January 09, 2012
ABA Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress Offers Free Training Session on How to Conduct Free Legal Research Online in NOLA Next Month
Hat tip to Amy E. Horton-Newell, Director, ABA Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress for calling this interesting education and professional development opportunity to my attention.
The American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress will host a free training program on how to conduct free legal research online at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans on Friday, February 3, 2012. Librarians, lawyers, law students and researchers are encouraged to attend.
How to Conduct FREE Legal Research Online
Friday, February 3, 2012
10:00 am to 11:30 am
Royal Sonesta Hotel, Fleur de Lis A, Lobby Level
This program will focus on the legal research services and resources available from the Law Library of Congress and other free online collections. Following a general overview of the Law Library and its services, there will be an explanation of the organization, structure and content of the two leading websites maintained by the Law Library—THOMAS, covering federal legislative information beginning with the 104th Congress (1995) with full texts of bills, resolutions, the Congressional Record, legislative calendars, committee information, treaties plus much more! Learn about the Law Library's global research services, vast collections in 195 languages from over 220 jurisdictions worldwide, and expert legal staff from Matthew Braun, Legal Reference Specialist at the Law Library of Congress. Expert legal researchers will also highlight other free online collections and search engines to equip participants with reliable sources for legal research.
- Familiarity with the specialized services, websites, collections and expert legal research staff available from the Law Library of Congress free to all including solos, practicing lawyers, librarians, researchers and those new to the profession;
- Understanding of the organization, structure, content, and search strategies to perform time‐saving legal research in THOMAS and other free legal databases from your own computer wherever you are in the world; and
- Interactive research demonstrations and explanations of websites and other research products produced and maintained by the Law Library of Congress as well as other authoritative Web‐based collections and useful search engines.
Speaker: Matthew Braun, Legal Reference Specialist, Law Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Download the Program Announcement.
A Trip to NOLA! Professionally, I'm long past due needing a refresher course on Law Library of Congress resources and other free online collections, particular one that will be conducted by Law Library of Congress Legal Reference Specialist. Personally, I'm just wondering what the home renovation cost would be to attend this in New Orleans on a Friday, which in my case would probably end up being returning home on the following Monday. AALL NOLA 2007 cost me all new widows for two stories or our three story house! New siding? Last quote was in the $25K range. Based on my past track record, I'm thinking the Blog Widow would say, "no problem, go to NOLA." [JH]
January 05, 2012
Reminder: Register by January 6th to Receive a 15% Early-Bird Discount for Ark Group’s 6th Annual Conference on Best Practices & Management Strategies for Law Firm Library, Research & Information Services
Register for Ark Group/Managing Partner’s Best Practices & Management Strategies for Law Firm Library, Research & Information Services themed At the Intersection of Process and Knowledge Management—Delivering Trusted Information that Intersects with Intelligent Decision Making (held at the AMA Executive Conference Center, New York City on February 23, 2012) by January 6th here to take advantage of the early-bird 15% discount off the regular $895.00 per registrant cost.
Snips from the conference announcement:
Technology, coupled with the forces of the marketplace, continue to exert a significant influence on the role and practice of today’s law firm library, research and information service professional. The incredible pace of growth around social media and other web content has changed the nature of the function itself as we now face the challenge of supporting the business of law alongside the practice of law—helping lawyers to identify client and business development opportunities, strengthen client relationships, focus on competitive intelligence, and stay up-to-date on legal, regulatory, trade & industry trends. Technology in support of e-libraries, e-books and digital subscription aggregation and delivery—coupled with new law firm economic models—suggest that we should be proactively preparing to substantially refine our workflows and our mission to align with business and practice needs.
As we grow accustomed to working in a “do-more-with-less” environment, opportunities for cross-functional partnering between departments will no doubt increase. We are already beginning to see an erosion of the walls that separate marketing and business development from knowledge management and the library/information services. This year’s forum will help to illustrate how library, research and information service professionals can be the linchpin to promoting agility and process efficiency by demonstrating a keen industry awareness—clarifying connections between data, information and content—greatly reducing response times while delivering trusted information that intersects with intelligent decision making.
