In an effort to um... help this conversation, I think it's useful to think about the fiduciary agent issue as being separate from formalizing Code4Lib as a whole.
Please, please, please don't let our reluctance to be organized kill the idea that we're proposing of reintroducing some sort of something that would allow Code4Lib to assume our own financial liability.
At this stage of the game we're literally asking for random organizations to be willing to cover us for hundreds of thousands of dollars of liability with nothing to secure against and I’m sorry, but that's insane, not just inhumane.
John Spoor Broome Library
California State University, Channel Islands
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Coral Sheldon-Hess
Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2016 2:27 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Formalizing Code4Lib?
On Tue, Jun 7, 2016 at 5:09 PM, Eric Lease Morgan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On Jun 7, 2016, at 10:53 PM, Mike Giarlo <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Can you say more about what you expect "the emotional and
> > bureaucratic
> expense" to be?
> Bureaucratic and emotional expenses include yet more committees and
> politics. Things will happen increasingly slowly. Our community will
> be less nimble and somewhat governed by outside forces. We will end up
> with presidents, vice-presidents, secretaries, etc. Increasingly there
> will be “inside” and “outside”. The inside will make decisions and the
> outside won’t understand and feel left out. That is what happens when
> formalization take place.
So, to be clear: you think this isn't already happening? You think* as it stands, nobody is baffled by the operations of Code4Lib, and nobody feels like outsiders, not knowing how decisions are made?*
*Would everyone else agree with that statement? *Am I the only one here who has felt like a baffled outsider to Code4Lib--who feels that way pretty regularly, in fact?
If I'm alone in that, maybe I'll change my mind on the value of structure to [potentially!] make things clearer to newcomers.
> The regional conferences are good things. I call them franchises. The
> annual meeting does not have to be a big deal, and the smaller it is,
> the less financial risk there will be. Somebody will always come
> forward. It will just happen.
I was the person who coalesced the Lessons Learned wiki pages from 2013-15 into a single page in the leadup to the 2016 conference. So I can tell you, with great confidence, that the annual meeting DOES have to be a big deal.
It is impossible for it not to be, with so many people showing up every year, all of them with different needs that we have decided, as a community, that we will do our best to meet. Just *feeding* that many people for one day, without leaving anyone out (or, worse, accidentally poisoning someone), is a HUGE undertaking. "Just" managing the hotel block and fighting with the hotel over A/V and other fees and trying to prevent the host organization from going broke is a HUGE job.
I've served as "just" the technology chair for a 400 person conference that did *not* do live video streams with captioning. It was a TREMENDOUS job.
It took SO much work, even with notes from the previous tech chair and with a really involved conference chair who went to every meeting I went to.
(And I got to be part of negotiations with the hotel, so I have some understanding of how big a job that last line from the previous paragraph
And people who have served as our chairs are on here, *telling us*: It's a really big job. It *already is a big deal*.
(not Carol :))