I have a confession to make. One of the most interesting experiences I had at the AALL Annual Meeting actually happened at CBS studios in Hollywood. While waiting online to see a dress rehearsal of Roseanne Barrís new talk show (did you miss this program in annual meeting schedule?), I struck up a conversation with the woman sitting next me. After the usual pleasantries (how are you, nice weather, did you get on "The Price is Right"), she asked me where I was from and what I did. Okay, the easy one first, "Baltimore" (everyone knows Baltimore-the Oís, crabs, Homicide) next, the tough one "Law Librarian" (Whoopee, Iíll have to explain it for the millionth time). Much to my surprise, she said "Law Librarian, Iím a second year law student at the University of Kansas, the Law Librarians there are so helpful and knowledgeable..." We went on to talk about how the AALL meeting is organized, law librariansí salaries, and her perception of Law Librarians as being underrated professionals. The conversation many me feel proud to be part of the profession of law librarianship and inspired me to dedicate my tenure as LLAM President to strengthening our profession by promoting its value to others.
One way to promote law librarianship is to increase our numbers. A great place to do this is to attract students from local library science schools. In an effort to do this, the Board has determined that LLAM should offer reduced dues for student members, specifically ½ of regular dues (this is common practice for most library associations). However, we need your support to amend the bylaws and a vote will be taken at the first Educational Program meeting on September 22nd at Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll.
While you have your calendar open, please mark it for all of LLAMís fall programs (see program schedule on page 2). There is probably no better way to improve our professional value and promote ourselves to our respective organizations than by improving our skills via continuing education. . This yearís programs are being developed in response to the results of the LLAM Programming Survey that was completed by you, the membership, this past Spring. In addition to providing you with programs that are focused on your particular needs, the LLAM Program Committee, headed by Steve Anderson, is compiling more detailed flyers with maps and parking information to make attending programs even easier, especially for our members outside of Baltimore City.
To promote our expertise to the greater legal community and the public, LLAM is assisting the MSBA with updating their web site by annotating and critiquing the links on the site in an effort to make it more user friendly and research oriented. The MSBA benefits from our expertise and we benefit from the publicity, the reviewing library is listed on each review. Anne Garrett has been doing an excellent job of coordinating this project and deserves LLAMís thanks. If you are interested in working on this project please email Anne at:
After contacting Anne, why not contact a LLAM Committee chair or chairs and volunteer your time and expertise. As you can see from the committee chair articles in this issue there are a lot of exciting projects in the works and many opportunities for you to contribute, no matter how much (or how little) time you have available!
Death Valley may be cooler than I am but two of my grandchildren are named for Grateful Dead songs so that is one group of which I have heard.
The speaker at Monday's luncheon was John Perry Barlow, former lyricist for the Grateful Dead (he calls himself the junior varsity lyricist -- he wrote the songs that Jerry Garcia did not sing), co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the first to use the word "cyberspace" in its current meaning. He is evidently famous for bashing lawyers but toned down his remarks for an audience that included many J.D.s. He did say at one point that he goes around the planet "discouraging lawyers and encouraging librarians" and that librarians are "guerilla warriors on the barricades of liberty." The gist of his speech is that information should be free, that ideas belong to everyone and that legal concepts of property cannot apply to cyberspace that has no physical boundaries. Copyright laws or attempts to control the Internet will destroy the place where ideas can be freely traded. A society based on ethics rather than law (like the old West) will lead to the free flow of information and a sense of community.
He described how bootleg tapes of Grateful Dead concerts in the early days did more to promote the group and lead to their later fame and sold-out concerts than anything sold legally by record companies. However, I did hear later that his talk was not taped because of copyright issues. So, what do we believe? He was a provocative and dynamic speaker and the audience expressed its appreciation.
The luncheon was one of the more enjoyable events of the annual meeting. With good food and Mexican ambience (pinatas on the tables) and a lively speaker, it remains memorable. By the way, why do birds of a feather, etc? When we couldn't find other LLAMers, Kathy Sweeney and I sat at a table of strangers (except for Kelly Vinopul whom I enjoyed seeing again), with at least one V.I.P., Mike St.Onge, Chair of the Program Selection Committee. We had a terrific time.
I was privileged to attend TRIPLL (Teaching Research in Private Law Libraries - sponsored by Lexis/Nexis) in Scottsdale, Arizona this past April for a very intense three day learning experience. Not knowing what to expect, I walked into the first session a little apprehensive about what was going to occur at this conference. After all, we were housed at a stunning resort in Phoenix with the most inviting pool I've ever been around. Why should we be excited about spending hours on end indoors?
Very quickly my fears dissipated, however, as the first of many speakers began his session on just who lawyers are, and how to take that into account when training them. Speaker after speaker presented to us on different teaching techniques, presentation skills, effective presentations, handouts and publicity and even body language. What at first seemed like a large, scary group of 30 librarians from across the country (after all, why did they pick me?) became a close group of professionals sharing techniques on how to do a better job.
These lessons, interspersed with the occasional outdoor dinner and ice cream break, made me forget that I had started by only wanting to jump into the resort's pool. The quality of the information presented was of the highest caliber. It was not like a three-day you-must-buy-this-condo sales pitch from Lexis as it could have been, but a very informative useful sharing of ideas.
I commend Lexis/Nexis for holding such a program and appreciate the experiences they gave me. Never did they push their product or suggest that we should. It simply, from my point of view, was a nice thing for Lexis/Nexis to do for librarians. To me it proves that vendors and librarians can have a mutually beneficial relationship without strings.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." And who would ever want to relive 1991?
LLAM archives are kept so that we can look back at what we have accomplished, so that we will not keep reinventing the wheel, so that we can remember those no longer with us, so that we can laugh at our funny clothes and, as Sally said, so that we can see how much weight we have gained. The rather skimpy collection that resides on two shelves in my office consists of the following:
flyers for meetings, 1989- (incomplete -- please send what you have)
complete run of the BLISS News and the LLAM Newsletter (do not send others)
LLAM Directories, 1992-1993 and continuing (if you have older ones, please send)
Board minutes, 1987-1988 (Kai-Yun was President); 1988-1989 (Kate was President); 1989-1990 (Maxine was President) correspondence, 1988-1989
information on incorporation of LLAM (1989)
the banner that hung over Pratt Street during AALL's annual meeting, 1997
information on BLISS (forerunner of LLAM)
LLAM: The First Ten Years (multiple copies)
tapes of AALL's annual meeting, 1997 and the Biennial Salary Survey, 1997 (not strictly LLAM archives but meant to be part of a lending library -- if you have other materials that should be included, please send)
As you can see, many things are missing, most notably photographs. Please rummage through your files for any bits and pieces that would add to LLAM's history. (Send anything. We will decide whether or not to keep them.) Your great-grandchildren may not know your name but future generations of LLAM will remember you forever.
The LLAM NEWS is published quarterly by the Law Library Association of Maryland, Inc. in September, December, March, and June. Chapter Dues, which include a subscription to the Newsletter, are $20.00 annually.
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The Law Library Association of Maryland, Inc. is not responsible for statements made by contributors to the LLAM NEWS nor do the views expressed necessarily represent the views of LLAM or its members.
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