IMPLEMENTING A BEST PRACTICES PROGRAM
Chiapperi, Nixon Peabody LLP,
More than two years ago, the
firm-wide library department at Nixon Peabody LLP began a unique
initiative with lofty goals: to improve and standardize library
practices across the firm by developing a best practices program,
through which we aimed to work toward achieving the library�s strategic
plan. Today, we have come a long way and enjoyed many successes. Since
the success of this program depended on planning and participation at
all levels of the library, we decided to include perspectives drawn from
all levels � manager, staff, and director � as we share our experience.
Manager Perspective: Establishing the Best Practices Program
Amy Bruce, Manager, New England Libraries
After four mergers in four years, the library staff of Nixon Peabody LLP
determined it was necessary to create a strategic plan for the future.
The growth of the firm had increased the library staff to 23 members and
involved the acquisition of libraries with different technologies,
cultures, ways of doing things, and even time zones, with the addition
of West Coast offices. Undergoing all these changes over such a short
period of time had resulted in a library focused on managing for the
short term rather than the future. It was time to step back and
determine who we were, where we should be going, and how to get there.
The process for developing a strategic plan began with a meeting of the
director and library managers. The management team knew that it needed
to work better across offices and establish consistent procedures, as
well as provide professional development opportunities. We performed a
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (�SWOT�) analysis, to
create a library vision and goals, and to align our goals with those of
the firm. Through this process, the management team set five goals:
increase visibility and expand customer base; select best information at
best cost; continually develop knowledge and skills; work efficiently
across the firm; and contribute positively to the firm�s financial
The next step was to create
action plans to achieve the goals set for the department. To gain buy-in
and to accomplish the challenging goals, this stage had to be
collaborative and involve all members of the library. Department-wide
involvement would also let the management team draw on the accumulated
knowledge of an experienced staff, each with individual strengths. The
management team determined that the most effective way to involve the
staff was to create best practices teams.
We established four such teams, based on our goals and operations:
Reference, Professional Development, Technical Services, and Marketing,
each consisting of and led by staff members, with a manager as an
advisor. The management team set a charter for each team, and each team
was tasked with examining current procedures, establishing more
efficient practices, and creating action plans to carry out its goals.
We presented the plan at a firm-wide library meeting, and the department
agreed to move forward on the best practices initiative. Staff members
were assigned to teams based on individual preference, job function, and
office location. To build relationships across the firm, the teams were
composed of members from different office locations. This also allowed
the differences in office cultures and procedures to be represented in
each best practices team. Once the team assignments were set and leaders
were appointed, the teams began working toward accomplishing their
Staff Perspective: Implementing the Best Practices Program
Pam Warren, Reference Librarian, Boston
When the library staff received our team assignments and charters, with
a deadline of just four months for presenting our recommendations to the
group, we realized that quite a challenge lay ahead of us. Luckily,
resources were available to let us launch the best practices initiative
by conducting our first team meetings in person. These in-person
meetings were crucial. Since we would subsequently work primarily via
e-mail and conference calls, establishing good working relationships
early on was key to our success. Each team spent a day getting to know
each other better, while coming up with a plan for tackling their
All of the teams emerged from the
meetings with ideas of their own, as well as plans to solicit
information and suggestions from all library staff. We used surveys,
interviews, and requests for documentation to gather input from our
colleagues. With feedback in hand, the teams developed recommendations
for the group and prepared to present these recommendations at our
first-ever all-hands library meeting, a summit that took place over two
days. The group displayed sustained interest as the teams�
recommendations were unveiled. The response from the department as a
whole was quite positive, and we agreed that the teams should move
forward with implementing all of the suggested initiatives. We emerged
from the department summit energized and ready to make positive changes.
