Monday, September 19, 2005
Response to Hurricane Katrina Update
First, I would like to convey many heartfelt thanks to all of you for your responses and offers to help. Special thanks are due to Kathie Sullivan for her initiative in organizing and editing the blog promptly established by AALL Headquarters to assist in responding to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Please continue to contribute to it, and check it regularly for updates. The contributions to the blog have been highly responsive and generous, and we get submissions nearly daily. We would like to hear that more members who have been displaced are okay, so if anyone is in touch with them, we would like to know. AALL and all colleagues stand ready to assist whenever they are ready.
I have appointed the following special committees for 2005-06, to jumpstart the new AALL Strategic Directions, which are focused on Leadership, Education, and Advocacy. These special committees will be result-oriented and coordinate their work with already existing committees when appropriate.
Promoting Law Librarians to the Legal Community
This special committee, chaired by Gail Warren, will focus on ways for law librarians to raise their visibility and communicate their value effectively to the practicing bar, judiciary, the media, and law school deans, as well as other significant decision-makers in the legal profession. The committee will come up with measurable methods of success in reaching out to the legal community. The committee will work with the Publishing Initiatives Caucus (PIC) on writing for legal publications.
Fostering Legal Research as a Subject Specialty
This special committee, chaired by Blair Kauffman, will focus on enhancing the value of law librarians as the information experts in their institutions. It will address in a proactive way the lack of understanding of the value of librarians in the digital world and the myth that, with the Internet, there is no need for librarians or libraries. This issue brings together all law librarians, whether in law firms, academic, corporate, or government settings. The committee will focus on (1) fostering the expertise of law librarians providing a core competency for their institutions; and (2) promoting the teaching role of the law librarian as faculty member in the law school, or equivalent--instructor, trainer-- in law firms, courts, and other law library settings.
Permanent Public Access to Legal Information
This special committee, chaired by Judy Meadows, will examine whether AALL should take an active role in helping to develop an agenda of cooperative actions to ensure the long term access to born digital legal information and the preservation of print legal materials. It will focus on whether AALL should strengthen its relationship with LIPA, the Legal Information and Preservation Alliance, which is developing a national preservation plan for digital and print legal materials.
Training the Next Generation of Law Librarians
This special committee, chaired by Michael Chiorazzi, will explore what needs to take place in terms of education, training, and mentoring to ensure the success of the next generation of law librarians, with a special focus on law library directors and librarians with foreign and international law experience, as well as a workforce that reflects the diversity of our clientele.
I look forward to working with each one of you, individually, as well as through the committees, SISs, and caucuses, on what promises to be a most exciting year, leading to the centennial celebration in St. Louis!
Claire M. Germain