AALL eNewsletter / January 2008


Happy New Year, and welcome to our January eNewsletter! This month we announce winners of our research grants, highlight the work of the Publishing Initiatives Caucus, and provide deadlines and information about awards, scholarships, continuing education grants, Call for Papers, and the Day in the Life photo contest. Also, I want to thank the 1,989 members who completed the AALL membership survey in November and December. More than 400 of you also wrote comments. The Executive Board and staff will closely review the survey results and comments and develop future plans to address your interests and concerns.

Work of the Committee on Committee Structure Completed

For well over a year, the Special Committee on AALL Committee Structure, chaired by Karl Gruben, has been thoroughly reviewing all of our committees, their charges, and their operations. The committee’s final report was approved by the Executive Board at its November meeting, and the report is now available on AALLNET.

Some highlights include: providing for enhanced continuity through development of a vice chair/chair-elect system, creation of an appointments committee to assist the AALL president-elect with committee appointments, combining some committees that dealt with related areas, formulation of new charges for all committees, and thorough revision of the committee procedures manual.

Implementation will begin with President-Elect James Duggan’s committee appointments—a year ahead of the original schedule! Special committee members included Richard Amelung, Karl Gruben, Susan Lewis-Somers, Sandra Marz, Jennifer Murray, Regina Smith, and Susan Yancey.

Help Reform the Presidential Records Act

As the first session of the 110th Congress came to a close, the AALL Washington Affairs Office celebrated three major legislative victories. After many years of working to reform the Freedom of Information Act, we celebrated when President Bush signed the Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our National Government Act of 2007.

We are also pleased with two provisions in the fiscal year 2008 omnibus bill. First, the bill included a $1 million order to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), above the EPA’s budget request for libraries, to restore its library services across the country. And second, it had a provision directing the National Institutes of Health to provide the public with free online access to findings from its funded research.

As the second session begins, one of our biggest legislative challenges is to encourage Congress to pass a bill to reform the Presidential Records Act, the Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2007 (S. 886). We need your help to move this bill forward. Please see our Action Alert for background information and how to help, especially if your senator is on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and is not already a co-sponsor. To receive other Action Alerts and our e-bulletin, please subscribe to the AALL Advocacy discussion list.

2007 AALL/Wolters Kluwer Law & Business Grants Fund Two Research Projects

The AALL Research Committee is pleased to announce that the 2007 AALL/Wolters Kluwer Law & Business Grant Program has funded two research grants.

Dr. Joel Fishman, assistant director for lawyer services at the Duquesne University Center for Legal Information Allegheny County Law Library, was awarded $1,325 for his project, “Index to State Judges’ Inductions, Memorials, etc., from the Official State Court Reports.”

Syracuse University College of Law H. Douglas Barclay Law Library’s Christine Demetros, reference/student services librarian, and Wendy Scott, assistant director for faculty and outreach services, were awarded $1,630 for their project, “Merging Reference and Circulation Services: The Savior or Undoing of Reference in Academic Law Libraries.”

The AALL/Wolters Kluwer Law & Business Grant Program was first established in 1996 with a generous contribution of $50,000 to sponsor research that will have a practical impact on the law library profession and inspire products and changes in the marketplace. The AALL Research Agenda offers suggestions for possible research projects that cover a wide segment of professional interest. The members of the 2007-2008 AALL Research Committee are: Chair Susan Lerdal, Jacqueline Cantwell, Annemarie Donovan, Pamela Rogers Melton, Ann Patterson, Adeen Postar, and Sarah J. Shik.

New AALL Representative Appointed

I recently appointed Phyllis Post, head of technical services at Capital University Law School, to serve as a temporary AALL representative to OCLC for a three-year term ending in 2010. After this initial term the AALL Executive Board will evaluate the representation to determine if it should be made permanent.

The AALL Representatives program formalizes relationships between AALL and partner organizations, which include AALL stakeholders.The representatives have a new page on AALLNET, which includes a current roster and resources for the representatives. You can also read the representatives’ reports in the new AALL Annual Reports section of AALLNET.

CRIV Tip: Vendor Contact Information

The 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. 5 about vendor contact information.

Do you ever wish that you had a Web site listing all the legal information vendors that you deal with on a regular basis? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a site that listed all the various points of contact (customer service, sales, billing, returns, and missing pages links) for each vendor all in one easy to access page? Consult CRIV Tools’ Vendor Contact Information Grids.

PIC Partners with State Bar Associations

The AALL Publishing Initiatives Caucus (PIC) has been busy and is celebrating a number of recent successes. PIC partnered with Wisconsin State Bar Communications Director Joyce Hastings to get the word out about law librarians as contributors to bar associations, especially as potential authors. Hastings e-mailed the State Bar Communication/Editors of the National Association of Bar Executives, which resulted in writing offers from the Nebraska Bar, Hennepin County Bar, Maricopa Bar, and Bar Association of San Francisco. AALL chapters may hear from PIC and their local bar associations with writing opportunities.