Yes, even with the 15% discount it is a bit expensive. Damn it all to hell, there is NOT one session which would not make a damn good regular program session at AALL's annual meeting in Boston. I'm not talking about a pre-conference PLL Summit with its additional registration, travel and lodging costs. I'm talking about professional education and development sessions during the regular conference that would be of interest to many law librarians -- not just firm librarians. Law firms tend to lead the rest of us down the path of innovation they establish. Topics being addressed at this conference are examples.
The Conference Agenda includes [download complete agenda]:
Keynote: The Transformation of Legal Research: Training the Google Generation of Lawyers for the New Legal Marketplace by Robert C. Berring, Jr., Walter Perry Johnson Professor of Law
Preparing for the Virtual Library: What Business are you in after your Library is Gone? by Jean P. O'Grady, Director of Research Services and Libraries, DLA Piper LLP
Building a Bridge Between IT and Library Services by Greg Lambert, Library & Records Manager, King & Spalding and Scott Preston, Chief Information Officer, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP
Destroying the Silo: Embedded Librarians & Research Specialists by Marlene Gebauer, Director of Research, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Steven A. Lastres, Director of Library & Knowledge Management, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, others TBD
Clarifying Connections: Promoting Agility and Process Efficiency by Formalizing the Partnership between the Library & Information Services, Knowledge Management and Business Development by Alirio Gomez, Global Director of Library & Information Services, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, Kathy Skinner, Firmwide Information Resources Manager, Morrison & Foerster LLP, others TBD
Running Library & Information Services like a Business by Sandra Campbell, Library Director, North American Region, Baker & McKenzie LLP, Lynn Oser, Director, Information Resource Management, WilmerHale, Others TBD
No way I can get my little county law library to pick up the tab for this conference. But the day will come when the issues discussed at it will have to be addressed by the statutory user population my library serves. [JH]
November 10, 2011
The Clinical Legal Association is Soliciting Contributions for Follow-up Book to Best Practices in Legal Education
The Clinical Legal Association, Best Practices Implementation Committee is planning a follow-up publication to Best Practices for Legal Education by Roy Stuckey and others. The vision of the book is to build on ideas for implementing best practices, and to develop new theories and ideas on Best Practices for Legal Education. If you are interested in authoring a section for the new publication, contact Professor Deborah Maranville at maran(at)uw.edu or Professor Antoinette Sedillo Lopez at lopez(at)law.unm.edu as soon as possible. Then by Dec. 1, 2011, send one of the profs a 3-5 page abstract identifying the knowledge, skills and values as well as the learning objectives and methodology of your innovative teaching idea. The Editorial Board will meet at the AALS meeting in January to select pieces for inclusion in the book.
Hat tip to Jim Levy at Legal Skills Prof Blog. [JH]
November 08, 2011
Time to Start Writing: The 2012 AALL/LexisNexis Call for Papers
The AALL/LexisNexis Call for Papers Committee is soliciting articles in four divisions this year:
Open Division: for active and retired AALL members and law librarians with five or more years of professional experience;
New Members Division: for recent graduates and AALL members who have become law librarians since July 1, 2007;
Student Division: Participants in this division need not be members of AALL. To be eligible in this category, you must have been enrolled in law school, or in a library school, information management, or an equivalent program, either in the Fall 2011 or Spring 2012 semester.
The winner in the Open, New Member, and Student Divisions will receive $650 generously donated by LexisNexis, plus the opportunity to present the winning paper at a program during the 2012 AALL Annual Meeting in Boston! Winning papers are also considered for publication in the Association’s prestigious Law Library Journal.
New for 2012 - Short Form Division: Articles in this category will be shorter than a traditional scholarly article, and appropriate for publication in AALL Spectrum, a bar journal, or a chapter or SIS newsletter. Participants must be AALL members. The winner will be awarded $300 from LexisNexis.
