Spring 2017

From the Chair

We live in challenging times. I cannot turn on my computer or television without seeing news of discrimination, violence, and conflict. It is easy to become disheartened. In those difficult moments, I see glimmers of hope. One of those glimmers is the work of the SR-SIS. Our foundational document, our bylaws, ask us to “act as a stimulus to the Association and its members by focusing attention on, providing a forum for discussion of, exchanging information about, and proposing resolutions on critical social issues that affect library workers as members of the profession and as members of the human family.”

This year, we have worked hard to answer that call. Our members will conduct educational programs on social justice and meeting the legal information needs of transgender library patrons. We plan to introduce a resolution on nondiscrimination at the AALL Business Meeting. We are working on a publication to recommend legal content for prison libraries and a bibliography of sexual orientation and the law.  We have created a committee to look at potential pro bono initiatives. We collect children’s books for charitable institutes. Through these efforts and so many more, we have made a difference in AALL and in our communities.

I want to thank all of you for everything you have done to help fulfill our mission this year. It has been a privilege to work with you.

Stefanie Pearlman
SR-SIS Chair 2016-2017
University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law

Standing Committee on Disability Issues Update

The Standing Committee on Disability issues will be participating in the SR-SIS Joint Standing Committee Business Meeting on July 16th from 12:45-2:15.  We will also be handing out badge ribbons at the conference to help raise awareness for disability issues.

AJ Blechner, Chair 2016-2017
Harvard Law School

Standing Committee on Library Service to Prisoners

The Library Service to Prisoners Business Meeting will be held on Sunday, July 16, at 12:45-2:15. The meeting is scheduled in conjunction with the Environmental Sustainability Committee. This will be held in Hilton Room 400.

The GLL/LISP/SR Joint Roundtable on Law Library Services to Prisoners and Public Patrons is scheduled for Monday, July 17, 3:30-4:30 PM. It will be held in ACC Room 6B.

Stacy Etheredge, Chair 2016-2017
Associate Director of the Law Library, Boise Campus
University of Idaho College of Law

Standing Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

After several years of discussion, the SR-SIS Standing Committee on Lesbian and Gay Issues voted to change its name to the Standing Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SCSOGI). The Committee chair thanks the many volunteers who helped with the supporting research for the vote.

The SR-SIS is also deep into development of an updated edition of Sexual Orientation and the Law. Dana Neacsu and David Holt are co-editing the publication with the help of a team of volunteers working on individual topics.

Two Alan Holoch Memorial Grants were distributed this year to Marcelo Rodriguez, of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund archives, and Josh Portman, of the University of Connecticut School of Law Library.

SCSOGI chair Sara Pic is coordinating and SR-SIS vice-chair/chair-elect Jane Larrington is presenting at a panel discussion at the upcoming AALL conference in Austin on Meeting the Legal Information Needs of Transgender Library Patrons: Research Findings, Legal Issues, and Cataloging Challenges, to be held on Sunday, July 16 at 2:30 pm.

Please join the SCSOGI at our annual business meeting later that day at 5:15 pm, and at the annual Alan Holoch Memorial Grant fundraiser at 8 pm at the Hangar Lounge, just 4 blocks from the conference hotel.

Sara V. Pic, Chair 2016-2017
Reference Librarian
Law Library of Louisiana

Standing Committee on Environmental Sustainability

Committee on Environmental Sustainability working on Cool Project
Want to help save lives and help reduce negative climate impacts? The committee on environmental sustainability is excited to be working with Cool Effect to offer AALL members a tax-deductible, low cost way to support a clean cook stove project in Africa. For about $6, you can help improve respiratory health for families and offset your carbon pollution for travel to the AALL conference or your summer vacation.

Look for official AALL social media announcements about this project by July and let’s “forgo the status quo” and support this environmental justice project. Paris climate agreement or not – we can each make a difference!

David Selden, Chair 2016-2017
Library Director
Native American Rights Fund

Hotel Soaps, Shampoos, Lotions Sought at Annual Meeting

You can donate your unused hotel toiletries—soaps, shampoos, lotions—to Casa Marianella. The organization is a volunteer-driven emergency homeless shelter located in east Austin The shelter provides services for recently-arrived immigrants and asylum seekers.  Please donate your unused hotel toiletries at the SR-SIS poster in the exhibit hall.