PIC will also send its brochure to the NABE meeting in Los Angeles in early February. Attendees include bar association executives and staff specialists. PIC’s goal is to get more and more law librarians publishing in their bar publications and enhance the value and stature of law librarians in the legal community.

AALL Awards Deadline Approaching: February 1

The AALL Awards Committee recognizes the accomplishments of AALL members and others who excel in assuring access to legal information. The committee will consider candidates for eight awards, including those listed below. Recipients will be recognized at the AALL Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon. All nominations must be postmarked by February 1.

A Day in the Life Photo Contest 2008 Starts February 1

Get ready for your close up. A Day in the Life of the Law Library Community Photo Contest starts in two weeks on February 1.

Day in the LifeDuring the month of February, AALL members will take a wide range of photographs of law librarians working, meeting, teaching, and doing all that law librarians do in a given day. Entries will be due by the end of the month, and they will be judged online by the membership in April. Winners will be recognized on AALLNET, in the July 2008 issue of AALL Spectrum, and during the AALL Annual Meeting in Portland.

Visit the Day in the Life site for complete contest rules, photography tips, and to view the winning photos from 2005 and 2007.

Send in a Proposal for a Continuing Education Grant

The third round of the AALL/BNA Continuing Education Grants Program is coming up. Watch for the following deadlines:

  • February 21 – Proposals due to AALL Headquarters
  • February 25-March 14 – Review of proposals
  • March 20 – Announcement of funded grants
  • December 28 – Deadline for expenditure of funds

Calling All Papers

The AALL/LexisNexis Call for Papers Committee is soliciting articles in three categories for its annual competition:

  • Open Division: for active and retired AALL members with five or more years of experience
  • New Members Division: for recent graduates and AALL members who have been in the profession for less than five years
  • Student Division: for students in library, information management, or law school. Participants in this division need not be members of AALL.

The winner in each division receives $750, generously donated by LexisNexis, plus the opportunity to present a description of his or her research and writing process during the AALL Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon. Winning papers are also considered for publication in Law Library Journal.

Submissions must be postmarked March 1. For more information, please visit AALLNET. If you have any questions, please contact a member of the Call for Papers Committee: Chair Joe Gerken, James M. Donovan, or James S. Heller. Good luck!

AALL Offers Money for Law School, Library School, and Continuing Education

Need money to support your educational goals? The AALL Scholarships Committee wants to give you that opportunity. Every year, AALL awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to law school and library school students and AALL members. The following scholarships are awarded annually:

General Educational Scholarships, supported by AALL and the LexisNexis John R. Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund:

  • Graduate Library School Scholarships
  • Law School Scholarships
  • Scholarships for Library School Graduates Seeking a Non-Law Degree
  • Scholarships for Continuing Education Classes

Additional Scholarships:

  • AALL/Thomson West George A. Strait Minority Scholarship
  • James F. Connolly LexisNexis Academic and Library Solutions Scholarship

The application deadline for all scholarships is April 1. Visit AALLNET for complete information, instructions, and applications. For further information, contact AALL Scholarships Committee Chair Holly Riccio (415/984-8761) or AALL Headquarters (312/939-4764, ext. 210).

Save the Date: AALL Leadership Academy October 3-4

AALL will host its first AALL Leadership Academy on October 3-4, 2008.The goal of the academy is to develop and train new law librarians in the early stages of their careers for leadership roles and opportunities in the law library profession. The academy will equip participants with leadership strategies and techniques needed to achieve success and promote personal commitment to professional excellence. Plans call for the academy to become an annual event.

Stay tuned for more details coming soon…

2006-2007 AALL Year in Review Available

2006-2007 AALL Year in ReviewCheck out the 2006-2007 AALL Year in Review, which is now available on AALLNET. It features AALL’s National Summit on Authentic Legal Information in the Digital Age, the Association’s new member-driven approach to education, and other major accomplishments in the Strategic Directions of advocacy, education, and leadership. The report also contains a financial review, a list of donors, and links to further information on AALLNET.


Donald DunnI am sad to report the death of Donald J. Dunn, dean of the University of La Verne (ULV) College of Law since 2003, where he led the effort toward a successful ABA accreditation for the school. He was an active member of AALL, serving on many committees, including chairing the search committees that selected Roger Parent as AALL executive director in 1993 and Susan Fox in 2002.

Don spent most of his career as a law librarian and was dedicated to legal education. He was highly recognized for his scholarship and had an insightful vision of the impact that ULV College of Law could have on the local legal community. He was also known for his open door policy, always willing to speak with students, faculty members, alumni, and area leaders. He died on January 5 after a yearlong battle with lung cancer. He will be missed.