Application Information and Article Submission Deadlines:
- Articles in the Open, New Members, and Short Form Divisions must be submitted by March 1, 2012.
- Articles in the Student Division must be received by May 15, 2012.
- Application form and details, including word limits, can be found at the Call for Papers website.
If you have any questions, please contact a member of the AALL/LexisNexis Call for Papers Committee:
Jennifer Lentz, Chair, lentz(at)law.ucla.edu
Mark Podvia, Vice Chair, mwp3(at)psu.edu
Benjamin Keele, bjkeele(at)wm.edu
James P. Kelly, jim.kelly(at)vanderbilt.edu
Shawn Nevers, neverss(at)law.byu.edu
November 03, 2011
Reminder: Keynote Speech for AALL Futures Summit Webcast Live at 1 PM CDT Today
The two-day AALL Futures Summit starts today. Andy Hines, Lecturer and Executive-in-Residence at the University of Houston’s Graduate Program in Future Studies, will open the Futures Summit with a keynote address and a Q &A session. His keynote speech will be webcast live starting at 1 PM CDT. Comments and questions can be tweeted using #AALLFS. [JH]
October 28, 2011
Intellectual Freedom across the Globe: ALA Webinar Series Set for November
Registration is now open for “Intellectual Freedom across the Globe,” a series of webinars on international issues related to free speech, censorship and access to information in libraries and beyond. The webinars will be held during November 2011 and feature speakers from several countries. The series is co-sponsored by ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and the IFLA Committee for Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression.
Some basic information about the three-part series:
Wednesday, Nov. 9: “Comics, Graphic Novels, Manga, and Libraries”
Time: 9:00 a.m. Central Standard Time [1500 GMT]
Speakers: Charles Brownstein, Executive Director, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, New York, NY, USA; Yasuyo Inouye, Professor, Dokkyo University, Japan; and Angela Maycock, Assistant Director, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, Chicago, IL, USA.
Tuesday, Nov. 15: “Religion, Free Expression, and Libraries”
Time: 10:00 a.m. Central Standard Time [1600 GMT]
Speakers: Paul Sturges O.B.E., Professor Emeritus, Loughborough University and Professor Extraordinary, University of Pretoria, United Kingdom; Almuth Gastinger, Senior Research Librarian, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway; and Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Deputy Director, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, Chicago, IL, USA.
Tuesday, Nov. 22: “Access to Health Information and Education in the Developing World”
Time: 10:00 a.m. Central Standard Time [1600 GMT]
Speakers: Alejandra Martinez del Prado, Reference Librarian, School of Medicine Library of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico; and Barbara Jones, Director, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, Chicago, IL, USA.
Webinar details including how to register here. [JH]
October 26, 2011
Say "Hi" to Velvet Chainsaw's Dave Lutz
In a comment to Time to Take a Velvet Chainsaw to AALL's Less Than Comprehensive But Official Review of Annual Meeting Programming, Vicki Szymczak wrote the following about hiring Velvet Chainsaw Consulting to assess AALL's annual programming:
This might work. AALL never listens to its members who provide free and expert advice on any number of things. They only feel they should listen to advice that they pay for. So, if VCC is legit, it may payoff for us!
Yup. Had I known AALL would pay someone to listen to member input by way of surveys etc. someday, I might have not deemed them an utter waste of time over the years. I doubt I am alone. My bad.
So meet Velvet Chainsaw's Dave Lutz. In a recent comment to the above-cited post, he wrote in pertinent part:
My name is Dave Lutz and I headed this consulting project for Velvet Chainsaw. In addition to speaking one-on-one with quite a few people, AALL did share an incredible amount of member input. The research and discovery process included reviews of survey comments and ratings from past meetings, session, exhibitor and membership surveys. Your point about having the input of past attendees (or from those that never attended) is good, but I do believe we captured that intelligence. While our recommendations have been delivered to AALL, I would welcome an email or call from anyone willing to share their opinion. Here's my contact details - email@example.com phone (330) 474-1047 The AALL leadership cares a ton about the value you receive for your time and financial investment in the Annual Meeting. I can't stress enough how important it is to complete surveys and session evaluations. The more you can share about the speakers or sessions that rocked vs. the ones that bombed, the better. Individual member input on the education and networking value is the #1 most critical input for any organization that desires continuous improvement.