The next few months brought exciting developments and accomplishments as
the teams put the new initiatives into action. All of the teams achieved
The Reference team, with the help
of our technical services manager, developed several databases to help
us track common reference functions. One of these � the reference
database � provides a centralized repository for storing and sharing
unique resources for hard-to-find information, useful websites, and our
firm-wide and local subscription databases. As we have become accustomed
to entering information into and retrieving data from it, the database
has become an important tool for our reference staff, and one we use
The Technical Services team
standardized and streamlined the main technical services functions
across all offices, resulting in greater efficiency in this area. They
also created a Technical Services Manual � an invaluable tool for
helping us �non-techies� find our way around SydneyPlus, the library
automation solution for our catalog and other information management.
The Marketing team created
standardized orientation materials to ensure that we present a
consistent message about library services to new hires and existing
staff firm-wide. They also wrote and distributed the library�s
first-ever annual report, which increased library visibility by
highlighting some of our major accomplishments over the past year.
As a member of the Professional
Development team, I take great pride in my own team�s accomplishments.
We developed a website on the firm intranet that serves as a repository
for library professional development information, with links to
continuing education providers (both online and in each office�s
region), and folders for professional development resources, such as
library policy documents, conference materials, and staff reports on the
conferences and seminars attended. We also started a professional
development newsletter, published monthly. Each newsletter alerts the
library staff to upcoming webinars of interest, highlights published
articles on a chosen topic, and announces the winner in a new monthly
contest: �Reference Request of the Month,� in which staff report their
most difficult or strangest requests and share their approaches to
tackling these challenges.
Our most popular new initiative
has been the job shadow/exchange program. Through this program, library
staff members travel to other offices within the firm to spend the day
working with a counterpart in that office. These experiences have
strengthened cross-office connections and enhanced our success in
sharing tips and ideas, and in learning from each other.
These are just a few of the most
significant achievements of each team. We have accomplished even more
than can be described here. While the best practices program has clearly
brought many positive changes to the firm-wide library department, it
has also been an extremely beneficial experience for the staff
participating in the teams. Whether writing a manual or an annual
report, or developing a website or a database, undertaking the best
practices projects required all of us to stretch beyond our day-to-day
tasks and challenged us to learn new skills. It provided opportunities
to develop or improve leadership skills, especially for those staff who
were appointed team leaders and had never held leadership positions
before. As leadership on several of the teams has rotated, even more of
us have benefited from having a chance to lead a team. We have also had
opportunities to develop presentation skills, since each team had to
present its recommendations to the department, and project management
skills, as several of our projects were large-scale endeavors, requiring
the collaboration of many people and taking weeks or months to
Another major benefit to the
staff resulted from having the chance to affect the big picture. Most of
the library staff, as non-managers, do not usually participate in
strategic planning for the department. Through the best practices teams,
we were able to look beyond our usual day-to-day duties and
responsibilities, evaluate the state of the library firm-wide from our
own perspectives, set concrete goals for our target areas, and work to
achieve those goals � an extremely satisfying process.
One of the goals in establishing
the teams was to make the firm-wide library stronger and more efficient,
and many of our improvements did just that. Equally important, the very
process of participating on the teams together has been just as powerful
a factor in our success as the actual programs and practices we put into
place, due to the personal and professional growth we have experienced
and the strong cross-office relationships we have developed along the
Director Perspective: A 360�
Elizabeth Chiapperi, Director of Information Services
The results of the Nixon Peabody library�s best practices efforts have
greatly exceeded everyone�s expectations. We began our journey with
excitement and optimism, but also a healthy dose of apprehension. The
proposed job exchange/shadow initiative, for instance, had a consensus
to move forward, but � understandably � the initial reaction was one of
anxiety; no one was clamoring to be first. Our first participants took a
leap of faith, though, and were pleasantly surprised by how much they
gained personally and professionally from the experience. Their
overwhelmingly positive message resonated with and encouraged everyone
else in the library staff.
The best practices teams provided
the opportunity for staff at all levels to get involved in guiding the
strategic initiative. Nixon Peabody was recently recognized as a best
place to work by FORTUNE magazine, and our best practices program is
just one of the many examples that make Nixon Peabody a unique and best
place to work.
The benefits gained from all of
our best practices initiatives have far outweighed the cost. We have
created an empowering team environment that invites professional growth
and promotes high job satisfaction. It is a delight to watch an
individual stretch beyond his or her comfort zone and emerge as a
stronger performer, which benefits not only the individual, but also the
library and the firm. We have established a unifying vision, developed
stronger cross-office relationships, and improved our productivity,
while enhancing and expanding our services. As a result, the Nixon
Peabody library is better positioned for the future. Our best practices
initiatives continue to evolve and we are looking forward to the next
step in our journey.
Copyright � 2006 Nixon Peabody
LLP. All rights reserved.
WASHINGTON IS FOR LEADERS: A REVIEW OF THE
Law Firm Library
by Elaine Knecht,
Hiscock Barclay, LLP,
You heard that it snowed in
Buffalo, New York in October? That we had 22 inches of wet, heavy snow
in two days? That hundreds, maybe thousand of trees were either
destroyed or seriously compromised? That tens of thousands of area
residents were without power for up to 10 days? Well, I live in Buffalo.
We lost most of a 40 foot maple tree and were without electricity for
seven full days. Needless to say, I was thrilled to go to Washington,
DC, right in the middle of this disaster, for the Law Firm Library
Management Workshop: Solutions and Scenarios.
This program was one of the first, if not the first, to be funded under
AALL�s new Continuing Education Grant Program. According to the
Professional Education section of www.aallnet.org, this program
�provides funding to AALL HQ, chapters, SIS�s, member institutions and
individual AALL members to assist in providing ongoing quality
continuing education programming outside of the AALL annual meeting,
which can be distributed to a wider audience.� The creators and
producers of the October workshop looked for a more or less central
location, convenient for a one-day event. They identified several topics
of interest, surveyed the members of the PLL section, and decided on the
workshop from which about 70 librarians benefited on that warm, dry,
electricity-powered day in DC.
The presentations were full of
good ideas and practical advice. The two breakout sessions gave small
groups the opportunity to share stories of both success and failure (and
as Sir Winston Churchill reminds us, �Success is the ability to go from
one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.�) And the food was
Carolyn Ahearn (Director of
Library Services) and Barry Strauss (Executive Director), both from
Wiley Rein & Fielding, LLP, talked about how to show your firm that the
services you provide and the materials you oversee are a necessary and
valuable addition to the practice. Mr. Strauss discussed what the
Executive Director of a firm needs to know to make good decisions on
behalf of the library. Gitelle Seer, the Director of Library and
Research Services for Dewey Ballantine LLP, spoke about building
relationships: why they are important and how they can solidify in the
minds of our attorneys their need for the library and our services. The
Library Director at BNA, Marilyn Bromley, gave a start-to-finish review
of how BNA conducted a Return on Investment study in their corporate
library, the outcome of which was a very heartening statistic. Ms.
Bromley and her ROI project staff, after asking and answering questions
like, �How has the library saved employees' time (and by extension, BNA
money)?� were able to show that the library returns $1.26 for every
dollar spent. You can read her case study on the project at
Before my memory faded, even
before leaving Washington, I made these notes about the day. As you
think about these points with respect to your own library, I have no
doubt but that you will quickly be able to integrate these ideas into
your daily/weekly/monthly/annual schedule. The four main points:
1. Build relationships � with attorneys, paralegals, administrators,
support personnel. Do this by doing your job and then some. The more
people who appreciate what you do, the easier it will be to garner
support for your library�s projects and needs.
2. Get out of the library � find out what�s going on in the firm.
Identify major clients (with the help of the accounting department).
