January 16, 2010
What Would Professor Kingsfield Say? Conan O'Brien-NBC Contract Dispute Awakens Sleeping 1L Contract Students
The Paper Chase's Professor Kingsfield may have given the typical contracts prof a bad reputation and probably wouldn't have needed the Conan O'Brien-NBC contract dispute to liven up his 1L Contracts lectures. But using Kingsfield's demanding Socratic Method of teaching is politically incorrect these days (and probably a terrible way to teach 1L doctrine anyway) so K profs across this great land of ours are probably jumping on the dispute as fodder for generating some classroom excitement, at least the ones who are teaching the course this semester. "Contract law is rarely in the news this way - I say let's take this golden opportunity to talk about it while we can!" writes CWSL K prof Nancy Kim in a comment to Jeremy Telman's blog post, listed below.
Certainly the Conan-NBC dispute is generating some interesting reading in the law prof blogosphere. See, for example GW law prof Lawrence A. Cunningham's two Concurring Opinions posts. A frequent commentator in the press on contract law issues, Cunningham offers a disclaimer that Conan’s brother was a student at Cardozo Law School when he taught there years ago in the first listed post.
- Conan's Contract Conundrum by Erik Gerding (UNM) on The Conglomerate
- Conan the Contractarian? by Jeremy Telman (Valparaiso) on ContractsProf Blog
Dispute Coming to a Close? O'Brien has two-and-a-half years left on his NBC contract. Reports of his salary range from $10 million to $25 million per year. He claims that his contract specifically guaranteed that "The Tonight Show" must air at 11:35 p.m. NBC claims there is no specific time slot guarantee and that the contract only requires something called "The Tonight Show" be aired. If NBC has breached the contract, Conan could be entitled to something like $40 million. The Wrap, however, is reporting that "according to knowledgeable individuals" Conan and NBC are close to reaching a settlement for more than $30 million which also allows Conan to start a new show as early as this fall. [JH]
ALA Report: Flat funding has been an obstacle -- perhaps even a chronic problem for public libraries this entire decadePublic libraries at all levels have been affected by the economy. "While the full impact of the economic downturn remains fluid and the data challenging to assemble, what is known is that flat funding has been an obstacle—perhaps even a chronic problem—for many libraries this entire decade. Confirming evidence from a 2006 ALA study of public library funding, a 2009 survey conducted as part of the Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study revealed a worsening of funding – about 20 percent reported flat funding continuing in FY2010 and a majority reported budget reductions. Of those with budget cuts, about 20 percent reported 5-to-10 percent reductions in FY2010 from FY2009." For details see ALA's The Condition of U.S. Libraries: Trends, 1999-2009. Hat tip to Digital Koans. [JH]
January 15, 2010
Content Curation, One of 10 Web Trends to Watch in 2010
According to Mashable's Pete Cashmore in a special CNN feature article:
The Web's biggest challenge of recent years is that content creation is outpacing our ability to consume it: "Information overload" has become an increasingly common complaint.
In the attention economy, with its millions of daily status updates and billions of Web pages vying for our time, how do we best allocate that scarce resource? One solution has been algorithmic: Sites like Google News source the best stuff by technical means, but fall short when it comes to personalization.
In 2008, the answer revealed itself: Your friends are your filter. With the launch of its Facebook Connect program, Facebook allowed sites to offer content personalization based on the preferences of your network.
Meanwhile, Google's Social Search experiment is investigating whether Web searching is improved by using information gleaned from your friends on Twitter, Facebook, Digg and the rest. Increasingly, your friends are becoming the curators of your consumption, from Web links to movies, books and TV shows.
Professional "curation" has its place, too: Who better to direct our scarce attention than experts in their fields?
DOJ and Universities Settle Over Kindle DX Access to Blind Students
The Justice Department has reached agreements with several universities that considered the Kindle as a teaching device. The concern from the Department is that the Kindle's lack of audio menu navigation for blind or low vision individuals violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. The agreements call the the universities not to purchase, recommend, or promote the use of the Kindle DX, or any other dedicated electronic book reader unless the device is fully accessible to vision impaired students. The universities named in the DOJ press release are Case Western Reserve, Pace, and Reed College. Agreements were reached earlier with Arizona State.
