SWALL BULLETIN


TABLE OF CONTENTS

FROM THE BENCH

Presidents' Letter
By Kathryn C. Fitzhugh

TRANSCRIPT

Minutes of SWALL Business Meeting
Fort Worth
April 19, 2002 

by Susan Spillman

PRO FORMA

Treasurerís Report
by Joan O'Mara

SWALL 2003
by Mon Yin Lung

SWALL OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS: 2002-2003

SWALL AT AALL

CONELL 2002:
My Adventure in the Central Florida Wilderness
and How to Become a "Conference Pro"

by John Conger

Connections Created: AALL 
by Lee F. Peoples

My AALL Experience 2002
by Daniel Bell

EXPERT WITNESS  TESTIMONY

SWALL 2002: Fiery Fun in Fort Worth!
by Amy Hale-Janeke

Joint Study Institute, 2002 "Canadian Focus: Global View"  
by Catherine K. Harris

COURT FILINGS

Award Winners in UALR
by Jessie L. Cranford

New Title:
State of Texas Statutory Restrictions on Convicted Felons

SWALL Bulletin
The Official Publication of SWALL: 
The Southwestern Association of Law Libraries
A Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries

Fall 2002, Vol. 33 No. 1 & 2

 

SWALL at AALL

 

Connections Created: AALL

Head of Reference Services,

Oklahoma City University Law Library

"Creating Connections" was the theme of this yearís AALL Annual Meeting and it became reality throughout the convention. The first connection I noticed was between my sweaty clothes and body while waiting in the shade of a palm tree on International Drive for the trolley. Despite the heat I managed to make more significant connections: formal ones with new ideas at organized sessions and informal social connections at smaller meetings and receptions.

"Creating connections" was the theme of this year's AALL Annual Meeting and it became reality

E-Reference Services: Collaborating to Make the 24/7 Connection presented the experiences of several law libraries with the Collaborative Digital Reference Service/Question Point program. The program connects the reference departments of libraries around the world to form a network ready to answer reference questions 24/7. A computer program routes reference questions to the participating library best suited to answer the specific question. The project also maintains a database of previously answered questions. More information is available at: http://www.questionpoint.org.

Devolution in the United Kingdom: A Revolution in Online Legal Research outlined the transfer of power back to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the sources of legislation produced by the new regional legislatures. It was exciting to hear the program presenters speak with conviction and purpose about local democratic rule created by the devolution of power. This devolution has also produced something equally exciting for law librarians interested in foreign legal materials, free access to regional legislative documents at the Web sites of the respective legislatures; http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/index.html, http://www.wales.gov.uk/index.htm, and http://www.ni-assembly.gov.uk/index.htm, with an article discussing devolution at: http://www.llrx.com/features/devolution.htm.

The Semantic Web was a fascinating plenary session detailing the future of the internet. This information superhighway construction project promises to make organization of and access to online information more efficient. It works by using resource definition framework (RDF), a framework of metadata much like HTML but more descriptive, to create a Web that is a globally linked database as opposed to the current conglomeration of Web pages. Law libraries, according to the presenter Eric Miller, enjoy a history of social trust because of the information they provide. Miller called upon law librarians to continue to make responsible decisions about internet content so this trust may be extended to the Semantic Web. More information is available from: http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/ and http://www.semanticweb.org/.

Legal Research Meets Darwin: The Origin and Evolution of Research Courses at Two Law Schools was an interesting reflection on the current state of legal research instruction at two institutions. The emphasis on motivating students to take the courses in the first place and making the actual content of the course like a game, treasure hunt or carnival was intriguing. Law schools and their libraries are constantly berated for not producing graduates who can competently conduct legal research, yet this focus on motivation reveals that the blame may lie with the students themselves who seem unwilling to or uninterested in improving their legal research skills.

The convention offered many opportunities to create informal social connections (i.e., gossip and socialize.) I discovered that law librarians as information professionals are extremely adept at both. I found smaller meetings like the SWALL reception a good place to meet and socialize with fellow law librarians. Walking through the convention center and Peabody Hotel with an esteemed mentor of mine I was intimidated and comforted at the same time. Intimidated by the fact that she new just about every person we passed. How was I ever going to get to know all of these people, much less remember their names or faces? I was reassured and comforted by her kind introduction to many colleagues and the warm welcomes to the profession they extended. Another connection was created when I met my AALL assigned mentor. This was an excellent opportunity for me as a new member of AALL to meet someone else with similar interests that I otherwise may have never discovered. I plan to stay in touch with my mentor and to participate in the program as a mentor next year. All law librarians interested in sharing their insights into the profession, meeting new law librarians and discovering how they came to this unique line of work should participate in the mentoring project. More information is available at: http://www.aallnet.org/committee/mentoring/mentor_project.html.

Connections were definitely created at this yearís AALL Annual Meeting. I left the meeting more educated and motivated about law librarianship than ever. I felt reassured in my decision to become a law librarian because of the people I met. They come to the profession from diverse backgrounds, do interesting things at their libraries and most of all are eager and willing to share their knowledge and experience with a new law librarian.

 
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