September 29, 2010
Engaging in Profitable Labor: Help Change the World of Electronic Production, Distribution and Access to Legal Information Now
It took the initiative of NOCALL and "the ground-breaking effort led by Erika Wayne at Stanford University’s Robert Crown Law Library and Carl Malamud of PublicResource.Org to develop a national inventory of all primary legal resources at every level of government" plus no small amount of nudging inside and outside the law librarian blogosphere to wake up our association leadership from its Rip Van Winkle state so they could catch up to the pack to justify their leadership role as advocates for transformative change that is also representative of AALL members' own activities. Thank god, individual law librarians and AALL chapters don't have to pass every last thing by the Executive Board before taking action.
By now AALL's ad revenue sources, that would be our major vendors, have realized that any "leave it to the private sector" argument is not going to be persuasive; that bucking progress -- the LAW.GOV project is part of the much larger Gov 2.0 movement -- cannot be stopped. Last week's announcement that LAW.GOV was awarded $2 million by Google to provide financial assistance to help make government more transparent is another step toward changing the world of electronic production, distribution and access to legal resources. So now it is time to engage is some profitable labor.
AALL Webinar: Producing a National Inventory of Primary Legal Materials for LAW.GOV. AALL is offering a ways and means webinar on Oct. 6 (11:00 AM to 12:15 PM - Central Time) for participants and others interested in participating in our association's State Working Groups to Ensure Access to Electronic Legal Information project which was reformulated to recognize and contribute to LAW.GOV thanks to the "ground-breaking effort" noted above. Registration must be completed by October 1, 2010 at 5:00 PM (CDT). Details here. The speakers will be several current state project coordinators:
- Kentucky State Working Group coordinator, Emily Janoski-Haehlen, Assistant Director of Research & Online Services, Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law Library;
- Maryland State Working Group coordinator, Joan Bellistri, Law Librarian, Anne Arundel County Public Law Library and;
- Indiana State Working Group coordinator Sarah Glassmeyer, Faculty Services and Outreach Librarian, Valparaiso University School of Law Library.
Profitable Labor Can Change the World. We rapidly aging and decrepit Baby Boomers law librarians know how important this project is but, well, we're pretty tired after muddling through each workday before we finally handing over the reigns of so-called institutional authority to Gen X and Gen Y-ers. They too know how important this effort is. They have the skills required -- well, so do we -- but they also have the energy required! Hopefully, those who haven't already signed up for the task at hand will do so after the AALL webinar.
When you are as aging and decrepit as we are, Gen X and Gen Y law librarians, you will be able to look back and say "I helped change the world of electronic production, distribution and access to legal information." Look forward to that by doing some profitable labor. It won't be easy but real contributions never are. [JH]