AALL eBriefing / Candidates Announced

The Nominations Committee presents the following slate of candidates for the AALL Executive Board. Members will vote for one candidate to serve as president-elect and two candidates to serve as Executive Board members. The election will be held September 29 to October 31, and successful candidates will begin their terms of office in July 2018.


Michelle Cosby
Associate Director
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN

Carol A. Watson
Director of the Law Library
University of Georgia
Athens, GA


June Hsiao Liebert
Firmwide Director of Library & Research Services
Sidley Austin LLP
Los Angeles, CA

Liz Reppe
State Law Librarian Minnesota State Law Library
St. Paul, MN

Karen Selden
Metadata Services Librarian
University of Colorado Law Library
Boulder, CO

Christine Sellers

Research Specialist
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP
Columbia, SC

Come “Meet the Candidates” during an informal session at the 2017 Annual Meeting & Conference in Austin on Monday, July 17, from 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., in the exhibit hall at the AALL Member Services Pavilion. In early August, biographies and statements of all Executive Board candidates will be posted on AALLNET. As provided in the AALL Bylaws, Section VI 2c, a member may also be nominated for any office by submitting to the secretary, no later than 30 days after the date of this notice, with a nominating petition signed by two percent of the members and the nominee’s written acceptance.

Congratulations to all of our candidates!

AALL eBriefing / Access to Information Joint Letter Issued Yesterday


CHICAGO, February 14, 2017—Yesterday, the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) partnered with OpenTheGovernment.org and more than 60 other public interest groups and associations on a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), asking OMB to issue guidance reminding agencies that they are required under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) to give adequate public notice when making significant changes to information on their websites, including when information is taken down temporarily or removed. The letter comes after weeks of concern expressed by AALL and other organizations about data and other information no longer being accessible on government websites.

The letter stated:

It is crucial that agencies comply with the law, so that the public does not lose access to vital government information that helps them protect themselves and hold the marketplace and their government accountable. Failure to give adequate notice of removal could mean that years of government work on important issues are effectively lost to the public. Moreover, providing the required notice will assure compliance with the law, smooth transition issues, ensure public participation, calm fears of censorship, and will reduce litigation costs for both the government and the public interest community.

“AALL has a long-standing commitment to ensuring that governments provide reliable access to information. Our Principles and Core Values Concerning Public Information on Government Websites clearly states our belief that information published on government websites should be accessible, comprehensive, trustworthy, and preserved,” said AALL President Ronald E. Wheeler Jr.

AALL will continue to advocate for agencies’ compliance with laws governing access and preservation, and to ensure that government information remains accessible to all.

AALL eBriefing / Reaffirming Commitment to Core Values


CHICAGO, February 6, 2017—The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) expresses deep concern over President Trump’s recent executive order to temporarily suspend the refugee program and bar entry into the United States for travelers from seven countries. AALL reaffirms its adherence to its core values of lifelong learning and intellectual growth, commitment to diversity, and community and collaboration. Imperative and inherent to these values are the open exchange of ideas, the sharing of knowledge, and intellectual curiosity that comes from communicating and interacting with people of all cultural and religious backgrounds.

“It is with much sorrow and concern that AALL issues this statement,” said AALL President Ronald E. Wheeler Jr. “The administration continues to implement directives limiting access—in information, in travel, to funding—that are contrary to the betterment of society and that support a narrow understanding of the human condition.”

“Even the fear and uncertainty expressed by foreign colleagues not directly affected by the travel ban is palpable,” said Wheeler. “Our international members add breadth and depth to the AALL experience; it is unfortunate that policy is impacting this mutually beneficial exchange of information.”

AALL’s keystone professional education program, the AALL Annual Meeting & Conference, draws legal information professionals, partners, and vendors from around the world. AALL is fully committed to providing a safe, welcoming environment for education, discourse, and collaboration—whether in person or online.

AALL will continue to monitor the administration for policy that is contrary to AALL’s core values, impedes libraries’ abilities to serve the public, and hinders a transparent government.


AALL eBriefing / Call for Nominations / Executive Board Candidates



The AALL Executive Board works to champion our profession and our members. They do this by defining AALL’s strategic directions and by creating results through initiatives that support those goals.

The Nominations Committee is seeking candidates for the upcoming Executive Board elections. To nominate yourself or an AALL colleague, access the nomination form on AALLNET. Nominations are due by Friday, March 17.

This spring, the seven-member committee will present to the membership a slate of candidates for the 2017 election. They will choose two candidates for the position of vice president/president-elect (2018-2019) and four candidates for two open seats on the Executive Board (2018-2021).

For the 2017 election, ballots will be distributed electronically in October to all voting members of the Association. The ballots will be tabulated at AALL Headquarters at the beginning of November, and election results will be announced once the candidates have been notified.

