AALL Representative to the American Library Association’s Committee on Cataloging:
Description and Access 2007-08
For the last few years the American Library Association’s Committee on Cataloging: Description
and Access (CC:DA) has devoted both time and energy reviewing and commenting on the
various drafts of RDA: Resource Description and Access, commonly called RDA, which hopes to
replace the Anglo American Cataloging Rules, 2nd ed. The document emanates from the Joint
Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC) which includes representatives from
Australia, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Because the legal rules for access
points were on the agenda, I attended the JSC October meeting in Chicago. On the first day of
the meeting, the RDA editor proposed a substantial change in the structure and organization of
RDA, which were approved. The resulting RDA organization, as well as all of the other public
drafts and reviews can be viewed on the JSC Web site.
At ALA’s midwinter meeting CC:DA reviewed a draft containing the rules for access control,
including legal access points. I entered the comments that AALL members sent on this draft into
the CC:DA wiki, and most were incorporated into the ALA review sent to the JSC. In particular,
AALL recommended that the rules for court reporters be simplified and that the rules for treaties
be both simplified and clarified. In response to the JSC request for alternatives to the uniform
title conventions of “laws, etc.” and “treaties, etc.,” we were unable to identify a practical
alternative. These will remain until after the publication of RDA.
Part of the difficulty of providing meaningful feedback for the drafts of RDA has been the
piecemeal issuing of various chapters, which are released in isolation. Understanding how, or
whether, it will all work together is impossible. In October we will finally see a full online draft,
with three months for comment. After publication in early 2009, the three national libraries and
additional groups will spend some months testing RDA to ensure that it is a workable and useful
tool. Implementation will follow if the testing is successful. Task groups are working to develop
training to ease the transition to the new rules. RDA training workshops tailored to law catalogers
will be important in enabling law libraries to understand and follow the new rules.
CC:DA is also considering next steps in response to the report from the LC Working Group on
the Future of the Bibliographic Record. An ALCTS Task Group identified a number of
recommendations which will require CC:DA participation. A few of these: analyze cataloging
standards & modify them to support data sharing; make use of bibliographic data from foreign
libraries, publishers, etc. that may not conform to U.S. standards; share responsibility for original
cataloging; and promote participation in PCC. In the coming months the new representative to
CC:DA from AALL will doubtless be asked to work on some of these issues as groups are
formed to address them.
Kathy Winzer, Representative
AALL Representative to the ALA/ALCTS/Cataloging and Classification Section/
Subject Analysis Committee 2007-08
The Subject Analysis Committee (SAC) is charged with “studying problems and
recommending improvements in patterns, methods, and tools (particularly classification
and subject headings systems) for the subject analysis, organization, and retrieval of
information resources, and providing liaison for those areas of interest between CCS and
other ALA and non-ALA organizations that have an interest in and concern for these
The Subject Analysis Committee met at the ALA Midwinter meeting in Philadelphia in
January 2008 and at the ALA Annual meeting in Anaheim in June 2008. In the past year,
SAC and its subcommittees focused on the development and implementation of genre/form
headings, the future of controlled vocabularies, and the application of faceted subject
The Subcommittee on Genre/Form Implementation acts as a facilitator of two-way
communication between the Library of Congress Cataloging and Support Office and the
cataloging communities with interest in genre/form headings, including but not limited to the
moving images, music, and law communities. In a recent open letter to the Library of
Congress Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate, the subcommittee offered to
partner with the Library of Congress in the Genre/Form Authority Record Project and voiced
interest in the creation of a SACO Genre/Form Funnel. The subcommittee plans to identify
genre/form headings currently established as 150 authority records, develop a list of general
genre/form terms that are used across disciplines, and explore the use of geographic
subdivisions for genre/form headings.