Book Drive

19th Annual AALL Children’s Book Drive – Austin
Book in the Saddle Again!

Book Drive Saddle

Ways to Give

Books should be for infants, toddlers, and grade school children.
Please no textbooks, workbooks, coloring books, reference material, or adult or young adult books.
Contact: megan.vonbehren@friedfrank.com

8—Member Library Spotlight: Alameda County Law Library

The Alameda County Law Library mission statement,

to help ensure that members of the public, attorney and non-attorney alike, has effective access to justice. To achieve that vision, the Law Library provides access to information required for participating in the legal system, resolving legal disputes, engaging in commerce, completing academic projects, and tending to personal affairs.

inspires social responsibility related activities. For example, in mid-March the law library started an online campaign raise $4,500 to strengthen the library’s collection of immigration related books. Thanks to the generous support of 17 donors including a $500 challenge the campaign raised $2,000 – less than the goal but still enough to make a significant improvement to the collection.

In mid-May the Filipino Advocates for Justice asked the library about using one of the library’s conference rooms for a naturalization workshop. That workshop will be help on July 12.

The annual Bernard E. Witkin Lecture this year followed the theme of immigration related issues featuring the co-authors of Fred Korematsu Speaks Up,  Laura Atkins and Stan Yogi. They talked about how they came to write this children’s book and how they talk about the parallels between the Japanese internment executive order and the recent executive order about travelers from select countries. Stan’s mother was in an internment camp and the law library building served as a staging area for the internment camps in May 1942.

In 2016 the law library remodeled little used books stack space into a loft/warehouse-like area for the Bay Area Legal Incubator (BALI). Legal incubators provide training for new lawyers in business & practice of law while serving low & modest income individuals. BALI was not the first legal incubator, but it is the first in a law library.

Beginning January 2017 on the first Saturday of every month the law library hosts a Community Legal Assistance Saturday Program (CLASP) clinic from 10:30 to 12:30. Staffed by volunteers and employees from the Alameda County Bar Association & Volunteer Legal Services Corp. Staff and volunteers perform an intake interview and triage the individual to assign them for the best volunteer available that day. The clinic gives individuals an opportunity to discuss with an attorney their legal issue and sometimes get help with forms.

Several years ago, the law library began hosting rotating art shows from local artists. For the past three years the May show featured the ABA Law Day theme. This May the show featured photographs related to “The 14th Amendment, Transforming American Democracy.” Last year the show the art built on “Miranda, More than Words.” Both shows are available for viewing online. In 2014 we had an installation “Words that Glimmer” about the “Magna Carta: Symbol of Freedom Under Law.”

Earlier this year the exhibit “Voices and Visions from Inside San Quentin” featured paintings by artists incarcerated at San Quentin prison.

In spring of 2015 the ACBA decided that managing the Lawyer in the Library program didn’t align enough with their strategic directions so they were going to stop managing the program.  I saw it and see it as a valuable service for volunteer lawyers and libraries throughout the county.  So, I volunteered the law library to assume responsibility for managing the county wide program which provides free consultation on a wide variety of issues at public libraries on a rotating basis throughout the month.

For several months – until limited funding forced them to curtail the number of clinics—the law library hosted a clinic of The Clean Slate Practice of the East Bay Community Law Center. The Clean Slate Practice is focused on helping people who have had contact with the criminal justice system successfully rejoin their communities. The Clean Slate Practice provides comprehensive legal representation, including direct advocacy, policy advocacy and large-scale litigation, to help overcome barriers to employment, housing, education, and civic participation. Clean Slate clients teach us that when they are able to work, to find safe and stable housing, and to have a public voice, they are able to support themselves, their families, and their communities, which is a foundation of public safety and human dignity.”

