The AALL Spectrum Article of the Year Award honors outstanding achievement in writing an article that contributes to topics relating to librarianship, law librarianship, and practical applications for library work or to an understanding of legal materials, legal systems, legal information, or to professional and staff training and development. The winner is selected on the basis of quality of writing and effectiveness of the communication technique. The Spectrum Article of the Year Award is open to both members and non-members.
The purpose of the award is twofold: (1) to honor outstanding achievement in writing as represented by a work published in AALL Spectrum; and (2) to encourage the submission of such works of high quality to AALL Spectrum.
The following are factors that may be considered in determining the recipient of the award:
Contributions to topics relating to librarianship, law librarianship, and practical applications for library work or to an understanding of legal materials, legal systems, legal information, or to professional and staff training and development.
Quality of writing and effectiveness of the communication technique utilized for the information sought to be conveyed.
All articles published in AALL Spectrum during the previous year of publication will be eligible to be considered for the award. The previous year of publication is considered to be January through December. Length and format of the article will not affect eligibility.
Articles originally published elsewhere will not be eligible for the award. However, revisions of previously published works or pieces originally presented in another form or media (e.g, paper presented at a conference) will be eligible for consideration.
Subject to and in conjunction with procedures adopted by the AALL Awards Committee, the AALL Spectrum Article of the Year Award is determined under the following procedure:
- The editor of AALL Spectrum shall prepare a list of all eligible articles no later than three weeks after publication of the last issue under consideration.
- The AALL Spectrum Article of the Year Award Jury shall select one or more recipients for the award or no recipient if it deems none of the nominees sufficiently qualified.
- The jury will submit the winning recipient's name(s) to the Awards Committee.
- The award will be announced and presented at the Annual Meeting next following the selection of the recipient by the AALL Spectrum Article of the Year Award Jury.
2017: Pat Newcombe, Associate Dean for Library and Information Resources, Western New England University School of Law Library, Springfield, MA
"Crowdsourcing Legal Research: The Opportunities and Challenges," AALL Spectrum, May/June 2016
2016: Jason Hawkins, Research Librarian, Thurgood Marshall Law Library, Francis King Carey School of Law, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD and David E. Matchen, Jr. Circulation/Reference Librarian, University of Baltimore Law Library, University of Baltimore School of Law, Baltimore, MD
"Faced With Crisis: The Importance of Establishing a Comprehensive Crisis Management Plan," AALL Spectrum, November/December 2015
2015: Christine Bowersox, Collection Management Librarian, Harris Beach PLLC, Pittsford, NY and Kristen M. Hallows, Research Librarian, Bricker & Eckler LLP, Columbus, OH
"Dialectic of Transformation: The Shaping of a Name" AALL Spectrum, April 2014
2014: Ingrid Mattson, Reference Librarian, Ohio State University, Moritz Law Library, Columbus, OH and Linda-Jean Schneider, Electronic Resources Manager, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Philadelphia, PA
"Negotiating and Complying with Electronic Database License Agreements" AALL Spectrum, February 2013
2013: Laurel E. Davis, Legal Information Librarian, Lecturer in Law and Curator of Rare Books, Chester Kozikowski, Educational Technology Specialist, Boston College Law Library, Newton, MA
"Rare Books & Technology: Collaborating Within the Library"
2012: Steven A. Lastres, Director of Library and Knowledge Management, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, New York, NY
"Collection Development in the Age of the Virtual Law Firm Library" AALL Spectrum, June 2011
2011: Steven J. Melamut, Information Technology Services Librarian, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Law Library, Chapel Hill, NC
"Freeing Creativity: Understanding the Creative Commons licenses" AALL Spectrum, April 2010
2010: James M. Donovan, Faculty and Access Services Librarian, University of Georgia School of Law Library, Athens, Georgia
"Back Away from the Survey Monkey! Optimize Research Results with an Honest Assessment of Methodology" AALL Spectrum, November 2009
2009: Carl A. Yirka, Professor and Library Director, Julien & Virginia Cornell Library, Vermont Law School, South Royalton, Vermont
"Perspective: The Yirka Question and Yirka's Answer: What Should Law Libraries Stop Doing in Order to Address Higher Priority Initiatives?" AALL Spectrum, July 2008
2008: Mark P. Bernstein, Omer Poos Law Library, Saint Louis University School of Law
"One Size Fits All No More: The Impact of Law Specialization on Library Services" AALL Spectrum, March 2007
2007: Barbara A. Bintliff and Georgia Briscoe, University of Colorado at Boulder Law Library, "The Ethics of Electronic Record Sharing", AALL Spectrum, June 2006
2006: Leah Sandwell-Weiss, Reference Librarian & Adjunct Assistant Professor of Legal Research, Univeristy of Arizona College of Law, Tucson, AZ
"Putting Ideals into Action: AALL Washington Affairs Office is the Hub of Law Librarianship" AALL Spectrum, April 2005
2005: Leah Sandwell-Weiss, Reference Librarian and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Legal Research, University of Arizona College of Law, Tucson, AZ
"A Look at the USA PATRIOT Act Today" AALL Spectrum, July 2004
2004: Jean M. Holcomb, Law Librarian and Director, King County Law Library, Seattle Washington.
"The Annual Report: An Overlooked Opportunity to Tell the Library's Story" AALL Spectrum, June 2003, p.10.
2003: Mary Rumsey, Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Librarian, University of Minnesota Law Library.
"Libraries Confront the Challenges of Accommodating Disabled Users" AALL Spectrum, April 2002, p.6.
2002: James S. Heller, Director of the Law Library and Professor of Law College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia
"Collection Development and Weeding a la Versace:Fashioning a Policy for Your Library" AALL Spectrum, February 2002, p. 12.
2001: Ann Walsh Long
"Get Your Library Ready for Distance Education" AALL Spectrum, May 2000, p12.
2000: Joanne Dugan
"True Confessions of a Copyright Wimp" AALL Spectrum, February 2000, p.4