ARCHIVED: Report on Law Librarianship in the Information Age Debuts Courtesy of West Information Publishing Group

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January 9, 1997


The American Association of Law Libraries' (AALL) Special Committee on the Renaissance of Law Librarianship in the Information Age has produced a comprehensive look at the future of the profession in Toward A Renaissance in Law Librarianship: The Report, Recommendations and Materials of the American Association of Law Libraries Special Committee on the Renaissance of Law Librarianship in the Information Age. This groundbreaking report edited by AALL member Richard Danner (Associate Dean for Library and Computing Services, Duke University School of Law Library, Durham, North Carolina) has been printed and distributed to all AALL members through the generous support of West Information Publishing Group.

The main body of the Report covers three timely issues faced by AALL members-Fundamental Changes Challenging Law Libraries, the New Law Librarian in the Information Age, and a list of AALL Recommendations for the Executive Board. The Report is accompanied by a transcript of a discussion held at the 89th AALL Annual Meeting last summer in Indianapolis entitled Redefining The Law Librarian's Profession: A Town Meeting on the Future of Law Librarianship and by Divergent Views: Individual Statements on the Future of the Profession, in which members of the Special Committee offer their own forecasts for the years to come.

The Report is the result of three years of discussions, debates and definition conducted by the Special Committee under the charge of AALL's 1994-95 President Carol Billings (Director of the Law Library, Law Library of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana). Billings created the Special Committee in direct response to a major direction specified in the Strategic Challenge, the Association's plan for 1994-1998. The direction was to "provide leadership to shape the legal information environment in a time of rapid technological and public policy changes."

In her preface to the Report, Special Committee Chair Kathleen M. Carrick (Law Librarian and Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University Law School) said, "I am proud of this Report's bold and honest definition of an exciting and evolving profession that must take stock of its present to prepare for its future- the Recommendations are firm challenges that, if openly and honestly discussed and followed, will advance our profession in realizing our future potential."

The Report is being mailed to AALL members courtesy of West. Additional copies are available at no charge from the AALL Executive Staff Office, 312/939-4764. Available online is the Special Committee on the Renaissance of Law Librarianship in the Information Age Report: Toward Renaissance in Law Librarianship, which is an excerpt from the publication.

Founded in 1876, West Information Publishing Group is one of the world's largest publishers of legal information. West develops products and services using state-of-the-art technologies that adapt to the specific needs of attorneys and other legal professionals and has been a leader in electronic publishing since the introduction of its online legal information service, WESTLAW, in 1975.

The American Association of Law Libraries was founded in 1906 to promote and enhance the value of law libraries to the legal and public communities, to foster the profession of law librarianship, and to provide leadership in the field of legal information. Today, with almost 4,700 members, the Association represents law librarians and related professionals who are affiliated with a wide range of institutions: law firms; law schools; corporate legal departments; courts; and local, state and federal government agencies.