A Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries
Volume 18, Number 1 September, 1999
The end of this Millenium and the beginning of a new one provides plenty of fodder for editors and commentators, this
year's LLAM President included. Such an event allows us some introspection into both ourselves and our social history.
Years ending in double and triple zeros conveniently mark this history like bookends or parenthesis, enclosing their
contents with some measure of finality. Therefore, I'd like to turn to a brief examination of some of the social and
technological marvels that have brought our profession to its whereabouts today in hopes of setting before us the
direction in which we should continue.
At the beginning of this Millenium, human beings weren't doing very well, by any social measurement of today. The Dark
Ages were indeed rather dim, as disease, poverty and political instability were widespread. A few literate male monks
penned single copies of books which were read only by those few other literate male clerics. There was little breadth or
variety to the content of these works, consisting of a few "classics" and a great deal of religious (read "Christian")
scholarship. Whatever delight the average person could glean from information or knowledge was carried by word of
mouth, a rich and artistic tradition to be sure, but not a form of communication that lent itself especially well to the
growth of librarianship. Civil law was also undeveloped. Communal justice was dispensed by priests, kings, and
courtiers, rather than elected judges or legislatures. Because there were few books and little law, we in the law library
profession literally could not have existed in 1000 CE. If we were time travelers, we quickly would have to find another
way to support ourselves and our families.
At the beginning of this current Century, society was doing much better. Many people were literate and large public
libraries were established in major cities, open to many of the public. Publishers valued their social freedoms and printed
books on a wide variety of topics.
Librarianship was in its infancy. Law librarianship was merely a tiny specialty, without the backing of a professional
organization, but the future looked bright overall. Law, too, had developed into both a potent social force and an
organized profession, very similar to how it stands today. Still, 1900 lacked much of the technology we now take for
granted, from air conditioning and airplanes to online catalogs and global computer networks. The bigoted America of
1900 also lacked social cohesion, and both law and nascent information science tended to blindly support hegemonic
ideology. If we ventured back in time somehow, we would find that our skills set and places of work have changed
significantly since then. Fewer of us these days catalog books, type on manual typewriters, insert catalog cards into files,
or, in fact, have much of anything to do with books.
Law firm librarians did not exist in 1900, and few other legal institutions had the financial wherewithal to create large
law libraries. A move back in time would necessitate some dramatic adaptations on our part.
Therefore, it's not unreasonable to suggest that law librarianship in 2100 or 3000 or even 10,000 will be very different
from what it is today. By then, law librarians will have morphed into something very different from what we are today.
But what is it we should become? And, more importantly, shouldn't we try to plan what it is we'll be?
First, looking to the past, it seems we need to work with the technology given to us at the present time. Even monks in
1000 were using brushes and parchment, not chisels and clay tablets. We need to embrace new technologies quickly,
adapt to them, and improve them. We need to adjust our skills set accordingly. We shouldn't be too afraid of letting old,
less efficient technologies become museum pieces. Someday the only microfiche reader will be the one on display at the
Smithsonian. Let's let museums do their jobs, and we'll do ours.
Second, we need to be sensitive to the social forces around us that affect our profession. Although we all are to some
extent trapped within the social mindset of the day, we need to recognize how this limits our ability to provide both new
and continued services to users.
Third, we need to realize that law is perhaps less static now than it has ever been. Judicial opinions hit us with the
blinding speed of the internet, and that same technology is fueling a tremendous desire for more mediation and an
increased do-it-yourself approach to law. At the same time, technology will allow for the first true globalization of the
law. Indeed, our legal system might look vastly different in 2100. We need to recognize that these changes will impact
who are users are, what they need us for, and where they may be geographically located.
Fourth, we need to be aware that librarianship itself is undergoing some basic theoretical self-examination, regardless of
technological impacts. Witness, for example, the term "knowledge management" creeping into our professional
vocabulary. Not only should we properly focus on getting the right information to the right user at the right time and
cost, but now we must strive to connect those people who are sources of knowledge to those who need the knowledge.