Hum. I may have missed an offical AALL announcement that provided Dave's contact information because, well, I'm an aging and decrepit law librarian who was been hacking up a lung due to a lingering bout of bronchitis before-- as in long before because apparently one of our elected officers was not regularly checking her AALL email account -- and after the above cited Oct. 17, 2011 LLB post. Do we need a by-laws amendment that requires the E-Club to check their AALL email accounts at least more than once every week or two if member input really is "the #1 most critical input for any organization that desires continuous improvement"? But I digress... .
While Velvet Chainsaw has already submitted its recommendations for consideration at the Executive Board's upcoming meeting, Dave Lutz offers to hear you opinion. Thanks, appreciated. But I sort of think it is a bit too late unless Velvet Chainsaw has recommended to the Board that you conduct a follow-up investigation and the Board accepts that recommendation. Loop back up to Vicki's comment about how this may payoff.
Dave, did you know that AALL officialdom has an unwritten policy of not responding to blog posts directly? Hopefully Velvet Chainsaw won't lose any future AALL business by having done so in this instance... . But thanks for the contact information. [JH]
October 19, 2011
CALI Call for Proposals to Create State Specific Legal Research Lessons
From the announcement:
The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) is on a mission get a state specific legal research lesson covering primary and secondary materials for each of the 50 states. We're close, but we still need at least one lesson for the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.
If you are a librarian at a CALI member institution and would like to write a lesson for one of these states, we are currently accepting proposals. The deadline for current round of lesson proposals is November 4, 2011. Authors receive monetary compensation, free registration to the CALI conference and editorial support though the lesson writing process. Full proposal requirements and details can be found here.
October 18, 2011
Reminder: HeinOnline Webinar on New Enhancements and Law Journal Library Subject Searching Set for Wednesday
From the announcement:
Wed., October 19, 2011 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT- Register Now
What is covered in this webinar?
During this webinar we will demonstrate some of our newest enhancements and focus further on how to make the most of subject searching in the Law Journal Library.
- NEW! One box search on the welcome page
- Permalink tool
- Changes made to the search form in the Law Journal Library
- Searching shortcuts in the Law Journal Library - search this title, subject, country
- Subject searching in the Law Journal Library
- Utilizing cross-library searching results
- Linking to your local library catalog for articles that we can't provide the full text for
October 11, 2011
Do you have an elevator pitch?
As some of you reading LLB might know, a few weeks ago I moved from New York to Honolulu to take a new position on the faculty at the Richardson School of Law - where I am the Library Director (NB: A posting to the ALL SIS list serv indicating that I took a position on the faculty at Richardson provoked a lot of inqueries as to what I would be teaching. Apparently, there are those among us who forget that many - not enough though - Law Library Directors are faculty members. But that is another post.)
In any case, with new jobs come new responsibilities and opportunities - every directorship is unique. In my new position, I wear a much more public face than I wore at my last school. This will be my first full week at Richardson. I will be having lunch with three 9th circuit judges today and attending a "mahalo" reception for donors Friday night. Plenty of networking opportunities. I began thinking about what I can say to these people that will capture their imagination and remember the library at Richardson. And hopefully build an audience that will fund a new building!
Unless I sit next to someone chances are I will not have much time to make that positive impression and tell them about all the great things the Librarians are doing for the staff and local bar.
Enter the elevator pitch.
An elevator pitch is a collection of short phrases that lets the listener know who you are, what you can do, and, more importantly, what they can do for you and why! Just as I was pondering my approach to this situation, I saw this great post on iLibrarian about elevator pitches for librarians. The posting is really about personal marketing for librarians, but this particular entry in the series focuses on the elevator pitch. The iLibrarian gives some excellent links to tools and articles that will help you focus on creating that peppy, positive spin.
