ARCHIVED: Roger H. Parent's Informal Notes - 12/6/1996

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October 31, 1996


Improved Access to AALL and AALLNET for Members and Executive Staff

Consistent with recent efforts at headquarters to maintain and improve AALLNET, in November we will install a T-1 line that will provide high-speed, direct-access to the AALL server purchased with Association funds and resident at Washburn University. The Executive Board approved purchase of the server at Washburn in the 1997 capital equipment budget.

The T-1 line will permit the Association's Webmaster to work with the AALLNET files much more readily than is currently possible. In fact, updating files at the present time is exceedingly difficult and time consuming using standard telephone connections. Some of the applications suggested below have been impossible to undertake with the present form of access.

The T-1 line offers new and expanded e-mail capabilities. Executive Staff e-mail accounts with commercial vendors like America Online and Netcom will be replaced and the Association will take full advantage of the AALL domain name. Each Executive Staff member will be assigned a new e-mail address, such as STAFF'S NAME@aall.org. The Association's Webmaster will also be able to establish new e-mail addresses to accommodate the Association's needs. For example, to register individuals for educational events, ANNUAL MEETING@aall.org. He will also be able to set up listservs easily and offer e-mail addresses to Board Members, Committee Chairs and others which can be checked via Telnet.

The T-1 line will also facilitate exploration of integrated access between the AALL membership database and AALLNET. Files will be updated with considerably more speed than is possible now. It the future it may be possible to join AALL, to purchase publications, to register for educational programs, to examine membership records and send in changes electronically.

AALL Directory and Handbook

The final copy of the Handbook is now scheduled to be delivered to CCH for printing and mailing on November 8th, four weeks later than our originally scheduled date. It is our hope that the printer will be able to accommodate our request and need for a quick turnaround. The printer and AALL staff will make every effort to mail it to members immediately before Thanksgiving, November 25th.

This year's unusual delays were caused by two primary factors. First, the Association is using a new firm to produce the copy for the Directory. Working with a new firm instead of Shackelford and Associates that had produced the Directory for many years has caused some inevitable production delays. Second, during the production Editor Peter Beck also noted an error in the conversion to the new membership software in the field for members' telephone numbers. For each member the personal and institution telephone numbers had been reversed. This had to be corrected by the Association's software vendor before the files could be edited and approved.

As usual Peter has taken extraordinary measures, including engaging an editor to review all members records for completeness and accuracy, in order to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the membership Directory. In early September he even faxed a membership data form to approximately 1000 members to verify changes that they had requested to their records. Many used that opportunity to add further changes.

Peter has proposed a new approach to producing the Directory in August 1997, significantly earlier than has been done in the past. He has suggested that we produce the Directory earlier by including the names of all members who have renewed by the June 1st deadline, and the names of all those who may not have renewed yet. In conformance with our Bylaws the Association gives members a two month extension of membership benefits through September 1st. Bylaws Article IV Section 11 states: "If a member fails to pay dues two months after the beginning of the dues year, then privileges of that member shall be suspended by the Treasurer". We have thus delayed Directory production until September 1st when we could delete members who had not renewed.

This delay through September means that most members who renewed on time by June 1st are unnecessarily deprived from receiving their updated Directory in a timely manner. Peter's proposal would meet the needs of members who have renewed on time while not disenfranchising those members who delayed renewing their membership until September 1st.

Comments on Peter's proposal are encouraged and welcome.

West Information Publishing Group Professional Education Series: "Law and Justice: The Information Professional in the 21st Century."

The Advisory Committee held its second meeting in Chicago on October 24 - 25, 1996. Those in attendance included: Bob Willard and Roy Mersky, Co-Chairs; Charlie Finger, Marcia Koslov, Louise Rosen-Garcia, Bill Lindberg (newly appointed) and Kay Todd. In addition to the Advisory Committee, other participants included AALL President -Elect, Judy Meadows, Executive Director, Roger Parent, and Director of Programs, Martha Brown who serves as staff liaison. Maureen Sullivan continued as facilitator.

The Advisory Committee confirmed two broad themes that will shape the specific programs offered during the Series:

  • Issues, trends and developments in the legal system and practice of law which are shaping the delivery of legal information.
  • Changes in the legal system and inf

    December 6, 1996

    PLL Perspectives Editor Appointed
    Michael Saint-Onge has informed AALL that Jan Brown, Law Librarian, Montgomery, McCracken, Walker and Rhoads, Philadelphia will serve as the new Editor of PLL Perspectives. She replaces Sabrina Pacifici who resigned recently. In addition Mike has appointed John Davey, Law Librarian, Dechert Price & Rhoads, New York to serve as the advertising representative. The PLL Executive Committee remains committed to producing a high quality and timely newsletter for its members.

