By Linda Smith,
US Courts Library
Prepared for the 25th Anniversary Celebration of
May 4, 2001, Dearborn, Michigan
compilation has been a labor of love. I have enjoyed reading our 25 years of
newsletters and reflecting upon the
changes, especially what technology has done to our members.
There is quite a change from
what the early
leaders had to work with and attempted to accomplish and what our current
members are doing today.
the newsletters are not entirely a complete or accurate history of our
organization and its members’ activities, there will likely be some errors
or omissions in this report. It
is not my intent to produce a document which is not a true picture our work
and efforts as an organization. As
an organization, we have contributed to the legal community, the library
community and to each other. Let’s
continue the tradition! Linda.
This brief report celebrates the 25 years of the Michigan Association
of Law Libraries. In 1949, twelve academic and county law librarians founded
Ohio Association of Law Libraries in Columbus, Ohio.
Members joined from Kentucky, Michigan and Indiana so the word Regional
was added in 1968 and thus the name: Ohio Regional Association of Law
Libraries. In 1999, ORALL celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Members of the Law Librarians of Metropolitan
Detroit and Michigan members of ORALL created MICHALL in 1976.
come a long way since our first very rough newsletter of December 1977 to our
website edition of March, 2001. Let=s
look at some of our accomplishments and some of our members.
All members make contributions
to an organization, but others stand out for any number of reasons.
That first newsletter reflected
energy and concerns from local issues (the Detroit Bar Association Library)
to the reorganization of the Library of Congress. Georgia Ann Clark was
noted as the past president and Charles Wolfe was the current president.
Barbara Bonge was editor. Emelyn
House and Georgia served as executive board members. Pat Cupoli was treasurer
and Marjorie Wilcox was our secretary. Linda
Schweizer was Vice President and Karen Moss was on the executive board and
also served as membership director.
It was under Karen’s
watch that the first directory of Michigan Law Libraries would appear in the
State Bar Journal. (November 1977).
In 1978, Charles Wolfe wrote to
Al Coco, the President of AALL, inviting AALL to hold the conference in Detroit in 1982. Our newsletters remain rich with information about current
political topics and events and legislation that effects libraries.
You see this tradition throughout the 25 years.
During 1978 the reproduction of a telegram sent-signed by 44 members of
MICHALL- opposing restructuring of the Library of Congress was received
by Lucien N. Nedzi, Chair of Congressional Joint Committee on Library of
Congress. Included is a summary of the hearing.
That year we gave the first life membership award at our luncheon on
May 5, 1978 to Charlotte Dunnebache, State Law librarian, who had retired with
accolades from all branches of government as well as law library associations.
The focus of our fall meeting
was: AACR2 -it
was about cataloging. AALL
praised Em House and Margaret Leary for their work in the passage of PL
95-261, the Law School Library Depository bill.
We had 76 members and Marjorie Wilcox was doing a space study for the
Grand Rapids Bar Library. A lot
of work and effort went into the issue of state approved CEU credits
for educational programs. In
fact, the Michigan Interorganizational Committee for Continuing Library
Education (MICCLE) approved our Spring meeting for 2
CEU. The topic was researching
State Legislative History and 134 people attended. (See Law Library Journal
Winter 1979, 72 LLJ 47). MICCLE asked if our application could be used as the
sample application. Thanks went to Peter Kempel.
In 1985, MICHALL would withdraw
its membership from MICCLE deciding it is not benefiting our members and not
interested in approved library educational programs for continuing education
units. By the end of that year, the concern was: what are the advantages and
disadvantages of seeking Chapter status with AALL. When the ballots were returned, we were a chapter of AALL and
the dues increase was approved to $7.50.
We needed Chapter status to officially sponsor the AALL conference.
There were 10 Lexis terminals in
Michigan, and the Grand Rapids Bar Association installed Westlaw in 1980. Changes
were starting. Bernice Frank
asked for interested members to help with local arrangements for AALL in
Detroit in 1982. There would be a
joint meeting of MICHALL/ORALL in 1980 at the Renaissance Center as a dry run
preparation. MICHALL members were out training and educating other librarians
across the state, some examples are: Dick Beer taught Librarians and the Law
to public librarians, Lane Fichtenau explained acquisitions of law materials;
Peter Schanck lectured on Legal advice and legal reference; Charles Wolfe
conducted a crash course on legal bibliography to Branch County Law Libraries
and Dick, Lane and Kathleen Friedman conducted a workshop on the use of
legal research materials for Flint librarians.
