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Lindsay Bosch (staff)'s picture

Pre-vote discussion: 10/07/13-10/14/13: ACRL Process for Reviewing/Accepting Advertising

Dear Board members

Please find attached a Board Action Form outlining an organizational advertising review process and a revision to the ACRL advertising policy statement.   The Board is invited to review the document and have discussion during the period of 10/07/13-10/14/13 Please post any feedback, questions or comments on the document using the threaded discussion attached to this post.

At the conclusion of discussion, we will issue an edited version of the Board Action Form if the need arises. We anticipate a virtual vote on this action to be held from October 14 – 21, 2013

Many thanks for your participation,

Lindsay Bosch

ACRL Program Officer


Trevor Dawes's picture

I remind the Board members that while we typically don't vote on staff processes, we felt this process will potentially have a significant impact on operations and we are therefore asking you to comment.   


Trevor A. Dawes

Steven Bell's picture

As I review the proposed process for reviewing and accepting advertising, I think it effectively responds to the issues and concerns that were raised during our ALA Annual board meeting conversations. I recall leading our discussion and writing down both the issues and suggested strategies. Two of those strategies, focusing more on the extent to which the advertiser is promoting or educating with ideas that run counter to our values and having the Board act as the association's antennae in picking up signals about such activities that would raise concerns about prospective advertisers, are well integrated into this new process. 

I believe it will help us to both offer a positive response to our members who questioned the effectiveness of our advertising policies and procedures and avoid such entanglements in the future. We know that there will always be uncertainty in accurately detecting the factors that would lead us to question the motives of potential advertisers (who is or is not acting in the best interest of academic librarianship and higher education), but this new procedure will be a step in the right direction to help us ask the right questions when those motives may be in doubt.


Steven Bell Associate University Librarian Temple University bells@temple.edu http://stevenbell.info

Irene Herold's picture

While I will continue to keep my ears open, this outlined process appears to be one that will help us all be more aware and keep our mission in the forefront as we work with our diverse member and vendor constituencies. It will be interesting if any vendors choose not to advertise with ACRL once they receive the new process.

Irene Herold

ACRL Board, Past President 2017-2018

Julie Garrison's picture

As I read this, I appreciate the time and attention this will take. It reads as though, we are both concerned about a company's position and values as well as how and what they advertise to our members. Many of our vendors do some things we like and may also engage in practices we dislike and this is where this could get complicated. I wonder whether a process that looks more narrowly at the advertising itself rather than the company's values might be easier to apply more fairly.



Susan Whyte's picture

I echo Julie's remarks about the time/attention this new process will take. I think it makes sense to try this and to assess it in due time to see if it's working for ACRL staff and for our members.

Cynthia Steinhoff's picture

This procedure seems like it will work.  I agree with Susan that we need to try it to determine if it will work well and not be too time-consuming.


Julia Gelfand's picture

I am inclined to agree that we need to be engaged in this oversight activity and examine the advertising but agree with Julie's observations that the core values of a company are sometimes more telling than the advertising output.  I also think ACRL should try this and monitor it for awhile to determine if it is not too cumbersome to implement and see whether additional concerns arise.