History of MALLCO
The organization was formed as the Mid-America Law School Library Consortium (MALSLC) and from the outset had very close ties to MAALL. More than thirty years ago, law school deans and librarians from Mid-America were invited to a meeting held during the 1979 AALS annual meeting. The original impetus for the Consortium came from Dean Allen Smith at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Dean Smith was concerned about the problems facing law school libraries, especially increasing costs and diminishing space.
The interest that developed at AALS in sharing resources and cooperating in interlibrary loans resulted in the creation of a formal organization during the 1980 AALL meeting in St. Louis . The Consortium-consisting of the four law school libraries of Missouri, two in Kansas, three in Illinois, two in Iowa, two in Nebraska, three in Oklahoma, two in Arkansas and more recently one in South Dakota and North Dakota-was incorporated as a non-profit Missouri corporation. Eileen Searls of St. Louis University was elected as the group's first chair.
Several significant changes took place in 2005 when the Consortium decided to hire an Executive Director, revised its bylaws, and changed its name to the Mid-America Law Library Consortium (MALLCO). Nina Miley was hired in fall 2005 as MALLCO's first executive director and began serving on a half-time basis. Bob Rowell replaced her as executive director in fall 2006. After serving as a voluntary, interim executive director in fall 2008, Susan Goldner became the half-time executive director in January, 2010.
One aspect of the Consortium's structure which has greatly facilitated and enhanced its operation is the frequency of meetings. Formal meetings of the library directors are normally scheduled in conjunction with the annual meetings of AALS, SWALL, AALL, and MAALL. By meeting four times each year the member schools are better able to maintain contact with each other to further interlibrary cooperation.
The activities of the Consortium have grown over the years. Grant funding from various sources has enabled member libraries to undertake a number of projects. Consortium members are also assessed dues to permit the pursuit of additional endeavors. These projects have benefited not only the Consortium members, but libraries throughout MAALL and AALL as well. Among the many completed and continuing projects of the Consortium, the following are especially noteworthy:
Library statistics reported to the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools are submitted to the MALLCO executive director at the same time that they are submitted to ABA/AALS. This permits consortium libraries to have very timely access to comparative information that can be invaluable in the budgeting processes.
CD-ROM Union Catalog ("The Intelligent Catalog")
In 1990, prior to the adoption of online catalogs in all MALSLC libraries, the Consortium prepared a CD-ROM based public access union catalog containing the records of every member library. The Consortium utilized a 3-year College Library Technology & Cooperative Grant with Library Corporation as the vendor.
Cooperative Collection Development
Member libraries exchanged information concerning specific subjects and titles for cooperative collection development. Midwest Library Service was selected as the vendor for the cooperative purchase of monographs in February 1993; followed by Yankee Book Peddler in 2001. The Consortium subscribed to WorldCat Collection Analysis for all of its members in 2008-2009. MALLCO continues to offer a discounted group subscription for those member libraries that are interested.
Electronic Resource Discounts
Consortium pricing has been negotiated for electronic products including LegalTrac, Current Index to Legal Periodicals, LexisNexis Congressional, HeinOnLine, Oxford Univesity Press, Making of Modern Law, Cassidy Cataloging, and LibGuides. This is an area of active interest.
ILL And Photocopy Reciprocity
Interlibrary loans and photocopies have been exchanged among consortium members without fee assessments since 1980. This is greatly enhanced by the serials union list (see below).
Survey On Collection & Technology Practices
An extensive survey of member library activities was done in 2008 and updated in 2010. It includes sections on major print sets retained/cancelled, other print collection practices, microform sets retained, electronic resources provided, technology used, and catalog sets for e-resources purchased.
Training For Non-Professional Staff
The Consortium periodically sponsors workshops for non-professional staff members during the annual meeting of MAALL. Travel grants are available from the Consortium to facilitate attendance of interested MAALL members.
Telecomputing Technology Grant
In 1992, the Consortium received a major grant to foster telecomputing and resource sharing utilizing scanning and imaging technology. One product of this grant was the nation's first law library Web-based catalog.
In 1985, with the help of an AALL grant, the consortium libraries installed telefax equipment, permitting the rapid delivery of documents. As a condition of the grant, the Consortium studied the impact of telefacsimile equipment on interlibrary cooperation.
Union List of Serials
A union list of legal periodicals was assembled on a regular basis beginning in 1982, using OCLC. The union list included law review holdings and related periodicals, noting the specific volumes held from the academic law libraries in Mid-America. Resource sharing among all law libraries was facilitated because of the Mid-America Union List.
Union Lists, Other
A print union list of looseleaf services was maintained for several years based on the entries in Legal Looseleafs in Print . The Consortium also prepared a print union list of major microform holdings. Earlier union lists and surveys covered Canadian primary materials, computer labs, microcomputer software, automation plans and fiche duplicators.
Revised January 3, 2011