I have to disagree with Eric, personally. I think incorporation could mean
the death of everything that makes Code4Lib work. To me, the essence of
Code4Lib is its self-organizing nature. Code4Lib isn't an organization;
it's a community. There's no central body, but somehow every year we pull
off the best conference in library technology. We have a robust and
thriving suite of media for communication and idea exchange. No one owns
the Code4Lib brand or concept, and anyone can organize a Code4Lib event
just by using the name and embodying the spirit of Code4Lib.
What differentiates Code4Lib from other organizations? It's not the passion
of the contributors. It's not the topics we address. It's the way that we
come together as a community organically without needing bylaws,
governance, holdings, presidents, etc., and still make it work every year,
year after year. In short, Code4Lib is the only anarchist collective that
I've ever seen find true success, and that's something special.
To my eyes, the only ongoing existential challenge that Code4Lib has is
that of fiscal continity *per se*. And if we have an organization that we
trust that's saying, "You can continue to operate exactly how you are now,
but you can count on us to represent you financially when needed," that
seems like the ideal solution. And I think the level of work required for
fiscal stewardship is quite minimal -- we've been doing it every year for
I-don't-know-how-long now; this is just making an existing practice extend
into the longer term.
Are there benefits to incorporation? Maybe. But will those benefits destroy
the heart of what makes Code4Lib essentially Code4Lib? Without being
melodramatic, I think this is a real possibility.
I'll be voting for the fiscal sponsorship path.
On Sat, Sep 30, 2017 at 10:55 AM, Eric Lease Morgan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> For what it is worth, I will vote for us to incorporate in lieu of us
> doing nothing or partnering with a fiscal agent. I have nothing against any
> of the fiscal agents. They are all good groups of people with more things
> in common than differences. I just think that if we incorporate, then we
> will have a wider set of options made available to us. The act of
> incorporating will be empowering. I believe incorporating is in the DIY
> spirit of our community. I believe incorporating is in the best interest of
> Code4Lib. We have all of the necessary resources: cash, experience, and
> vision. All we need to do is the work, which will be almost equal to the
> work involved in creating and managing a relationship with a fiscal agent.
> I think we can make it happen. —Eric Lease Morgan