The law library serves mostly non-attorneys. The California Business & Professions Code Sec 6300 and following authorize each county to form a law library board of trustees.  That board is comprised of 5 judges and 2 members of the Board of Supervisors (the elected governing body of the county). The actual mechanism of the appointments varies from county to county. The board of trustees meets monthly, adopts polices and hires staff to run the library.

County law libraries receive over 90% of their funding from a statutorily set portion of civil filing fees. They receive no funds from the state budget. The number of cases filed statewide had plummeted at the same time legal information cost skyrocketed.  This means every law library has curtailed services in many ways. In Alameda County, it meant that we closed the south county branch in Hayward. Now there is no public photocopier, printer, computer or typewriter within 1.5 miles of the courthouse.

The Hayward closure also ended a monthly session with a member of California Association of Legal Document Assistants (CALDA), who helped individuals complete their legal forms and twice monthly lawyer in the library sessions. The Hayward branch also provided a private space for monthly restraining order workshops by the Family Violence Law Center.

The budget crisis also reduced the hours at the main branch in Oakland to 8:30 to 4:30 M-F. Before it was open until 6 Monday Wednesday and Friday and until 9 on Tuesday and Thursday.

Submitted by
Mark Estes
Law Library Director
Bernard E. Witkin Alameda County Law Library

Summary of Proposed SR-SIS Bylaws Amendments

Social Responsibilities SIS Bylaws
Summary of Proposed July 2017 Amendments

Articles I & II:  Consistent full forms (American Association of Law Libraries & Social Responsibilities Special Interest Section) and short forms (AALL & SR-SIS) introduced and used throughout the SR-SIS Bylaws.

Article III:  MEMBERSHIP.  Language about vendors deleted to reflect current AALL Bylaws.

Article IV: ANTI-DISCRIMINATION.  Language from the AALL Bylaws added to provide that “[p]articipation in any activity of the SR-SIS shall not be denied or abridged to any individual on the account of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”

Article V: Meetings.  Change “annual meeting” to “annual business meeting” here and elsewhere.  Amended to add the possibility of virtual annual business meetings.  Added a quorum provision to allow routine activity without a quorum but requiring ten members for voting.

Article VI: Officers.  Added a Member-at-Large to the SR-SIS officers and executive committee.  Clarified when the Secretary/Treasurer and Member-at-Large is elected.  Allows the officer’s duties to be spelled out in SR-SIS procedures instead of the bylaws.

Article VII:  NOMNATION AND ELECTION OF OFFICERS.  Deleted the entire section rather than amending existing election procedures.  Substituted the AALL Model Bylaws language.  Added a new sub-section to provide for another SR-SIS member to act for the Secretary/Treasurer, if the Secretary/Treasurer is on the ballot.  Clarified the vacancy procedures borrowing from the AALL Model Bylaws.  Vice Chair becomes Chair.  Other vacancies to be filled  by the Executive Committee until filled at the next regular election.

Current Article VII: Standing Committees.  Completely deleted the current article listing the Standing Commitees and moved the text to a new SR-SIS Standing Committee Procedures document. This is a response to a suggestion by the AALL Bylaws and Resolutions Committee to remove them.  Currently Standing Committees could be added to the bylaws through an amendment.   They also could be created by the SR-SIS Executive Committee or a vote of the SR-SIS membership and not be in the bylaws.  This change puts all of the Standing Committee charges and chair-selection procedures in one place.

New Article VIII: Committees.  This article establishes general procedures for creating standing, special and working committees and task forces.  Specific names and descriptions of committees, except the Executive Committee and the Nominating Committee, are no longer included in the bylaws.   In the future, it wouldn’t require a bylaws amendment to change the name or charge of an existing Standing Committee.  Instead, these matters would be in a Standing Committee Procedures document.

Article IX: AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS.  Non-substantial changes to reflect current practice.

The full text of the proposed amendments will be available at the SR-SIS Business Meeting in Austin and available in advance from the Secretary/Treasurer Lewis Zimmerman at Lewis.C.Zimmerman@ojd.state.or.us .