The charge of the Subcommittee on the Future of Subject Headings is to “analyze the future
of subject analysis using controlled vocabulary through the use of SWOT (Strength,
Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis, taking into consideration both internal
forces within the library community and external environment.” The subcommittee
broadened the scope of its charge from Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) to
controlled vocabularies in general, and is planning a panel discussion at ALA Annual 2009.
FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) is a subject vocabulary derived from
LCSH and developed by OCLC in cooperation with the Library of Congress. The
Subcommittee on FAST continued to refine and expand the FAST manual and explore issues
related to FAST implementation. As of July 20, 2008, the FAST authority file contained
1,668,161 terms for topics, forms, personal and corporate names, geographic names, events,
periods, and uniform titles.
A more detailed report from the AALL representative to the Subject Analysis Committee is
available on the Technical Services Special Interest Section Web site.
Yael Mandelstam, Representative
AALL Representative to the Association of Legal Administrators 2007-08
I was appointed AALL’s representative to the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) for a
three-year term beginning with the 2007-08 term. My annual report on the past year’s activities
would be incomplete without tying together the joint contributions of PLL’s leadership and the
Publishing Initiatives Caucus. PIC and PLL leaders have worked closely with me to attain our
PIC, PLL and I put our heads together a few years ago after an appearance and speech by ALA’s
Executive Director at a PLL luncheon. PIC member got to know Mr. Michalik following his
program and we invited ALA’s librarian, Sue Umbdenstock, to speak at AALL’s Annual
Meeting the following year. That same year I worked with the editor/publisher of ALA’s
magazines, Mr. John Delavan, to publish an article written by an AALL member in Legal
Management, ALA’s journal. I proposed a program on behalf of PIC for AALL’s Annual
Meeting in 2007 and invited Mr. Delavan to participate as a program speaker. PLL contributed
to our efforts and invited him as its VIP guest.
At about the same time that plans were underway for the program at AALL, ALA was preparing
its premiere issue of a new annual publication, Professional Law Management Week Magazine,
and Mr. Delavan invited AALL to submit an article for publication in the first issue. Mark
Gediman’s article, “Walking with Librarians: A Unique Journey,” was chosen as AALL’s entry.
AALL was one of the original nine organizations that joined ALA, ABA, NALP, LMA and
others to found the annual event organized to inform legal professionals what legal management
professionals do on their behalf.
Following my appointment as representative to ALA, I attended ALA’s 2008 Annual Conference
and Exhibition in Seattle where I renewed connections with ALA’s editor, its librarian and its
executive director. At the conference I sought out ALA’s program manager, Ms. Rosemary
Shiels. We talked about the possibility of my submitting a program proposal on behalf of AALL
for inclusion in ALA’s 2009 Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans next spring.
Ms. Shiels was enthusiastic about the proposal and I await word about its acceptance.
In 2008 I have been pitching topic ideas to ALA’s two new editors for upcoming issues of both
Professional Law Management Week Magazine and a theme issue on financial management in
the bi-monthly journal, Legal Management. Both editors are enthusiastic about the topics
suggested and the qualifications of AALL’s member writers recommended by PIC and PLL
members. These activities are still in the works. AALL members are currently working on
articles and discussions with ALA’s program manager and editors continue.
Lyn Warmath, Representative
AALL Representative to the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction 2007-08
The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) Conference, the Conference on Law
School Computing, was held June 18-21, 2008 in Baltimore, MD at the University of Maryland
School of Law. At the time of this report the dates and location of the 2009 conference were
Aside from general networking, attendance at this conference gave me an opportunity to attend
the CALI Editorial Board meeting and the Computing Services SIS meeting. In addition, I had a
dinner meeting with Deb Quentel who is my main contact at CALI.
Over the past year, CALI and the Legal Research Community Authoring Project (LRCAP) has
reviewed every legal research lesson over three years old. Due to this review over 20 lessons
were updated and revised. There are currently over 72 legal research lessons. During the past
year, LRCAP has also made a concerted marketing effort to solicit lessons on state primary and
secondary legal research. Efforts have also continued to expand the lessons available in foreign
and international legal research. Both of these areas are expanding quickly.
