AALL eNewsletter / April 2008


Welcome to our April eNewsletter, which is chocked full of opportunities. Learn how you can apply for our fall Leadership Academy, vote for your favorite photos in the Day in the Life contest, get AALL news via RSS feeds, propose a “Hot Topic” program for Portland, or donate to our 10th annual Children’s Book Drive. Also, learn about recent Executive Board actions on vendor relations, about progress on the reopening of EPA libraries, and much, much more!

Board Actions on Vendor Relations

In November I appointed a working group of Executive Board members, plus the chair of the Committee on Relations with Information Vendors (CRIV), to consider possible changes in some of our approaches to vendor relations and communications. At our meeting earlier this month, the board approved several recommendations of the working group:

  • Strengthened Principle Two, Disclosure, of the Guide to Fair Business Practices for Legal Publishers
  • Adopted a new Sponsorship Policy, which specifies situations in which AALL may decline to accept a vendor sponsorship
  • Created a Consortium Review Task Force, which will investigate the feasibility of developing an AALL consortium to operate as a “buying cooperative” for members
  • Approved hiring a consultant to conduct an in-depth exploration of the possibility of establishing an AALL vendor relations representative.

The board also discussed a number of other strategies, many of which are being pursued informally. For a more complete report on our current vendor relations activities, the text of the new Sponsorship Policy, and the revised Principle Two of the Guide to Fair Business Practices for Legal Publishers, please visit the Vendor Relations page on AALLNET.

Vote for Your Favorite Day in the Life Photo

Day in the LifeThe Day in the Life of the Law Library Community photo contest is in the final stage of judging. Members of the AALL Public Relations Committee have narrowed down the nearly 150 entries to the top five in each category, and you now have the chance to vote for your favorite photos.

This week, April 14-21, AALL members will choose the best photo in each category and one best overall photo. Simply login with your AALLNET members-only e-mail and password. Please note that you will only be able to vote once.

A Day in the Life of the Law Library Community, sponsored by the AALL Public Relations Committee, is a nation-wide photo contest to document law librarians working, meeting, teaching, and doing all that law librarians do in a given work week. Winners will be recognized on AALLNET, in the July 2008 issue of AALL Spectrum, and during the 2008 AALL Annual Meeting in Portland.

Please send any questions or comments to Public Relations Committee Chair Julie Jones.

Take the Lead: Apply for the 2008 AALL Leadership Academy

Are you in the early stages of your career and looking to get ahead in the profession? Do you know your unique strengths? Do you know how to bring value to your organization through personal visibility?

Learn the answers to these questions and much more by applying to the AALL Leadership Academy, to be held October 3-4 in the Chicago area.

Applications will be accepted May 1-June 30, and participants (fellows) will be selected and notified by mid-August. Fellows will participate in pre-engagement exercises, have an opportunity to obtain a mentor, and receive ongoing leadership development opportunities.

Let’s Heat Up Portland! Submit a “Hot Topic” Proposal by May 15

There’s still time to submit a proposal for the 2008 “Hot Topic” session. Proposals should consider a late-breaking or otherwise timely topic. Members with ideas about emerging issues that might be suitable for the session should contact Diana Jaque, Annual Meeting Planning Committee chair, at 213/740-2632 by May 15.

Proposed Bylaws Amendments

At its April 2008 meeting, the AALL Executive Board approved bylaws amendments for recommendation to and adoption by the membership. The amendments are necessary to implement the Association’s new committee structure, which was recommended by the AALL Committee Structure Special Committee and approved by the Executive Board at its November 2007 meeting.

In addition to the changes necessary for adoption of the new committee structure, the bylaws committee has also recommended changes that will allow for the membership to vote on future bylaws amendments by electronic or other means, instead of by mail ballot.

Ballots will be mailed to the membership in late April. Watch for yours in the mail, and be sure to vote and return your ballot by May 30.

RSS Feeds Now Available for AALLNET

AALL now offers several RSS feeds that include headlines, summaries, and links back to AALLNET for the entire article. RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication, is an XML-based format for content distribution. It provides our members with a new and easy way to keep up-to-date with AALL. Subscribing to the feeds is easy! Simply copy the feed’s URL into the RSS reader of your choice and you are subscribed to that feed. RSS feeds are the perfect way to keep up with new job postings, news about your colleagues, and the latest from chapters, SISs, caucuses, and committees.

CRIV Tip: Getting Results from Customer Service

Committee on Relations with Information Vendors member Robert Myers, manager of serials and collections access at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, presents CRIV Tip No. 8 about maximizing your interactions with customer service departments.

Are your interactions with publishers’ customer service departments less than satisfying? Are you scrambling to gather information when speaking with customer service? Would you like some tips on getting better results from your interactions with customer service? Consult CRIV Tools Getting Results from Customer Service.