Note that many major publishers objected last year to the text-to-speech feature for content as they believed it would undermine the market for audio books. Amazon did, in fact, disable the feature when the objections were raised. Looking back, it's hard to believe that anyone with a Kindle who licensed a text (you'll never own it, read the EULA) would actually buy a second copy as audio. Then again, Washington lobbyist Steven Metalitz who represents content holders such as the RIAA and the MPAA objected to a worldwide treaty that would guarantee access to copyrighted material by the blind. His objection is based on the premise that such a treaty would weaken copyright protection norms. Give in to the blind and copyright enforcement starts down that slippery slope, to, I don't know, rationality? [MG]
Friday Fun Part Two: Unscripted, Silly and Awkward West Employee Video Clips
West Thomson Reuters Legal started the New Year off by uploading very brief YouTube videos from West staffers who must have been told to sit in front of the camera and say something positive about how their jobs help West clients -- unscripted, silly and mostly awkward performances. Did these staffers draw the short straw? Is this a post-layoff announcement employee appreciation campaign?
Westlaw Editorial Process: Better than anyone else, we take the time to make it easy and to save attorneys time because time is money.
Getting Content on Westlaw: Giving researchers the ah-ha moment right away up front.
Organizing the Law: Key Number classifier helps the pursuit of justice.
West Reference Attorneys: It's like a game show.
Didn't see one from a West rep about maintaining a partnership with his invoice-paying law librarians. Perhaps it's coming soon to the Thomson Reuters Legal YouTube Channel.
"My baloney has a first name.." [JH]
Friday Fun: Make Your Conference Groovy
ALA's 2010 Midwinter Meeting kicks off today. Not quite as much fun as the annual conference, I suspect, particularly since it's being held in chilly Boston instead of some warmer location like the AALS meeting in New Orleans earlier this month. Scratch that, attendees report it was chilly in NO, too. Midwinter meetings don't produce as many interesting YouTube videos as ALA's annual conference does but here's a video offering advice on how to make conference attendance groovy. It was produced by ALA ahead of its 2008 annual conference. Might be helpful for Midwinter Meeting attendees since the official announcement indicates there will be "over 2000 committee meetings and events." 2,000? [JH]
More on CobaltMore comments and predictions about Cobalt from Jason Wilson. This ain't navel-gazing. If you haven't already done so, take his RSS feed! [JH]
Library 2.0 Gang Reviews Last Decade's Significant DevelopmentsThe Library 2.0 Gang for this month's podcast, Carl Grant, Marshall Breeding and Frances Haugen, convened to review the game changing influences on librarianship over the last ten years and then attempt to predict what we will see in the next ten. [JH]
CRS Report on Lobbying the Executive BranchLobbying the Executive Branch: Current Practices and Options for Change "outlines the development of registration requirements for lobbyists engaging executive branch officials since 1995. It also summarizes steps taken by the Obama Administration to limit and monitor lobbying of the executive branch; discusses the development and implementation of restrictions placed on lobbying for Recovery Act and EESA funds; examines the Obama Administration’s decision to stop appointing lobbyists to federal advisory bodies and committees; considers third-party criticism of current executive branch lobbying policies; and provides options for possible modifications in current lobbying laws and practices." [JH]
Opening: Fellowships in Law Librarianship at Univ. of Arizona Law Library
The University of Arizona Cracchiolo Law Library has two to three openings for fellowships in law librarianship. In order to be considered for the fellowship an applicant must have a JD and be accepted for admission by the School of Information Resources and Library Science for its Master’s program at the University of Arizona.
In return for working 20 hours a week in the law library fellows receive free tuition, benefits and a salary of $11,000 a year. There are a few incidental university fees that the fellow must pay and the free tuition is considered income for IRS tax purposes. Details at
If interest, contact Michael Chiorazzi, Associate Dean for Information Services, Professor of Law and Professor of Information Resources & Library Science.
January 14, 2010
China Cyber Attacks Exploited IE Flaw
McAffee has analyzed some of the attack strategies allegedly from China on systems from Google and other companies. The hackers responsible used a new, unpublicized exploit in Internet Explorer to accomplish their intrusions. The flaw exists in all versions of Internet Explorer, including the version distributed with Windows 7. Microsoft's Security Bulletin focuses mostly on Internet Explorer 6. There had been reports that Adobe Reader software flaws contributed to the attacks, but this does not appear to be the case.