Subscribe to RSS feeds that will keep you up-to-date on what�s going on
with those clients. Approach practice group leaders with questions about
their needs and come back with some ways the library can help meet those
3. Have facts and figures � when you need or want to request something
for the library, be able to demonstrate to your Executive Director that
�87% of our staff appreciate electronic delivery; 60% of our attorneys
who deal with bankruptcy say that they will make daily use of this new
resource; 50% of my time is consumed by filing. I would be able to serve
the attorneys better if we bring in a filing service.�
4. Demonstrate positive ROI � while a fully-staffed corporate library
may have an easier time of a full-scale ROI study, firm librarians can
make sure the firm�s money is being spent wisely by finding out about
exactly how (and by whom, and how often) our materials are being used.
�If we change to electronic delivery of this newsletter, we may save 25%
of the print costs, and 40% more attorneys will have access to this
October 18th was a day well-spent, filled with material that I know I
will be referring to and using during my tenure as our library�s
director. Several of my tablemates agreed, saying that this was perhaps
the most valuable AALL educational event they had ever attended. We look
forward to many more such opportunities.
Out With Print and In With Electronic: the Decision Process for
Canceling Print Subscriptions
by Patricia Orr, Dykema PLLC, Detroit, MI
Dykema began the transition from
print to electronic format more than ten years ago. Sometimes we thought
we would never survive the objections, both real or imagined, to taking
away the bound reporters, the loose-leaf treatises, and the monthly
journals. Fortunately, online research has become a common practice for
attorneys and legal specialists, due in large part to the efforts of
publishers to add archived content, federated searching, and customized
search capability to their products.
The decision as to whether or not to replace a print title with
electronic format involves the reference staff, the practice group
affected, the Information Services Department, and the Finance
Department. Librarians often experience problems with misrouted
publications, missing pages, and missing back copies of a title. When
such problems occur frequently, the option of moving to electronic
format is explored. Recommendations are made to the practice group
leader, who usually surveys the group members for input. The Information
Services Department adds the content to the network and provides access
according to the terms of the product license. IS staff troubleshoots
any computer that may be having problems getting to a source.
During the annual budget planning
process, the Finance Department gives general direction to all firm
departments regarding planning for the new fiscal year. Cost containment
and efficiency is stressed every year, just before the deadline for
submission is announced. It is a continuing reminder to everyone to make
the most effective use of firm resources. Moving to electronic formats
and canceling duplicate print subscriptions will save Dykema $45,000 to
$50,000 in fiscal year 2007.
Recent decisions were initiated
by practice groups when a new group leader was appointed. Dykema has ten
offices with practice groups distributed among them. The Intellectual
Property group wanted to provide access to standard treatises and
journals to all its members, on an equal, timely basis. Treatises were
replaced with networked CD-ROM access. BNA electronic journal
subscriptions to United States Patents Quarterly and the Patent,
Trademark, and Copyright Journal replaced print subscriptions.
In addition to providing
information in a timely manner there are other benefits to canceling
print formats. Missing pages, missing chapters, and missing copies are
no longer a problem. Content is online and therefore available to the
attorney or legal specialist �on demand�. The last attorney on a routing
list isn�t waiting for days, weeks, or months for a journal to arrive in
the mailbox. Instead, it will arrive in his/her e-mail in-box right on
Among the titles Dykema has
cancelled in print are CCH titles available via our subscriptions to the
Internet Business Library and the Internet Health Care Library.
Corporate, bankruptcy, and tax and estates attorneys have access to the
Business Library. The tax and estates group has online subscriptions to
the RIA Checkpoint service and the BNA Daily Tax Report.
In the 2007 fiscal year, we
anticipate replacing our Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal
Education print resources with all available online titles. Not only
will our attorneys have access to information that is updated regularly,
they will also avoid the frustration of needing a resource only to
discover a colleague is using it away from the office.
The impact of this transition on
library operations has been positive for the most part. Rather than
routing physical copies, titles are routed by the circulation staff
electronically. User password files are maintained in a central database
as a courtesy to all attorneys and legal specialists. Access to training
and troubleshooting are services the library facilitates.
It isn�t additional work, nor is
it less work to migrate to electronic format. It provides cost
effective, timely, and efficient access to information for our users,
which is, coincidentally, the Mission Statement of the Dykema Libraries.
