The current thinking in LITA is that ITAL is a member benefit and restricting it to members (and later, journal silos) is important or people won't belong to LITA. This isn't a data-driven conclusion, just how current thinking works. I have often wondered why people join and stay in LITA; I wonder what a game theorist would say. [Lorcan Dempsey's weblog: Library websites again]And yep, I saw the discussion on the LITA discussion list.
For me, the main issue here is impact and communication. Within libraries we tell each other we have important lessons for other communities about information management. I hope that that is the case. How do we communicate what we have learned? How do we imagine others will know what we do? How do we participate in general conversation about these issues? Well, apparently not through our journal literature, much of which is not available on the web, and is limited in circulation. Continuing current policies with ALA journals will ensure that they are read by a progressively smaller professional group. And, as importantly, lack of impact will mean that they attract a diminishing pool of papers. And that is sad.