For example, both the Harvard Business School Elevator Pitch app and the 15-second Elevator Pitch Wizard provide an interactive system to sharpen your remarks and force you to focus on the important points you want to make. I will admit, at first I was unimpressed and thought it was corny, but when your results get spit back at you, you realize it is time to get busy. You could, of course, do this in a quiet room with a pen and pad of paper, but like most things, its more convenient to do it using interactive tools. Besides, who can read their own handwriting anymore? My fingers barely recall how to hold a pen!
Along with these interactive tools, iLibrarian links to a number of business articles that help the reader understand how to create the perfect elevator pitch, and a video on how to perfect your delivery.
So now you might be wondering about my own elevator pitch. Well, if you read some of the literature you will know that the pitch will change depending on your audience. I do not have just one! But, if you want to hear any of them, well, you will just need to catch me in the elevator! (VS)
September 16, 2011
Reminder: LawLibCon's Teaching Legal Research: By the Book or Off the Cuff? Today at 3:00 PM EDT
LawLibCon is back from summer break. Today's topic is "Teaching Legal Research: By the Book or Off the Cuff?"
From the announcement:
A discussion and debate about whether, when and how to use a textbook for teaching a legal research course. Guests include Nancy P. Johnson, Associate Dean for Library and Information Services and Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law, Christopher Knott, Vice Dean and Professor of Law at University of Maine, School of Law and Karen Sorin Linitz, Senior Learning Technologies Manager, Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Group, Harvard Law School Library.
Time: 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM EDT
Sounds very interesting. [JH]
September 02, 2011
What are the Worst Things a Law Librarian Can List on a Resume?
Bridget Crawford offers her list of what are the worst things a law prof can put on a CV at The Faculty Lounge. Note the comment trail. One of my favorites is "It's probably not a good idea to list appearances on "Hoarders", "My Strange Addiction", or "America's Most Wanted"." With a follow-up comment, "how about "Featured on TV's 'I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant.'"
You might want to check your resume over the Labor Day weekend to see if it needs editing. [JH]
August 31, 2011
Thank you AALL for Listening and Being Flexible
I want to publicly thank AALL. I received an email today from Kate Hagan letting me know that while AALL was adhering to the September 15th deadline they were also going to provide members affected by the earthquake and hurricane the opportunity to request an additional five days to complete their proposals.
If you were adversely affected by the August earthquake or hurricane on the East Coast and will be unable to meet the September 15 submission deadline, contact firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the deadline.
Thank you AALL and particularly, Kate Hagan, for recognizing the hardships we East Coasters have and are encountering over the last week, and for allowing us the ability to request additional time to complete our program submissions and make this a great Boston conference. This law librarian much appreciates that you listened and were flexible.
Contemplating “RIP AALL” Ahead of Boston 2012: Muster of the Minutemen (and Minutewomen)
As an organization of institutional buyers, AALL is on the verge of becoming irrelevant. Just follow the money. Look at where our major "legal professional service vendors" are spending their ad and meeting sponsorship dollars for marketing their wares. It ain't on "us" anymore. 2011 was the year this became obvious for all to see. Our major vendors are spending proportionally higher amounts of their limited marketing budgets to sponsor and advertise to the Law Tech market. TR Legal is leading the pack to sell "solutions" to this market, some which offer, some which don't offer online search as a component. Good luck with that since the Company has some way to go to catch up with Lexis Legal & Professional which began focusing on software years before TR Legal did. Wait a minute – perhaps, that is why TR Legal has refocused so much of its marketing dollars -- playing catch-up with Lexis?
The writing is on the wall. While law librarians are deeply involved in legal tech, many are not sufficiently exposed to these solutions. We certainly address matters of online legal search, particularly with the rise of new WEXIS platforms but we haven't extended our professional expertise to a critical analysis of software products that have been and are coming to market, at least not in AALL literature, forums, or programs at the national level.
