continue the effort of hosting the annual
> conference in Chattanooga. This decision was not an easy one, and there
> were hours of discussion as to the pros and cons of proceeding, informed by
> your responses to the survey, as well as our individual opinions.
> This decision is additionally informed by the inability to secure a fiscal
> host for the conference. Even prior to legislative concerns, multiple
> institutions in the southeast took a pass, given the size of attendance and
> increased risk of liability. The two viable leads we pursued finally
> confirmed as a “no” last week. Those decisions were in part or wholly
> informed by the financial risk assumed by a host having to contend with an
> unpredictable timeline of withdrawn support via geographical boycott.
> Which leaves us with the voluminous question of, “Now what?” Threading
> together survey and committee responses, we put forth the following to the
> Code4Lib community:
> 1. There is a host site that has contacted the Chattanooga Planning
> Committee and informed us they are actively seeking a fiscal host and
> should shortly know the results of that endeavor. Given that no other city
> submitted a proposal, Chattanooga will pass along documentation and
> responsibility for next year’s conference if they are successful.
> 2. If this alternative site is unable to procure a fiscal host, then we
> suggest shifting the 2017 conference from in-person to virtual. We already
> have a potential fiscal host for this option, but we would open the
> implementation of such to the community. All of us agree that virtual
> cannot replace the feel and value of an in-person conference. However,
> given the mounting size of participation and the absence of a stable,
> consistent funding base, coupled with a socially conscious community, this
> year is a hard sell across many of the states.
> 3. For those interested and willing, simultaneously host in-person
> regional conferences alongside the main virtual conference. We realize, of
> course, that this leaves a vast majority of the southeast in a predicament,
> unless another region wishes to adopt us.
> Know that this is not our preferred outcome, and that everyone on the
> planning committee wishes we could make this conference happen in
> Chattanooga. It is a grand little city with unexpected delights. We invite
> any and all questions, concerns, responses and conversation. Here, Slack,
> IRC, Twitter, Friendster, Myspace, and wherever else people seem to be
> lurking these days.
> And with that, here is a summary of the survey results. Out of respect to
> those who answered under condition of anonymity, we are only sharing the
> raw numbers and not the freeform responses.
> Q1: Given the current state of legislation in Tennessee, would you boycott
> Code4Lib 2017 in Chattanooga? 124 Responses:
> 22.58% Yes, I would boycott.
> 77.42% No, I would not boycott.
> Q2: If Tennessee was considering a North Carolina type bathroom bill,
> would you boycott Code4Lib 2017 in Chattanooga? 124 Responses:
> 26.61% Yes, I would boycott.
> 73.38% No, I would not boycott.
> Q3: If Tennessee passed a North Carolina type bathroom bill, would you
> boycott Code4Lib 2017 in Chattanooga? 123 Responses:
> 46.34% Yes, I would boycott.
> 53.66% No, I would not boycott.
> Q4: If you indicated that you would consider boycotting the conference,
> would you reconsider if Code4Lib made a significant donation to an
> organization fighting against discrimination in Tennessee? 121 Responses:
> 34.71% Yes, I would consider attending.
> 19.83% No, I would still boycott.
> 45.45% N/A (I would not consider boycotting the conference.)
> Q5: If your organization implemented a travel ban to Tennessee, would you
> consider attending Code4Lib 2017 in Chattanooga using your personal funds
> and on your personal time? 122 Responses:
> 26.23% Yes, I would consider using my personal time/funds to attend.
> 73.77% No, I would not consider using my personal time/funds to attend.
> Brian Rogers
> Director of Library IT & Professor
> UTC Library, Dept. 6456
> University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
> Phone: 423-425-5279
> Email: [log in to unmask]