Document Delivery for IP Law � Unique Resources for a Unique Practice
by Amanda S. Merk,
Fish & Richardson P.C.,
I am a librarian at Fish &
Richardson P.C., a national intellectual property law firm. I am also an
active member of the PLL IP Caucus, and as I get to know more AALL
members and learn about other types of law firms, I realize how unique
IP information services and documents are. Intellectual property law may
be the most information hungry of all of the legal practices.
Information users at general practice firms can be quite
self-sufficient, often able to locate documents, cases, and other types
of information on their own electronically. This is not so with IP law.
The process of applying for
patent or trademark protection, and providing legal protection for
intellectual assets, requires a great deal of intricate, complex
research and voluminous documentation. This article will concern itself
with best practices employed at the nation�s top IP law firms to procure
a unique set of documents known as �prior art references.� Prior art
references are essential to the IP practice, and it is essential that
the library or information center staff know how to retrieve them
The complete list of types of
documents required by an IP practice are too numerous to mention here.
It is the hope of the members of the IP Caucus that this article will
serve as the first in a series of primers on IP information resources.
We feel that this topic is of interest to a wide audience because the
past few years have seen an increase in mergers between general practice
firms and IP boutiques. We see this reflected in our IP Caucus
membership with more and more general practice law librarians turning to
us for assistance with IP resources. More than once over the past few
years we�ve been approached by a law librarian with many years of
experience suddenly faced with IP attorneys who are asking her for
�prior art references.� �What is prior art,� they ask us, �and how on
earth do I locate it?�
Prior art references are the
technical or scientific documents required for intellectual property
law. They may be references cited on the face of a patent and submitted
with the patent application to the patent office, or they may be
required as evidence when a patent is being litigated. The vast majority
of prior art documents (also known as cited references) are peer
reviewed scientific journal articles. In other cases, prior art can
actually be a book or some portion of a book. Prior art references can
also be copies of industry standards, obscure technical reports, product
announcements, or manuals.
A busy group of IP attorneys can
generate hundreds of citations for prior art references each week. They
will send these lists of citations to their law library or information
center, and library staff must be familiar with the best methods of
locating copies quickly and inexpensively. Another hallmark of the IP
practice is its cost-conscious clientele, and therefore the successful
IP librarian becomes a budget shopper when it comes to prior art.
So just how does a law librarian
go about providing inexpensive prior art articles in a timely manner? To
find the answer to this question, I consulted the experts. I surveyed
law librarians at the nation�s top IP firms. I polled librarians who
have been successful at tracking down, and delivering, a high volume of
prior art references day in and day out for many years. The results of
my survey were not surprising. Most IP librarians employ the same
methods, and utilize many of the same document delivery vendors, to
supply their firms with prior art.
All of the librarians I
questioned had developed their own local resources for prior art
references and also use well known national and international document
vendors. Local resources usually consist of regional academic libraries.
For instance, Virginia McNitt and Javii Davis, librarians at Finnegan,
Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, reported using Penco, �a local
Washington, DC area document retrieval service. Penco retrieves
documents from most DC area libraries--National Institutes of Health (NIH),
National Library of Medicine (NLM), Library of Congress, and
universities.� IP librarians from firms in California utilize the
University of California libraries such as Berkeley and Stanford.
However, according to Joanne Scala, of the Palo Alto office of Morrison
& Foerster, these local university libraries are usually very small
operations, best suited to an occasional interlibrary loan request
rather than the continuous high volume of prior art required by most IP
For high volume document delivery
needs, Joanne Scala is in agreement with her colleague, Betsy Chessler,
of the San Diego office of Morrison & Foerster. Betsy says that Morrison
& Foerster�s �vendor of choice is Wisconsin Tech Search (WTS) based at
the University of Wisconsin--Madison.� According to Betsy, �WTS has a
very simple online order form that allows me to order multiple articles
at once. I can order dozens of articles extremely quickly because I
simply cut and paste the citations into the order box. WTS by default
always copies the cover page/copyright page of each article/conference
proceeding/book chapter. This is incredibly helpful. They have rush
options of 4-8 hours, but I have found that turnaround for their regular
delivery (1-3 days) is quite fast, usually the same day. All articles
are sent to me via email, in PDF format.
