‘Tis the Season (to Volunteer)

It being AALL Committee and Award Jury Volunteer season, I thought I’d share a post on reasons you might consider volunteering for CRIV. Earlier this year, I authored a post where I delved into the work CRIV conducts on behalf of the membership. To learn all about us, I’d encourage you to give that post a read (and view our full charge on AALLnet), but as a short recap, CRIV, the Committee on Relations with Information Vendors, seeks to facilitate communication between information vendors and the members of AALL by establishing open, positive relationships. In an effort to achieve these aims, we serve both an advocacy and an education role, primarily through the following activities:

  • Advocacy
    • Requests for Assistance – AALL members are encouraged to submit formal requests for assistance with any information vendor through this form, to assist us with tracking requests and ensuring follow-through.
    • Formal Vendor Liaison Relationships – CRIV has an established liaison relationship with four of the largest legal information vendors: Wolters Kluwer, Thomson Reuters, LexisNexis, and Bloomberg/BNA. Our vendor liaisons engage in semi-annual calls with our contacts at these organizations to discuss ongoing requests for assistance and to hear the latest product updates and developments.
  • Education
    • Vendor Roundtable – Held in conjunction with the AALL Annual Meeting each year, CRIV hosts a Vendor Roundtable at which vendors are invited to discuss a predetermined topic and how their company addresses it. Last year, for example, vendors discussed the tools they use to ensure accessibility in their online products.
    • The CRIV Sheet – This newsletter from CRIV comes out three times a year, containing program highlights and reviews from the Annual Meeting as well as articles on a wide array of vendor and legal information-related topics. (As an aside, while content is largely authored by CRIV members, we encourage outside authors as well. If you are interested in writing for The CRIV Sheet, we are currently accepting articles for our February issue! Copy is due January 12th. If you are interested in writing an article, please email Andrew Christensen, this year’s CRIV Sheet editor.)
    • CRIV Blog – Members of CRIV contribute regular posts to the CRIV blog as well, often highlighting recent news and trends in legal information.

With all that in mind, why might you consider volunteering to serve on CRIV?

Consider volunteering for CRIV if you…

…like being an advocate – If you enjoy the advocacy role of the legal or library profession, CRIV is the committee for you! CRIV is a problem-solving committee that seeks to work on behalf of AALL members to solve problems and answer questions related to legal information vendors.

…want to get to know the vendors on a deeper level – If you are interested in an expanded relationship with legal information vendors, CRIV will offer you that experience. Serving as a vendor liaison, for example, you have the opportunity to engage in semi-annual calls with your assigned vendor, relaying any concerns or questions from the membership and hearing first-hand from the vendor about the latest product updates and enhancements.

…like to write (or want to get started writing) – Between our newsletter and our blog, CRIV members have several opportunities to write throughout the year. Whether you have tons of ideas about legal information or you regularly monitor the latest news from legal information vendors, those topics are right up our alley!

…like all things legal information – Whether at our regular committee meetings, on calls with information vendors, or through programming like our annual Vendor Roundtable, CRIV members are constantly discussing challenges, developments, and trends in legal information.

…are looking to develop new skills or deepen existing ones – Committee work in general is a great place to challenge yourself and try out new skills or areas of librarianship. For example, I had very little one-on-one interaction with vendor reps (outside of our law school’s Lexis/Westlaw/Bloomberg Law reps) prior to joining CRIV, but my outreach and engagement with a variety of vendors has grown significantly in my three-year term on the committee.

…are interested in a (semi-) long-term commitment – CRIV is somewhat unique in that membership on CRIV is a three-year, rather than a one-year commitment. If you have ever felt like you were just starting to get your feet wet on a committee, right as your one-year term expired, CRIV offers you the chance to engage with its work over three years, which allows you to try your hand at different aspects of CRIV involvement over time. Your first year, you might dabble in writing for the blog and The CRIV Sheet. Your second year, you might get involved with the Vendor Roundtable, or step up into a leadership role by serving as the blog coordinator, CRIV Sheet editor, or Vice Chair; by your third year, you might to decide to get to know the vendors better by serving as a vendor liaison (or chairing CRIV!). A longer commitment lets you better see the impact of your work on a committee over time.

The AALL Committee & Award Jury Volunteer form is due December 15th. If you have yet to submit, I hope you’ll consider CRIV. It offers a little bit of everything. And if you have any questions about CRIV activities, feel free to send me an email. Like the work we do, I’m happy to advocate on CRIV’s behalf!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: