A Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries
There was a very interesting documentary on public television the other evening about "beatniks" and the "Beat Generation" of the 1950ís and 1960ís. Iíve long admired Jack Kerouacís writings, so I chose to tune in (but not turn on or drop out). Shortcomings of the program notwithstanding, the show made me realize the importance of the expression of independent and unique points of view. The Beatsí ideas sprang from both a just anger at the status quo and the need to express eloquence and beauty. Indeed, with fresh ideas comes renewed creativity.
I enjoy librarianship because it offers the ability to bring our own new, somewhat personal, ideas to our institutions and clients. Of course our bibliographies and intranets arenít really created with as much panache or inhibition as "On the Road" or "Howl," but thereís something in them that comes uniquely from usóas people with varied backgrounds, as librarians with specialized training, as members of the Maryland legal community. Our reference interviews are imbued with our own perspectives and ideas.
This, then, must explain why Iíve had such a wonderful time serving as LLAM President this past year. Iíve had an opportunity to meet many of you, listen to you, and find out just how you personally are contributing to librarianship and your clients. And Iíve loved every minute of it!
Iíd especially like to take the time to thank all those leaders of LLAM who preceded me and those board members and committee chairs who faithfully stuck with me throughout the year. I also owe a special debt of gratitude to Ginger Gerton for the wonderful programs she planned for members over the course of the year. Together we worked to make LLAM more accountable and helpful to its members. And I think we made local law librarianship just a little more creative and interesting. I canít wait for next year!
A Note from the Editor:
I just want to take the opportunity to publicly thank everyone for their support during the past two years. It was a pleasure to serve LLAM as Editor of the Newsletter.
I enjoyed the challenge, but now will focus my "spare time" on duties that come along with having a 5-year old going to Kindergarten in the Fall! (It seems like just yesterday when LLAM gave me a baby shower Ė how is this possible?)
I pass the reins over to the very capable Sheri Ripley at Ober, Kaler. Please support her in her efforts to put together the newsletter. Volunteer to write Ė submit information, and help keep her notified of what you want to see in your newsletter.
Sheri Ė best wishes. This is one time that you have permission to badger the boss Ė Ginger has to write for YOU Ė at least four times this year!
Anne Morrison, Prince Georgeís County Law Library
AALL Strategic Plan:
Your Comments, Please!
From AALL President Margie Axtmann:
Iím pleased to be able to provide you with a web address to the final draft of a new AALL Strategic Plan for 2000-2005: www.aallnet.org/about/strategic_challenge.asp
I invite you to review the document and give me your comments and suggestions by June 15th: Mfirstname.lastname@example.org Your input as an AALL member is important to the Executive Board before it approves the plan at its next scheduled meeting in Philadelphia in July 2000. AALL's strength and its ability to implement such an ambitious plan depends on the efforts and enthusiasm of its volunteers, and members like you.
This new plan is the result of extensive consultation and collaboration among many entities and individuals. The Executive Board consulted with the membership at the July 1999 Annual Meeting and Conference and conducted an electronic survey in late summer. In addition, the Executive Board devoted many hours at two strategic planning retreats, one in October 1999 and another in April 2000. The Executive Board's Strategic Planning Committee, chaired by Ruth Fraley, helped enormously to prepare this final draft for your consideration. It includes many elements you would expect to find in such a plan: a revised Mission, a new Vision Statement, a Preamble that provides background on the process that we used to prepare it, and an Environmental Scan. These necessary background elements precede the actual plan, which is comprised of Strategic Directions, Outcomes, and AALL Initiatives.
The plan is focused on you, the AALL member, and on strategies AALL needs to pursue to make a real difference in your professional life. I know you will agree that if we are successful in achieving the Outcomes that are listed in the plan, we will have made a significant difference. The Executive Board needs your help right now. Please let me know by June 15th whether or not we are headed in the right direction, whether or not we are addressing the issues that are important to you and that are having an impact on your work and your professional life.
Annual Meeting Preview
AALL members, is that your final answer?
The Annual Meeting and Conference, Gateways to Leadership" does not include which of the following programs?
1. The ABA Reaccreditation Visit: Process and Preparation
No need to use your life-lines, call a friend, or poll the audience, you'll be a winner no matter what you answer! All of these management-oriented programs, plus many more, will be offered in Philadelphia. To whet your interest, here are brief descriptions of the programs above.
The ABA inspection visit is a cyclical certainty in the life cycle of an academic law library. The ABA Reaccreditation Visit: Process and Preparation (C-4), aimed at all levels of staff, will provide an overview of the process and present strategies for beginning the site visit preparation process. Directors from two libraries who have recently undergone the process will discuss how they prepared documentation and their staff for the visit.
Increasingly, private law librarians are assuming managerial responsibility for departments outside the library. Multitasking: A Pathway to Law Firm Leadership (H-3) will examine multitasking as a career strategy. The program includes a roundtable which will focus on networking with colleagues involved in the same areas of multitasking.
We all have days when the prospect or fantasy of retirement looms large. Will I Ever be Able to Retire? Planning and Implementing Toward Retirement (J-1) focuses on retirement strategies for those of us in mid- or late-career. We'll hear from speakers from both TIAA-CREF and The Motley Fool who will demystify retirement planning.
When we think of Internet filtering, we probably think of public libraries. However, administrators in government libraries are struggling with the issue of providing appropriate Internet access for their employees while restricting non-work-related access. Internet Filtering Software in the Workplace (J-5) will include both speakers who favor filtering software and those that oppose its use. There will also be a discussion of other methods to ensure appropriate Internet use.
No matter if you're a nervous neophyte manager, a jaded management old-timer, a future "manager of the year" or a "maybe some-day" potential manager, you'll be a winner if you attend Gateways to Leadership in Philadelphia from July 15-20. See you there!
Phyllis Marion, AMPSC 2000
Theme for AALL 2001 Has been Announced:
NEW REALITIES, NEW ROLES
Robert L. Oakley, AALLís Vice President/ President-Elect, has announced the theme for AALLís 2001 Annual Meeting, which will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from July 15 to 19. Speaking at a meeting of the host Chapter, the Minnesota Association of Law Libraries (MALL), Bob announced that the theme would be 2001: NEW REALITIES, NEW ROLES.
Bob explained that the choice of this theme was intended to provide members with an opportunity to learn more about the profound changes going on in our profession, from changes in legal publishing to changes in our libraries and the nature of our jobs. He said that he hopes members will leave the Conference with the skills to manage those changes effectively and to emerge as leaders in their own organizations, as they deal with these far-reaching developments.
Kathie Sullivan, the Program Committee Chair for the Meeting, who joins with Bob in making this announcement, said that this theme will provide AALL members with an opportunity to examine their profession and their roles in a changing legal, technological, and library environment. The trend of recent business literature has been to examine the "blur" of an inter-connected economy as well as the changing expectations of information seekers. As librarians, we face many challenges as we rethink our libraries, re-define our positions and duties in our parent organizations, and re-invent our profession. "We wanted to combine the current thinking in business and information-related fields with our own realities and changing roles to help our members become fluid, flexible, and focused professionals," Sullivan said.
A Fond Farewell:
The Piper Marbury Rudnick & Wolfe staff would like to wish Earla Croll, one of our Library Assistants, a fond farewell. Earla has been in the library for over 3 years and is moving to Fargo, North Dakota where her husband has accepted a position at the University of North Dakota. Earla's last day is June 23, 2000.
Please welcome our newest LLAM member:
Susan van Beek, Law Librarian
Potter, Anderson & Corroon
1313 N. Market Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Thanks to the fine work of LLAM Secretary Stacey Ray and this year's nominating committee: Harvey Morrell, Sheri Ripley and Betsy Sandison, I am pleased to announce the results of this year's LLAM election for positions on the 2000-2001 Board. The 2000-2001 LLAM election results are as follows:
Vice-President/President Elect: Elizabeth Rhodes (University of Baltimore)
Secretary: Ruth Hodgson (Maryland State Law Library)
Treasurer: Sally J. Miles
Board Members: Anna Cole (Miles & Stockbridge) and Jim Gernert (Baltimore County Circuit Court)
Many thanks to all those who volunteered to run. It should be a great upcoming year!