They will also call me if there
are any problems with my order. Recently I requested an article with
many photographs. They actually took the time to photocopy it on two
different settings and send me both formats, so that one copy would
display the text more clearly and the other copy would display the
photos more clearly. They did this on their own initiative. I was very
impressed and pleased. They are an amazing service, and I highly
The top document vendors of
choice for other major IP firms were CISTI (the national scientific
library of Canada), the British Library, ESTIS (a document service of
the University of Minnesota catering to corporate clients), and the New
York Public Library Express Information Services. Paulette Toth, of the
New York office of Kirkland and Ellis, also mentioned that her firm
makes use of BIS--the Biomedical Information Service at the University
of Minnesota--as a good resource for medical papers.
Fred Peal, one of two full time
librarians at the New York office of Ropes & Gray, whose primary
responsibility is to track down prior art for the firm, told me, �we are
able to obtain the vast majority of the art that we are asked to track
down from general document delivery services such as CISTI, the British
Library, services attached to the Universities of Wisconsin and
Minnesota, and others. Recently we have begun to use a web-based service
geared specifically toward IP called Ip.com, which includes many useful
sources like the IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin. Another good
web-based source, since a lot of our business relates to computers, is
the National Computer Science Technical Reference Library (NCSTRL).�
At Fish & Richardson P.C., where
I have worked for the past five and a half years, we retrieve a high
volume of prior art references. We use the same vendors that our fellow
IP librarians mentioned above, and we also use one service that no one
else mentioned. A year or so ago we discovered a company in Chico, CA
called Research Solutions, and we have been using them for document
delivery with good results since then. In fact, Research Solutions has
become our number one vendor for rush orders. Their customer service is
top notch, their turn-around times are fast, and their prices are very
All of the IP librarians I
consulted agreed that the best document vendors have web-based online
order forms. Another consideration in choosing a document vendor is
their ability to respond quickly, and continuously, to extreme rush
requests. Some vendors are excellent with an occasional order, or an
occasional rush request, but for the busy IP practice, a vendor must be
able to maintain the same level of service over time. IP librarians are
also very concerned with the cost of articles and the ability of vendors
ability to produce monthly invoices upon request. They can easily input
your client matters into these monthly statements, which can then be
submitted to your accounting department for processing. If you send a
document delivery vendor a high volume of work, you should consider
asking them for discounted prices based on bulk ordering. At Fish &
Richardson P.C., we have asked vendors to reduce prices based on volume,
and many have been willing to negotiate.
Another factor to consider when
looking at potential vendors is their flexibility and their willingness
to go �above and beyond� to deliver superior customer service. Any
document vendor you use should be able to handle special requests. For
instance, prior art references often contain photographs which must be
clearly reproduced, and a document vendor must be able to produce
excellent quality copies. Some vendors provide �clean copy� service,
which must be submitted as a special request. A clean copy should be
photographic quality. Many vendors also produce color copies on request.
To summarize, most IP firms
develop some local resources for retrieving articles, but these must be
supplemented with national or international document delivery vendors.
The most important traits to look for in a document supplier are ability
to handle rush orders, consistent good service, ease of ordering, online
accessibility, ease of invoicing, and cost of prior art references.
If you are a law librarian who
supports an IP group you will quickly find that your document vendors
become your best friends! You will need to be able to count on them day
in and day out as you retrieve and deliver hundreds of copies of prior
art to your firm.
