Reflections . . . Offered and Solicited

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By Shaun Esposito, ALL-SIS Newsletter Editor

Head of Public Services, Law Library, James E. Rogers College

University of Arizona

I write this three weeks after the indescribably horrific events of September 11, 2001. Three weeks of watching newscast after newscast has left me, and perhaps most of us, still dazed and wondering about the future. No one is far removed from the tragedy caused by those attacks on our nation.

Now that some time has passed, and I have gone through the range of emotions brought out by this unparalleled series of events, I have begun to think of how the repercussions of these attacks may affect our profession, academic law librarianship. An already faltering Arizona economy, now faced with an unprecedented loss of tourist tax dollars, means huge cuts in state funding for academic institutions. How will our acquisitions budget and staffing levels be affected? What information will our students, faculty and the general public need concerning the numerous legislative and regulatory proposals offered in response to the attacks? Will the horrible backlash against Arab and Muslim students and community members spread to our campus and, worse yet, our law school? Do we have a plan for dealing with this if it occurs in our library?

These questions and problems often seem trite in comparison to the devastating losses suffered by those at the World Trade Center and Pentagon and the countless thousands of families and friends left behind. Still, as the President and other officials encourage everyone to return to a normal work life, how can we not stop to wonder how academic law librarianship will be changed as a result of what has happened.

I want to encourage you to send your thoughts on how these tragic events have affected us as academic law librarians so that they may be published in the next edition of the ALL-SIS Newsletter. Your thoughts and reflections on any variety of issues related to this topic are welcomed: Do you feel safe working at your library or traveling to AALL or other conferences? How will collection development and reference activities be affected? Have you or your professional colleagues been directly impacted by the attacks or by the military mobilization undertaken in response to them? Please consider sharing your reflections and experiences with your fellow academic law librarians. The deadline for the Spring 2002 issue of the ALL-SIS Newsletter is January 18, 2002. Please send your material either as an attachment (Word or WordPerfect) or in the body of an e-mail to me at