Isn't it time to do so? Isn't it time to evaluate what they actual do and what they cost against a backdrop of vendor advertising claims about them? Of course, one can't blame law librarians if they choose not to address this issue. If we can't make "anti-competitive" comments in AALL communication mediums, what’s the point!
AALL already has one foot in the grave. Why? Because our vendors are spending their marketing dollars for their Next Big Think, "solutions," elsewhere while our association's "gag order" to its institutional members is leading AALL's second foot right into the grave of irrelevance. There is, in my opinion, no way to evaluate the services already in the market and services coming to market which will eventually transform, have already transformed "legal publishing" into law-based "solutions," without such critical assessments echoing in consumer advocacy.
Even if AALL is nothing more than a vehicle for professional education and development, problematic in my mind unless it changes its name, American Association of Law Libraries Librarians, I attended one Philly program where law librarian panelists made statements that could have been characterized as "anti-competitive" by AALL standards. Had AALL assigned a censors to the session, would the podium mics have been turned off? (Anyone old enough to remember when Mayor Daley cut the sound for the podium during the 1968 Democratic Party convention because the speaker was denouncing the Chicago Police Department's tactics outside the convention hall as protesting turned into rioting?) I also attended another session where the panelists were vendor and jobber reps discussing product development and licensing. Had the same words been spoken by law librarians, I think AALL would have had to unleash its riot police.
I'm thinking AALL really has only two choices left. AALL either
- retains a law firm that does not have a bend-over stance. One brave soul posed that as a question during the Executive Board Meeting's members forum. You can check the minutes for AALL official response; or
- increases member dues to pay to medicate our royal family and their courtiers for antitrutism anxiety attacks because the traditional passive-aggressive behavior displayed by many law librarians is being replaced by direct, full, and frank confrontation of the issues publicly.
The hue and cry will just get louder. In medieval times in Jolly Old England, the hue and cry was a sanctioned method for folks who percieved wrong-doing to call on others to help capture those bandits and take them to the local sheriff for their day of judgment because that's how criminal activity was dealt with. In our own Wild West frontier days, our 19th century interpretation of the "hue and cry" was the local sheriff who deputized ordinary citizens for a posse to do the same, although sometimes the niceties of criminal procedure were ignored by hanging the outlaw immediately upon capture. While no one is suggesting hanging any members of AALL's officialdom from the nearest tree, it is clear that some insitutional buyer representatives have and will continue to "tar and feather" our association royalists for their failings.
I'm seeing and hearing this particularly among my cohorts, the Boomer-gen law librarians (who likely remember my reference to the 1968 Chicago convention). Many have decided (1) they have nothing to lose since they are already in positions of institutional authority; (2) they don't want our generation's legacy to remain the status quo; (3) they have long-term memory recall of dealing with AALL, vendors and the way too cozy relationship between them and (4) their past efforts to do something within AALL have been stymied -- some were lone voices calling for change when they were the black sheep of the royal family; others never made it up that far in the royal pecking order.
I might add (5) to the above list. We Boomer-gen law librarians were the legal tech generation of our times but we recognize the expertise of today's legal tech resides in the GenX-GenY law librarians who are coming up the ranks to leadership positions in our institutions. At the moment, if our younger colleagues don't want to squander their expertise, they might as well join some other professional association. I'm thinking legal administrator associations in the private and public sectors might welcome law librarians as special interest groups. Then there is also the ABA which already has a section.
It's time for AALL to justify its institutional existence. It is damn near impossible to separate consumer advocacy from products and services institutional members use, evaluate and communicate their opinions about. While my focus is on WEXIS, this is equally true in the tech services arena. Of course, this assumes that AALL royals really want to catch up to the membership on the issue of consumer advocacy. That's one helluva assumption.
