Strategic Directions



The Government Law Libraries Special Interest Section provides leadership in identifying the needs and concerns of government law librarians and developing appropriate programs and services to address them; and supports the interests of government law librarians with their parent organizations and other related entities.


The important role that law librarians can play in a democratic society,
The value of partnership with related organizations, The necessity of effective access to justice for everyone,
The development of equitable and permanent access to legal information, and
Continuous improvement in the quality of justice.


Government law librarians will be recognized as an essential part of their organizations and communities.


Enhance members’ impact on the legal profession, information vendors, government officials, and the public as the premier source for the management, promotion and delivery of legal information resources.
Educate appropriate individuals and entities on the role librarians can play in supporting self-represented litigants and non-attorney information seekers.

Provide cost-effective and equal access to legal information resources in multiple formats to the courts, bar, self-represented litigants and the general public.

  • Increase collaboration with outside organizations to advance equal access to the courts.
  • Educate legal information users including attorneys, judges, court staff, public librarians, and non-attorneys.
  • Promote opportunities for members to hold leadership positions within GLL or AALL.


In collaboration with public and private sector entities, Government law librarians will be innovative and progressive in influencing legal and government information policies.


Increase effective communication and outreach to the public, public officials, and the legal community regarding the value of law libraries and the critical role legal information professionals play in our justice system.
Improve strategic partnerships for supporting self-represented litigants, including ways to address geographic disparities in access to legal information.

  • Educate funders and decision-makers on the continued importance and value of law librarians and law libraries and the need to adequately fund them.
  • Identify successful funding sources and explore new revenue options for the ongoing financial support of government law libraries.
  • Continue to advocate that government information must be in the public domain, and that information on government websites must be permanently available to the public at no charge.
  • Continue communications with information vendors regarding the cost effective delivery of legal information products in government law libraries, including policies, product development and customer service.


Government law librarians will receive the education and networking opportunities they need.


  • Develop and support distance educational opportunities for a variety of interests, including programs on serving self-represented litigants.
  • Support attendance at the AALL annual meeting and other relevant conferences with grant funding.
  • Broaden use of the webpage and listserv to develop and share best practices, tools, problem solving, and guidelines.
  • Encourage and facilitate members’ engagement with local programs that provide relevant educational opportunities in issues related to law librarianship.


The Strategic Planning Committee 2014

Members participated in two important outside groups that produced information of great importance:  the Self-Represented Litigation Network Law Library Subgroup (SRLN) and the AALL Access to Justice (ATJ) Special Committee.  The SRLN law library subgroup produced a survey, analysis and report of self-help centers in law libraries. The report had a direct impact on the strategic development of self-help centers in some GLL law libraries.  The ATJ Special Committee produced a White Paper report that identifies overall goals for all types of law libraries and describes programs already underway to achieve those goals.  The White Paper also includes a section on GLL law libraries and offers basic, intermediate and advanced models for developing strong ATJ resources and services in state, court, and county law libraries.

The Strategic Planning Committee 2015

The Committee reviewed the AALL Strategic Directions for 2013-2016, as well as those of the other type-of-library Special Interest Sections. It sought input from the strategic directions chairs of the other type-of-library SIS’s on their processes and also consulted Gail Warren.   The Committee made two preliminary recommendations: that the Section’s directions should continue to closely track those of AALL and that the time span for the directions should change from the previous five years to three years, as is now the case for AALL’s directions.   These approaches were accepted by the Executive Board.

The Committee developed a survey to solicit member input on what was most important to members.  The Committee reviewed and analyzed the results and the Chair prepared an article for the Section newsletter reporting on the results.  The Committee grouped the major trends from the survey under AALL’s Strategic Directions of Authority, Advocacy, and Education. It was found that some adjustment was needed in order to fully accommodate all of the areas that members recognized as important, so the group altered the third direction to “Education and Networking.”  The Committee drafted specific objectives for each direction as well as an updated mission statement. These were reviewed and commented upon by committee members and then a final version was submitted to and approved by the Board.

The Strategic Planning Committee 2016

The Committee reviewed the 2014-15 Annual Report. The Chair concurred with the previous recommendation that the GLL section continue mirroring the AALL direction and policy changes. The Committee did not recommend altering the review period for strategic directions beyond three years.  The Committee respectfully finds it is incumbent on the entire GLL membership to advocate for changes within the profession at all levels of government.