    Price Index for Legal Publications
    Margie Axtmann who served as Editor for the 1996 Edition of the Price Index for Legal Publications, has submitted the completed manuscript to Peter Beck, Director of Publications. The Price Index will be printed and available to members on December 20, for $20. 1996 will be the second year that AALL publishes the Price Index as a separate publication. 346 copies of the 1995 Price Index were sold.

    In addition to providing the eight tables summarizing retrospective data about prices for monographs, serials, legal periodicals, looseleaf services, court reporters, legal continuations, and CD-ROMS (new in 1996), Margie included new features, a description of the changing face of the legal publishing industry, advice on using the Price Index as a budgeting tool, and sources for additional price information.

    Margie points out that a significant percentage of the legal publishing market is now held in three major companies: Thomson, Wolters Kluwer, and Reed Elsevier. The purchase prices of some of the recent consolidations "suggest that large revenue streams will be needed to maintain profit". She notes that increases in the prices of library materials can be "seen to be increasing at a rate of about 10% per year at a time when inflation for ordinary goods and services is below 5% per year."

    Chapter Relations Ad Hoc Advisory Committee
    The Ad Hoc Advisory Committee met in Chicago on November 18-19th. Participants included Sally Holterhoff, Chair, Frank Houdek, President, Carol Avery Nicholson, Karen Schuh, Martha Brown, Roger Parent, Pat Mautino and Julie Well Consultants. (Hal Brown was absent).

    Sally Holterhoff coordinated responses from the Chapters to the first draft of the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee's work in June 1996. This draft had been widely distributed to the Chapters at the Annual Meeting in July 1996. Many Chapters had discussed the draft at their board meetings during the summer and fall and approximately ten Chapters had sent their comments to Sally prior to the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee's November meeting. Generally the Chapters were supportive of all the objectives and possible actions proposed by the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee. Only the possibility of introducing a Chapter dues structure received widespread opposition. Sally summarized the responses she received from the Chapters; this information was used throughout the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee's meeting to evaluate objectives and possible strategies.

    The Ad Hoc Advisory Committee agreed that the AALL Chapter Alliance would be successful when it addressed the real and urgent needs and interests of practicing law librarians and when the outcomes were perceived as a benefit by the members themselves. There are already many opportunities for improving the AALL Chapter Alliance and every effort should be made to use existing resources and activities wisely and effectively. The Chapters are not all alike, efforts should be made to address the interests of different types of Chapters.

    The Ad Hoc Advisory Committee reviewed all the work from its first meeting in June 1996, analyzed the responses from the Chapters, revised the Vision, clarified fundamental beliefs that should guide the Alliance, confirmed the Objectives, and selected a few priorities and strategies for implementation in the near future 1997 - 1998. Many activities are already underway. The Ad Hoc Advisory Committee agreed that these should continue and in many instances they should be improved in the future. Recognizing that communication is probably one of the most important aspects of successful chapter relations, the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee urged that everyone needs to pay ongoing attention to communicating and marketing the AALL Chapter Alliance.

    The Ad Hoc Advisory Committee agreed on the following Vision, and priorities of action. They asked the Executive Director to prepare an attractive flyer that can be sent to all the Chapters in the near future explaining the importance of the AALL Chapter Alliance.

    VISION

    • AALL and the Chapters are united in a mutually supportive alliance to enhance the profession of law librarianship.

    PRIORITIES FOR ACTION AND STRATEGIES

    • Membership Development
      • Gather and share data that will assist recruitment
    • Information Services
      • Review and revise the Chapter Biography Form
      • Maintain and publish a regular calendar of events
    • Communication and Interaction
      • Maintain the Chapter listserv
      • Maintain the Executive Board Chapter Visits
      • Communicate frequently and regularly with Chapter Presidents and other leaders.
      • Use a variety of means to continually inform members of the vision and objectives of the Alliance.
    • Educational Programs and Training
      • Develop partnerships and co-sponsorships to provide educational programs.
      • Increase support of Chapter educational programs.
      • Strengthen and expand training for Chapter Presidents and other leaders at the Annual Meeting
    • Government Relations and Advocacy
      • Strengthen the existing network of contacts with Chapters
    • Structure Governance and Support of the Chapter Alliance
      • Consider a Chapter Relations Committee
      • Develop an organization structure within AALL to support the Chapter Alliance.
      • Allocate financial and other resources to the Chapter Alliance.