The attack was carefully crafted to appear as if an email came from a trusted source with a similarly disguised attachment that contained malware. Once installed, the code opened a back door into the compromised system that allowed access to confidential intellectual property. Microsoft is working with Google on the security of IE as the situation came to light from these attacks. Steve Ballmer is quoted as saying "Cyber attacks and occasional vulnerabilities are a way of life." True Steve, but better to prevent than to respond. Ballmer also stated that Microsoft would remain in China and obey all local laws. I'm guessing that any individuals who may be labeled as dissidents may think twice about using Hotmail, Bing, and any Windows Live branded applications. [MG]
Library Standards: Debating Reader Privacy Issues in a Digital World, UNC Law Conference Set for Jan. 22
Should we retain traditional notions of reader privacy in an ever-expanding world of electronic formats and communications mediums? Do traditional library standards still apply? In honor of Data Privacy Day, the University of North Carolina School of Law, together with the University of North Carolina Center for Media Law and Policy, the Kathrine R. Everett Law Library, the University of North Carolina University Libraries, the University of North Carolina School of Information and Library Science, and The Privacy Projects will address these issues in a program titled "Reader Privacy: Should Library Standards for Privacy Apply in the Digital World?" on January 22, 2010 at UNC School of Law.
Library Privacy Standards in an Electronic Enviornment. Just what sort of privacy can library patrons expect as readers and do these privacy expections translate effectively in the world of Google Book Search, the Kindle, the Sony Reader --- or to the many pages of text read online daily? If they do, how?
Keynote Speaker John Palfrey, Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources and Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Co-Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, will introduce a discussion about these policy and legal issues. Two panels of speakers will explore whether special protection for readers of library books merit recognition in the electronic environment.
- Jane Horvath, global privacy counsel, Google Inc.
- Andrew McDiarmid, policy analyst, Center for Democracy and Technology
- Lili Levi, professor of law, University of Miami
- Annie Anton, professor of computer science at North Carolina State University and director of ThePrivacyPlace.org
- Paula Bruening, executive director of the Center for Information Policy Leadership at Hunton & Williams, LLP
- Anne Klinefelter, associate professor of law and director of the the University of North Carolina Kathrine R. Everett Law Library.
SCOTUS Indefinitely Blocks Live Streaming of Prop 8 Trial to Other Federal Courthouses, Hints Case Inappropriate for Internet Broadcasting
Yesterday, the US Supreme Court, 5-4 (per curiam), indefinitely blocked broadcasting the Proposition 8 trial, (Perry v. Schwazenegger in the US District Court for the Northern District of California; LLB's earlier post) beyond the local courthouse because the District Court's amendment of its local rules to allow live streaming of court proceedings to other federal courthouses failed to compile with federal law. Hollingsworth v. Perry, No. 09A648 (Jan. 13, 2010). "If courts are to require that others follow regular procedures, courts must do so as well." In a slap-down, the majority wrote
The Court’s interest in ensuring compliance with proper rules of judicial administration is particularly acute when those rules relate to the integrity of judicial processes. The District Court here attempted to revise its rules in haste, contrary to federal statutes and the policy of the Judicial Conference of the United States. It did so to allow broadcasting of this high-profile trial without any considered standards or guidelines in place. The arguments in favor of developing procedures and rules to allow broadcast of certain cases have considerable merit, and reasonable minds can surely differ over the general and specific terms of rules and standards adopted for that purpose. Here, however, the order in question complied neither with existing rules or policies nor the required procedures for amending them.
Justice Breyer joined by Justices Stevens, Ginsburg and Sotomayor dissented:
It is particularly inadvisable for this Court to consider this kind of question because it involves local rules and local judicial administration. Here, for example, the Court decides just how a district court should modify its own local rules; in a word, this Court micromanages district court administrative procedures in the most detailed way.
Irreparable Harm Ruling. Do note that the majority also held that applicants have demonstrated that irreparable harm would likely result from the District Court's attempt to broadcast the trial to other federal courthouses under the now SCOTUS-invalidated local rule.
The balance of equities favors applicants. While applicants have demonstrated the threat of harm they face if the trial is broadcast, respondents have not alleged any harm if the trial is not broadcast. The issue, moreover, must be resolved at this stage, for the injury likely cannot be undone once the broadcast takes place.