CALI has developed a new lesson review template which has been extremely beneficial to the
anonymous reviewers and has provided a more consistent feedback to authors. In addition,
CALI and LRCAP has started an authors’ wiki to provide tips and tricks for new CALI authors.
In the upcoming year LRCAP will continue to review legal research lessons that were written
over three years ago and have not been revised in the past three years. LRCAP will also
continue to solicit lessons for state primary and secondary legal research lessons and lessons on
foreign and international law. The challenge has been and will probably continue to be in the
area of foreign and international legal research. This area of lesson development has been slower
than other topics in legal research. Continued outreach to the Foreign, Comparative &
International Law SIS will be crucial to building lessons in this area.
Continuing relationships with Academic Law Libraries SIS, Computing Services SIS, and
Research Instruction & Patron Services SIS are crucial to good collaboration between CALI and
the law librarian community. The AALL Representative to CALI is the current chair of the
Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section (ALL-SIS) CALI committee and has been a
member of the CALI Legal Research Community Authoring Project for several years. This aids
relationship building between the groups.
CALI is very interested in strong collaboration with AALL and its various constituencies and is
very supportive of initiatives. Resources needed from AALL would be funding for attendance at
that 2009 CALI conference.
Kristina L. Niedringhaus, Representative
AALL Representative to the International Federation of Library Associations 2007-08
The idea of a Law Libraries Discussion Group within the International Federation of Library
Associations (IFLA) was originally launched in 2001 by Roger Parent, then Executive
Director of AALL, and by Holger Knudsen, then President of the International Association
of Law Libraries (IALL). The IFLA Governing Board approved it for two years, and
extended it for another two years. Upon the request of Claire Germain, then President of
AALL and of Jules Winterton, President of IALL, following the 2004 meeting in Oslo,
Norway, the Governing Board of IFLA voted in favor of the permanent creation of a Law
Libraries Section of IFLA in December 2005. A Standing Committee for the section was
established in 2006, and at the 2007 IFLA meeting in Durban, South Africa, Holger Knudsen
was elected chair of the group and Claire Germain was elected secretary. The section’s
program focused on open access to legal information and included four speakers on the South
African Legal Information Institute, the Constitutional Court Library, and on open access to
journal literature. A visit to the University of KwaZulu–Natal Libraries, including the Law
Library, was of particular note.
Since IFLA represents library and information services interests on a global basis, and is
recognized as the public policy forum by international organizations such as UNESCO and
WIPO, there is great potential for AALL to be active in IFLA. The challenge is to promote
the section and attain a membership of at least forty members in the next few years, to retain
the status of section. Special efforts were undertaken this year to encourage law libraries in
the U.S. and other countries to join IFLA. A number of flyers were prepared and distributed
through various discussion lists and at several national and international meetings. The
secretary prepared a draft mission statement, which was discussed and endorsed by the
Section Standing Committee. The mission statement reads: “as an international policy forum
for all law librarians, the Section on Law Libraries (1) promotes understanding and
cooperation among law libraries, and increases awareness of the value and importance of law
libraries to the world; (2) encourages growth in the development of new law libraries, with a
particular focus on emerging nations; (3) fosters the profession of law librarianship and legal
research competencies worldwide; (4) develops professional standards and practices; (5) and
provides leadership in the field of legal information policy, recognizing that equitable and
permanent public access to authentic legal information is a necessary requirement for a just
and democratic society worldwide.”
At the August 2008 IFLA meeting in Quebec City, Canada, the section is sponsoring three
major programs of interest to law librarians. The section’s program will address “Quebec
Law and Digital Libraries.” The section is co-sponsoring two programs with other sections,
one on “Authentication of Digital Law,” co-sponsored with the Sections on Library &
Research Services for Parliaments, Government Libraries, and Government Information &
Official Publications; and one on “Preservation and Conservation of Digital Objects,” co-
sponsored with the Sections on Preservation and Conservation, and Information Technology.