Here is a list of the document
delivery vendors recommended by law librarians from the nation�s largest
BIS (Biomedical Information Service at the University of Minnesota)
CISTI (the national scientific library of Canada)
ESTIS (a document service catering to corporate clients out of the
University of Minnesota)
Linda Hall (especially good for engineering references)
National Computer Science Technical Reference Library (NCSTRL)
New York Public Library Express Information Services
Penco (document service local to the Washington DC area)
WTS (Wisconsin Tech Search)
PLL Listserv Etiquette
Terry Psarras, Carlton Fields, Tampa, FL
If I get another email in my
inbox I am going to scream!!! Based on conversations with friends and
colleagues, as well as perusal of recent literature on work environments
and communication, surely I am not the only one who feels this way,
right? That would of course imply that no one needs another subscription
to another listserv. Fortunately or not, one more listserv is not
necessarily a bad idea, and it may be something you want to go ahead and
sign up for.
As PLL members, we all enjoy
communicating with our peers. Sometimes we get help, professional or
mental. Sometimes we get to vent, and that is helpful in its own way.
Sometimes we get announcements from PLL leadership. Sometimes we even
accidentally send out announcements to the entire group that were
certainly NOT meant for the entire group. A lot of that communication is
being done via a multitude of listservs. If you are like most of us, you
subscribe to law-lib, PLL-SIS, and possibly others that are more
specific or particular to your specialties or fields of expertise. I am
not even counting the personal interest listservs we all subscribe to.
That�s a whole lot of email when it is all said and done.
Every AALL member who also
becomes a PLL member by paying the proper dues is automatically
subscribed to PLL-SIS. The purpose of this listserv has unfortunately
changed over time. It was initially created so that the board could
communicate with PLL membership on matters relating to our section. Over
the last couple of years it has evolved into a general purpose listserv,
where anything goes. The board is attempting to change this. We are
trying to steer general purpose activity--such as requests for
assistance, ILL requests, consumer surveys, needs and offers--towards
the PrivateLawLib listserv, and keep PLL-SIS for Private Law Libraries
issues related activity. In order to keep communication flowing both
ways between members and the board, anyone who is subscribed to the
listserv can post a message, and no moderator pre-approval is required.
We understand that this move is
popular with some but not others. We have received a lot of feedback
from the membership which leads us to believe this is the proper way to
Below is a brief summary of the available PLL related listservs.
Private Law Libraries SIS
� Subscription only via Administrator, as part of PLL membership
� Post a message to:
� View the current postings and archives on-line:
� Your everyday alternative
� Subscribe or unsubscribe via a web browser:
� Post a message to:
� Is also available under Digest format, which means you can get a
single email daily with all the postings for the last 24 hours.
Other PLL owned �Specialty� listservs
PLL-CALR -- Private Law Libraries: CALR Cost Recovery
� Subscribe via web browser:
PLL-KM -- Private Law Libraries: Competitive Intelligence Caucus
� Subscribe via web browser:
PLL-IPLL -- Private Law Libraries: Intellectual Property
� Forum Closed-Can only be Added by Administrator:
PLL-KM -- Private Law Libraries: Knowledge Management
� Forum Closed-Can only be Added by Administrator:
PLL-LEGALREC-SIS � Legal Records
� Subscribe via a web browser:
� Owner: Lee Nemchek, Information Resources Manager at Morrison &
Foerster LLP, email@example.com
PLL-MULTILIB-L -- Private Law Libraries: Multiple Person Libraries
� Forum Closed-Can only be Added by Administrator:
PLL-OPLL-L -- Private Law Libraries: One Person Libraries (private)
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PLL-SPECIAL -- Special Topics
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PLL BUSINESS MEETING
JULY 9, 2006, ST.
by Lynn Connor Merring, Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, PC, Newport
The meeting was called to order
by President Terry Psarras at 7:30 AM.
A motion to adopt the 2005 minutes was made by Sarah Mauldin and
seconded by Isabelle West; the motion was carried by acclamation.
Terry thanked BNA and its COO, Greg McCaffery, for their support of our
business meeting. He then introduced the board (Christine L. Graesser,
Sue H. Johnson, Kaye Waelde, Patricia E. Barbone, Lynn Fogle, Mary J.