Justice Breyer dissents: "I can find no basis for the Court’s conclusion that, were the transmissions to other courtrooms to take place, the applicants [or its witnesses as the applicants also claim] would suffer any 'irreparable' harm."
The competing equities consist of not only respondents’ interest in obtaining the courthouse-to-courthouse transmission that they desire, but also the public’s interest in observing trial proceedings to learn about this case and about how courts work. ... the scales tip heavily against, not in favor, of issuing the stay.
The majority’s action today is unusual. It grants a stay in order to consider a mandamus petition, with a view to intervening in a matter of local court administration that it would not (and should not) consider. It cites no precedent for doing so. It identifies no real harm, let alone 'irreparable harm,' to justify its issuance of this stay. And the public interest weighs in favor of providing access to the courts. To justify this extraordinary intervention, the majority insists that courts must 'enforce the requirement of procedural regularity on others, and must follow those requirements themselves.' [citation omitted]. And so I believe this Court should adhere to its institutional competence, its historical practice, and its governing precedent—all of which counsel strongly against the issuance of this stay.
On Internet Broadcasting. The Court did not address the issue of Internet broadcasting of the trial, explaining the issue may be premature. In other words, the District Court must get its Local Rules house in order first. "Reasonable minds differ on the proper resolution of that debate and on the restrictions, circumstances, and procedures under which such broadcasts should occur. We do not here express any views on the propriety of broadcasting court proceedings generally," quoting from the unsigned opinion.
However, the Prop 8 trial may not be a good case for a properly crafted pilot program. On SCOTUSBlog, Lyle Denniston writes, "as a practical matter, the ruling almost certainly dooms any broadcast coverage of the trial as it goes on. ... the main opinion seemed to indicate that the Court, in the last analysis, would not permit the coverage in any event. The television viewing of the Prop. 8 trial was to be done as part of a “pilot program” in the federal courts in the Ninth Circuit. The Court majority wrote: 'This case is ... not a good one for a pilot program. Even the studies that have been conducted thus far have not analyzed the effect of broadcasting in high-profile, divisive cases.'"
Resources. No video -- live blogging from Prop 8 opponents here and here. See also CUNY law prof Ruthann Robson's Perry v. Schwarzenegger, “The Proposition 8 Trial”: A Primer on Constitutional Law Prof Blog. [JH]
LISNews' 10 Librarian Blogs To Read in 2010
"Again this year we tried to choose 10 writers who cover very different aspects of our profession, 10 sites that inform, educate and maybe amuse." Kudos to all:
- Academic Librarian
- Awful Library Books
- The Best Of PubLib
- Disruptive Library Technology Jester
- Everybody's Libraries
- The Library History Buff
- Library Garden
- The Merry Librarian
- The 'M' Word - Marketing Libraries
- Walt at Random
Check out the LISNews blog post for details, including an annotated list of honorable mention blogs. [JH]
Healthcare Reform Legal Essentials
The American Health Lawyers Association's Healthcare Reform Legal Essentials is intended to provide a “one-stop” source for accessing Association content on healthcare reform, including news on the latest developments, insights and analysis from AHLA members, information on state healthcare reform initiatives, links to helpful resources, and updates on related AHLA educational events and publications. Hat tip to Katharine Van Tassel (Western New England College School of Law), HealthLawProf Blog.
Is the White House is backing away Obama's campaign pledge that healthcare reform negotiations should be televised on C-SPAN? See the Christian Science Monitor's What happened to Obama’s ‘government transparency’ pledge? Hat tip to Josie Brown, First Amendment Law Prof Blog. [JH]
Please, Sir, May I Have Another Footnote
For decades, legal footnotes have been the deserving target of both ample criticism and self-mockery. Apart from their complaints as to footnotes’ mere existence, most critics draw a bead on the ballooning of footnote content. Some journal editors, aspiring to respond to this sound theme, hopefully inform their authors of a preference for “light footnoting.” But where does an author begin to trim, and what editor has the audacity to slash what the author (or her research assistant) has so laboriously compiled below the line? Changing our footnote habits is about benefits and costs. To gain the former, we must ante up. If criticism began the round of bidding, this article modestly raises the stakes, suggesting a rule of reason that might govern the author’s, the editor’s, and the reader’s expectations for footnotes. A gamble, perhaps, but one that might be worth taking.