AALL is co-sponsoring a reception for the section at the National Assembly Library in
Quebec City, organized by Dominique Lapierre, Law Librarian at the University of Laval.
AALL is also sponsoring this year the reception for the U.S. Caucus, coordinated by Kate
Hagan, AALL Executive Director. The AALL Representative is planning to provide regular
updates on the work of IFLA to the FCIL-SIS and to AALL Executive Board. The section
hopes to engage many more law librarians throughout the world to participate in IFLA and in
corresponding programs within their own organizations.
Claire M. Germain, Representative
AALL Representative to Legal Information Preservation Alliance 2007-08
During 2008, the Legal Information Preservation Alliance (LIPA) was introduced to its
first Executive Director at the July meeting in New Orleans. Over the next several
months discussions were held on recruitment efforts for more members, print archives
projects, the feasibility of using the OCLC digital archive for LIPA projects, and other
potential platforms to explore.
I attended the LIPA meeting held at Columbia Law School on January 3, 2008, when a
presentation by the Connecticut State Library on their electronic state document
preservation program was given.
The Executive Director of LIPA reported at this meeting that he was getting pricing
information from OCLC for using their CONTENTdm and that LIPA would attempt to
start a pilot project. He expressed the interest in getting more state supreme court libraries
involved in the alliance, and that he would like to conduct another survey of both
members and non-members of digitization projects.
There was discussion of whether LIPA should have a specific project, or should serve as
a clearinghouse. It was agree that the organization should be doing more advocacy. It has
been suggested that work could be done with library schools concerning opportunities
with legal digital preservation, and that perhaps a call for papers could be announced.
LLMC reported that while it is still digitizing print court reports, it will soon move into
official codes and compilations.
The LIPA Executive Board presented goals for 2008. Not long after this meeting the
LIPA Executive Director resigned, and some momentum was lost. Now, however, AALL
member Margaret Maes has been hired to move the alliance forward, and I expect that the
goals will not only be accomplished but that significant work for and on behalf of
AALL’s members will be realized.
Judy Meadows, Representative
AALL/State, Court, and County Law Libraries SIS
Representative to the National Center for State Courts 2007-08
Katie Jones represented the SCCLL-SIS and AALL at the tenth Court Technology
Conference (CTC10). The conference is sponsored by the National Center for State
Courts (NCSC) and is one of the more acclaimed court technology events for court
professionals from around the world. The conference takes place every other year and
usually occurs in Florida during the month of October. Sara Galligan, as official AALL
representative to the NCSC invited Katie, as Chair of SCCLL’s Technology Committee,
to attend the program in her place and provide a report to SCCLL members. Katie’s
excellent report was published in SCCLL News (Volume 34, No.1, Winter 2008).
During the three days of CTC10 programming and networking, one program featured
AALL’s State-by-State Report on Authentication of Online Legal Resources. The
program presenters included AALL members Tim Coggins and Mary Alice Baish, as
well as the honorable Judge Herbert B. Dixon, Jr. (Superior Court of D.C.) who was a
delegate to the AALL National Summit on Authentic Legal Information in the Digital
Age in 2007. According to Katie, approximately 65 people attended the authentication
program. Katie also attended programs regarding technology and the access to justice
crisis, Web disability access, access to justice electronic traffic citation, and connecting
the public to the legal system via the Web.
Sara Galligan, Representative
AALL Representative to the National Equal Justice Library 2007-08
The National Equal Justice Library (NEJL) primarily meets via conference call.
Meetings were held on the following dates: December 12, 2003; February 13, 2004; April
27, 2005; November 2006 (I did not attend); February 23, 2007; April 27, 2007; and
November 27, 2007.
The NEJL serves as a repository of information documenting the history and contribution
of legal representation to those unable to afford counsel by legal aid lawyers, defenders
and pro bono attorneys.
