Robert L. Oakley, 1945–2007

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Hall of Fame Induction: 2010

Significant AALL Service

Representative, American National Standards Institute Committee Z-39 on Library Work, Documentation, and Related Publishing Practices, 1974–83
Chair, Constitution and By-Laws Committee, 1980–82
Chair, Program Committee, AALL Institute, 1983–85
Representative, Library of Congress Network Advisory Committee, 1986–92
Chair, Special Committee on National Information Policy, 1988–90
Washington Affairs Representative, 1990–2000, 2001–07
Executive Board, 1991–94
Vice President/President-Elect, 1999–2000
President, 2000–01
Immediate Past President, 2001–02

Professional Honors and Awards

AALL Presidential Certificate of Merit, “for promoting public access to legal information and leadership in the national information community,” 1999
AALL Presidential Certificate of Merit, “for enduring commitment to AALL and the profession and for spearheading the “Preserving Legal Information for the 21st Century: Toward a National Agenda” conference to address the preservation dilemma in regard to legal information,” 2003
AALL Executive Board Resolution Honoring Robert L. Oakley, October 16, 2007
Member Advocacy Award, 2008 (first recipient; subsequently renamed in his honor in 2009)
Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award, 2008
Frederick Charles Hicks Award for Outstanding Contributions to Academic Law Librarianship, 2008
AALL Hall of Fame, Inaugural Class Inductee, 2010

Selected Publications by the Inductee

“Government Aid to Religious Schools (Round 2),” Cornell Law Forum 5 (June 1978): 6–10.
“Collection Development Impact of a National Law Library,” Law Library Journal 77 (1984): 639–47 (with Vivian L. Campbell).
“Microcomputers for More Than On-Line Research: Some Cautionary Notes,” Law Library Journal 79 (1987): 335–43.
Intellectual Property Issues and Information Networks: A Background Paper.” In Intellectual Property Issues in the Library Network Context: Proceedings of the Library of Congress Network Advisory Committee Meeting, March 23–25, 1988, 5. Network Planning Paper, no. 17. Washington: Network Development and MARC Standards Office, Library of Congress, 1989.
“Education for Law Librarianship: Avoiding the Trade School Mentality,” Journal of Library Administration 11 (1989): 147–64.
Copyright and Preservation: A Serious Problem in Need of a Thoughtful Solution. Washington: Commission on Preservation and Access, 1990.
"Copyright Issues for the Creators and Users of Information in the Electronic Environment,” Electronic Networking: Research, Applications, and Policy 1 (1991): 23–30.
Copyright and Electronic Publishing.” In Scholarly Publishing on the Electronic Networks: The New Generation: Visions and Opportunities in Not-For-Profit Publishing, edited by Ann Okerson, 91. Washington: Association of Research Libraries, 1993.
“Copyright 1996: Fleshing Out the Issues,” Bowker Annual, Library and Book Trade Almanac 42 (1997): 229.
"Preservation and Copyright.” In Growing Pains: Adapting Copyright for Libraries, Education, and Society, edited by Laura N. Gasaway, 111–24. Littleton, Colo.: Fred B. Rothman, 1997.
"UCC Article 2B: Some Preliminary Comments on a New Issue for the Library Community,” AALL Spectrum 2 (February 1998): 14–16.
“The Copyright Context,” Collection Management 22 (1998): 177–84.
“Copyright 1998: Recalibrating the Balance,” Bowker Annual, Library and Book Trade Almanac 44 (1999): 282.
“Remembrances of Harry Bitner,” Law Library Journal 94 (2002): 202–03.
“Introducing New AALL Executive Director Susan E. Fox,” AALL Spectrum 7 (2002): 4, 8–9.
"Copyright 2001: Exploring the Implications of Technology,” Bowker Annual, Library and Book Trade Almanac 47 (2002): 284–97.
“International Public Policy and Libraries,” AALL Spectrum 8 (December 2003): centerfold 1–4.
Preserving Legal Information for the Twenty-First Century: Toward a National Agenda, Introduction,” Law Library Journal 96 (2004): 579–80.
“Balancing Act: Reconciling Privacy with the Public’s Right to Know,” AALL Spectrum 8 (2004): 14–15, 35.
Library-Related Principles for the International Development Agenda of the World Intellectual Property Organization,” principal drafter. Available at
'Service to the Profession.” In The Spirit of Law Librarianship: A Reader, edited by Roy M. Mersky and Richard A. Leiter, 99–106. Chicago: Alert Publications, 2005.
"Fairness in Electronic Contracting: Minimum Standards for Non-Negotiated Contracts,” Houston Law Review 42 (2005): 1041–1105.
Developments in Copyright 2005: Exploring the Boundaries,” Bowker Annual, Library and Book Trade Almanac 51 (2006): 251–66.

Selected Publications about the Inductee

“Robert L. Oakley,” in Frank G. Houdek, “Stories of My First Annual Meeting,” Law Library Journal 88 (1996): 61–62.
Robert L. Oakley,” in Frank G. Houdek, “AALL History through the Eyes of Its Presidents,” Law Library Journal 98 (2006): 338–40.
Margaret K. Maes, “Robert L. Oakley, 1945–2007,” AALL Spectrum 12 (December 2007): 10–13.
Ellen Callinan, “In Memoriam: Robert L. Oakley,” PLL Perspectives 19 (Winter 2008): 20.
Kathie Sullivan, “In Memory of Bob Oakley,” PLL Perspectives 19 (Winter 2008): 21.
Ruth J. Hill, “Robert L. Oakley Honored as the 2008 Gallagher Award Recipient,” AALL Spectrum 12 (June 2008): 16.
“[Special Feature:] A Tribute to Robert L. Oakley (1945–2007).” Law Library Journal 100 (2008): 215–50.
Robert L. Oakley Oral History Panel: Mary Alice Baish, Darcy Kirk, Margaret Maes, and Susan Tulis. In An Oral History of Law Librarianship, interviewed by Frank G. Houdek, July 14, 2013, videorecording. Spinelli's Law Library Reference Shelf, HeinOnline.

Professional Positions

Circulation Librarian/Assistant Reference Librarian, Cornell Law School, 1972–76
Associate Law Librarian, Cornell Law School, 1976–79
Visiting Professor, Syracuse University School of Information Studies, 1976
Director of the Law Library and Associate Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law, 1979–82
Director of the Law Library and Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, 1982–2007


B.A., Cornell University, 1968
M.S.L.S., Syracuse University, 1972
J.D., Cornell University, 1976

Selected Professional Activities & Achievements (outside law librarianship)

Admitted to practice, New York, 1976
Admitted to practice, U.S. District for the Southern District of New York, 1976
Member, Network Advisory Committee, Library of Congress, 1986–92
Copyright Consultant, Commission on Preservation and Access, 1988–92
Member, Depository Library Council, 1990–93
Member, AALS Committee on Libraries, 1990–94
Vice-Chair, Committee on Regulatory Initiatives and Information Technology, ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, 1992–97
Member, IFLA Committee on Copyright and Other Legal Matters, 2001–04, and Expert Resource Person to the Committee, 2004–07
Member, Copyright Office of the United States, Section 108 Review Committee, 2005–07