Background on the vendor colloquia series

The vendor colloquium, “Creating, Disseminating, Using, and Preserving Legal Information in Challenging Times,” February 28 –March 1 at the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook, Illinois is the 6th library and information vendor gathering sponsored by AALL. In each of these invitation only colloquia the organizers sought to bring together decision-makers and influencers in order to address common concerns related to the changing environment of legal information publishing. To control costs and encourage focused discussion attendance has been limited to about 40 law librarians and publishers. This year adds stakeholders to the group while staying at around 40 participants.

In April 1994, 18 law librarians, 13 legal publishers and 2 law professors in the field of legal information technology attended the AALL Electronic Information Retreat. Attendees considered “the implications of today’s increasingly digitized information environment, in which the traditional roles of each group are changing and the differences are becoming less distinct.” Read the AALL President Kay Todd’s report here .

During the 1995 retreat 22 law librarians and 13 publishers were invited to discuss “a variety of concerns including 1) law librarians’ expectations about how the legal information industry will respond to the increasing demand for access to information and 2) publisher’s perceptions of the direction the legal information and people take in regard to balancing the production of information in traditional formats and through electronics (sic) means.“

The 1996 AALL and Legal Information Industry Leadership Conference, “Vision 2006” drew 19 librarians and 13 publishers to exchange ideas about how the traditional roles of both groups would change because of the “increasingly digitized information environment.”

At the 1998 colloquium 15 law librarians and 13 legal publisher representatives focused on “the effect disintermediation has on the quality of the end users’ work product when using electronic legal information” without the assistance of a law librarian. Read Kay Todd & Mark Estes’ report here.

In 2001, during the fifth colloquium, “Changing Nature of Legal Research: Adapting To New User Realities” 22 law librarians and 15 legal publisher representatives explored the changing preferences research practices of students and practicing lawyers. Read Mark Estes’ report here.

5 Responses to “Background on the vendor colloquia series”

  1. 1 John Mayer February 27, 2011 at 5:55 am

    I would love to “Read More Here”, but I do not have a subscription to HeinOnline. Not everyone does. I don’t think you were trying to be ironic by linking to past AALL documents that seem to be only available behind a vendor paywall, but that seems to be what happened.

    • 2 Mark Estes February 27, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      The documents are available to AALL members through the ‘members only’ section of AALLNET. I’m checking on licensing issues to see if I can post them on this blog.

  2. 3 Carl Malamud February 27, 2011 at 10:11 am

    The invitation letter to this vendor colloquium states: “”One of the AALL’s major priorities for this year is to increase and improve communications between law librarians and the legal information publishing community. By understanding each other’s corporate cultures, strategic directions, and operational limitations we should both be able to plan better for the future and to provide better information for the legal community.”

    As somebody who is admittedly not a vendor, law librarian, or other legal professional, it would be very helpful to know what the other major priorities are. I was hoping somebody could point me that information.

    Best regards and good luck on the colloquium. It sounds like a wonderful opportunity to promote better mutual understanding.

  3. 5 Carl Malamud February 27, 2011 at 10:21 am

    The invitation letter to this vendor colloquium states: “The legal information industry — and the content it produces and disseminates — is a crucial one. Judges, lawyers and a well-informed public rely on the accuracy, authenticity, quality and availability of this content, which in turn ensures the rule of law. Thus, a discussion of the creation, publication, dissemination and use of legal information is of paramount importance in this complex, technologically advanced world of ours.”

    Again as a non-professional in this field, I was hoping for pointers to AALL materials or positions on how this crucial role played by the legal information industry relates to roles placed by governmental entities that produce primary legal materials as well as the role of amateur, ad hoc sources of information, such as the Cornell LII or Justia.

    Again, this is an important topic you are exploring and I wish you look in this meeting.

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February 2011

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