The primary weakness and threat for the NEJL were finding a new location for the library
collection. The strength of the NEJL is its board of directors. The board is comprised of
an amazing group of judges, attorneys and legal scholars who truly believe in the mission
of providing legal representation to those unable to afford legal counsel.
During the past few years, the focus of the NEJL has been on moving the library
collection from American University, Washington College of Law Library to another
location. After a year of investigation and negotiation, the NEJL contracted with
Georgetown University (with the assistance of the late Professor Bob Oakley) to move
the NEJL to the Georgetown Law Library. The NEJL agreed to hire an archivist who
would be responsible for the NEJL collection. The NEJL was successfully moved in
2005 although the collection was not accessible until 2006. A grand opening celebration
was held at the Georgetown Law Library in 2008.
Another goal for the NEJL involves public relations. Recognizing a need for a Web
presence, in 2006 the NEJL reserved the domain name www.equaljusticelibrary.org. The
Web site has since been populated with information about the NEJL, but some of the
information is no longer current.
Besides the Web site, the NEJL plans to revive its newsletter. The board of directors
agreed that the NEJL newsletter should be distributed electronically rather than in print.
The newsletter will be used to provide information about the NEJL collections as well as
highlight issues in representing those unable to afford counsel.
In addition to the library move, the NEJL has actively pursued fund raising. As a
nonprofit organization, the NEJL’s existence depends upon grants and financial
The AALL Pro Bono Partnership Special Committee may have interest in collaborating
with the NEJL on some future project.
Since the NEJL meets primarily via conference call, the expenses as the AALL Liaison
are minimal. However, since fund raising is an important aspect of the NEJL, the AALL
Representative needs to be aware that the every board member is strongly encouraged to
give a financial contribution each year. All other work that I agreed to do for the NEJL
(ie. working on the newsletter), I was able to do in my office.
I thank the Association for giving me this opportunity to serve AALL.
Rhea Ballard-Thrower, Representative
AALL Representative to the OCLC Members Council 2007-08
The OCLC Members’ Council consists of delegates who are elected by and represent
OCLC member libraries in their respective regions. The Members’ Council (MC) meets
at OCLC headquarters in Dublin, Ohio three times a year so that member libraries can
participate in the development of OCLC products and services as well as in OCLC
governance. OCLC invites numerous representatives of the library community at large to
attend MC meetings to observe and participate in some of the small group meetings.
Observers attend at their own expense, although OCLC provides meals during the two-
Last fall, I was asked by the OBS-SIS Executive Board to attend the October MC
meeting to determine if AALL should take advantage of the opportunity to send an
observer to these meetings. Since I live within a few miles of OCLC headquarters it was
easy for me to attend most of the sessions and report on them. After submitting my report
it was decided that we would take advantage of my proximity to OCLC. I was appointed
a temporary representative to the MC, through 2010, and I attended the two other MC
meetings in February and May.
Members’ Council meetings are opportunities to learn first-hand what activities OCLC is
engaged in. Speakers include OCLC staff members who provide information and solicit
feedback on OCLC products and services. Some of the topics discussed this last year
included WorldCat Local, WebJunction, global resource sharing, and automated
cataloging. Small group break-out sessions allowed for more in-depth discussion of these
topics. MC meeting attendees also heard from President and CEO, Jay Jordan, as well as
Executive VP and CFO, Rick Schwieterman.
Because OCLC has expanded its global concerns, in 2007 the OCLC Board of Trustees
proposed some changes to its governance structure which would allow more world-wide
representation on the board. A report was issued in November 2007 with the suggested
changes. The articles of incorporation were amended in May and as a result the MC will
exist as it is for probably only one more year. A Global Council will be created that will
be far less U.S.-centric than the current MC. It will have the governance responsibilities
currently held by MC. Regional Councils will also be created to allow the same sorts of
discussions to continue that the MC has enjoyed. Exactly how all of this will be
structured is yet to be determined.
