We formed the AALL Consumer Advocacy Caucus to better protect all law libraries from anti-consumer practices of information providers. We will recommend that AALL’s Executive Board petition appropriate government entities to remedy business practices that illegally restrict competition or otherwise harm law library consumers. We are just starting to consider ideas for our first recommendation, which we would like to propose for Board action at the July 2012 Business Meeting. To prepare our recommendation, we expect to survey AALL members on the nature and scope of a significant anti-consumer problem.
We need your help at this critical moment to target a problem of longstanding concern. What anti-consumer grievance most concerns you as a law librarian? For example, according to Principle 3.2(a) of AALL’s Guide to Fair Business Practices for Legal Publishers, “[p]ublishers should not bind their customers to a non-disclose clause as a non-negotiable requirement of doing business.” But many information service providers appear to have routinely violated this principle, severely compromising our ability to make informed purchasing decisions on behalf of our employers. Does this problem deserve our attention for a survey and first recommendation, or does some other problem concern you even more?
Our success depends on our ability to represent your concerns. So please take just a few minutes to let us know what you think by posting your comment here. If you prefer to use email, feel welcome to send your comment to michaelginsborgATyahoo.com, and I will forward it to the Caucus. We will also honor all requests for confidentiality.