Submitted by
David McFadden
Senior Reference Librarian
Southwestern Law School

Member Update

Colleen C. Manning, Director of the Fred Parks Law and Assistant Professor at the South Texas College of Law Houston is the new Vice President/ President Elect for the Houston Area Law Librarians (HALL).  HALL is a very active chapter that meets monthly for a business meeting and educational presentation.  HALL also conducts a community service project every spring.

Megan VonBehren, Senior Research Services Manager at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, passed her PMP (Project Management Professional) exam, so now she is PMP certified!  Hooray!

Sarah Lamdan, Associate Law Library Professor, and Taryn Rucinski, Branch Librarian, U.S. Courts Library, Second Circuit, authored and edited respectively a new coursebook: Environmental Information: Research, Access & Environmental Decision Making, released June 11, 2017! The book is published by the Environmental Law Institute and is also available on Amazon.

Avery Le, Technology and Digital Services Librarian at the University of Florida Levin College of Law just had a chapter published in Mobile Technology and Academic Libraries: Innovative Services for Research and Learning, an ACRL publication. She will also be speaking at the diversity and inclusion symposium in Austin.

Courtney Selby, Associate Dean for Information Services, Director of the Law Library and Associate Professor of Law at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, & Sarah McCleskey were married on Nov. 23 of 2016.  The couple (both academic librarians) are happily settled in Astoria, NY.

Courtney Selby

Yasmin Sokkar Harker, Student Liaison Librarian/Law Library Professor at CUNY School of Law, has an article forthcoming in Legal Information Review: “Legal Information for Social Justice: The New ACRL Framework and Critical Information Literacy”, 2 Legal Info. Rev. 19 (2016-2017).

Michael J. Slinger, Associate Dean for Information & Technology, Director of the Legal Information Center, and Professor of Law at Widener University Delaware Law, shares news is that his daughter Sarah Slinger is now finishing her MLS degree with a Certificate in Law Librarianship as a Fellow at the University of Arizona. Sarah who already holds a JD degree and is a member of the PA Bar is following her father into a career in law librarianship. Sarah has also already co-authored two law library subject articles; one was published in Law Library Journal and the other was recently included in the CRIV Sheet.  Michael can now say that law librarianship is the family business.

Mark Mackler, after 12 years of service, recently retired from his position as Supervising Librarian at the California Attorney General’s Office. We won’t see him in Austin, as he is currently getting used to a brand-new artificial knee “installed” a few weeks ago! If you would like you are welcome to contact him or send cards: 15 Elsie St., San Francisco, CA 94110.

Alexis Zirpoli, Cataloging Services Librarian at the University of Michigan Law Library, is the interim Continuations and Collection Management Unit Head, as Gail Treece has recently retired.

Nicholas Stump, Assistant Director for Instructional and Public Services and Library Faculty at West Virginia University College of law shared that, in the wake of the election, his law school founded the Appalachian Justice Initiative (“AJI”). The AJI is “a consortium of faculty and legal scholars dedicated to addressing economic disenfranchisement in Appalachia through legal scholarship, policy advocacy, legal services, and outreach.” Nick is currently the law library representative on AJI, and to help support the initiative, he has recently published two Appalachian-focused posts with the Oxford Human Rights Hub:  Environmental Human Rights in the Trump Era: Modes of Resistance and Reform (http://ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk/environmental-human-rights-in-the-trump-era-modes-of-resistance-and-reform/) and What the Trump Presidency Means For Gender Discourse Development (co-authored, http://ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk/what-the-trump-presidency-means-for-gender-discourse-development/).

Kristina Alayan is happy to announce that, since December, she has been the new Head of Reference at Georgetown Law Library!

John Davey, Library Manager at Alston & Bird LLP, is currently serving on the AALL Awards Committee.

Steven Alexandre Da Costa, Senior Legal Information & Foreign and International Law Librarian and Lecturer in Law at Boston University School of Law, shares that he co-presented this year at the Canadian Association of Law Libraries Annual Conference in Ottawa, Canada in May. The presentation was “Using Problem-Based Learning and Research Planning to Achieve Legal Research Learning Outcomes.” (see page 20 for a complete description) Steven also co-authored a section in the following publication: Guide to Cuban Law & Legal Research, forthcoming by Cambridge in the International Journal of Legal Information, in conjunction with other members of the FCIL-SIS. Steven will NOT be at AALL Annual Meeting, as he is likely having foot surgery and will be recuperating this summer.  He welcomes calls and cards.