Koshollek) and thanked them for their service.
Special guests at the meeting included:
Katherine Coolidge, from SLA, Legal Division. SLA and PLL are working on
some collaborative efforts to benefit both groups.
Marilyn Bromley, 2007 Program Chair.
Lynn Warmuth, Publishing Initiative Caucus. She spoke about two ongoing
projects: targeting publications outside library literature for
placement of articles about law libraries and legal research (volunteer
authors welcome), and a program proposal for the 2007 Annual Meeting
concerning the ways we can work with journal publishers and editors.
Chair�s Report: Terry reported that the Toolkit has been
completed and the Leadership in PLL Award program is in place. The
Education Committee had ten Annual Meeting Program Committee programs
and three alternative programs for 2007. The 2006 election was the first
electronic SIS election and while there were a few glitches, it turned
out well. Perspectives is now only in electronic form. He also
recognized Ann Fessenden (AALL incoming VP) who encouraged us to
volunteer for committees.
Secretary�s Report: Kay reported that in spite of a few bumps in
the electronic election process, we had 598 ballots returned, more than
in 2005�s hard copy ballot.
Treasurer�s Report: Patricia reported that the SIS is fiscally
sound, with a current balance of $27,811.42.
By-laws: No changes required.
Centennial: Elizabeth Le Doux reported on a great lunch and an
excellent presentation by Gitelle Seer.
Educational Committee: Twenty proposals were submitted for
programs for the 2006 meeting.
Grants Committee: Five travel grants were made. Under the newly
adopted procedures, applicants will no longer need to provide two
letters of recommendation, only their own application.
Mentoring: Five matches were arranged. There were eleven more
volunteer mentors than requests for mentors. Stephanie Fox reported
plans to promote the program via CONELL.
Newsletter: Randy Thompson reported that four issues were
produced this year, two of which were themed issues. The newsletter is
now exclusively web-based; an e-mail notice is sent to members advising
of its availability when ready. Randy also thanked the vendors who have
supported us (GSI, BNA, Skyminder, Thomson West & Walters Kluwer).
Jan Brown was recognized for nine years service as Newsletter Editor.
Toolkit: LaJean Humphries proudly announced the Toolkit is done.
Terry called her to the stage to thank her and her committee for all
their hard work.
Public Relations: The PR Committee reported a quiet year. They
staffed an information table at CONELL and in the Annual Meeting
Activities area. This year they plan for more activity including a
review of printed material, using web pages and how to better use
National Library Week as a resource. This is an area that needs some
Strategic Plan: Martha Goldman reported that the framework of
four goals with objectives and actions (the latter still to be
formalized) has been drafted and reviewed by the board. The resources
required for each objective are yet to be fully determined.
Corporate: Used table ID cards at the luncheon to improve
networking and discussion among members.
IP: Placed a program at the Annual Meeting for the second year in
OPL: Announced a group meeting at 5:45 in the Americas Center.
Records: Lee Nemchek reported a
fairly quiet year after several of great activity. Sponsored programs at
ALA (three programs), ILTA Records Management Track (four Programs) and
an ARMA two-day pre-conference on legal records.
Tech Services: The business meeting for the group included a
program on upgrading/migration.
Nominations Committee: Jane McMahon reported a full slate of
There was no old business.
Al Podboy encouraged everyone who qualified to get a pink �I ran� ribbon
from the registration desk.
It was requested that we review the listserv policy concerning the use
of it for questions not relating to PLL Business.
Social Responsibility SIS asked us to consider what we could do next
year beyond a book drive. Kathy Sullivan suggested the association
consider arranging a post conference workday to help New Orleans.
At 8:32 Terry turned over the meeting and the leadership of PLL to Chris
Chris reported on the Board meeting, specifically on the value of the
strategic plan as a tool to keep us on course. We are an association. We
cannot wait for someone else to do what needs to be done. We must all
step up and do it.
The meeting adjourned at 8:46.
Lynn Connor Merring,