Progress Report on Reopening of EPA Libraries

At the end of last year, AALL was pleased to learn that the fiscal year 2008 appropriations omnibus bill (H.R. 2764) gave $1 million to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) along with an order to reopen five libraries the agency had closed—regional libraries in Chicago, Dallas, and Kansas City, as well as the headquarters and chemical libraries in Washington, D.C. All five must be reopened by September 30.

This development was a victory for AALL and other groups that had opposed the library closures since they were first announced more than two years ago. Law firm librarians in particular are heavy users of EPA resources and were especially impacted by the library closures.

There are two new developments to report. First, the House Committee on Science and Technology’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight held an important hearing on EPA Library Closures: Better Access for a Broader Audience? on March 13. During the hearing, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its long-awaited report on the EPA library closures, EPA Needs to Ensure That Best Practices and Procedures Are Followed When Making Further Changes to Its Library Network. The report is highly critical of the EPA’s actions prior to and during the library closures. Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) perhaps said it best by noting that the GAO report “is a blueprint of how not to modernize and restructure a functioning organization.” AALL fully supports the findings and recommendations of the GAO report.

Second, H.R. 2764 also ordered the EPA to produce a report to Congress by March 30 on its plans to reopen these libraries. The report, barely six pages long, unfortunately is short on specific details, particularly in regards to the scope and depth of the on-site collections for the new regional libraries. AALL’s Washington Affairs Office staff is monitoring the situation and communicating the Association’s continuing concerns with EPA officials.

AALL/BNA Continuing Education Grants Announced

Congratulations to the following entities that were awarded grants from the AALL/BNA Continuing Education Grants Program.

  • Government Relations Committee for Comprehensive Online Tutorials the Easy Way Webinar
  • Minnesota Association of Law Libraries for The Law Library 2.0 program
  • Technical Services Special Interest Section for Redesigning Technical Services: Working in a Hybrid Environment Webinar
  • Virginia Association of Law Libraries for Preservation Jeopardy Web site learning game
  • Western Pacific Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries for speaker expenses for a WestPac meeting.

Seeking Nominations for the 2008 Spirit of Law Librarianship Award

Each year the Spirit of Law Librarianship Award honors one law librarian for his or her service to the community. Please help recognize law librarians by nominating a worthy individual who has made a meaningful contribution to a social or charitable cause or concern.

The award was established by AALL members Roy Mersky and Richard Leiter, in lieu of royalties from their book, The Spirit of Law Librarianship. The award was created in order to give special recognition to individual law librarians who might not otherwise be recognized by their peers for their important work.

The deadline for nominations is June 1. To make a nomination, please contact Roy Mersky or Richard Leiter.

A Book for Every Child

The Social Responsibilities Special Interest Section and AALL continue the tradition of giving something back to the community that hosts our Annual Meeting through this, our 10th annual Children’s Book Drive.

The recipient of the 2008 AALL Children’s Book Drive is the Willamette Writers Inc. Books for Kids program. This book donation program collects and distributes more than 23,000 new and used books every year to underprivileged children and teenagers served by more than 50 agencies and organizations throughout Portland, Oregon state, and southwest Washington state.

Donating books is easy! This year we are working with Powell’s Books, a Portland institution since 1971. Visit the AALL Book Drive 2008 Wish List, or you can donate a gift card from Powell’s Books.

All books, gift cards, and monetary donations (checks made out to “AALL”) should be sent to:

Mr. Jorge Juarez
Northwestern School of Law
Lewis and Clark College
Paul L. Boley Law Library
10015 S.W. Terwilliger Boulevard
Portland, OR 97219-7799

If you have questions about the Book Drive, please contact one of the members of the SR-SIS Book Drive Team: Ann Hemmens, Jorge Juarez, or Courtney Selby.

Editors Wanted for Law Library Journal’s “Keeping Up with New Legal Titles” Column

Law Library JournalLaw Library Journal seeks new editors for its quarterly book review column, “Keeping Up with New Legal Titles,” beginning with the Winter 2009 issue. Interested AALL members may apply as individuals or as a team of two or three. To apply, send a writing sample and cover letter explaining why you are interested in the position to Janet Sinder, Law Library Journal editor, by April 30.

It’s Time to Renew Your AALL Membership

The deadline for AALL membership renewal is May 31. Following is the 2008 membership renewal schedule:

May 1: Second dues invoices mailed out.

July 23: Expiration notices e-mailed to all members—individuals and those paid by institutions.

August 1: Expired members deleted from the AALL membership database and access to the AALLNET Members Only Section and Law Library Journal and AALL Spectrum subscriptions discontinued.

For more information or to renew your membership online, view the application form on AALLNET. If you have any questions about your membership renewal, contact AALL Headquarters (312/939-4764, ext. 210).