Of course, the processes by which we can and should do this are hotly contested, but it is likely that librarians will, in the
coming century, be viewed increasingly as integral parts of the educational system, even as more businesses themselves
become education- and knowledge-oriented.
Fortunately, not all of these trends will happen at once in the coming year while I'm LLAM President! Still, it's important
to think where we're headed. For now, thanks to the wonderful work by outgoing President Betsy Sandison, LLAM in is
fine shape to tackle the new Millenium. This year Ginger Gerton, LLAM Vice-President and Program Committee Chair,
will be designing programs that inspire us to learn new skills to lead a changing profession. I look forward to an exciting
new year as LLAM President and a great new Millenium as a law librarian, whatever that may bring.
Steve Anderson, LLAM President
2000 Annual Meeting and Conference: "Gateways to Leadership"
July 15 - 20, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other" - John F. Kennedy
The 2000 Annual Meeting Program Selection Committee hopes that "Gateways
to Leadership" will encourage law librarians and legal information workers to exercise a dynamic leadership role in their
respective organizations and in the legal industry at large. The Committee chose this theme for several reasons. By the
time the 2000 Annual Meeting and Conference takes place in Philadelphia we will have crossed the frontier, or passed
through the gateway to a new millennium. The predicted catastrophes may or may not have occurred and it will be time
to move on and face whatever new realities await us. Time to learn and lead!
So, you're asking: "What exactly is leadership and how does it apply to me and the 2000 Annual Meeting?" Well, there
are many ways to lead; by demonstrating, by influencing, by commanding, by initiating, by teaching, to name just a few!
You most likely already lead in some way, you may just not realize it. Law librarians and others who work with legal
information have an unprecedented opportunity to shape the path for our profession and those we serve. Our goal for
the 2000 Annual Meeting and Conference is to put together a selection of programs which will assist you in identifying
and developing your many leadership skills and qualities. Through diverse and creative programs we will open gateways
to leadership in management, technology, and resource identification and allocation.
To subscribe to the am2000 listserv send a message to email@example.com - leave the subject line blank - type the
following in the body of the message: Subscribe firstname.lastname@example.org . To post messages to the listserv, send them to
Anne C. Matthewman, AMPSC 2000 Chair
BANNED BOOK WEEK IS COMING!
Banned Books Week: Free People Read Freely
September 25-October 2, 1999
Banned Books Week 1999 celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinion even if that opinion
might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those
unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where
these two essential conditions are met. As the Intellectual Freedom Manual (ALA, 5th edition) states:
Freedom to express oneself through a chosen mode of communication becomes virtually meaningless if access to that
information is not protected.
Additional information on how to celebrate BBW 1999, including how to order BBW kits and posters, can be obtained by
calling the Office for Intellectual Freedom at 800-545-2433, ext. 4220 or 4223, or by writing to email@example.com
or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Other Web Resources:
"Why Banned Books Week?" can be found at: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/index.html
"Challenged and Banned Books" can be found at: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/challeng.html
DICK COMES TO WASHINGTON:
Or, WHAT WE DID AT THE WEST PARTY THIS YEAR!
Rarely does an opportunity to meet a true celebrity come to law librarians like the one AALL attendees had this year! As
part of West's "Key to the New Millenium" promotion, West Group imported none other than that perpetual teenager,
Dick Clark, to help celebrate the final West Party of the Century!
With music blaring and immediate past-presidents boogying the night away, two intrepid LLAMers took it upon
themselves as their assignment to track down the tan Mr. Clark for a photo-op! Using their finest researching skills, they
combed the librarian-filled hall in search of…
Each "West Group" polo-clad individual was stopped and asked that important question, "Have you seen Dick?" Some of
the West Group staff were more helpful than others, as any call to Customer Service might remind you. One handsome
West employee known to the two intrepid librarians even stopped to pose for a photo with them before they continued
With their "Happy New Year" tiaras falling from their heads, they divided to concur. With one taking the right flank and
the other on the left, one spotted their "prey" and called to the other - "There he is!"
