AALL Spectrum Blog


This blog provides a space for conversations about articles and ideas found in AALL Spectrum, the monthly magazine of the American Association of Law Libraries. The previous blog was located at aallspectrum.wordpress.com.
7/10/2012 1:25:42 PM

Highlights from MAALL Markings Volume 21, Issue 3

The latest issue (Volume 21, Issue 3) of MAALL Markings, the publication of the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries, has recently been published. This issue contains several articles that will be of interest beyond the MAALL membership. I found two to be especially interesting, but the entire issue is worth at least a quick skim.

First, Karen Wallace provides a well-researched primer on the hiring process in academic law libraries. Having recently completed my first tour of duty on a search committee, I think this article would have given me a good overview of a typical search. I intend to keep the article as a refresher for the next time I am on a search committee. Candidates for positions would also be well-served by reviewing the hiring process from the search committee perspective.

Second, Marcia Dority-Baker discusses how the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Law Library created graphic buttons that serve as links to professors' online presences. For example, a professor's profile page on the law school's site could have easily recognizable links to the professor's SSRN page, professional Twitter feed, or a list of all the professor's articles in the university's institutional repository. By creating these button links, the library helps connect professors' scholarship, regardless of what sites host the content.

Posted By Benjamin Keele at 7/10/2012 1:25:42 PM  0 Comments
7/6/2012 10:39:42 AM

New Issue of the Technical Services Law Librarian is Available

I admit that I had never read an issue of Technical Services Law Librarian before reading the latest issue in order to summarize it here.  I now realize the error of my ways.  It's full of interesting and relevant articles that are well written.  For example, George Prager explains how he assisted with the expansion of the KZ classification schedule to accommodate international criminal law.  It's a fascinating essay about how these schedules are kept up to date.  Ashley Moye gives advice for communicating about RDA with non-catalogers.  I can imagine this also being good advice for library administrators talking with stakeholders from outside the library.  Mary Lippold has some great tips about meetings that all librarians should take to heart.  Aaron Wolfe Kuperman's discussion of the subject heading -Cases is a review of how this subject heading has been used.  

Posted By Sara Sampson at 7/6/2012 10:39:42 AM  0 Comments
7/5/2012 9:38:09 AM

Book Review--Research Handbook on the WTO Agriculture Agreement: New and Emerging Issues in International Agricultural Trade Law

McMahon, Joseph A. and Melauku Geboye Desta. Research Handbook on the WTO Agriculture Agreement: New and Emerging Issues in International Agricultural Trade Law. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2012, 336 pages inclusive of index.  Hardcover, $195.00, ISBN 978-1848441163

I grew up on a farm in Iowa and have lived in several states in which agriculture is a major industry and agribusiness and trade are vital to the state’s economy.  When I saw the title “Research Handbook on the WTO Agriculture Agreement:  New and Emerging Issues in International Agricultural Trade Law,” I jumped at the chance to check it out.  This title, part of the Edgar Elgar series of research handbooks on the World Trade Organization, would be an excellent addition to law libraries that have an interest in international law, agricultural law, international trade, or intellectual property, to name but a few.

The book is a collaborative effort with a multi-disciplinary group of experts from several countries contributing to each of the book’s chapters.  The book is arranged in a logical, orderly format.  The first chapter sets the scene, providing much needed context behind the Agreement on Agriculture.  Other topics discussed in the book include food security, plant intellectual property, genetically modified organisms, biofuels, and climate change.  These are all issues that, according to the editors, have either been lacking in coverage in the rules of the Agreement on Agriculture or have received scant notice in the existing scholarly literature.  The editors have done a commendable job of ensuring that each chapter builds upon the information presented in the previous chapters.  One thing to keep in mind is that each of these topics contains a dizzying array of acronyms.  The editors have included a quick reference section at the beginning of the book containing all of these abbreviations, and each group of authors has included the meanings of the abbreviations within the text of their articles.  I found myself having to refer to the chart at the beginning quite frequently.  While I could figure out that WTO stands for World Trade Organization, I wasn't as adept at always remembering that ASSINEL stands for the International Association of Plant Breeders. 

Each chapter includes a complete bibliography of sources, ranging from scholarly articles to official government publications.  The sources are current (through early 2012) and reputable. 

Of course, I found some topics more interesting than others.  I was particularly interested in plant intellectual property, genetically modified organisms, and biofuels, and those chapters were a fascinating read.  The authors present the facts, scenarios, and then recommend possible solutions to problems.  The issue of food security runs through virtually every chapter.  This is a topic to which many of us give little thought, but is one that is of critical importance in many lesser developed nations.  I found the international focus of the book to be refreshing, as there is not an American-based perspective on the issues.  I appreciated reading the points of view of individuals from other nations.  The cost of the book ($195 USD) can be a bit daunting, but for law libraries with a special interest in agriculture, international law, or any of the topics contained within the book, it would be well worth the purchase.

Timothy Gatton is Reference Librarian for Public, Clinical, and Student Services at Oklahoma City University Law Library.


Posted By Timothy Gatton at 7/5/2012 9:38:09 AM  1 Comments
TOPICS: book reviews