Lomio's comment: "As someone who has mined footnotes for years, all I can say is: Please, sir, I’d like some more." Your wish comes true, Paul. The 42-page article contains 167 footnotes! [JH]
January 13, 2010
Nominations Sought for AALL Emerging Leader AwardThe AALL Leadership Development Committee is seeking nominations for the Emerging Leader Award. The award recognizes newer members of AALL who have made significant contributions to the Association or to the profession and have demonstrated the potential for leadership and continuing service. The criteria for selection are at the Committee's web page, here, along with the nomination form. The deadline for nominations is February 1st and the selection deadline is March 20th. [MG]
Some Thoughts on Google's China Action
The blog post announcing Google's possible/likely retreat from the Chinese market due to cyber attacks on its systems has a number of repercussions on other technology companies doing business within China. Specifically, Microsoft and Yahoo will be forced to make some statement justifying their continued Chinese operations or follow suit. Neither Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo had much of a presence in the search market dominated by the local provider, Baidu. Microsoft could justify engagement because it sells software to Chinese customers beyond the search product. Yahoo's presence is similar to Google in that it provides search and other account based services such as email, so the pressure is likely to bear on Yahoo more than Microsoft.
Congress held hearings in February 2006 excoriating executives from all three companies for cooperating in censorship on search results, and for turning over email and other account information on dissidents as part of state prosecutions. The companies justified their activities as an example of following local laws in order to do business in China. Better a limited presence than no presence, they said. Committee members threatened legislation that would mandate non-cooperation by these firms, though once their ire passed, nothing came of it. It seems that alleged Chinese government hackers accomplished something that Congress could not, which is for Google to say enough is enough.
The Google motto of "don't be evil" gets thrown back at the company in light of various antitrust investigations from different governments, the handling of the book settlement, and other business practices. Google is a big, very rich company, so how can it abide by its motto an still compete? Truth be told, Microsoft and Yahoo wishes they were Google. Microsoft, certainly does because it tries to emulate Google's business model, and then gives up after nothing significant comes of its investments. Yahoo would like some of the money Google makes in what once was Yahoo's core business, and the aura that it is a vibrant technology company as Google is now perceived to have. It is possible to be big, competitive, and not be evil, or at least not indifferent to the evil around. Chinese dissidents will certainly have something about which to cheer. Congress might cheer as well. No company has ever told the Chinese government to take their censorship and shove it. It's time to hear from Microsoft, Yahoo, and the State Department.
In another note, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission issued a report prepared by Northrup Grummon Corporation Information Systems called Capability of the People’s Republic of China to Conduct Cyber Warfare and Computer Network Exploitation. It's a fairly detailed description of Chinese cyber capabilities as applied to war scenarios. From the report's perspective, war includes cyber-probing potential enemies for network weaknesses as any war would include information warfare. It also suggests that a good part of Chinese hacking attempts by third parties is for corporate and government information rather than credit card or financial information. That type of material has more value and can be sold to governments. The report is available here. Hat tip to Ars Technica for highlighting it. A links to it is in the the Official Google Blog post on their China action. [MG]
No Longer Willing to Censor Google.cn Search: Google Reviewing Business Operations in China After Attack on Its Infrastructure
Google reported yesterday that an alleged attack on its corporate infrastructure last month originating in China and targeted the email accounts of Chinese human rights activists. On the Official Google Blog, David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer, writes
These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.
Note the fear of retaliation as Drummond concludes his statement:
We want to make clear that this move was driven by our executives in the United States, without the knowledge or involvement of our employees in China who have worked incredibly hard to make Google.cn the success it is today.
Taking the Proverbial Bull by the Horns: AALL as an Agent of ChangeLooking back in LLB Turns Five Years Old: Another Day, Another Post, I mentioned that it was a fair assessment to characterize 2009 was the year the legal information professional blogosphere became the consumer advocate for legal resources users, individual and institutional. This is not a situation where, as an old German proverb says, "a bad cause requires many words." This is a situation where a good cause requires words spoken out loud, clearly stated, and followed up by well-publicized concerted action.
Where's the Leadership? Isn't it about time for AALL to catch up to its membership in a vocal, that is to say, very visible way? Enough with the very occasional behind closed doors Chicago-style politicking with legal publishers. As librarians we call for greater transparency in government to make government more accountable, responsive and better informed. As association members, isn't it time to call for greater transparency in AALL governance for the same reasons and purposes?