AALL eBriefing / Statement on Access to Government Information



CHICAGO, January 26, 2017—As the Trump Administration and 115th Congress begin, the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) reasserts its commitment to advocating for access to government information, including legal information, as both an essential principle of a democratic society and a valuable public good.

“For more than 100 years, AALL has advocated for policies that strengthen access to government information, support our justice system, and ensure a strong democracy,” said AALL President Ronald E. Wheeler Jr. “As legal information professionals, law librarians rely on accurate, timely information to serve government officials, judges, the bar, legal scholars, and members of the public. We urge the new Administration and Congress to support an open and transparent government in which all people have access to official, trustworthy information produced by all three branches of government.”

Wheeler continued, “As James Madison once wrote, ‘A popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.'”

AALL will continue to monitor information policy developments that hinder a transparent government, and we will speak out against threats to the public’s right to know.

AALL’s Public Policy Priorities for the 115th Congress include access to justice, balance in copyright, greater access to information, openness in government, and protection of privacy. The priorities are available at bit.ly/policypriorities115.

AALL eBriefing / Texas Senate Bill 6


“… I have been actively involved with various diversity efforts within AALL. I have thought a lot about diversity in our Association, and I am intimately acquainted with our progress on racial, ethnic, and sexual orientation issues. However, there are numerous kinds of diversity, beyond race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, that enrich and enliven our Association and serve to make us all better law librarians.”
Ronald Wheeler
“AALL Diversity Redelineated,” (Vol. 106:1 [2014-8])
part of the Diversity Dialogues series
in Law Library Journal

As many of you know, I am deeply committed to diversity and inclusion. As the president of AALL, I lead an Association that values and prioritizes diversity and inclusion as much as I do. Our AALL Annual Meeting & Conference will be held in Austin this year, and I was disheartened to learn that on January 5 Texas Senator Lois Kolkhurst (R-Brenham) introduced Senate Bill 6 (SB 6 or “Texas Privacy Act”) that would discriminate against transgender people.

If passed, the bill would prohibit local governments from adopting ordinances “relating to regulations and policies for entering or using a bathroom or changing facility,” thereby nullifying transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination bathroom policies in many municipalities. It would also require public schools districts, open-enrollment charter schools, state agencies, and political subdivisions to “develop a policy requiring each multiple-occupancy bathroom or changing facility … to be designated for and used only by persons of the same biological sex [as stated on a person’s birth certificate].” The bill is supported by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.

It appears that the bill will affect only government and education buildings. Patrick, in a statement released about the bill, commented, “SB 6 also ensures that businesses have the freedom to determine their own bathroom policies … .” Furthermore, The Texas Tribune reported that “it also appears to essentially exempt convention centers, stadiums and entertainment venues. The legislation would not apply ‘if the location owned by a government entity is privately leased to an outside entity,’ [said Kolkhorst,] which is often the case for those sort of venues.”

As I pondered the theme of this year’s AALL Annual Meeting, Forgo the Status Quo–inspired by the cultural liberalism of our host city Austin and our forward-thinking profession–I never dreamed that the meeting might be tainted by government officials trying to inflict their status quo statewide. In fact, the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area has the third highest percentage of LGBT residents in the United States.

How could this affect our upcoming AALL Annual Meeting? From our research, it appears that our meeting facilities will not be affected. Since our meeting is just a few months away, we cannot move the meeting from Austin without severe financial impact to the Association. If the bill passes, I ask AALL membership to focus on supporting the Texas LGBT community over punishing the state. After all, the economic impact of the bill will likely affect the livelihoods of those we support, so let’s focus on those impacted by the bill. That said, regardless of the bill’s outcome, we are in the process of planning an awareness activity in support of the LGBT community.

Please rest assured that we are monitoring the situation closely and have faith the bill will not pass. Indeed, Texas Welcomes All, a coalition of Texas convention and visitors bureaus, businesses, and professional associations, gathered at the Capital in Austin on January 11, in opposition to the bill. The coalition includes: Austin Convention and Visitors, Professional Convention Management Association, American Society of Association Executives, and International Association for Exhibitions and Events.

Our members are the most inclusive people I know. It will make me proud to exemplify those values in July. It is my hope that the legislators of Texas will mirror our values and defeat Senate Bill 6.


Ronald E. Wheeler Jr.
AALL President

AALL eBriefing / 2017-2018 AALL Annual Meeting Program Committee


The 2017-2018 Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC) needs your talents and skills to help make the 2018 AALL Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, a success. The AMPC is responsible for soliciting, reviewing, selecting, and guiding/curating the programs that our members need and want. Please volunteer to help plan AALL’s premier educational event.

The structure of the AMPC provides more opportunities for members to volunteer. The two types of AMPC volunteers are AMPC Team Leaders and AMPC Content Team Members. A description of how the groups work together on the AMPC is available on the committee profile.

