Thanks to Guy for bringing the draft this far and thanks to Rocco for getting a conversation started on its revision and refinement.   While I welcome a formal agreement, I don't think we have yet arrived at the document that will best serve our common purpose.     

Here are a few of the notes I made on the draft:

** My largest comment is that the document would benefit from a thorough reorganization .  I think the Vision Statement is where all of the LOC touchpoints and their missions should be covered, along with an agreed vision for the affiliates individually and collectively.  The vision statement could also clearly state the ways each affiliate and the affiliate network is envisioned to work with LOC through its various touchpoints.  That would not only create a compelling context, but it would also clear up the confusion about which entity the affiliate is entering into agreement with.   Then the details each center is agreeing to will follow from that broad vision, and spell out the more granular commitments a center makes to affirm that it will fulfill its responsibilities as an affiliated center. 

** I do have questions about those details:

1. There's a lot of required activity that has no clear purpose or achievable goals.  I think we can improve there.  I am happy to agree to meetings, but I need to know how many, for what purpose, and to what end.  

2. I, too, think the Publicity section merits discussion.  There are confusing messages there about what is/isn't the permission an affiliate is granted by right and what the exceptions are. 

3. I also do not think the affiliate calendar is ready for use in a benchmarking process. The page often (usually) doesn't render properly and it's unclear that one has even arrived at the proper page until one scrolls down.  Here's a screen shot of what that link usually takes me to.   


4.  I think annual reports are preferable, particularly if LOC projects quarterly meetings of coordinators.   

Concluding observations/questions: 

** The agreement is not clear about what LOC will do to promote the network and the activities it asks us to commit to. I would love to hear more about what LOC envisions as components of the promotion it alludes to in the agreement. 

** The agreement assumes affiliated centers are programs within host institutions.  Is this meant to steer centers toward a specific organizational model?   I'd welcome clarification on this point as we are one of the centers operating as an independent 501c3 and I know my board will wonder about this assumption. 

** The agreement doesn't mention the consequences of not meeting its terms, and I would like to understand that thinking.  I am not trying to make trouble or cast aspersions. Rather I'm asking what leverage this agreement gives us for increased support/funding if there are no negative effects of not complying.

** As for timelines:  I think January 15th is ambitious.  I would need to get a final document to my board by January 7th and they would have to have no questions or concerns about it and be ready to sign if I have a hope of meeting that deadline.  Hope springs eternal, but I would think a better goal would be in time for our annual meeting. 

I'm sure I have other comments but this is a good overview of what I would like to ask about/point out/suggest.   



Sharon Shaloo, Executive Director
Mass Center for the Book 
617.872.3718 (office)