Archive for March, 2009

April Issue of AALL Spectrum Online

The April issue of AALL Spectrum is available online in PDF format. This month’s articles feature:

The “Member to Member” responses explore your colleagues’ favorite work-related and recreational reading.

Paper copies will mail out to members today, so look for them in your mailboxes soon.

April Webinar – Negotiation: Path to Collaboration

Do you get a sinking feeling when told you’ll have to negotiate a contract? Do you feel unprepared to actually engage in a negotiation process? Attend Negotiation: Path to Collaboration on April 22, 12-1 p.m. EST, and explore the mechanics of a successful negotiation from start to finish. The webinar facilitator will be Sarah Nichols, a strategic information management consultant with 25 years experience in strategic planning and operational effectiveness for information management, research, and library functions within the professional services sector. Register by April 17.

AALL Membership Renewal

AALL dues invoices for the 2009-2010 membership year mail out this week to all library directors for their institutionally paid memberships and to all other individual members. The deadline for membership renewal is May 31.

To help in these tough times, AALL is offering a discounted membership rate for AALL members who are recently unemployed. The discounted membership appears online and in all public records simply as an “Active” membership, but is billed at the student/retired rate ($55 instead of $218). The discounted rate is good through May 31, 2010.

Unemployed AALL members should fill out the online form or contact AALL Membership Services Coordinator Hannah Phelps ( or 312-205-8022) to sign up.

AALL Launches New Advocacy Toolkit for Members and Chapters

The AALL Government Relations Office and Government Relations Committee are pleased to announce a dynamic new resource to help AALL members and chapters become effective advocates for law libraries. The Advocacy Toolkit for the 111th Congress: 2009-2010 is designed to offer a one-stop shop for law librarians who want to learn more about AALL’s information policy issues and take action on the federal and state levels.

The Advocacy Toolkit provides AALL members and chapters with:

  • Ways to get involved in advocacy
  • Specific actions you can take immediately to promote our efforts in Washington, D.C.
  • A comprehensive look at the issues and bills AALL is currently working on
  • The tools you need to become effective advocates on both the federal and state levels

An RSS feed is available to help you keep track of the latest action alerts, bills, and other updates.

Coping with the economy

AALL has a wiki, Tools for success in today’s economy with links to helpful resources. Check it out – and contribute something you’ve found helpful or that others may find helpful. carries part  one of an article “Interview tips: Biglaw to small law” by Elie Mystal.  Good tips for any interview situation humorously delivered.

The Snark, a columnist in the Fulton County Daily Report takes big law to task in today’s “Layoffs, What Layoffs?

Finally, if you can, turn off the newsfeeds about the legal economy so that you don’t see them throughout the day.

– Mark

New Archived AALL Webinar on Communicating with C-level Management

AALL recently made available an archived Webinar on how to communicate with C-level management and provide a clear understanding of the value the law library brings to their organization.

C-ing is Believing- Next Steps for Library Success (original date February 17, 2009)

FUD – Fear Uncertainty & Doubt

When I worked in a law firm in an employment-at-will state, I approached each day believing I needed to prove my value again to a different group of customers/clients/users/partners. So, I always watch for new useful collections of pointers: “Networking is key to navigating recession” by Ari L. Kaploan in the 3/2/09 National Law Journal and “Take Proactive Steps to Avoid a Layoff” by Stacy Humphries and Elaine Makris Williams in the 3/2/09 Texas Lawyer are two such collections. The short version: figure out how to add value to decision-makers and polish your resume.

– Mark

Tweeting in the mainstream media – 3/9/09

Twitter was in the media on Monday. The Wall Street Journal carried “How to Twitter” by Julia Angwin; a fun how-to guide reminiscent of Julie and Julia by Julie Powers. The Washington Post had “Firms take to the Tweetable Business Model” by Kim Hart; a good overview of training programs for employees and using Twitter for business intelligence research.

I’ve not quite figured out how I might use Twitter in a public law library. I did however learn of a library that sends an RSS feed of books that are returned from circulation. Subscribers to the feed can follow a link to the online catalog and place a hold on the book.

– Mark

McGill University School of Information Studies Students Seek Text Book Donations for Zimbabwe Law School

The McGill Delegation of the Rights & Democracy Network is seeking the following:

  • donations towards the purchase of new public international law, human rights law, or associated text books for the law students of the University of Zimbabwe; or
  • donations of extra copies (including previous editions) of public international law, human rights law, or associated materials.

The delegation is advised by Irene Petras, director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, that there is a substantial need for these text books, as well as stationary at the university. The McGill delegation is organizing a book drive and fundraiser on March 26, from 7-9 p.m., at the McGill Law School  to support the University of Zimbabwe law students. Donations of books/and or donations towards the purchase of new textbooks will be accepted.

For further information, please contact Alex Yiu at For anyone located in Montreal, a donation box will also be available in the atrium of the McGill Law School (3644 Peel Street) beginning March 11.

If you wish to send a donation to support the purchase of new text books, please forward your donation to: McGill Rights & Democracy Network c/o of the McGill Faculty of Law Human Rights Working Group at Chancellor Day Hall 3644 Peel Street Montreal, Quebec H3A 1W9.

March 2009

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