Washington Brief - July 2006

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By Mary Alice Baish

Dateline: May 12, 2006

Celebrating AALL's Centennial—Join Us in St. Louis
for These Terrific Policy Events!

It doesn't seem possible that our St. Louis meeting is just weeks away and we'll soon be gathering to celebrate our history and past achievements. The Washington Office, Government Relations Committee (GRC) and Copyright Committee will be focusing on our current hot issues during the conference and discussing our legislative priories for the coming year. We invite you to join us for many exciting events focused on our legislative and policy agenda. In addition, we encourage you to attend the meetings of both policy committees to give you a taste of the important contributions they make throughout the year.

GRC 2005-2006—Sunday, July 9th, from 11:45 am to 1:15 pm
GRC 2006-2007—Tuesday, July 11th, from 11:45 am to 1 pm

Copyright Committee 2005-2006—Saturday, July 8th, from 4-5 pm
Copyright Committee 2006-2007—Wednesday, July 12th, from 7:30-8:45 am

Not One But Two Legislative Advocacy
Training Opportunities This Year!

Thanks to the support of President Claire Germaine, for the first time this year there will be two special training sessions to help members become more effective advocates for our legislative agenda. The GRC and Washington Office invite you to our usual half-day session on Saturday, July 8th, from 8:30 am to noon, at the Renaissance Grand, Majestic (B). As described in last month's column, this year's workshop will focus especially on public law library funding issues, changes to the Federal Depository Library Program and "Orphan Works" legislation.

In addition, we're offering a special event from 2-4:30 pm Saturday afternoon, same location, to welcome our newer members to our advocacy work. GRC Chair Timothy Coggins and his committee have planned this session for our newer law librarians as an opportunity to network with other newer colleagues; learn effective advocacy techniques and tips; make a real impact on the future of our profession; and learn some insider tips on how to become more involved in your chapter and AALL activities and committees. Networking, advocacy, and balancing your job as a law librarian with your role as an advocate for your profession are what this session is all about!

Defending Democratic Values (B-4)
Sunday, July 9th, 2:45 to 4 pm

GRC Member Leah Sandwell-Weiss will moderate this timely program that explores the current climate of government secrecy and how it impacts librarians, researchers, citizens, and even elected officials. Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, will talk about federal and state government policies since 9/11 that have resulted in a dramatic expansion of government secrecy. Charlene Cain of the Louisiana State University Law Library will talk about the ethical dilemma faced by librarians when these policies infringe library users' rights by negatively impacting the public's right to know.

Annual Legislative and Regulatory Update (B-6)
Sunday, July 9th, 2:45 to 4 pm

GRC Chair Timothy Coggins will moderate our annual Washington Office session to inform you about our progress on information policy issues and legislative advocacy efforts during the past year. We are very honored to welcome as our guest speaker Mrs. Kennie Gill, Democratic Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the Senate Committee on Rules & Administration. In addition, Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, will join us immediately after accepting his 2006 Public Access to Government Information Award. Steve will talk about his efforts fighting government secrecy. As usual, Bob Oakley and I will report on our activities during the past year and we will proudly introduce you to Bryan Stevens, the Washington Office's new Advocacy Communications Assistant. Please join us to welcome Bryan to AALL and our advocacy team!

E-Life Cycle Management—A Town Meeting with Public Printer
Bruce James and U.S. Archivist Allen Weinstein (G-1)
Tuesday, July 11th, 10:15 to 11:30 am.

AALL has long been committed to holding the federal government responsible for ensuring the entire life cycle of electronic government information, including developing user-friendly and comprehensive finding tools, as well as the permanent public access, authentication and preservation of electronic publications and records. The GPO and NARA are implementing important new digital initiatives—the Future Digital System and the Electronic Records Archives—that hold the promise of meeting these important goals. The roles, responsibilities and policies of each agency, while different, are crucial to the success of federal E-government. We're honored to welcome Public Printer Bruce James and U.S. Archivist Allen Weinstein for an assessment of their agency's progress with these important new initiatives.

What the #!*? Is a "Snippet"? Copyright Issues related to the
Google Book Search Project (I-2)
Wednesday, July 12th, 9-10:30 am

Google's Book Search Project, a collaboration with five major research libraries, is an effort to digitize their collections and make them searchable. The project raises many legal questions that will be debated in a lively discussion moderated by Copyright Committee member Alison Ewing. Will these plans democratize access to information? How will current litigation, like that involving the Internet Archive "Wayback Machine," affect the project? Why did the Google Print Library Project stop scanning all in-copyright works, giving publishers the opportunity to decide which of their books could and could not be scanned? And what exactly is a "snippet," the term used by Google to describe the amount of information that will be provided from copyrighted works? Speakers include Jonathan Band, legal counsel for the Library Copyright Alliance; Mark Sandler, Collection Development Officer at the University of Michigan; and Jeffrey Cunard of Debevoise & Plimpton who is representing publishers in the Google lawsuit.

AALL's Authentication Survey—"Staking the Claim" for Authentic
and Official State Statutes and Court Opinions on the Web (J-2)
Wednesday, July 12th, 1:30-2 pm

Effective access demands genuine and trustworthy legal resources on the web. Last year, suspecting states have neglected this concern, President Claire Germain asked the Access to Electronic Legal Information Committee (AELIC) to conduct a national survey of which states (if any) have adopted web site versions of statutes and court decisions as "official" and "authentic" text. This survey builds on AALL's highly successful State-by-State Report on Permanent Public Access to Electronic Government Information. Join AELIC chair Richard Matthews and GRC member Judy Meadows to learn about the survey, its findings and recommendations, and how you can assist AALL in our future advocacy efforts on authentication.

Mary Alice Baish
Associate Washington Affairs Representative
Edward B. WIlliams Law Library
111 G Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001-1417
202/662-9200 * FAX:202/662-9202


copyright © 2006, American Association of Law Libraries