Hello SWALL members,

It's getting close to that time of year and I am getting excited!  YESS!!!!  SWALL!!!!  The SWALL Annual Meeting is almost here in Austin, Texas – the Live Music Capital of the World.  From April 6th through the 8th, Austin will be the center of the law library universe.  (Yes, I exaggerate)  Barbara Fullerton, Vice President of SWALL and her program committee have put together a fantastic program of educational opportunities around the theme "Information in Motion." This theme represents so much about law libraries and librarianship as the information world continues to innovate and develop new technologies.

Come revel in the programs and events that explore the gamut of issues and interests of most importance to law libraries today including; advocacy, financial management, marketing, information behavior of our users, information literacy, privacy, intellectual freedom, and networking. Hear Sabrina Pacifici, editor and publisher of LLRX.com and bespacific.com, at the Plenary Session on Friday morning. Sabrina has won numerous awards for her monthly online journal, LLRX (one of the first on the web), and her daily web log, beSpacific, each visited monthly by more than 100,000 readers worldwide. Sabrina was recently named one fifty librarians, library workers, and vendors profiled by Library Journal in Movers & Shakers 2006 who are transforming libraries for the future. Sabrina was selected as one of eight "innovators" whose "initiatives may be powered by technology, but they're never defined by it." In 2004 her blog beSpacific received the Blawggie award for Best Overall Legal Blog. This blog was also named a finalist in the category of "Favorite Practice Area Blog" by TechnoLawyer. Sabrina will be joined by our own Vice President, Barbara Fullerton for this year's Saturday Morning Breakfast Hot Topic - Internet Search Engines. Come and eat breakfast and learn what is happening with search engines. The librarians will speak about new technology and show some search engines specifically designed for topical research.

Two pre-conferences are offered this year on Thursday morning, April 6th. The annual pre-conference Legal Research for the Non-Law Librarian will be on Wednesday morning. This session is SWALL's outreach to public, special and academic librarians and is to introduce the primary sources of state law they are likely to encounter in responding to legal questions.

Thomson West is sponsoring a special session for SWALL members from their West Librarian MBA series: Practical Employment Practices for the Library Manager.  This half-day session is designed to explore the complex personnel issues that are part of a manager's work including; performance reviews, procedures for termination, and other issues in employment law. The program consists of two components. The first session, Improving Performance Through Constructive Feedback, is designed for managers searching for more effective means of communicating expectations and creating performance improvement plans. After an expert overview of the process of managing employee performance, our presenter, Mark Mitchell will lead attendees through a series of discussions and exercises. Our own West Librarian Relations Manager, Blythe McCoy, J.D., will lead the second session on Introduction to Employment Law. Blythe will introduce the host of Federal laws that govern the employment relationship, with specific advice on hiring guidelines, employment considerations, and termination of employment. West tools to help you and your attorneys navigate employment law will be highlighted, including a review of applicable employment law and ways to stay up to date with any legislative changes.

The second "One Book, One Conference" program will feature The Librarian by the Edgar-winning Larry Beinhart.

Your role is to read this page-turning comic thriller and engage in discussion facilitated by the librarians of the Austin Public Library. You can bet it will be a lively discussion. The Librarian is the story of university librarian David Goldberg who supplements his salary by cataloging the personal library of eccentric billionaire Augustus Winthrop Scott. The fact that Scott thinks nothing of buying politicians and even stealing a presidential election does not bother Goldberg. He soon discovers, however, that the little bit of knowledge he gains from organizing Scott's personal papers puts him in great danger: Homeland Security is pursuing him, and the state of Virginia has charged him with bestiality. The book effectively employs a combination of dark humor and outrageous plot twists. It is refreshing to encounter a political thriller with a librarian hero--not coincidentally a librarian, either, but one who uses his information skills to save the day. You can find this title at Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble. Sounds like a great conference.

But there's more!

For SWALL members arriving on Wednesday, April 5, there will be a Welcome Reception in the Governor's Suite from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Come by the suite to register for the conference and to visit with friends and colleagues. This suite was the personal suite of President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

The Annual Meeting will begin at Noon with the Opening Luncheon on Thursday, April 6th. The Opening Luncheon includes a special treat, a performance by the Bar & Grill Singers!

The Bar and Grill Singers

The Bar & Grill Singers, all of whom are practicing attorneys in Austin, Texas, have entertained lawyers and non-lawyers since their 1991 debut in a one-performance musical revue. Now appearing year-round across the nation, the Singers spoof themselves and their profession with clever lyrics set to a variety of musical styles. They needle everything and everyone around the law, including clients, billing practices, legal ethics, bored jurors, and (gasp!) federal judges.

The Austin Local Arrangements Committee chaired by Kumar Percy have planned some special events for us in Austin. The most exciting event during the conference is the Buffet Dinner & Music at the Harry Ransom Humanities Center and Museum on Friday evening, April 7th. This event is sponsored by LexisNexis. The Center is the owner of one of five complete copies of the Gutenberg Bible in the United States. Another exciting collection is the archive of the Watergate papers of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. The museum is the holder of one of the preeminent cultural archives in the country, including 36 million manuscripts, five million photographs, one million books and more than 100,000 works of art and design. Come for a wonderful evening of great food, music, and discovery.

Currently on Display at the Ransom Center:

Technologies of Writing: Examining the History and Style of Writing
The Image Wrought: Historical Photographic Approaches in the Digital Age

Permanent Exhibits: The Gutenberg Bible, The First Photograph, and the Erle Stanley Gardner's Study

The Ransom Center's Gutenberg Bible

And there's more! On Thursday evening, the entire conference is invited to attend a reception at the beautiful and unique University of Texas Tarlton Law Library If you've never seen this library, you are in for a real treat.

The Tarlton Law Library is the 7th largest academic law library in the country, with physical collections containing a million volumes and electronic collections providing access to millions more documents. The Library is the largest academic law library facility in the country occupying over 167,000 square feet.

And don't miss visiting with venders in the SWALL Exhibit Area.

The SWALL Blog. To get us ready for SWALL, the SWALL Blog is now open!  The blog will be available for SWALL members and conference attendees from March 14th to April 15th. Check it out daily for new information. RSS Feed is also available. Photos will also be seen on our SWALL website and on Flickr. The SWALL Blog will feature short articles, announcements, room change notifications, pictures, reviews of programs and events, and comments.  The blog will also serve as a source for articles that may be included on the SWALL website.

So let's all get to Austin to for "Live music, Live action, Livin' it up. Go live in Austin!!" So I'll see you in Austin. I'll be the one riding the bike alongside Lance Armstrong, welcoming you to the city!