[Koha] Fwd: RFP: 3rd NAKUG/KohaNA meeting

Robin Hastings rhastings at nekls.org
Sat Nov 21 10:51:21 NZDT 2015

The wording on the request for proposals is unfortunate, but it's an
artifact of the fact that the people involved in the conference planning
have been in the US and preferred a US destination for travel. For what
it's worth, I wouldn't disqualify a Canadian library organization who
wanted to throw their hat in the ring and would likely vote for a Canadian
or Mexican or Caribbean location, myself, but so far, all the folks who
have been present at planning/group meetings have been US folks, so that's
where the focus has been. I was there at the first meeting, where we chose
the name, and I'm not sure if there was a Canadian library in the group, or
just folks who were close enough to Canada (we were in Washington State)
that they wanted to include our northern neighbors as well, so the Koha
North America name was chosen there and has been in use since.
As for the conference being in August - again, this has been discussed at
length for the last two years at open group meetings and this is the time
frame that seems to work best for the majority. If this time doesn't work
for you, anyone is welcome to join us in our meetings and make the case for
a different time of the year! At this point, since both the conferences
we've had before were in August, it's probably mostly just precedent that
keeps it there...
And, as for charging fees - we've had 2 conferences, one free, one not, so
it's hard to say that we have a history of charging. The fees are entirely
dependent on whether we have to pay for the venue (and that is one reason
why we ask for people to indicate if their venue will be free or not in the
request, so that people have that information when they vote for a venue)
and is the only way some venues are possible - many organizations that
would like to host can't manage a completely cost-free venue and the
organization has no way to pay for the meeting otherwise than through
participant fees.
I understand that charging for the conference is a barrier, but there are
very few conferences that can manage to be put together and hosted
completely without charge, though that is a goal that is worthy, it's not
always possible. As someone mentioned earlier, if you want those little
amenities like coffee and pastries, someone has to pay for them... The
wording of the RFP can be changed, certainly, to make it more inclusive,
and we can put that on the "to-do" list for next year, but of course the
membership chooses, via a vote, where the conference will be, so no
guarantees can be made about what gets picked.
Our monthly meetings are open and advertised in advance through our mailing
list and on our website (www.koha-na.org) - if you would like to join us
online to talk about any of this, you are more than welcome!

On Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 2:51 PM, Paul A <paul.a at navalmarinearchive.com>

> At 08:19 PM 11/19/2015 +0000, BWS Johnson wrote:
>> Salvete!
>> > The Koha North America User’s Group would like to invite agencies and
>> > libraries located within the United States to host its third annual
>> meeting
>> > held in early August, 2016. This meeting offers participants two days of
>> > instructional sessions and presentations, followed by a two day
>> hackfest.
>>     At risk of beating a dead horse, I am once again disappointed that
>> this body has taken up the mantle of "North America". There are plenty of
>> Libraries, Organisations, and Agencies within North America that do not fit
>> your group's stringent United States centric viewpoint. I am also
>> continually saddened that this body will only consider meeting in early
>> August. It is further too bad that you all charge fees for your meeting.
>> The three of these problems in combination send a strong repeated message
>> that inclusivity is not an aim of your organisation, whether that be a
>> valid conclusion to draw or no. I do so hope that at some point in future,
>> this group might reconsider any or all of those matters.
> In 1812, the "Americans" (17 States) thought they could just march into
> Canada and take over. As Tom Lehrer used to sing: "they've hardly bothered
> us since then..."
> Best -- Paul
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Robin Hastings
Director of Technology Services - NEKLS

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