All of the general sessions are recorded and are available for viewing online. Documents
and PowerPoint presentations are also linked from the same site. Given how much
influence and impact OCLC has on world-wide library development, interested AALL
members are encouraged to take a look at these materials.
Phyllis Post, Representative
AALL Representative to the Self Represented Litigation Network 2007-08
As the AALL Representative to Self Represented Litigation Network (SRLN), I attended
the Equal Justice Conference, Minneapolis, MN, May 5-9, 2008, including an SRLN
Management Strategy Session. I also participated in monthly one-hour conference calls:
Information, Marketing and Outreach Working Group (includes Management Team,
participated both as member and as AALL Representative); Law Librarians Working
Group (chair); Research Working Group (member).
As AALL Representative, I spoke to management and outreach issues of the SRLN from
the perspective of law librarians and their work both within SRLN and those who would
be intended audience members of its programs or users of its documents, etc. Incoming
representative Marcus Hochstetler and I will author an article on the SLRN for the
November 2008 issue of AALL Spectrum.
Also, as chair of the SRLN Law Librarians Working Group, I proposed and fostered
other law librarians to propose educational programs at SRLN meetings and as SRLN
proposals at other conferences, such as the Equal Justice Conference (programs
coordinated by Susan Ledray and Sara Galligan) and the Court Solutions Conference on
September 8-10, 2008 (module coordinated by Marcus Hochstetler). All proposed
programs were accepted. I also fostered two programs proposed by the SRLN Law
Librarians Group for the 2008 AALL Annual Meeting, which were accepted (Judy
The Law Librarians Working Group contributed to the SRLN’s 2nd edition of its Best
Practices in Court-Based Programs for the Self-Represented: Concepts, Attributes and
Issues for Exploration. The group created the SRLN’s Case for Public Law Libraries
document (coordinated by Frances Thompson). Both of these were funded by the State
Justice Institute and will be available online this summer. The group also created the
Directory of Library-Based Self Help Programs (coordinated by Jessica Van Buren and
now located on AALLNET).
The AALL is one of the participating organizations of the SRLN, which includes an
annual grant of $5000. That willingness to come forward with support, plus the very
significant participation of several law librarians in the activities of the SRLN, both as
members of working groups and as participants at SRLN programs, has engendered a
high visibility for law librarians and law libraries within the SRLN. All the other
participants, judges, court administrators, legal services providers, lawyers (both limited
representation lawyers and pro bono lawyers and directors), and self help center
personnel now see law librarians as full members of the SRLN and of their local teams.
The SRLN itself has been very influential with regard to innovative court practices
concerning self represented litigants. It is now the place that courts turn to learn what
they need to know. Unfortunately, funding for the SRLN has been grant and project
driven, with very few organizations making undirected grants as AALL has done. Due to
political considerations as a result of its working under the auspices of the National
Center for State Courts, a dues system for state courts is not possible, and sales of its
products is antithetical to its mission. As of this date, there are some contingency plans in
place, but funding at current levels will run out in January 2009 unless additional grants
come through. If not, greater dependence on volunteers will be needed. Long-term, with a
change in administration, it is possible that the State Justice Institute could play a more
supportive ongoing role, but that is speculative at this point.
The SCCLL-SIS is now including the Equal Justice Conference (EJC) as an event
eligible for travel grants (three grants this year). It is likely that the SRLN will continue
to participate as an EJC programmer in succeeding years. Further encouragement of
participation by more law librarians should be made. I also foresee a possible public
relations role for librarians on behalf of SRLN, as we librarians are more versed in
emerging technologies such as Web 2.0 and more aware of end user patterns for seeking
The AALL Representative’s Board Liaison this year is Ann Fessenden, AALL President.