Steven Anderson, LLAM President, Gordon Feinblatt Rothman Hoffberger & Hollander, LLC
LAW DAY 2000 Celebrated at the State Law Library
In celebration of Law Day 2000, the Maryland State Law Library and the Maryland Center for the Study of History and Civic Education co-sponsored a poster contest for middle and high school students across the state. This years Law Day theme was "Democracy and Diversity" and the students were challenged to create a poster that illustrated our multicultural and multiracial society and how it has contributed to America's government and legal system.
It was a leap of faith to conduct this initial contest but were gratified by the overwhelming response. We received 127 colorful and imaginative posters from 15 Maryland schools that reflected this year's theme.
On May 4, 2000, Chief Judge Robert M. Bell presented first through third place awards to six contest winners at a ceremony held in the main lobby of the Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building. All winners were present to receive their prizes and to savor their moment of recognition.
These posters will remain on display throughout the month of June. All are invited to view these posters during normal State Law Library hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
With the enthusiastic support of chief Judge Bell and the entire Maryland Judiciary we are excited by the prospect of making this an annual event.
Ruth Hodgson, Maryland State Law Library
Law Day Committee: Ruth Hodgson, Ruth Henderson, and Dee Van Nest with Hon. Robert Bell during
Law Day 2000 Ceremonies
Photo Courtesy of Mike Miller, State Law Library
DID YOU KNOW?
Maryland Research On LEXIS: MY, MY, MY(?)
The following important note from Harvey Morrell appeared on the LLAM Listserve on May 11, 2000:
"Hi all, I don't know how many of you are aware of a problem we have run into in Lexis, where some programmer coded the abbreviation for Maryland as 'my,' so that whenever the word Maryland is used as a search term in a case law search, the results will also include any case in which the word 'my' appears (and which the word Maryland is nowhere to be found). This problem was discovered back in February, but despite the best efforts of our Lexis Rep, the powers that be at LEXIS have yet to correct it."
Donít be last to hear about important updates and information!
Join the LLAM e-mail discussion list!
See page 5 of your LLAM Membership Directory for details!
West's Transition from LawDesk/Premise to Folio
CRIV Gram - May 24, 2000 - In response to recent questions on law-lib concerning various search engines in use by West Group, CRIV asked the publisher to provide an official explanation:
"The decision to consolidate the CD-ROM publications of Thomson Legal Publishing and West Publishing was a long contemplated and challenging decision. With the speed at which technology changes, it was finally determined that West Group could best meet customer content, support, delivery, research, interface, and business needs via utilization of the Folio infrastructure.
With regard to West Group's implementation of Folio technologies, great efforts were made to minimize the total cost of ownership experienced by customers who had chosen either LawDesk or PREMISE as their long-term CD-ROM legal research solution. The new LawDesk solution provided a unified software application, capable of reading West Group's full CD-ROM library, content published in either PREMISE or Folio format. This solution reduced software administration needs by taking advantage of network distribution and software technologies such as 'silent installation' and the 32 (versus 16)-bit software platform. In addition, improvements in data registration, including 'tree' support and the 'Files-Net'/'Files-Loc' features, expanded data management and software administration flexibility.
In order to answer the question regarding which error message should be returned by the software when license limits have been exceeded, it is important to note that there are unique messages depending on the data being researched.
If the data is published in PREMISE format, the following error message will appear:
No license available for the Premise Book
If the data is published in LawDesk format, the following error message will appear:
Unable to open infobase. The license user limit has been exceeded
To answer customer questions, West Group has a dedicated Customer and Technical Service staff with direct access to advanced support and development resources. While West Customer and Technical Service successfully resolves customer questions and concerns, an advanced technical staff member will be contacting customers (found in this email trail) individually to offer further assistance."