Later in 1985, the State law librarians put on a 2 day legal research
workshop for Michigan prison librarians as law library service was mandated in
Michigan prisons. Trainers were Charles Wolfe, Barbara Vaccaro and Ruth
GODORT was established in
October of 1978. Government Documents Round Table of Michigan was affiliated
with ALA. Purpose: to promote
effective use of publications issued by all levels of government. Charles Wolfe becomes State Law Librarian and Duncan Webb
becomes Assistant in 1980. Roger
Jacobs, U.S. Supreme Court Librarian, was honored by U of M School of Library
Science. He was director of U of D Law school from 1962-1967 and then
University of Windsor until 1972.
A change of status of the law
library within the State Library was needed. A Bill was introduced to make the State Library an arm of the legislature, similar
to Library of Congress and a new location was investigated. Copy of the
MICHALL resolution in support of Senate Bill 200 to move State library from
Dept of Education jurisdiction to control of legislature. PA 114 of 1983
amended PA 540 and put the library in legislative council.
You will also find a copy of a letter from MICHALL to State Board of
Education urging release of report about State Law library Meeting the
Information Needs of Michigan. The 225 page report did become available.
MICHALL initiates creation of Michigan Register (HB 4133
2/14/79) PA 413 passes and a monthly publication begins in 1984.
What are some of the regular
features in our newsletter that continue through today: job placement
information; new member information; who is serving on what committee; what a
particular committee does; thoughtful reports and summaries of programs
presented at conferences; annual spring and fall meetings, the location and
topics; news from Detroit, news from Grand Rapids; information about MICHALL/ORALL
joint breakfast meetings at AALL and this year, the joint luncheon meeting;
and forms to volunteer for committee work and pay your dues and submit
information for the newsletter.
In 1980 Barbara Bonge, our
editor, reminded us to mark our calendars as MICHALL News Day - the
day to submit information for the newsletter....this is still a great idea. We
needed a logo. We
had a rough hand drawn picture of the state of Michigan. Membership goes up and
down during the course of any association, Lorraine
Lorne, Chairperson of membership committee reported 75 member in 1980 and 93
members in 1982. Charles
Wolfe wrote about investigating the possibilities of a Michigan legal
database. He wanted to see the Administrative Code; Attorney General Opinions,
Executive Orders, and the Michigan Compiled Laws on-line.
Instant bill status was also a desired feature.
But it was not a good time for state funding. It has been nearly 20 years, but we have a similar web site
now! Also in 1981, the
MICHALL directory of members was produced using a word processor which
made the editing and corrections much easier.
Well, here we go...from now on we see the focus on
technology as our fall meeting in 1981 was Computer Projects for your Library@.
Everything, however, was not high
tech....the U. of M. Law Library was moved in August of 1981 at the rate of
14,000 books per day.
In 1982, Bernice Frank was local
arrangements and Margaret Leary formulated
the program for AALL here in Detroit: Interlink 82 . The newsletter
contains copies of bills pending in the state legislature that effect
libraries. In 1983 our
constitution was changed to allow institutional/association
Friedman presented a plaque to Barbara Bonge for 5 years of service as editor
of our newsletter. Duncan Webb,
the current president is leaving for a law library post in California.
In keeping with tradition that officers often leave Michigan after
having served on the MICHALL board....is it a blessing or a curse!
The ORALL/MICHALL joint meeting
was Emerging Technologies for Law Librarians
for today and tomorrow. The newsletter is full of news of emerging computer
capabilities. Margaret Leary writes that she found the Richard Boss lecture at
the joint meeting very timely and useful as she was working on a long range
automation plan. It is noted that
a microcomputer costs about $10,000. More
articles about automation, for example, Ann Kondack writes “Perils and
Pitfall in Library Automation: The Automation
Contract.” A new feature
is added: searching non-legal databases.
It seems that by 1984 the organization begins to ask for input, for
help and for participation by its members. Two telefacsimile machines are
installed at the Michigan State Law Library and then Cooley.
Hot topics become union lists and learning how to use
OCLC. Dick Beer wrote an article summarizing his trip around the world
visiting law libraries is a must read feature! (Distributed at 25th
anniversary meeting) Dick stressed our access to legal materials and reminded
us of our privileges. This was
much like the reflections of Kathleen Gamache upon her return from AALL in
Washington, D.C. years later in 1999.
Wayne State University Law School Library automation plans are nearly
completed; areas have been
renovated. Here was an
understatement: staff continued to be overworked but challenged (Margaret
Heinen, Marriane Maher, Lida Keem and Georgia Clark).
More hot topics: formats,
microforms. Later we see CD Rom
becomes the hot topic for format. The
State Library will get a new building. Charles Wolfe reproduces an article for
our newsletter which was read at AALL conference in Detroit in 1922. (It was
included in distributions at our 25th anniversary meeting).
In 1985, in Dearborn, we
had a meeting consisting of several topics, among them: telefax document
delivery, computer assisted legal research, and microfiche.