Camera at the ready, photos were snapped and thank you's expressed to the youthful Mr. Clark. Who said librarians lead
boring lives? Certainly not us!
Two-Thirds of the BAA - SIS
LLAM Members to Take Part in the Maryland Race for the Cure to Benefit
Breast Cancer Research
A year or so ago, several LLAM members started talking about how LLAM could serve the greater Maryland community,
either by volunteering in a professional way or in using the organization's members to support an important charity that
may not be directly related to law or libraries.
Because some LLAM members have been personally affected by breast cancer in the past few years, and because most
of us have family members or friends who have had it, we thought that taking part in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer
Foundation's "Race for the Cure" would be a valuable contribution for LLAM to make to the community.
This year's "Race for the Cure" will be held at the Baltimore Inner Harbor's Rash Field on SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3, 1999,
at 8:30am. The cost to enter the race is $20 (or more if you would like to pledge an additional amount for this worthy
cause), with checks made payable to "Race for the
Cure." Participants may enter any of the 3 listed events: 5k run/walk for women only, the 5k run/walk for all, or the 1
mile fun walk for all. If you cannot attend the event, you can donate by being a "Spirit Runner." All participants, including
"Spirit Runners" will receive a "Race for the Cure"
t-shirt. You may also sign up additional sponsors on the "Optional Race Pledges" form.
Although we do not need to "officially" run as a group and may instead take part in individual events, I felt that we still
might be able to share some group togetherness, receive group recognition, and even take a group photo. Logistically,
registering as a group is easier since one of us can pick up all of the t-shirts and redistribute them to LLAM members at
race. Family members are also welcome to join us in the group (children under 8 may participate free, but without
receiving a t-shirt). Be advised that we must have at least 15 participants to register as a group. And no, you do NOT
need to run--walking is perfectly acceptable! On a personal note, my wife ran the race last year (while I babysat!), and a
VERY good time was had by all!
An entry form is attached to the Newsletter and available at http://www.breastcancermaryland.org/. I must RECEIVE
checks and entry forms NO LATER than TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1999 (since I then have to mail them to the
Foundation later that week). The above website contains additional information, and I also have hard copies of
pamphlets and forms I can mail to you upon request.
Please direct all questions, checks and forms to me at this address: Steven Anderson, Librarian, Gordon Feinblatt
Rothman Hoffberger & Hollander, LLC, 233 East Redwood Street, Baltimore, MD 21202. Phone: 410-576-4255; E-Mail:
I look forward to seeing all of you at the race! Thanks in advance for contributing your energy and resources to the
greater Maryland community.
CALL FOR RESUMES !!
The LLAM Placement Committee is seeking resumes of all interested law library professionals and paraprofessionals.
We maintain a file of these resumes and send them out to prospective employers when job openings become available.
We plan to make this service more visible to the Maryland/DC law library community this year. The more resumes, the
Send your resume to: Ruth G. Watson, Chairman, LLAM Placement Committee
Hogan & Hartson, L.L.P., 111 South Calvert Street, Suite 1600, Baltimore, MD 21202-6191
Remember, this service is open to LLAM members and non-members alike.
MARKETING VIA THE INTERNET
A large number of law firms today are taking advantage of the latest marketing tool - the web. Information can be
easily accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While fairly new to some, other firms have been using the web to their
advantage for years, not only to recruit new clients, but also to retain current ones. When deciding to jump on the
bandwagon and add your firm to the ever-expanding web you must comply with attorney advertising rules. Rules must
be followed not only for the states in which you maintain an office, but also for each state an attorney is licensed to
One of the first steps to be taken in preparing a web site is designing the home page. The home page is the first thing a
visitor to the site will see. Some firms choose to include a lot of graphics and animation while others decide on a more
conservative approach. The chosen design should portray the image the firm wants to convey and be consistent with
other marketing material.