To date, it looks to me that AALL asks our legal counsel, "How do we avoid this issue?" The appropriate issue to present to legal counsel now is "give us ways and means to serve our membership by assisting their consumer advocacy efforts with sufficient legal muscularity so we won't be the laughing stock at Boston 2012: Muster of the Minutemen (and Minutewomen), like we were at Philly 2011: Cream Cheese, Cheesesteak or Karaoke." If AALL is not dependent on vendor dollars for essential services, as was stated during the 2011 Executive Board meeting, then AALL better be prepared for declining vendor-source revenue. All one has to do is look at TR Legal presence at Philly this year to see the future. I doubt I am the only one thinking that TR Legal may be setting an example. One has to wonder how many other major vendors went back to HQs to talk about downsizing their financial commitments to AALL because TR Legal did.
IMHO, the only way to stem this trend is for AALL to reverse its institutional course by allowing all members to apply their professional expertise to all issues that concern their employers for all products and services before shovels tap down the ground on the gravesite of AALL. It's too soon to say "RIP AALL" but it is not too soon to contemplate it's irrelevance.
Just imagine what AALL will look like 20 years from now if our professional organization continues to proceed down the path it has been on for the last 20 years. Well, we’ll just have to wait ‘n see. How many months away is Boston 2012: Muster of the Minutemen (and Minutewomen)? [JH]
August 30, 2011
Why must AALL annual meeting program proposals be submitted a whooping 10 months ahead of the event?
I think if one checked other associations, you will find AALL probably has one of the earliest deadlines for program proposal submissions for ass'n annual meeting planning. One doesn't need earthquakes and hurricanes to pose this question: Why must annual meeting program proposals be due a whooping 10 months ahead of the event? So while some of us await for what we can only hope will be a retraction of AALL's official "NO" response to Caren Biberman's justified request for a mere five day submission extension because of an act of god, chew on the whole 10 months thing. A later deadline would also allow for submission of proposals that may be more relevant to events that had occurred ahead of our annual meeting.
I think the response from AALL would be that AMPC has a lot of work on its hands reviewing 300 or so proposals and must meet in late October to get started. That's easily rectified by going to a peer group track scheduling model. Academic, Public and Private sector groups could be given slots to fill in the program schedule. Under the direction of each group's elected officials, separate peer group mini-AMPCs would review and select proposals for scheduling their slots and a general AMPC would do the same for slots allocated for all other programs. Conflicts in programming? Now, how hard would it be to avoid that... . If there is so much work, dividing it up would also allow for pushing the September 15th deadline back.
Our profession is living in interesting times, times where important events happen after September 15th of each year. I'm assuming our AALL officials are living in these times, too. Perhaps that's a wrong assumption. However, in this age of modern communications there is no good reason for having a deadline 10 months before our annual meeting even if AALL doesn't want to follow up on the above-mentioned suggestion for dividing the labor for reviewing program proposals. AMPC doesn't have to meet in October and can work together in a virtual environment if AALL is too worried about losing it grip on our annual meeting. Unless, of course, AALL's official policy is that nothing significant happens in our profession after September 15th.
We all should have, to quote Caren, "zero patience" with how our annual meeting programming is administered. Kudos to last year's AMPC members for the hard work they did but that was the result of individual efforts. We need to institutionalize this to gain momentum so that it is not utterly dependent on who AALL officials select to be on the Committee. Unlike Caren, we should not need an act of god for having zero patience with the current state of affairs. Well, we may need an act of god to get reforms made.
AALL's Knee-jerk "No" Responses. Is "yes" to membership requests even in AALL's official vocabulary? Being a born and bred Chicago native, I think the next time Chicago experiences a severe snowstorm we all should call AALL HQ. When the phones aren't answered because of that act of god, perhaps we need to email our AALL officials because our AALL staff were scheduled to be at work. [JH]
August 22, 2011
Law Faculty Highest Paid on Average in Academia
The Chronicle of Higher Education has published its latest survey on academics and wouldn’t you know it, law faculty members are the highest paid of all the disciplines listed. The average salary of a full professor is $134,162. The next highest figure comes from the ranks of engineering with an average salary of $114,365. While it may pay to teach someone how to build a bridge, it is apparently more lucrative to teach someone how to sue the bridge maker for design defects when it falls down.
