May 2, 2012
Heads-Up to Unemployed Law Librarians Because AALL is Looking to Hire Some Help Again
Two volunteers that receive "stipends, honorariums," whatever, as AALL likes to euphemistically call what the world outside AALL-land would view as part-time employment are being sought to edit AALL Spectrum and LLJ. The current editors are calling it quits at the end of their terms in the summer of 2013. "To help with the transition, the candidate selected as AALL Spectrum editorial director will begin in early 2013, working with [Mark} Estes until July 2013, and the candidate selected as Law Library Journal editor will begin in September 2012, working with [Janet] Sinder until July 2013."
The AALL Spectrum gig has a three-year term with a stipend. See AALL Spectrum Editorial Director Job Description. The LLJ job has a five-year term with an honorarium. See Law Library Journal Editor Job Description. Note well, the use of "job description" on both of those AALLNET web pages. Both gigs, by the way may be renewed time and time and time again.
To qualify, "candidates must have a bachelor’s degree and MLS and/or JD; demonstrated ability as a writer and/or editor; excellent communication and negotiation skills; substantial experience in the law library profession; and membership in AALL with a record of involvement and active participation."
Will AALL do the right thing this time? Can we hope that AALL will hire law librarians who find themselves "in reduced circumstances" this time due to no fault of their own? That certainly has not been the case in past hirings. I'm OK with hiring a Price Index Editor from the ranks of qualified retired law librarians. Not really all that OK with hiring a vendor liaision who is employed, albeit part-time, when finding a qualifed but unemployed law librarian for that part-time gig could have spread some AALL cash around in a manner that was sensitive to the hard times being faced by so many AALL members. As for handing out "stipends, honorariums" whatever to "volunteer" law librarians who have full-time jobs under current labor market conditions, well that's an entirely different matter.
I hope folks in AALL-land will doing the right thing by actively soliciting unemployed law librarians to fill the part-time editorial jobs. Those who no longer belong to AALL may not even know that they exist. Toward that end... .
I find nothing wrong with the stipulated job qualifications as long as "a record of involvement and active participation" and AALL membership implies "when you were employed." As long as "substantial experience in the law library profession" does not disqualify Gen X-Y-ers who are more likely to be unemployed than we old farts, I'm OK with that, too. Hell, getting some creative and energetic unemployed Gen X and Y law librarians who have substantial experience in 21st mediums of communications hired as editors could be the best damn thing for AALL Specturm and LLJ!
More generally, access to the necessary resources for both gigs should be provided by AALL so as not to disqualify unemployed law librarians because they do not have the opportunity to piggyback what they need for the task-at-hand because they are not holding down jobs an employer might provide them.
I do, however, have a serious problem that may place unemployed librarians at a serious disadvantage if interviews are only going to be conducted in person. According to announcment posted in the April 2012 AALL E-newsletter:
[I]nterviews will be conducted at the Annual Meeting in Boston.
Clearly getting all AALL decider-ers in one place in Boston is a convenience not necessarily shared by law librarians who find themselves "in reduced circumstances." Hopefully, folks in AALL-land will conduct interviews by conference calls during the annual meeting with job candidates that cannot be conducted at "Learn, Connect, Grow."
Applications will be accepted until June 1.To apply, email your cover letter and resume to AALL Executive Director Kate Hagan at email@example.com mail them to AALL, 105 W. Adams Street, Suite 3300, Chicago, IL 60603. If you have any questions, Kate Hagan can be contacted at 312/205-8016. [JH]
Why don't they just turn this over to the Univ. of Washington library program. That way they could have their (law)library students do the editing and cite-checking like a real law review. How come no one else has proposed this?
Posted by: matt | May 2, 2012 1:24:53 PM