West has told CRIV that the staff dedicated to answering search engine questions may be reached through the company's customer service number (1-800-328-4880). CRIV appreciates West's cooperation in providing more information on this issue.
Chris Graesser, AALL Committee on Relations with Information Vendors (CRIV)
West Group Establishes Law Librarians Hotline
West Group recognizes the critical role Law Librarians play in their organizations, especially when it comes to electronic legal research. In order to provide the highest quality service to Law Librarians for their Westlaw research, Anne Ellis of Westís Librarian Relations Group has announced the release of the West Group Law Librarian Hotline at:
The West Group Law Librarian Hotline will connect Law Librarians to the most senior Westlaw Reference Attorneys who are best positioned to offer specialized service to meet the unique needs of Law Librarians.
Anne V. Ellis, Director Librarian Relations (email@example.com)
FROM THE LLAM ARCHIVES:
A Bliss-ful Look Back
BLISS WAS IT IN THAT DAWN TO BE ALIVE
On March 25, 1980, sixteen law librarians from the Baltimore area met at the Torremolinos restaurant in Baltimore and made history.
They formed a group known as the Baltimore Law Information Specialists Society or BLISS. (Which came first, the name or the acronym?)
Some are not only still with us but still hold the same job: Anna Cole at Miles & Stockbridge, Barbara Gontrum at the U. of M., Emily Greenberg at the U. of B., Maxine Grosshans at the U. of M., and John Nixdorff at Venable, Baetjer & Howard. Nancy Holden, then at the U. of M. is now retired; Natalie Paymer (Ellis), then at the Attorney Generalís Office now has her own business; Barbara Pfeiffer (Speyser), then at Weinberg & Green is now at the Legislative Services Library; and Loretta Yaller, then at Gordon, Feinblatt is now alive and well and working in Philadelphia. Although not on the attendance list of the first meeting, Mike Miller then and now is at the Maryland State Law Library, Kai-Yun Chiu at the Baltimore Bar Library.
Volume 1, number 1 of the BLISS News (June 1980) announced that "Sally Miles, the new librarian at Weinberg & Green, is from Boston, Massachusetts."
The group met informally for several months but, by the fall of the year, like good librarians, recognized the need for organization and structure. The October 1980 issue of the newsletter includes a statement of purpose and a description of categories of membership that were approved by the group.
The statement of purpose has not changed much over the years: to provide a means of communication, to share resources, to inform members of local and regional resources, to provide continuing education, to provide a forum for discussions.
In that same month, the University of Maryland Law School dedicated its new library with Justice William Brennan as one of the dignitaries present. (The School is now a huge hole in the ground but will rise like the phoenix.)
BLISS activities that first year included tours of the Social Security, Maryland Penitentiary and Baltimore Legislative Reference libraries, a trip to BNA and meetings on disaster planning and the new cataloging rules. In July, John Nixdorff "reports that the Maryland County Update information is coming along" but by November he has received "only seven holding lists." Plus ca change!
The group came up with many other ideas to make their professional lives easier. They arranged for Dobbs Bindery to provide biannual pickups in Baltimore; they gathered information for and published a Baltimore salary survey Ė highest salary was $20,000, lowest was $12,500, median was $14,500; they investigated the feasibility of a consortium or network to catalog holdings through OCLC; they met with the Assistant Warden of the Maryland State Penitentiary to discuss setting up a "Street Law Project." (Whatever happened to it?) They published a monthly(!) newsletter, edited by Loretta Yaller, and planned union lists of periodicals and looseleaf services. Kai-Yun Chiu tried to persuade AALL to let Baltimore host the 1981 Pre-Conference but unfortunately they chose Charlottesville instead.
There was a holiday party that year, starting another tradition. Librarians are social animals. The founders came together to learn, to share information and to provide services that each could not do alone.
Not everything remained blissful at BLISS however.
In the next issue of this newsletter, we will see how controversy nearly destroyed this new enterprise.
Beverly Rubenstein, LLAM Archivist