In 1987, the AALL Winter Institute was about creating and maintaining
in-house databases. The idea
becomes real that there will be regional meetings in the fall, perhaps every
other year. In 1987, the meeting
was in New York and 13 members were able to attend. By 1989, the Chicago
regional meeting was in lieu of our traditional fall meeting.
There goes tradition! Now
our fall get together is a dinner meeting with a speaker from AALL.
MICHALL has one annual meeting a year in the Spring.
The fall of 1988 brings
MICHALL to Lansing for a tour of the new Library of Michigan. Our topic
was: Computer Software on the Lawyers Desk, including software demonstrations.
Bernice Frank and Marjorie Wilcox, both active members since 1976, become life
We are 115 members in 1989.
Again a call goes out in the June 1991 newsletter that people are not
submitting articles. Reasons given by members: very busy, understaffed, and
over worked. We have 149 members but less participation. Cooley has INNOPAC, an on-line catalog and dial up
instructions are included in our newsletter.
In 1992, the fall dinner was nearly cancelled due to lack of interest.
However, lack of interest, as reported in the newsletter was probably
not the real culprit
- everyone is stressed out! So
many librarians need to keep the traditional procedures going while
implementing the new technological ways... learning and using automation with
no increase in staff. In 1993 the Spring dinner was cancelled due to low
registration. The reason given: busy schedules of members.
Our new president, Judith Anspach wants to know why?
In the president letter section of the newsletter she asks for a call
around to see what changes need to be made.
She also lists the responsibilities that need to be fulfilled according
to AALL guidelines. Shortly after
this, Judith leaves for a position in New Mexico.
Marianne Maher becomes President
and begins her term with a passionate President letter outlining how change
has made our time more limited and more valuable.
She then outlines what is to be gained from our association.
She creates a communication pattern where each committee will have a
liaison member from the executive board; help communication efforts and goal
setting for specific projects.. The
vice president is Mary Lou Calvin and the Secretary is Joan Byerly. Treasurer
is Kathleen Gamache. ( If I had to pick one member who stands out above all
others, it would be Kathleen Gamache. She
is always there for the organization; serving in whatever capacity is needed.
She is also the consummate professional in assisting other librarians). Also,
the newsletter states Maria Brummel-Schutte is our new enthusiastic newsletter
When you reach this point in the
MICHALL newsletters, having seen the focus, time and energy of its members nearly spent,
you wonder if MICHALL will continue; will it be able to accomplish
goals? Then ORALL requests
cooperation and assistance with planning and executing the November meeting.
Committees merge. Board approved financial support for design of logo...we
had one since 1988.
It is 1994 and U of D hooks up
to the internet. The spring
meeting is a success. And the logo is the state of Michigan with the scales of justice.
Job ads begin to require proficiency in Lexis and WESTLAW.
A continuing education calendar
is now included in the newsletter. Dick
Beer retires and is awarded life time membership and a plaque.
Mary Lou Calvin, our new
president for 1994 gives thanks
to Marianne Maher in her president letter and states that MICHALL has been revitalized under
leadership. We all give thanks.
Mary Lou says: Make time for MICHALL,
you’ll be glad you did. Marie Wolfe
reports that 3 companies are producing Michigan cases on CD-ROM. There is a
discussion of the TEXACO case:
fair use defense to copyright infringement.
We now have an Internet committee and publish a bibliography of
selected materials. Mary Lou
speaks at the Grand Rapids Bar Association’s
Continuing Legal Education program on: Technology and the Law: Use it or Get Left Behind.
Our current focus: internet and CD-Rom.
66 members attend the Spring 1995 meeting. How to subscribe/participate
in our listserve for MICHALL is announced. The member survey indicated that
members want more than 1 meeting per year! What a turn around!
Add the fall dinner meeting as a tradition, including a speaker from
AALL. The MICHALL/ORALL breakfast meeting at AALL in 1995 has over 100
Increased reporting, in depth,
in our newsletter about programs at AALL. And another new feature: “Have you
tried these internet resources yet?”
October dinner meeting: 30 members.
Use of email to keep in touch increases.
The 3rd Regional
Conference is in Toronto for 1996. A
Library without Borders:
How Technology Has Impacted Information Sharing in the Global Community
is the theme. Three
MICHALL program proposals are accepted.
There are 400 participants and the newsletter includes summaries of
each program. We have 121
members. Sharon Bradley becomes
editor and writes: “The
Internet and Your Future.”
In 1997 she writes: “The Book Placed on Endangered Species List@
wherein she discussed Bob Berring’s
Cyberspace and Tradition: Legal Information Transmogrified”
12 Berkely Tech. LJ 189 (1997).
MaryLou and Michele Howard are working on the design and implementation
website. Good reasons to
Put up a web site from Sharon Bradley’s
“You , the Web and Being Hip”.
