ARCHIVED: Roger H. Parent's Informal Notes - 1/23/1997

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January 23, 1997

AALL Executive Board March 1997 Agenda and Mailings

Please watch for your Executive Board books and documents for your meeting scheduled for February 28th and March 1st. Two mailings are now scheduled; the first mailing is for Friday, February 14th and the second Friday, February 21st. Executive Board Liaisons are urged to contact their committee chairs to review and discuss with them any agenda items that will be placed on the Executive Board's agenda.

Both 1997 Vice-President Candidates Jim Heller and Wes Cochran have agreed to attend the Spring Executive Board Meeting as observers. This is consistent with the Executive Board's practice of the past few years. It helps Candidates become more aware of the issues that are currently under discussion by the Executive Board and that may continue to be of interest or concern during subsequent Executive Board meetings.

1997 Ballots Schedule

Candidates have been informed that the Ballots will be mailed from Headquarters on Friday, March 7, 1997 and must be returned by Monday, April 7, 1997. This schedule is consistent with the Bylaws which require that members have at least 30 days to respond.

1997 Wickersham Dinner AALL Representatives

President Frank Houdek, Executive Director Roger Parent, Executive Board Member Shelley Dowling were invited and Washington Affairs Representative Bob Oakley will represent AALL at the annual Wickersham Dinner on Thursday, February 27, 1997, 6:30 p.m. at the Supreme Court of the United States, Washington DC. The 1997 Honoree is William T. Coleman, Senior Partner, O'Melveny & Myers, Chairman of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Secretary of Transportation under President Gerald Ford.

Elliot Richardson and Elizabeth Dole have agreed to serve on the Honorary Committee. This year the Friends of the Law Library of Congress have been soliciting corporate support at the Fellow ($10,000), Benefactor ($5000) and Sponsor ($3000) levels. Each contributor at these levels sponsors a table for ten persons at the dinner. Thus far Matthew Bender and Knight Ridder have become Benefactors.

The dinner is sponsored by the Friends of the Law Library of Congress, a nonprofit organization which contributes to the Law Library collection and sponsors research and educational programs that encourage greater use of the collections, and a better understanding of the law. The AALL Executive Director serves on the Friends Board. Robert Willard, formerly Vice President Government Relations, West Information Publishing Group, serves as Chair of the Friends committee planning the 1997 event.

AALLNET Usage is Phenomenal and Further Exciting Enhancements are Underway

Executive Board members might be interested in checking out the statistical report prepared by AALL Webmaster Jason Hinkle on the new AALLNET homepage. The new homepage was uploaded on December 6th. Between that date and January 3rd AALLNET was visited 11,857 times. Jason reports that this figure is LOWER than usual possibly because of the holidays. There are approximately 4000 hits per week. The Job Placement Listing is the most popular page with 450 hits per week.

AALLNET also attracts international visitors from Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, South Africa, the Russian Federation, Singapore, and Bolivia.

Experimental Membership Database is now available on AALLNET

An experimental online membership database is now running on AALLNET. It allows visitors to look up their own records and locate contact information about other AALL members. The database is searchable by first name, last name and library or company. As a security precaution to avoid downloading mailing lists, the database will return a maximum of 10 records at a time. The experimental database can be found in the Handbook section of AALLNET at

Since the experimental database is running temporarily on an old headquarters computer that was converted into a server, the performance is a little slow. With the purchase of a new server, scheduled within the next few weeks, the database capabilities and speed will be greatly enhanced.

Jason is currently preparing a capital budget request for FY 1998 that would provide essential software upgrades to allow more complex searching capability, for example, search by Committee and SIS listings. At this point, there is no direct access to the headquarters IMIS membership database. All searches are done on a copy of the file which must be exported regularly so that the information is current. The purchase of SQL software and an upgrade to a client-server version of the membership database software will allow the complete integration of the headquarters database with the Internet. This will give members the ability to look up their record directly from the headquarters database.

Electronic Annual Meeting Registration will soon be possible on AALLNET

Within the next few weeks members will have the capability of registering for the Annual Meeting online. Visitors will be able to fill out the registration form and submit credit card information via AALLNET. This information will be transferred electronically to headquarters, which will save considerable data entry and eliminate errors. Credit card information will be encoded using SSL (secure socket layer) technology, which is supported by Netscape and Microsoft Browsers.

Publication Sales are Brisk The new 1996 Price Index to Legal Publications has attracted considerable attention and a positive response from members. Thus far, only a few weeks after the announcement of its availability in AALL Spectrum, 80 copies have sold. 383 copies of the 1995 Index were sold. Some members are buying both copies for their files. During the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Washington DC February 14-17th, Frank Houdek and I will meet with Editor Margie Axtmann to discuss the preparation of her second edition due this fall.

Watch for the special advertisement in the AALL Spectrum for the Tool Kit: Law Librarians Making Information Work. This ad prepared by marketing specialist Julie Well includes several quotes and success stories from members who have found the Tool Kit useful in their own work settings. Thus far 467 copies of the Tool Kit have sold. AALL hopes to sell 1000 copies to recover its investment in this publication.

Illinois Senate Bill Allowing Counties to Set Their Own Obscenity Standards Defeated

On Monday January 6th, the Senate Bill 1036 failed in the House by a narrow vote of 52 to 49. The Bill would have allowed each of Illinois' 102 Counties to set their own obscenity standards thus creating havoc for all types of libraries. Washington Affairs Representative Bob Oakley wrote in opposition to the Bill. Illinois Library Association Executive Director Robert Doyle wrote a letter thanking the AALL for their support.

Planning Committee Report Issued

A detailed report of the Planning Committee's December 6-7, 1996 meeting has been distributed to the Executive Board and the Finance & Budget Committee. The latter Committee meets in Chicago on January 31-February 1 to set guidelines for the FY 1998 Budget.

The Planning Committee is recommending increased support for the following: 1) AALL Spectrum will need additional funds to prepare quarterly Presidential Briefings; 2) Chapter Relations activities will need to be significantly enhanced to implement the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Chapter Relations Advisory Committee; 3) Funding to build the Government Affairs Fund to an appropriate level will need to be incorporated in the Operating Fund; 4) AALL will need to invest resources in an annual effort to recruit and retain members; whenever possible this will be done in cooperation with Chapters; 5) AALL will need to provide additional support to the Committee on Citation Formats to develop three Users' Guides to vendor neutral and electronic citations; 6) AALL will need to begin the next four year planning cycle.