There's something called Web 2.0 that AALL might want to investigate to learn how to listen to and then act upon its members' concerns in a timely manner. Member engagement may be slow in coming forward because, well, many believe it is just a waste of time; no criticism of AALL staff intended or implied. I personally think it is long over due that we increase AALL's staff for advocacy to address the well-known outrageous practices of some very expensive legal publishing vendors and support the free access to legal information movement in a manner more substantial than appearing like a bobblehead doll even if that means our membership dues have to increase (although I would look at increasing our advertising rates first).
Time for an Internal Transformation. The current AALL "professional association" model is fast becoming utterly irrelevant for advocacy purposes; the committee structure isn't very productive and will not improve unless committee members -- all working law librarians -- have professional association staff at their beck and call to support activities under their direction.
Let's start with the Executive Board. Wouldn't it be a good idea to elect three vice presidents, one each representing the major sectors of our institutional members: academic law libraries (public and private), private law libraries (firms and other) and public law libraries (state, county, courts, etc.) with some real authority to direct association staff and also require them to meet with AALL staff face-to-face in Chicago or by video conferencing on a regular basis?
President? Sure, someone who can string a sentence or two together for PR purposes but more a figure head position. A Secretary-Treasurer? Sure for fiscal bean counting purposes. Directors? Hardly necessary if the Executive Board also includes VP-Elects for each institutional sector.
After some 30 years, I've seen a very noticable -- really hasn't it always been obvious -- trend. Academic law librarians fill our elected Executive Board positions more than any other institutional segment but issues, concerns and decisions made by firm libraries drive the market place and law firms typically have been under-represented on AALL's executive board. Maybe AALL will even schedule annual meetings at a time more convenient for firm librarians to attend if a change such as this one were to be implemented.
Hello, AALL -- the summer is the busiest time of the year for firm librarians; just because academic law librarians are coasting in July isn't a good enough reason to schedule annual meetings then. We would see many more firm librarians attending and contributing if our annual meeting was scheduled at some other time. We would even get better hotel rates if we piggy-backed on AALS annual meetings in early January.
On Being an Institutional Also-Ran. Why do individual law librarians have to create their own online petitions drives? Why do others have to "nudge" AALL to take action by blog posts? This is unacceptable and is making AALL nothing more than an also-ran in matters that are and will be transformative, that are becoming and will most definitely be paradigm-shifting akin to scientific advancement as a "series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions" that Thomas Kuhn observed in his 1962 classic The Stucture of Scientific Revolution. AALL stands unprepared like a department store manikin frozen in time in a window display while its dues-paying institutional members scramble onwards.
Many in our profession were not even born when Kuhn's work was published but certainly will be dealing with the consequences of the revolution now taking place in access to legal information. As a professional law librarian who came up the ranks from library school in the generation that understood the "magic" of fee-based online legal research in 1980, I have some experience with revolutionary change and believe I've earned the right to say, "WTF - get on with it or get out of the way, AALL." The Association's institutional presence is fast becoming an obstacle in the hillclimb legal information professionals are ascending to address the matters at hand.
Remember the old proverb, "an obstacle is often an unrecognized opportunity." In this case, many law librarians are thinking it might be time to invest their institution's membership dues and their professional efforts in some other existing or new organization. I, for one, think it is long overdue to give AALL a good, swift collective kick in the pants. How would you rate AALL's performance in achieving its leadership and advocacy goals expressed in its 2005-2010 Strategic Directions? Is there any reason to expect substantive improvements from AALL's Executive Board Strategic Directions Committee?
It's About Tactics. Let's remember that the concept of strategy was borrowed from the military and adapted for use by collectives like associations. It is a way of referring to what one plans to do to counter another's actual or predicted moves where the other is defined as one holding an antithetical position. In terms of strategic advocacy, anyone maintaining or creating barriers to access to legal information stands on the one side; everyone trying to knock down barriers to access stands on the other side. Strategy, thus, spans the gap between policy and tactics. Let's assume all law librarians share the same policy ideals. Many members may find the Association's strategy acceptable. Far fewer law librarians find AALL's tactics successful. AALL's tactical execution of its 2010-2013 strategy is what ultimately will matter.
Let's close with another old German proverb -- a little too late, is much too late. That characterizes AALL's contribution as an agent of change in the 21st Century so far. [JH]