Sharon summarizes Pat Wagner’s
address from the annual 1998 meeting: “Marketing as if Your Job Depended
on It”. The Midwest Regional conference topic in Milwaukee: Law
Libraries and Change in the Information
Age. At 125 members,
the Board is again calling for volunteers.
Lack of input for our newsletter and a couple of committees are vacant. Board reaffirms value of publishing regular issues of
newsletter. MICHALL sponsors 1
location for the AALL annual satellite video conference. Let me repeat that:
satellite video conference. The
Board is doing conference calling, e-mails and faxing in reports. Shannon Mitchell reports that at the chapter leadership
sessions in AALL she learned that most chapters have the same concerns:
getting and keeping members and filling committee positions.
In 1999, the AALL
annual meeting is inWashington D.
C. The theme is “Information Policy: Today’s
Decisions May Limit Tomorrow’s
Bradley attends an MLA workshop on copyright and discusses 2 new Acts.
The spring meeting in May is about Change Management.
Change in the workplace impacts your
whole life; how to be resilient. “Life
in the Fast Lane” was presented by West Publishing. The Board again calls for help!
The May 1999 issue includes brief biographies and statements by
candidates. This is a first.
Everyone always talks about our image but everyone is too humble.
offers net sites for library administration uses.
president letter reminds us of our unique gift: Our constitution. She reflects
after attending AALL in Washington D.C.
It is encouraging when leaders take time to ponder our foundations and
share their thoughts and feelings. Our
website is being developed by Julia Daniel; and moved from Wayne State to the
AALL Server. The Detroit Bar
Library closes and Jan Bissert provides an article on document delivery and
ILL services; a selected web based catalog list and a chart of local delivery
services. Many law firm libraries
relied on the Bar Library for these services.
Kathleen touches on part of the
reason for the last 10 years of ups and downs of our MICHALL membership
is all the time I’ve
Saved this year?”
One does see the change in the organization through its newsletter and
its accomplishments beginning with the changes in technology.
Kathleen wanted MICHALL to accomplish a community service project - a
noble goal as MICHALL has offered pro bono
services, consulting services and educational services to the library and
legal community since it began. Maybe
the best we can offer at this time to so learn enough to serve our users and
our library properly each day.
As the year 2000 begins, a new
logo is needed as the current one cannot be used on our website.
The spring meeting “Law
in Grand Rapids, at Miejer
Gardens was a success. Good solid information and a beautiful location. The
program is summarized in our newsletter.
The newsletter also reports concerns over UCITA, the Uniform Computer
Information Transactions Act , which is opposed by most library associations.
LLMD and WSU Library program alumni Association
sponsor the AALL video conference:
“Books and Bytes: Balancing Formats in Today’s Libraries.”
The next Gamache letter presents the topic of access and preservation
“What will be saved?” It is a very serious discussion about our
information needs in the future. Kathleen thanks Shannon Mitchell Bass and
Joan Hollier for service on the Board. Mary
Karpinski is the Vice President. Article
submission by Bridget Faricy:
“Medical Research: Tips and Tricks for the Law Librarian”.
At the March 2000 board meeting it was reported that we have 101
members. And Julia Daniel did a demo of the MICHALL website.
Included in our newsletter is the AALL draft of core competencies of
Law Librarianship. Our deadline
for a compatible logo is indefinite.
Current leadership is: Joan
Byerly, President; Mary Karpinski, Vice President; Duane Strojny, Secretary;
Michele Howard, Treasure, Kathleen Gamache, Past Present; Eric Kennedy and
Rita Marsala are members at large. Newsletter
editor is Andrea Muto. At the executive board meeting in August of 2000, we
had 53 paid members. The question was: how to get more involvement?
Kathleen wants to meet with past presidents about needed changes to our
What can MICHALL do for members?
What can members do for MICHALL?. The
members want the organization to continue.
The 2001 annual AALL meeting is in Minneapolis and the 2001 theme is
“New Realities, New Roles.” LLRX
website announces Court rules, forms and dockets through key word searching.
of all of the Michigan law school catalogs are listed.
Instructions for subscribing to the MICHALL
listserv are included. Our
most current newsletter, March 2001, features an article on the new law school:
“Meet Ave Maria: a New Michigan law school and Library.”
The possible changes to our by-laws are included and are to be voted on
at the May 4th, 2001 meeting. Where
are we? Read again Joan Byerly’s
Presidents Column in our March 2001 newsletter.
She reminds us of the joy of doing reference work and how everything is
not on the internet and how, therefore, the questions are more challenging by
the time they are asked. Joan was
able to make someone say “Wow”!
We have been the gatekeepers of knowledge and
information and now we find ourselves on a somewhat more level playing field
with people using the internet...but when they cannot find it or when it is not
there...we are it! We have to move into the future while maintaining and
utilizing our skills and abilities from the past. MICHALL helps its members do just that!