The representative also liaisons with the SCCLL-SIS, the LISP-SIS, and the Joint
LISP/SCCLL Committee on Pro Bono Partnerships. Both the SCCLL-SIS and the LISP-
SIS have supported AALL Annual Meeting program proposals and recommendations for
VIPs made by the SRLN Law Librarians Group. The Joint Committee has within its
charge to observe the SRLN and make such recommendations as it deems proper. The
AALL Representative serves on the Joint Committee.
There is some possibility that the SRLN may need support in terms of legislative
advocacy, perhaps at the federal or at the state level. If that should occur, the AALL
Representative should bring the matter to the AALL Government Relations Committee
and the Washington Affairs Representative.
The AALL budget for FY 2009 includes a $5000 grant for the SRLN and up to $4000 for
two trips for the AALL Representative. That and the volunteers, Web site space, and
committee efforts mentioned above should continue. In accordance with the AALL
initiative to promote leadership among younger law librarians, I will be leaving my role
as the AALL Representative. New representative Marcus Hochstetler and I will jointly
prepare the annual plan for FY 2009. A need for further resources might be requested.
Charles R. Dyer, Representative
AALL/Private Law Libraries SIS Representative to the Special Libraries Association
Legal Division 2007-08
As AALL’s liaison to the Special Libraries Association (SLA) Legal Division, I attended
SLA’s 99th Annual Conference, in Seattle, Washington, June 15-18, 2008. At the
conference, I attended the BNA Breakfast and Legal Division Business Meeting on June
16. Nola VanHoy, outgoing Legal Division Chair recognized Catherine Lemann, AALL
Vice President/President-Elect and Kate Hagan, AALL Executive Director, and the
Private Law Libraries (PLL) SIS liaison. In addition, I attended two of the Legal
Division Open House events and met with Phil Rosenthal to discuss how PLL and the
Legal Division might work more closely together.
The SLA Legal Division and AALL PLL-SIS have not worked together in the past. It is
going to take some time and concerted effort to develop an effective working
relationship. As the fastest growing division of SLA with 1500 members, the Legal
Division is a logical group to be aligned with PLL. Members share common interests,
opportunities, and concerns. Phil Rosenthal and I have discussed using the PLL Toolkit
as a means of sharing information among members and perhaps as a basis for future join
programs. Bridget Dacres, LLOPS member, was able to use the Toolkit successfully in a
program “Is the Law Library an Anachronism in the 21st Century?” for the Association
of Legal Administrators during the ALA Annual Conference in Seattle in May 2008.
PLL and Legal Division could consider using the Toolkit in a similar fashion to develop a
PLL-SIS is the primary group advised by the representative.
AALL financial support to attend SLA meetings, PLL financial support to bring the
Legal Division Chair Martha Foote to AALL, and volunteer support for joint Legal
Division-PLL activities should be allocated in the future for a successful joint venture.
LaJean Humphries, Representative
Washington Affairs Office 2007-08
This has been a very busy and challenging year for the Washington Affairs Office. It began
on a tragic note when Bob Oakley, AALL’s Washington Affairs Representative since 1989,
passed away suddenly last September after a brief illness. Bob and I had worked together
since 1995. He was my boss, my teacher, my colleague, my mentor and my friend. Bob’s
commitment to developing a strong Washington presence for AALL has made our
Association a leader on information policy, particularly in the areas of government
information and copyright. As the strongest champion for AALL on the policy issues that
law librarians care most about, Bob is irreplaceable, and our loss is great.
I’d like to thank all of you who helped me get through those very difficult first days, weeks
and months. Bob would have wanted us to soldier on, and we have worked hard to ensure
that our voice continues to be effective. During the past year, the Washington Affairs Office
wrote or signed on to 46 letters to government officials, 35 of which were sent to members of
Congress. In addition, AALL President Ann Fessenden, Immediate Past President Sarah G.
Holterhoff and I were invited to testify at important Congressional hearings during the year.
