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The AALL Spectrum® blog is published by the American Association of Law Libraries. Submissions from AALL members and other members of the legal community are highly encouraged. Opinions and editorial views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of AALL. AALL does not assume any responsibility for statements advanced by contributors. Previously, the AALL Spectrum Blog was located at aallspectrum.wordpress.com.

The AALL Spectrum blog is no longer published. Previous posts are archived on this page.
7/22/2013 1:41:49 PM

International Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage: Legal and Policy Issues

International Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage: Legal and Policy Issues

Edited by Christoph B. Graber, Karolina Kuprecht, and Jessica C. Lai

ISBN-13:  978 0 85793 830 5


Edward Elgar Publishing Limited

509 pages


Amazon list price $199.50 (U.S. dollars)


This title continues the work begun at a conference of the same name in 2011 hosted by the i-call Research Centre for International Communications and Art Law at the University of Lucerne in Switzerland. This would be an excellent purchase for libraries (and others) with an interest in indigenous cultures, cultural heritage, art, artistic expression, genetic information, traditional knowledge, and how all of those concepts interact with or intercept the law (domestic and international). Libraries that would particularly benefit would be academic law libraries with a specific art and/or international law collection or those specializing in the rights of indigenous peoples.

The book is divided into four parts:

  1. Methodology and Social Context
  2. International Law Perspectives
  3. Country Reports (United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand)
  4. Conclusions

There are more than 20 contributing authors from all of the countries mentioned in the country reports and more. They have backgrounds in subjects as varied as law, sociology, culture, communication, intellectual property, sustainable development, education, social policy, traditional knowledge, chemistry, and bioethics.

The very distinction between indigenous people and peoples is one of the many complex subjects to be considered. There is an in-depth discussion of who can legitimately exert control over cultural heritage. Another issue examined is not only who are the stakeholders, but how best to encourage participation of those stakeholders, particularly when the domestic legal system by which they are surrounded may not recognize their rights.

Many international institutions have a peripheral patchwork of documents and projects that skirt the issues of the international trade of indigenous cultural heritage. Among the institutions and programs or documents referred to in the book are: the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Many unique distinctions are illuminated such as the notions of individual rights and collective rights, particularly as they pertain to property. The concept of self-determination is also recognized as a fundamental right of all peoples and informs the discussion of trade in cultural heritage.

By way of conclusion there is a discussion of where the issues stand now. It is generally agreed among the authors that trade in cultural heritage can benefit indigenous peoples if they have the choice when and whether to engage in that trade. There is also a feeling that national, rather than international, law and policy making solutions to these issues are the most promising.


Wanita Scroggs, JD, MLIS

International Law Librarian

Stetson University College of Law

Posted By Wanita Scroggs at 7/22/2013 1:41:49 PM  0 Comments
7/22/2013 12:08:11 PM

Recharge: Why Change Stalls and What You Can Do About It

Jevon K. Powell, an organizational psychologist specializing in change management, presented this session on managing large-scale change.  Powell was introduced by Madeline Cohen, who is the Director of the U.S. Courts 10th Circuit Library. 

Powell discussed what can be done to help insure a change initiative succeeds.  He stressed that employee involvement in teh process is crucial, though the involvement should be carefully structured. He also discussed reasons why change can frequently stall in organizations, including change fatigue, poor communication and planning for change, and fear of the unknown.  Powell described the common stall points that arise during change initiatives, and offered useful levers for moving the initiative past the road blocks.  He also stressed the importance of having metrics that can measure the effectiveness of the change initiative.

Powell's primary argument was that change advocates must adopt a conceptual model, or "change road map," for implementing change management systematically, in order to overcome these obstacles.  He briefly described the different models that have been developed, then focused in depth on the Head-Heart-Hands model developed by Gibson and Billings.  This is the model that he relies on in his consulting work with organizations undergoing large-scale change.  This model employs a grid, centered around thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, to insure that an organization addresses all aspects of a change initiative.  The grid allows the change leader to identify every action necessary, so that no crucial aspects of change management are missed.  This struck me as a very commonsense approach, and one that would help the change leader to make sure they focus on each of these areas in managing a new project or initiative.

Powell's provided several useful handouts, the most effective of which showed a detailed view of the Head-Heart-Hands model.  Powell was very effective at using humor to maintain interest throughout the session.  He also encouraged questions and feedback from the audience, and had the audience walk through several exercises during the program.  These efforts kept the audience engaged througout the 90 minute session.

Posted By Douglas Southard at 7/22/2013 12:08:11 PM  0 Comments
7/20/2013 7:00:39 PM

Foreign, Comparative and International Law (FCIL) Librarianship Core Competencies

Compared to other sessions held during the Annual Meeting, this past Sunday’s FCIL Librarianship Core Competencies session (coordinated by Neel Kant Agrawal, Michael G. Moore, Lyonette Louis-Jacques and Mary Rumsey) was unusual in that it had two purposes: in addition to educating the attendees on the topic discussed, this session was a collaborative effort to begin the creation of a resource to be shared with the rest of the profession.

 The session began with the attendees breaking up into eight moderated breakout groups, each discussing one of eight aspects of FCIL librarianship:

  1. Researching Foreign and Comparative Law
  2. Researching International Law
  3. Reference
  4. Teaching
  5. Technical Services
  6. Collection Development
  7. Skills
  8. Information Management and Trends

Each group discussed its designated topic for about half an hour, working together to draft a list of core competencies for each specialized aspect of FCIL librarianship; afterwards, the groups disbanded and the participants repeated the process by discussing a new topic in a different group.  The session concluded with the moderators summarizing the conclusions reached by the two groups discussing each topic, and then sharing these summaries with all of the attendees.

 I found myself appreciating the group discussion format as the session progressed.  Participating in two groups left me with two very different experiences; I not only had the opportunity to learn about widely different issues, but also gained an appreciation for how varied FCIL librarianship can be.  This format also took advantage of the experience of the more senior attendees; the topic groups brought specialists together with the newer librarians interested in their areas of expertise, giving newcomers like me the opportunity to learn by listening to the experts discuss their work.

 Hearing the summarized result of each group’s discussions was definitely food for thought.  Each aspect of FCIL librarianship had unique core competencies, but many core competencies were common to several aspects: subject matter knowledge, familiarity with available resources, a flexible approach to patron services and a working knowledge of foreign languages apparently came up in many of the group discussions.  By far the most widely suggested core competency, however, was the ability to network and form collaborative relationships among libraries.  While hardly a shocking result, given that the discussion groups were composed entirely of librarians attending a professional conference, this conclusion was supported by the fact that the sheer range of what is involved in FCIL librarianship (and the resulting value of specialization and cooperation) were well established by the end of both of the group discussions I was able to join.

 I definitely enjoyed attending this session, and I am looking forward with interest to seeing how future FCIL Special Interest Section events or publications might build on the results of this session’s discussions.

Posted By Daniel Donahue at 7/20/2013 7:00:39 PM  0 Comments