    AALL will cosponsor the American Bar Association Judicial Division's Lawyers Conference in 1997.
    President Frank Houdek has authorized the American Association of Law Libraries to become a cosponsor of the American Bar Association Judicial Division's Lawyers Conference, "Hearing the Voices in Our Courts", to be held in Tucson, May 1-3, 1997.

    AALL will sponsor Marcia Koslov, State Law Librarian, Supreme Court of Wisconsin as a speaker. We will provide mail labels for our members and will prepare an AALL news release announcing our involvement as a cosponsor and promoting attendance at the Conference.

    AALL is very pleased to become a part of this event and to join with other cosponsors such as the National Conference of State Trial Court Judges and the American Judicature Society. We know that law librarians will value the opportunity to attend the Conference and participate in it with other attendees, attorneys, judges, court administrators and others.

    Hall-Erickson, Inc. has been selected to contract for exhibits management.
    Hall-Erickson, Inc. was founded in 1952 and has a record of steady growth with its clients. The firm is headquartered in Claredon Hills, Illinois and maintains a staff of more than 20 full-time personnel and a facility that is fully automated and includes a wide range of computer and telecommunication services. Hall-Erickson, Inc. manages twelve expositions and conferences for various industries across the United States and in Europe, including 4 "Top 200" Tradeshow Week events. These expositions range from 125 booths up to 10,000 booths and are attended by more than 250,000 people from around the world. In addition, the firm has experience in managing shows for library associations such as the American Library Association, the Library Information Technology Association, the Library Administration and Management Association and the Association of College and Research Libraries.

    Our goal is to increase and diversify the number and types of firms represented in the AALL trade show in order to provide Association members with the opportunity to view and compare the newest products on the market as well as maximizing the financial return to the Association. This goal will be accomplished by creating a dynamic, cost-effective and efficient business environment for organizations to meet, interact, and conduct business with law librarians from a variety of organizations and from all over the United States. The prospectus for 1997 will be mailed to exhibitors and prospective exhibitors in December.

    AALL Opposes the Illinois Senate Bill 1036 that specifies that obscenity would be defined at the County level
    On December 5th, Washington Affairs Representative Bob Oakley wrote to the Illinois House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee pointing out that the proposed Senate Bill would seriously affect libraries in Illinois. Oakley urged the Committee to reconsider the passage of the Bill in light of the detrimental and presumably unintentional barriers to access that it would cause. In writing a letter AALL joined the CALL Chapter and the Illinois Library Association in speaking out against the proposed legislation that would have such a negative impact on the ability of lawyers, judges, and others to conduct legal research and to obtain materials through interlibrary loan because some of these materials might be deemed obscene in certain Counties in Illinois. Oakley's letter is available on AALLNET.

    ormation technology and the impact of those changes on end users, society, legal and library education.

Four tracks will be offered at the first program tentatively scheduled for the Fall 1997 in Washington DC. Each track will be overseen by members of the Advisory Committee:

  1. Workplace Changes & Management; Roy Mersky, Marcia Koslov, Charlie Finger
  2. Marketing; Bill Lindberg, Judy Meadow, Marcia Koslov, Bob Willard
  3. Information & Public Policy; Kay Todd, Bob Willard, Louise Rosen-Garcia
  4. Information Professional: Core Competencies and Skills. Roy Mersky, Kay Todd

The Advisory Committee will continue to work closely with Executive Staff to design and plan the overall program and the four tracks that will be offered in 1997. They have offered to contact potential speakers for both the plenary sessions and individual programs.

They have also agreed to initiate some fundraising to supplement the generous financial support pledged by West Information Publishing Group. The West pledge covers administrative and developmental costs, while fundraising will seek moneys to support the program event itself in 1997.

The Advisory Committee agreed to seek cosponsors and they set several objectives: involving others in the development of the program; encouraging broad participation by law librarians, publishers, attorneys, judges and many others; using mailing lists and other vehicles for promoting the event; and involving representatives from other organizations in the program. Potential cosponsors will be drawn from such groups as the American Bar Association, Information Industry Association, National Center for State Courts, National Association of Court Managers, American Association of Law Schools and others.