Hi Al - I can understand your frustration, but my concern is broader than the operations of the Washington office. Particularly since legislative success is only one of several possible measures of effectiveness AND because not all of our resolutions deal with federal legislative issues. I'd rather deal with the broader issue I see. If we were to evaluate the effectiveness of resolutions and found that we only have a minor effect at the federal level, then a closer look at the Washington Office might be appropriate.
Hi Christopher - Thanks for your comments and engaging this discussion. I did see the Washington Office report and I started following the Committee on Legislation at http://connect.ala.org/node/64213, which has been enlightening. Again, though our resolutions are broader than Washington issues.
You asked "Do you think there should be a resolution calling for a committee/task force to audit the outcomes of the resolutions?"
I think the first thing would be see if there has already been such a committee/task force in the past and find their report if there was one. I wasn't sure who to ask, so I made a general appeal. Maybe this would have been better aimed at eBoard or the Executive Director.
If there haven't been any efforts at measuring resolution effectiveness before, I think the first step -- much as it pains me to say so -- would be to call for a task force/committee to come up with a definition of what constitutes a successful/effective resolution. It should be a mix of Council and ALA staff because ideally measures of success could be pulled from whatever ALA is currently keeping stats on -- whether or not its currently reported to Council. New metrics should only be created as a last resort.
The recommended criteria for what is a successful/effective would then be brought back to Council for buy-in. Then and only then would we ask for a task force committee to actually audit the last five or ten years worth of Council Resolutions and see how many have done more than gather dust on a shelf.
Does that sound reasonable? If so, I'll try doing more research about past measurement efforts. If none exists would you be interested in collaborating on a resolution for Annual?