The Washington Affairs Office celebrated three key legislative victories in December. After
many years of hard work to improve the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), we were
pleased when President Bush signed the Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our National
Government Act of 2007 to reform FOIA on December 31st. The OPEN Government Act
clarifies the response time to FOIA requests, establishes reliable methods for checking the
status of pending requests, and creates a new Office of Government Information Services
within the National Archives and Records Administration to review agency compliance with
FOIA and offer mediation services to requestors.
Two provisions included in the FY 2008 appropriations omnibus bill also caused us to
celebrate. First, Congress gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a $1 million
order, above the agency’s budget request, to reopen the three regional libraries and the
Chemical Library here in D.C. which they had closed, and restore public access to their
Headquarters Library. Second, the omnibus bill also included a new policy directing the
National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide the public with free online access to NIH-
funded research. Every scientist who publishes an article in a peer-reviewed journal as a
result of an NIH grant must deposit a digital copy in PubMed Central, NIH’s online digital
Another achievement this year is that, in response to the 2006 AALL “Resolution on No-Fee
FDLP Access to PACER,” the U.S. Government Printing Office and the Administrative
Office of the U.S. Courts announced a new pilot project in November that allows users of 16
federal depository libraries to access PACER at no-fee. Ten law libraries are participating in
the pilot. We hope that, after the three-year pilot ends, no-fee access to PACER will be
available to users all across the country at every federal depository library.
On the copyright front, we were very pleased that Jonathan Franklin, Associate Law
Librarian at the University of Washington’s Gallagher Law Library and former chair of the
Copyright Committee, was named one of three International Copyright Advocates as part of
a new program sponsored by the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy. In
February, Jonathan represented the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), of which AALL is a
founding member, at the 12th Session of the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on
Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore.
The LCA and other stakeholders have been trying to negotiate legislation on orphan works
for more than three years. The legislation we strongly supported during the 109th Congress
was killed by photographers at the eleventh hour. The new bills introduced this spring, H.R.
5439 and S. 2913, have many problematic provisions that will make searches for orphan
works very costly and time-consuming for libraries, especially when it comes to mass
digitization projects. Intense negotiations continue with House and Senate members and their
staffs to make sure that the needs of libraries are reflected in this important legislation. With
the presidential election coming up in the fall, it seems unlikely that we’ll see either bill pass
AALL has long been committed to raising the profile of the Law Library of Congress and
working to improve its funding. AALL President Ann Fessenden testified for us at an
oversight hearing held by the House Administration Committee on the operations of the
Library of Congress last October. Ann, along with two witnesses from the ABA, asked that
the Law Library be given a separate line item in LC’s annual budget. Along with colleagues
from the ABA, I began to work this spring with Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D. Calif.) and her staff to
develop legislation to improve the Law Library’s funding. The draft bill, which we hope to
see introduced soon, includes the necessary authorization for a separate line item and for the
creation of a non-profit organization to begin fundraising efforts long desired by the ABA for
new expanded services, such as interlibrary loan and document delivery.
Last but far from least, Emily Feldman joined the Washington Affairs Office in November
2007 and she has worked tirelessly to expand its advocacy program and increase
communications efforts. Thanks to Emily, the Washington E-Bulletin is published regularly
every month. It is distributed to AALL Chapters and SISs by members of the Government
Relations Committee, and is also sent to the 224 members of the AALL Advocacy discussion
list and the 218 subscribers of the Gen X/Gen Y discussion list. Emily also works very
effectively to involve Chapters in our legislative efforts. In February, Emily launched
AALL’s exciting new Washington Blawg to provide you with the very latest news.
To learn more about these issues and our other activities in 2007-08, subscribe to the
Advocacy discussion list or sign up for the Washington Blawg, please visit our Web site.
Emily and I rely on all of you for assistance in delivering important messages to your
representatives on a variety of issues throughout the year. As always, you have helped bring
about the many policy successes AALL has achieved this year. Thank you very much!
Mary Alice Baish, Acting Washington Affairs Representative