Newsline March 2019

Letter from the Executive Director

Some decisions are hard. They can rack one with doubt, stress, and confusion. Each step of the process can seem painful and tentative. Other decisions are easier.  From the outset, they just make sense and are full of positive possibilities. The decision announced last month was much more along the second line. It just makes sense to bring NISO together with NFAIS. We represent similar communities, with related missions and analogous goals; to improve the process of creating, distributing, and interacting with content.

The process of arriving at that decision has been a long and detailed one. The joint committee exploring the options for bringing the two organizations together looked at a wide range of issues and details, from financial to legal, and from procedural to logistical.  Seemingly, no stone was unturned in the review process. As standards developers-at least on the NISO side of the table- we puzzle over the details to ensure it will work as planned. The rationale for merger made more and more sense, as we considered more deeply the options. NFAIS' strong history of thought leadership and community building was an excellent complement to NISO's practical development work. NISO could build on the ideas developed in convening sessions and advance practical solutions that improve efficiency and speed technology adoption.  Where NISO hasn't historically brought members of the community together, NFAIS has excelled. We have an opportunity to connect a more diverse community and bring together ideas from the library, publishing, government agency, and software worlds. In the end, the two organizations once combined should be able to have a greater impact and be able to produce tremendous results.

We are about to enter an exciting period for both communities. There are a lot of details to work through and many prospects to consider. We want your ideas as part of this process, too. As you look around at your environment, what could improve how you do your work? What ways do working with your partners cause friction or waste time? What opportunities exist to build coalitions around solving these challenges? So many of the wonderful people in this community have thoughtful and innovative ideas about where to go. Please find a moment to share these thoughts with me and the community. It will be fascinating to see how these ideas germinate and grow in the new NISO that is forming.

Todd Carpenter