This year marked the mid-point of our 2005-2010 Strategic Directions, and this annual report describes the progress we made during the year in all three areas: Leadership, Education, and Advocacy.
Leadership. We began to develop our first annual Leadership Academy for October 2008. The academy will help newer law librarians identify their particular strengths and prepare to move into leadership roles in their organizations and in the profession. Our committee structure was updated and now includes a vice chair/chair succession system, which should lead to greater continuity. Representation to related organizations was strengthened and expanded, and a new brochure and website were designed to inform potential law librarians of the exciting opportunities available in our field.
Education. The popular AALL/BNA Continuing Education Grants program completed its second year of operation and is now well-established as the primary source for support of innovative grassroots programming. We presented several webinars and greatly expanded the audio and video programs available in the Members Only Section of AALLNET. A host of excellent programs enabled us to "Energize, Explore, and Evolve" at our very well-attended Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon.
Advocacy. This was a transitional year for our advocacy program, due to the untimely death of our long-time Washington Affairs Representative Robert Oakley. A special committee reviewed the operation of our advocacy program and prepared recommendations for the future. Meanwhile, our advocacy efforts continued unabated under the leadership of Acting Washington Affairs Representative Mary Alice Baish. These included promoting the vital importance of authentication of legal information and supporting open access to government information. Advocacy with the vendor community also became a major focus. A special Executive Board working group developed steps towards a new approach to vendor relations, and Executive Director Kate Hagan and I held a series of meetings with upper management at the major legal information vendors to discuss the board's actions and explain areas of member concern.
Member Communications. Another important focus this year was on member communications. Our occasional "From the Desk of" broadcast emails were transformed into a regular monthly e-newsletter, and our various Spectrum news columns migrated to AALLNET, where they can be made available faster and distributed via RSS feed. We also launched a special vendor relations page on AALLNET to report on the various efforts taking place in this important area.
Law librarianship is an exciting and vibrant profession, and AALL is committed to providing the support our members need to deal with the changes and challenges they face every day. It was an honor and a privilege to serve as your president for 2007-2008.
Ann T. Fessenden
AALL President 2007-2008