Content Team Members provide additional expertise in the six general content areas that have been identified:

  1. Data and Content Management
  2. Marketing, Communications, and Advocacy
  3. Leadership, Administration, and Career Development
  4. Research
  5. Teaching and Training
  6. The Business of Law

The general content areas will be fleshed out by the AMPC to determine “must-have” programs that cover an appropriate level of expertise for the topic (e.g., the basics, best practices, the future, or technology related to the topic area).

Serving on the AMPC is a valuable experience that will help you develop leadership and program planning skills while working collaboratively with new colleagues. Interested? Please submit your application by Monday, December 5. You can make a difference!


Gregory R. Lambert
AALL Vice President

AALL eBriefing / Defining ROI Digital White Paper Now Available


Today the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) released a digital white paper titled Defining ROI: Law Library Best Practices. Building on AALL’s 2015 The Economic Value of Law Libraries report, the white paper provides proven strategies and solutions to help you demonstrate value and return on investment (ROI) in your libraries.

Today’s legal market demands that legal information professionals identify, measure, and communicate the benchmarks and metrics of value. AALL members who served as authors have mined their own experiences to share their measures for success, creating engaging and practical guides for defining ROI. The articles draw from renowned historical sources such as the Five Laws of Library Science by S. R. Ranganathan, as well as highlight the contemporary knowledge of Don Draper, the iconic fictional ’60s ad man from the TV show Mad Men. The goal of this white paper is to spark creativity and innovation for measuring value within the profession.

“The white paper encourages all AALL members to take the ‘value challenge,’ embracing the role of knowledgeable leaders, in addition to being skilled researchers,” said AALL President Ronald E. Wheeler Jr. “Librarians must be able to manage legal information resources effectively and efficiently, as this is vital to their organization’s overall goals,” he added.

The genesis for the white paper came from AALL past president Holly Riccio, who sought to continue the work of the Economic Value of Law Libraries Special Committee that began under Steve Anderson’s term as AALL president. AALL members Holly Riccio, director of knowledge management, Nossaman LLP; Jean P. O’Grady, director of research and knowledge services, DLA Piper; and Gregory R. Lambert, chief knowledge officer, Jackson Walker LLP, served as editors for this publication.

In addition, AALL extends a sincere thank you to Fastcase, a provider of next-generation legal research, for its generous support in the production of the white paper.


Ronald E. Wheeler Jr.
AALL President


AALL eBriefing / AALL Executive Board Election Results


I am pleased to announce the results of the 2016 AALL Executive Board Election. This year, 1,344 AALL members (33%) cast ballots and elected the following:

(JULY 2017 – JULY 2018)

Femi Cadmus
Edward Cornell Law Librarian, Associate Dean for Library Services,
& Professor of Practice
Cornell University Law Library

Ithaca, NY

(July 2017 – July 2020)

Luis Acosta
Law Library of Congress
Chief, Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Division II
Washington, DC
(July 2017 – July 2020)
Beth Adelman
Director, Charles B. Sears Law Library,
Vice Dean for Legal Information Services
The University at Buffalo State University of New York
Buffalo, NY
Jean P. O’Grady
Director of Research & Knowledge Services
DLA Piper
Washington, DC

Congratulations to our successful candidates and thank you to all who ran for office
. It is this commitment and dedication that makes the profession, and especially AALL, a strong and vibrant community.


Katherine K. Coolidge, Esq.
AALL Secretary

AALL eBriefing / Debuting Our New Brand


Today the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) officially launched our new brand, which promises to “champion our profession and our members.” The new brand strategy—comprised of a visual identity, tagline, and messaging—will support our strategic goals to foster knowledge, community, and leadership and allow us to create compelling and effective communications that clearly articulate the role of law librarians in the legal profession and in the communities they serve.

Our new brand is the culmination of almost two years of work that included extensive research, multiple opportunities for member input, and thoughtful consideration of the history of the legal information profession, as well as its rapid evolution over the last decade. The sum of the logo, visuals, and words we use will enable us to establish and maintain a clear, unified brand identity within AALL and to the public.

  • The new logo nods to the past with blue as the dominant color; conveys collaboration with the linked letters, “AALL”; and suggests a future focus with the orange forward slash.
  • The new visual identity will feature members prominently on AALLNET, on our social media pages, in promotional brochures, and more.
  • The new tagline, “Your Legal Knowledge Network,” positions AALL as the resource for legal information professionals to gain invaluable professional support, as the go-to source for employers to find legal problem solvers, and as an information hub for accessing legal information that is every citizen’s right.
  • The new messaging will be woven into all written materials to create a single, compelling voice that champions our profession and our members.

AALL’s new brand honors our past, embraces our present, and emboldens our future as legal information professionals. The knowledge and talent of our members, combined with their unrivaled dedication to service, make our whole legal system stronger. I have never been more proud to be a law librarian.


Ronald E. Wheeler Jr.
AALL President