Once the home page design is chosen the call goes out for content. Although the home page is what a visitor will see first,
the content of the site, if kept informative and current, will keep them coming back. The content should be easy to access
and clearly defined on the home page. Some useful and informative content on any law firm web site should include
attorney biographies, articles, firm resume, recruiting, directions to the firm and a directory. Some firms have begun to
make their sites interactive and include as part of their content discussion boards and other activities for visitors to
participate in. Most important in content is that it be kept up to date on a regular basis in order to keep repeat visitors.
Finally, and most importantly, to protect the firm, disclaimers should appear throughout the web site. The disclaimers
should be clearly written and easy to understand. Each visitor must know that visiting a firm's web site does not
constitute receiving legal advice.
And after seven months of making and remaking decisions and revisions on everything from our home page design to
mapping directions to our firm, the Niles Barton & Wilmer web site was born. Come and visit us at www.niles-law.com
NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS AT THE BAR LIBRARY
The Baltimore Bar Library has several new subscription services we are offering to our members. We now have Internet
subscriptions to both LOIS and Current Legal Resources. LOIS provides access to federal and state cases, laws, and
regulations. Current Legal Resources, Inc., consisting of pre-Thomson West employees, provides current access to the
U.S. Code, C.F.R., Statutes at Large, and U.S. Court Rules.
In addition, the Bar Library has obtained dial-in access to Motor Vehicle Administration information.
Use of LOIS and Current Legal Resources are free to our members, except for printing charges, and members who would
like to use our M.V.A. access will be charged only the cost per transaction (usually minimal) that the M.V.A. charges us.
The telephone number listed in the 1998-1999 Membership Directory for the University of Maryland Law Library entry
is incorrect. The correct number should be changed to: 410/706-2373.
Teaching Legal Research In an Academic (or any) Law
While we are all well-trained as librarians, few of us are trained teachers. Yet almost all law librarians teach. Firm
librarians teach summer associates and new attorneys; court librarians teach judges and their clerks, and academic
librarians teach students and professors. The one-day version of the Teaching Research in Academic Law Libraries
program held July 28, 1999 at George Mason University began attendees' teacher education. Despite the title of the
program, much of the information provided was applicable to a variety of teaching situations.
Suzanne Bailey and Corrin Gee-Alvaredo of Lexis-Nexis's Librarian Relations Group, Gail Partin of the Dickinson School
of Law Library, and Jane Thompson of the University of Colorado Law Library described and modeled various techniques
for effective teaching. Space permits but a brief overview of the information presented.
The presenters reminded attendees always to inform students "WIFM-what's in it for me?" How can learning the
material benefit the student? Suggesting to a law student or summer law clerk that no librarian will be available on the
weekends his managing partner expects answers to research questions, might inspire that student or clerk to learn to
use resources independently.
Gail Partin, Associate Law Librarian at the Dickinson School of Law, who teaches legal research to first year students,
discussed "Steps to Successful Curriculum Design." Her handout, which followed her presentation exactly, (a
recommended technique), was clear and easy to follow. The handout describes seven (7) steps to course or session
planning. We were taught to: 1. Assess user needs, 2. Define goals, 3. Organize content, 4. Select teaching methods, 5.
Design criteria to evaluate student performance, 6. Implement plan, and 7. Evaluate the program.
Ms. Partin recommended review of "Legal Education and Professional Development--An Educational Continuum," an
A.B.A. report issued July, 1992. This document, also known as the MacCrate report, suggests that law schools and
attorneys work together "to impart to future lawyers the skills and values required for the competent and responsible
practice of law." Legal Analysis and Reasoning, and Legal Research are considered fundamental lawyering skills.
Core legal research competencies as propounded by the AALL Research Instruction Caucus in 1997 include the ability to
locate case law, statutes, administrative materials, ethcial rules, uniform laws, model acts and law digests.
These core competencies, (see www.aallnet.org/sis/ripssis/core.html for a complete list) though
currently under revision because they predate Keycite and
many Internet sources, can act as a foundation upon which to build a legal research
course. These competencies could help us articulate course goals.
Ms. Partin recommended that we list goals in the course syllabus so the student knows
what he is expected to learn. Objectives, we learned, must be clear, specific, measurable
Attendees learned that content should be organized to fulfill goals and objectives. Ms.
