With members from all types of libraries, whose functions range from network and system administrators, lab supervisors, and webmasters to department heads and library directors, the Legal Innovation & Technology Special Interest Section serves the fastest-growing sector within law librarianship. Above all, Legal Innovation & Technology SIS members are law librarians dedicated to serving all the information needs of their library users with the aid of computing technologies.
History and Purpose
LIT-SIS has a long history of leadership and innovation in the study and implementation of technology in law libraries. The Legal Innovation & Technology Special Interest Section began in 1972 as a Special AALL Committee on Automation and Scientific Development. At the 1976 AALL Annual Meeting in Boston, the Committee petitioned the Executive Board for special interest section status. The Executive Board approved creation of the SIS at its December 1976 meeting in Houston. The Automation and Scientific Development SIS, as it was then known, was officially created at the Toronto meeting in 1977, when the existing Committee voted to dissolve itself in favor of the new SIS. At the 1996 AALL Annual Meeting, the Section changed its name to the Computing Services SIS to reflect its evolution from a group of cutting-edge librarians interested in exploring the uses of technology to an essential part of all law libraries. At the 2020 Virtual Business Meeting, the Section changed its name to the Legal Innovation & Technology SIS.
The mission of LIT-SIS has evolved in response to the increasing integration of computing in law libraries. Initially created to serve as a watchdog to the automation industry as it relates to law libraries, the SIS later focused on surveying the development of software designed for law libraries and conveying information on automation developments to law librarians. In recent years the opportunities and challenges of automation have had enormous impact on the field of legal information. Today the purposes of LIT-SIS are to promote the communication of ideas, interests and activities concerning technological advances in law librarianship and the practice of law, and to meet the professional needs of all law librarians active in integrating computing technology to serve their users.
LIT-SIS is governed by an Executive Committee consisting of six elected officers: the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson, the Secretary/Treasurer, the Immediate Past Chair, and two Members-at-Large. Elections for officers are held annually. The Chair appoints special committees as needed.
Annual business meetings of the LIT-SIS are held during the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries. Informal meetings of LIT-SIS members may be held on other occasions, such as the annual CALI Conference for Law School Computing, and chapter or SLA (Special Library Association) conferences.
The SIS published a newsletter, first called Automatome, from 1980 to 2000, and then called Connecting…, from 2000 to 2007. Frequency varied from quarterly to semiannually. In 2007, the newsletter was replaced by the LIT-SIS News Blog. In addition, the Section maintains an email discussion list. For subscription information, please visit the Mailing List page.
The Legal Innovation & Technology Special Interest Section sponsors several programs at each Annual Meeting of the Association. Topics cover a wide variety of subjects, from the human aspects of automation to the newest hardware and software and their uses. Recent topics include networking, document imaging systems, interactive multimedia, distance learning, and the Internet, as well as professional development topics such as the changing roles and career paths of librarians in legal innovation and technology.
Our members come from all types of law libraries and all functions of librarianship, and include all levels of experience from newer law librarians to law library directors. To join, check the appropriate box on your annual membership form or complete AALL’s Special Interest Section Application. Dues are currently $20.00 a year.