Library Science faculty members comparatively earn $92,099. Of the five categories listed, Full Professor, Associate Professor, New Assistant Professor, and Instructor, only faculty who teach business, management, marketing, and related support services get more at the Assistant Professor level, $87,248 to $84,374. The figures, by the way, are averaged for 9 or 10 month contracts. The full list of salary information by discipline and rank is here.
The number of degrees awarded in legal professions and studies grew 95% between the 1998-99 and 2008-09 academic years. Library Science saw no growth over the 10 years listed. The full list of programs and their degree numbers is here.
While we are on the subject of law faculty and what they earn for what they do, or how little of it they do, the anonymous faculty member who created the Inside the Law School Scam is no longer anonymous. The author is Paul Campos of the University of Colorado Law School. More on that from the ABA Journal and the TaxProf Blog. See Joe's post As the World Turns: Welcome to the Blogosphere Inside the Law School Scam for additional details. [MG]
July 30, 2011
Reading List and Upcoming ALA TechSource Workshop on Integrating E-Books and E-Readers into Your Library
From the ALA TechSource announcement:
On August 4 and August 11, Sue Polanka will present the two-part Workshop, Integrating E-Books and E-Readers into Your Library. Our workshop presenters recommend advance readings to encourage learning and focused discussion. Whether you're planning to attend this event or not, check out the reading list Sue has put together--it's a fantastic overview of what librarians need to know about e-books and e-readers right now. You can register for this workshop, at either an individual or group rate at the ALA Store.
- Thursday, August 4, 2011, 2:30pm – 4:00pm Eastern. Session 1: Purchasing eBooks for Libraries
- Thursday, August 11, 2011, 2:30pm – 4:00pm Eastern. Session 2: Lending E-Book Readers in Libraries
The reading list is available here. [JH]
July 21, 2011
Yes, I know its a 7:30 am meeting time but have a say in your program content
I have written some posts in the past complaining about the programming at the AALL Conference. So this past year I served on the PLL Education Committee. I will now be co-chairing the Committee. We will be meeting on Monday July 25th at (gasp) 7:30 am in the Marriott Rooms 407-409.
I learned today that of the approximately 200 programs proposed for this year's conference, only about 20 came from PLL. That's only 10%. For a SIS as large as we are that is sad. And yes, as a director at a large law firm, I know how challenging it is to find the time and resources to do a program proposal. But we on the PLL Education Committee are here to help you. Bring us your ideas for webinars, for PLL Summit programs and for AALL Conference programs and we will try to help you make your ideas for programs a reality. This is your opportunity to have a say in the programming PLL presents during the upcoming year. Please don't let this opportunity slip away. Please join us!
July 09, 2011
US Librarians, 1880-2009: Historical Census Data Post from OUP Blog
Brian Herzog calls attention to a recent OUP blog post that provides occupational census data about US librarians from 1880-2009 on Swiss Army Librarian. He writes "Even if you just skim the graphs, I think you’ll be hooked." I was.
Here's the opening paragraph of the OUP survey:
The U.S. Census first collected data on librarians in 1880, a year after the founding of the American Library Association. They only counted 636 librarians nationwide. Indeed, one respondent reported on his census form that he was the “Librarian of Congress.” The U.S. Census, which became organized as a permanent Bureau in 1902, can be used to track the growth of the library profession. The number of librarians grew over the next hundred years, peaking at 307,273 in 1990. Then, the profession began to shrink, and as of 2009, it had dropped by nearly a third to 212,742. The data enable us to measure the growth, the gender split in this profession known to be mostly female, and to explore other divides in income and education, as they changed over time.
Hat tip to LISNews. [JH]
June 28, 2011
Couldn't Attend CALI's Annual Meeting, Check Out Archived Webcasts
Videos of presentations are availabe at the CALIcon11 Webcast Catalog. [JH]