Partin reminded us that unlearning might be a necessary first step. For instance, despite
rumors rampant among entering law students, not everything is available on the web. We
learned that course materials and presentations must be tailored to the level of expertise of
the audience, and that we should sequence concepts from the simple to the increasingly
complex. Ms. Partin emphasized the necessity of retaining a sense of humor. No matter
who the student or what the setting, students can only absorb so much.
Jane Thompson, Head of Faculty Services and a Senior Instructor at the University of
Colorado Law Library discussed teaching research to faculty. Ms. Thompson stated that,
while a faculty member knows how information is organized in his field, he may not know
the best way to find what he needs, or how best to use the information to help others learn
from him. Ms. Thompson recommended showing faculty the value of resources to students.
Ms. Thompson reminded us that faculty share a number of characteristics with other adult
learners. Readiness to learn is affected by a need to know or do something. Practically
speaking, this may mean that a librarian's only opportunity to train a certain faculty
member in use of an electronic resource may come during a panicked phone call when he
is preparing for class or trying to get his article out the door. He needs to know how to do
We were reminded that adult learners have a reservoir of experience and knowledge. A
librarian can, for instance, use a faculty member's knowledge of print sources to make
electronic resources relevant to him, and to demonstrate their similarities. Faculty, as well
as other adult learners expect instructors to be knowledgable, to present material clearly
and confidently, to emphasize the relevance of material presented, to motivate them, to be
enthusiastic and humorous and to show concern for student learning.
Ms. Thompson noted that, in every teaching encounter with faculty, we should be time
sensitive. Every faculty member is very busy. It would be a mistake to attempt to teach a
faculty member to use a new resource during the hour before he teaches a class.
We were taught, however, that there are differences between faculty culture and that of
instructional librarians. Faculty exist in a culture where they are valued for their
theoretical knowledge, identify with one another as colleagues, defer to each other as
specialists, have a high degree of professional autonomy, lack time, are concerned with
efficiency, have a tendency to resist change, and tend to focus only on their own
disciplines. On the other hand instructional librarians subscribe to a managerial culture
that values knowledge that is applied, tend to communicate with and learn from other
librarians, usually work within a hierarchical system, are less assertive intellectually, lack
time but remain idealistic, and favor an interdisciplinary approach. To bridge the gap, Ms.
Thompson recommends that librarians attend faculty programs, introduce faculty members
to colleagues who can be of help to them, respond to faculty emails that are of interest to
the librarian. Ms. Thompson believes that building the relationships with faculty members
is as important as whatever information we may teach them. She believes that librarians
and faculty can learn from each other. (For further information, please see Jane
Thompson, Teaching research to faculty: accomodating cultural and learning-style
differences., 88 L. Libr. J. 280 (1996).
After a lunch-time game of legal research jeopardy, we viewed a video by Spring Asher on
presentation skills. We learned that the ideal is to connect that real part of ourselves, that
part that talks in a relaxed manner to good friends, with the audience.
Attendees learned that fifty-five percent of the impression we make on a listener is our
physicality, thirty-eight percent is in the energy in our voices, and seven percent is content.
The video made suggestions for improving in the first two of these areas. We were told that
we should stand with feet about one foot apart, balance on the balls of the feet, keep hands
at the sides unless gesturing, and lead from the chest. It was recommended that we fit
gestures to the size of the room; a larger room requires bigger gestures. Further, we should
hold the gestures, flailing distracts.
Smiling while speaking puts energy into the voice.
There was more. Stories from Suzanne Bailey and Corrin Gee-Alvaredo of Lexis-Nexis
addressed content and its arrangement. For instance, attendees were cautioned about the
possible pitfalls of opening presentations with jokes. Particular backgrounds or even
recent group history can make certain jokes not just inappropriate, but actually harmful to
the educational atmosphere. In short, we were told, if you want to tell a joke, be sure it will
be funny to the people you are telling it to.