Stacy Etheredge is pleased to announce that she is now the Associate Director of the Law Library, for the Boise Campus, of the U of Idaho College of Law! Also, Stacy has been selected by the SIS Chairs to serve as the SIS Council Chair!

James Donovan, Library Director and James and Mary Lassiter Associate Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky College of Law, is pleased to share a new publication: Human rights: From legal transplants to fair translation. (2017). 34(3) WISCONSIN INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL 475-534.

Stefanie Pearlman, Professor of Law Library and Reference Librarian, was just appointed to the Nebraska Access to Justice Commission.

Anna Blaine, Head of Public Services at University of Idaho Law Library Moscow Campus, added 3-year-old Clover to her family in January. He is very affectionate, but also quite mischievous; he especially enjoys getting into the garbage.

Anna Blaine

Scott Burgh, Chief Law Librarian at the City of Chicago Department of Law Library announces: I am retiring.  June 30th is my last day after 28+ years.  I have seen a lot in city government throughout my tenure, 2 mayors and now 6 Corporation Counsels.  Our office has had a lot of colorful characters, including Clarence Darrow and James Hamilton Lewis, who went onto to become a US Senator.

I enjoyed working on to recodification of the Municipal Code of 1990, which had not been done since 1939 and no publish amendments between 1984 and 1990.  There were pages and pages of editors questions in which the exist code referred to a section that no longer existed.  I chased down the phantom sections successfully.  As such, I am acknowledged in the prefatory material.

In 1997, when I was head of SR’s Standing Committee on Lesbian and Gay Issues whatever the name was then, our reception in DC was the largest ever with 97 people. Tina Ramoy was great in helping get the venue.  I was tired of paying $40 for a few appetizers, so I began the corporate sponsorship and I got West, Lexis, and then CCH to cosponsor.  That was all my initiative.  Being in DC, Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin RSVP’d, but only Barney Frank showed up.

In 2007, in purchasing the Illinois Court Rules from West, one was forced to purchase a 3-volume package–the old idea in the hardware store–if you want 2 screws, you are forced to buy a back of 12.  The local Cook County Rules, I got them to publish a special book of just our rules rather than 102 counties of Illinois.  This was $10 rather than $50, and with more pages to fill beyond the 106 pages, I collected and aggregated the executives orders of all the mayors since the old Mayor Daley.  This is the first time they had ever been published–they are now on the City Clerk’s website since my initiative.

I was getting different people to do FOIA requests to the FBI on gay people pre-1960. I had different people send on different names I identified, so I would not be denied as too burdensome. One name the FBI said was going to the National Archives and the Archives said it was with the FBI. Rep. Mike Quigley’s office was aware of this and he was on Judiciary. One day his staff called and he had the FBI director Mueller before the committee the next day and did I have any questions. He needed them that night or the next morning. Quigley asked the questions about the file locations. The questions were submitted for the record, and months later in the published hearing there is only a fluff answer from Mueller.

AJ Blechner, Research Librarian and Library Instruction Coordinator at Harvard Law School Library, is celebrating a one-year anniversary at HLS. Also, AJ will be co-presenting a poster, participating in the Librarians Promoting Diversity and Inclusion panel hosted by the Asian-American Law Caucus, and presenting on Polls Everywhere in the Cool Tools Café.

David Brian Holt, Branch Librarian for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  I have decided to leave the Court after 13 months.  It has been an interesting experience working as a solo librarian in the federal courts but I have missed working with law students.  I particularly have missed being on a university campus.  This month I accepted an offer from UC Davis to join their reference team.  Harold and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary while at AALL in Austin!

