• Bookmark and Share

AALL takes a leadership role in shaping the future of the law library profession by promoting the value of law librarians and by supporting our members in a variety of ways. Membership in AALL allows law librarians to connect with their colleagues across the nation and build their leadership skills. By joining special interest sections, serving on committees, and attending the Annual Meeting and Conference, AALL members meet new people, build relationships, and share ideas and skills. This year members served on more than 30 committees, playing integral roles to make law librarians leaders in legal information, research, and technology.

Work of the Committee on Committee Structure Completed

For well over a year, the Special Committee on AALL Committee Structure, chaired by Karl Gruben, thoroughly reviewed all of our committees, their charges, and their operations. The committee's final report was approved by the Executive Board at its November meeting; 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 began with President-Elect James Duggan's committee appointments; a year ahead of the original schedule!

Members Represent AALL to Stakeholders

At its July 2007 meeting, the Executive Board approved a plan for an expanded program of representatives to related organizations. The AALL Representative Program formalizes certain relationships between AALL and partner organizations, which include AALL stakeholders. It also allows the representatives to bring information about partner organizations to AALL members and educate them about the other organizations and their issues of importance to law librarians.

Members are appointed to representative positions based on their expertise in an area related to the partner organization or due to their particular positions within AALL. The board approved new representations to the following organizations:

Also appointed was 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.

Many thanks to these members, as well as others who currently serve as representatives. A complete list of AALL representatives can be found on AALLNET.

PIC Partners with State Bar Associations

The AALL Publishing Initiatives Caucus (PIC) celebrated a number of successes in 2007-2008. 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. 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.

2008 Joint Study Institute Brings Together Law Librarians from around the Globe

The 2008 Joint Study Institute (JSI), "Harmonization and Confrontation: Integrating Foreign and International Law into the American Legal System," was held at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., on June 25-28.

The JSI was a great learning and networking opportunity for all participants. Attendees shared overwhelmingly positive feedback on the JSI programs and speakers, as well as the tours and fabulous dining experiences. Many have expressed continued excitement and interest in the topics covered and anxiously await JSI 2010. For a glimpse into the JSI, check out event photos on AALLNET.

The JSI was created by a group of presidents of AALL, the Australian Law Librarians' Group (now the Australian Law Librarians' Association; ALLA), the British and Irish Association of Law Libraries (BIALL), and the Canadian Association of Law Libraries/Association Canadienne des Bibliotheques de Droit (CALL/ACBD) in the mid-1990s. Their intent was to feature learning of various host countries; legal heritage and traditions. Past institutes have taken place in England (1998 and 2006); United States (2000); British Columbia (2002); and Australia (2004).

Book Drive in Portland

In 2007-2008, the Social Responsibilities Special Interest Section and AALL continued the tradition of giving something back to the community that hosts our Annual Meeting through our 10th annual Children's Book Drive.

The recipient of the 2008 AALL Children´┐Żs Book Drive was the Willamette Writers Inc. Books for Kids program. This book donation program collects and distributes more than 23,000 new and used books every year to underprivileged children and teenagers served by more than 50 agencies and organizations throughout Portland, Oregon state, and southwest Washington state.

A Day in the Life of the Law Library Community

Day in the LifeA Day in the Life of the Law Library Community, the popular AALL photo contest conducted by the AALL Public Relations Committee, returned in 2008. During the month of February, AALL members took a wide range of photographs of law librarians working, meeting, teaching, and doing all that law librarians do in a given day or week. About 50 AALL members from 35 different law libraries across the country submitted nearly 130 photos to the contest. In April, AALL members voted on the best photo in each category and one best overall photo. Congratulations to the winners, and many thanks to each and every member who participated and shared his or her photos with AALL. Winning photographs may be viewed on AALLNET; also available are all of the "Day in the Life" entries. Photos from the contest are featured in this 2007-2008 Year in Review.

Recruitment to Law Librarianship

In fall 2007, the Recruitment to Law Librarianship Committee (RLLC) successfully contacted 30 of the 31 AALL chapters to survey and discuss their recruitment efforts and needs, amassing a great deal of very useful information; from great recruitment ideas already being implemented at the local level to requests and suggestions for assistance that AALL could provide nationally. This information was compiled into a report that was presented by RLLC Chair Barbara Traub to the Special Committee on Developing Law Librarians for the Future (DLLF) when the latter met in Chicago in February. Included with the RLLC Annual Report, the report points to more immediate steps that RLLC can take in its activities.

The committee also produced a long-awaited new brochure for AALL, as well as chapters and individual members, to distribute to potential law librarians. Created with the assistance of Headquarters, this great new piece of literature debuted at the Annual Meeting in Portland.

Board Actions on Vendor Relations

In November, President Ann Fessenden appointed a working group of Executive Board members, plus the chair of the Committee on Relations with Information Vendors (CRIV), to consider possible changes in some of our approaches to vendor relations and communications. This year the board approved several recommendations of the working group:

  • Strengthened Principle Two, Disclosure, of the Guide to Fair Business Practices for Legal Publishers
  • Adopted a new Sponsorship Policy, which specifies situations in which AALL may decline to accept a vendor sponsorship
  • Created a Consortium Review Task Force, which will investigate the feasibility of developing an AALL consortium to operate as a "buying cooperative" for members
  • Approved hiring a consultant to conduct an in-depth exploration of the possibility of establishing an AALL vendor relations representative

The board also discussed a number of other strategies, many of which are being pursued informally. For a more complete report on our current vendor relations activities, the text of the new Sponsorship Policy, and the revised Principle Two of the Guide to Fair Business Practices for Legal Publishers, please visit the Vendor Relations page on AALLNET.

Penny Hazelton was selected to serve as a consultant to the Association and will evaluate the desirability and feasibility of creating a permanent AALL vendor relations representative position. Hazelton is a past AALL president, director of the University of Washington Law Library and the University of Washington Law Librarianship Program, and has been active in writing and consulting.