It was suggested we organize individual presentations into no more than three (3) major
points, with as many subtopics as we wish. Having only three major points helps us
remember where we are in our presentations. Then, we were told, if an audience says they
don't need to hear about point two(2), we could skip easily to the third point. Though
conceptually there is nothing wrong with having twenty (20) major points, practically
speaking it would be much more difficult to reorient after being interrupted at the seventh
point of a twenty point presentation than after the second point of a three point
The above merely skims the surface of the material presented. It is a credit to the presenters
that they managed to convey such a large amount of material in so short a time. This was a
practical, enjoyable program. Thanks are due to Lexis-Nexis for sponsoring this program,
providing the extensive materials, and for providing lunch as well as two highly competent
presenters. Thanks also to George Mason University for hosting this event, and to Gail
Partin and Jane Thompson for their considerable time and expertise.
DID YOU KNOW?
Maryland Jury Instructions And COMAR Regulations
Now Available On Westlaw
WESTLAW has recently added the Maryland Jury Instructions from MICPEL onto their database. Access the Maryland
Jury Instructions - Civil at MD-JICIV and the Maryland Jury Instructions - Criminal at MD-JICRIM. Coverage is current
through the most recent supplements.
COMAR Regulations have also been added to WESTLAW. Access them at MD-ADC (Maryland
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT ROTTEN
and OTHER E-MAIL GEMS
At the Maryland State Law Library, we receive many thought provoking questions from our cyber-patrons. It occurred
to us that we should share some of them. Caution - these are not your typical FAQ's.
My thoughtless response to the question cited in the title to this article was to refer the patron to the attorney grievance
commission. But then I thought that, perhaps, I had been too hasty and, possibly, even insensitive. What if the writer had
been the grieving next of kin to a deceased barrister? I began to envision the stiff and bloated corpse. So I wrote again.
P.S. If the attorney grievance commission can't help, try an embalmer.
Another writer asked the reasonable question, "why do you have to pay court fees, even if you win?" Interesting, I
thought. Even in Las Vegas, the House loses a deal or a toss of the dice. But the court doesn't gamble, even if the litigants
do. If you go to court seeking justice, and you get what you went there for, why shouldn't you pay for it. Come to think
of it, a better question would be why does the loser have to pay?
Question: "I was wondering what the law is on how long my son has to stay in school?" Here I struggled between my role
as resource librarian and parent. The parent in me won out and I responded. Not long enough - they get to come home
every day around three o'clock.
Question: "If a tree falls on my neighbor's house, am I liable?" The existentialist librarian answered: Yes, unless it
happened in the middle of the woods and nobody was there to hear it. In that case, it never happened. That is known as
the common law "it never happened because it was in the middle of the woods and nobody heard it" exception to the
"hear what? Rule."
Question: "I was wondering what law would protect parents from child abuse when parents choose to discipline involving
spanking and whooping children."
My thoughtful answer: If you discipline "whooping children," you're in big trouble. Whooping children, like the cherished
"whooping crane" are protected as endangered species.
One enterprising writer asked: "Can anybody place a name on a real estate deed without home owner's permission?"
"No," I wrote, "Just lawyers."
Another writer, maybe from Common Cause, asked the library to "help me locate the statutes regarding anti-kickback
regulations". "Hah!" I laughed, "you don't think they'd put those where people could read them do you?"
But I had genuine sympathy for the writer who tapped out the following plea: " I need info on Maryland state laws on
getting anulled [sic]. I was tricked into getting married last week." Answer: "So was I, pal, so was I.."
Ruth Hodgson, State Law Library
Law Librarians Tip the Scales
In Your Favor!
The LAW LIBRARY ASSOCIATION OF MARYLAND NEWS is published quarterly in September, December, March, and
June. Chapter Dues, which include a subscription to the Newsletter, are $20.00 annually.
Send Newsletter items and advertising inquiries to: Anne Morrison, Editor; P.O. Box 1696; Upper Marlboro, MD
20773-1696, or call 301-952-3045. E-mail to email@example.com.
LLAM 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.