By Paul George,
Associate Librarian for Research Services,
Harvard Law School
The Education Committee has been reviewing the survey responses
from ALL-SIS members on the issues faced by academic law librarians and the
types of programs members want to attend. The results show we are a diverse
group with a variety of interests. Distilling the responses to a few topics has
been a challenge, but we detect four major areas of interest: 1) programs on
personnel/management issues, 2) a desire for substantive law programming,
3) programs addressing the challenges and frustrations brought by changing
technologies, and 4) programs about our roles as educators.|
The committee has examined these topics and has created several
specific potential program topics. We restricted ourselves to program ideas
that focus on the issues of academic law librarians. Our goal is to have a few
of these ideas developed into program proposals. The proposals would be submitted to the AALL program selection committee along with any other program
proposals that ALL-SIS members develop.
The next step in the process requires your involvement. Are there topics you would like to see in a program? Is there a germ of an idea that interests
you? Do any of these programs suggest another program to you? Do you want to
promote someone’s skills in the association by suggesting they assist? Do you want to
seek revenge on someone by suggesting they assist with a program?
Please let us hear from you. Operators are standing by to take your calls! No
reasonable offer will be refused! Of course, please give us a call if you have your own program proposal that is being developed.
PERSONNEL / MANAGEMENT ISSUES
- Academic law librarians: Neither fish nor fowl? What is our status in the law school environment? Are we faculty with tenure requirements? Are we staff? Does it matter? What is
the latest news in the ongoing debate? Are there trends, for both directors and non-directors? What can you do to change your role in the institution?
- Gender issues and job descriptions: Are women "librarians" and men "information managers"?
- More work, new library needs, and the same people: Reorganizing library priorities and re-writing job descriptions to meet changing needs. (For this we’d like to see an interactive
program in which people are given job descriptions of current staff and a list of library needs.
Participants would then draft new job descriptions, deciding what is necessaty and what may
- So you want to be a director: Advice for the directors-to-be.
- Has the perennial "Us versus Them/ public services versus technical services" issue become
"Us vs. Them and Them, Too" with the addition of library IT departments? Improving communication in the new library setting and helping IT staff learn the ins & outs of libraries.
- Motivating staff and team-building in the academic law library: What does this human
resources language really mean?
- No Room at the Top: How to keep the experienced law librarian challenged and rewarded
when opportunities for advancement within the institution are limited.
- Fundraising for the academic library: The how, the why, and is it worth the money?
- Explanation of legal theories: Who are the legal crits? What is law and literature? Are legal
decisions affected by economics?
THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON THE LIBRARY’S INSTITUTIONAL ROLE
- Distance learning: What is the library’s role?
- Is technology changing our customer base or the services we provide? As more libraries
obtain subscription-based databases limited to students or faculty, are the other library patrons
- The library and the school technology department: Should they be combined? What are the
advantages and the disadvantages.
- The future of Lexis and Westlaw in the law school setting.
THE EDUCATIONAL / INSTRUCTIONAL ROLE OF ACADEMIC LAW LIBRARIANS
- Technology in the classroom - the electronic advanced legal research course.
- Teaching legal research: librarians or legal writing instructors?
- Teaching legal research: the state of the union; the changing face of legal research instruction
Again, please let us hear from you! We look forward to reporting on your
responses in July. - ALL-S IS Education Committee
Harvard Law School