AALL Annual Meeting Posters & Programs Involving Members


The ALLStAR Benchmarking Project
Christine Iaconeta

Collect ‘Em All: Using a Scavenger Hunt to Market Our Library
Katherine Cochrane

Lightning Lessons: Researching Instruction in a Flash
AJ Blechner

Internal Assessment and Peer Benchmarking in Academic Law Libraries
Saturday, July 15, 9:30-4PM Hilton Boardroom 401
Christine Iaconeta

Minority Teachers: Expectations, Experiences, and Exultations
Sunday, July 16, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM ACC Room 9ABC
Ron Wheeler

Meeting the Legal Information Needs of Transgender Library Patrons: Research Findings, Legal Issues, and Cataloging Challenges
Sunday, July 16, 2:30-3:30 PM ACC Room 12AB
Jane Larrington, Sara V. Pic

Untraveled Journeys, Unmapped Destinations: Finding Your Own Path to Leadership and Career Fulfillment
Sunday, July 16, 2:30-3:30 PM ACC Room 17AB
Ron Wheeler

AALL Diversity & Inclusion Symposium: Intersectionality and Identifying with Multiple Identities: Race, Gender, and Beyond
Sunday, July 16, 2017, 4:00-5:15 PM ACC Room 16AB
Avery Le

Due Diligence and Competitive Intelligence: The “New” Practice-Ready Skills
Sunday, July 16, 4:00-5:00 PM ACC Room 18CD
Matthew Morrison

Social Media Use in Law Libraries: Learn from Our Successes and Failures

Sunday, July 16, 4:00-5:00 PM ACC Room 18AB
Nickholas Harrell

AALL Public Policy Update

Sunday, July 16 4:00-5:00 PM ACC Room 19AB
Pam Brannon, Richard A. Leiter

Leaning In and Reaching Out! Building and Delivering A2J Education, Outreach, and Awareness
Monday, July 17, 2:00-3:00 PM ACC Grand Ballroom E
Karen Westwood

I, Robot: Leveraging Your LMS to Automate Legal Research Assessment Using Regular Expressions and Specialized Testing Modules

Monday, July 17, 2:00-3:00 PM ACC Room 17AB
Margaret (Meg) Butler

Law Libraries Collaborating to Steward National Legal Collections
Tuesday, July 18, 8:30-9:30 AM ACC Room 19AB
Beth Williams

Social Justice in Law Libraries: #LawLibrariesRespond to Real-Life Crises
Tuesday, July 18, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM ACC Room 17AB
Dana Neaçsu

Cool Tools Café

Tuesday, July 18, 2:30-3:30 PM ACC Room 9ABC
AJ Blechner

Hot Topic: How the Legal Market Continues to Change in the Aftermath of the Great Recession

Tuesday, July 18, 2:30-3:30 PM ACC Room 16AB
Ron Wheeler

Guess the Author

From the blurbs below, what can you tell about the author of these two fantasy novels published on Amazon and recently promoted by Barnes & Noble, too?

1. “Something Went Really Wrong” (2016) is about six hours in the life of Tony Gallant, a twenty something Staten Island native who works as a night security guard at Columbia University. A history aficionado, he writes about Vlad the Impaler, and his loyal soldiers, contagiously-sick ghouls, “impalers.” When a nearby restaurant boiler explodes, mayhem becomes the campus. Emboldened by a worldly graduate student, Lena Voda, Tony finds his heroic make-up and the campus’ secrets.

2. The action in “Annie’s Enviable Position” (2016), the first installment in a series about self-discovery, takes place in New York (2016), Paris (1909) and Podunk, Romania (1970s-80s). Its protagonists are three generations of vampire vigilantes, dhampires: a daughter, Annie, a mother, Vio, and a grandmother, Miriam. Dhmapires are vampires whose blood was tainted by Russian dhampirs, degenerate half-man half-vampire creatures given to infesting humans and watching them die in heinous ways. Like vampires, the dhampires here are immortal. Moreover, they can fly through time and space when they receive memory calls, and of course, when their vigilante assignments dictate.

It seems that Jordan Muncz, the author of both novels, is either a young mother or she has young children who told her that the ultimate fantasy novel hasn’t been written yet. And because she loves them so much she gets up to speed and starts writing. It helps that her subjects love the nighttime because both novels are written 5 to 9.

Hint: the author is the incoming SR-SIS Chair!