The AALL Research Committee is accepting applications for research grants from the AALL Research Fund: An Endowment Established by LexisNexis. A single grant of up to $1,425, or multiple grants totaling $1,425 may be awarded. The Committee will award one or more grants to library professionals who wish to conduct research that supports the research and scholarly ageda of the profession of law librarianship. The deadline for applications is Friday, March 27, 2009

For more information, consult the Research and Publications Committee website at http://www.aallnet.org/committee/respub/

Award applications for attendence or participation at the 2009 AALL Annual Meeting are now available.

Applications should be sent to the Awards and Grants Committee Chair Monica Sharum at msharum@pacific.edu by May 1, 2009.

Purpose: The purpose of the AALL CS-SIS Grants Program for Students and New Librarians is to provide financial assistance to librarians who hold promise of future involvement in the law library profession, especially those who are directly involved in providing technology support of any kind within law libraries. Funds are provided by the AALL CS-SIS. The CS-SIS Grants Program is a benefit of membership in AALL and was created by the CS-SIS Grants Committee in December, 1999. Grants issued will be used to support attendance at AALL educational activities, including AALL workshops, the annual AALL Conference or relevant AALL Chapter workshops and seminars. Grants will cover registration costs. However, applicants may request consideration for additional financial support to attend educational events. Information justifying specialized needs is required in such cases.

Deadline: May 1st, 2009 for AALL Annual Conference or Institutes Awards for other relevant AALL or AALL chapter programs as needed.

Qualifications: An applicant must be a current member of CS-SIS and AALL.

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. In the event circumstances prevent the use of the grant by a recipient, the grant reverts to the CS-SIS for disposition at the discretion of the Chair. Individuals who have received a CS-SIS grant within the two previous years will not be considered.

Selection Criteria: Preference may be given to:

  • Active members of the CS-SIS
  • Individuals who have never attended an AALL workshop or Annual Conference
  • Individuals in financial need
  • Individuals who are not previous CS-SIS grant recipients

Notification: Grant recipients will be notified by phone. A general announcement may be shared in AALL publications or listservs.

Responsibilities: Grant recipients are required to provide some type of service to the CS-SIS in the form of an article for the CS-SIS website, active committee participation, attendance at program planning meetings, etc. Contributions may be negotiated with the CS-SIS Board at the time of receiving the grant.

Procedure: Applications can be sent to Monica Sharum, Electronic Services Librarian, University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law at msharum@pacific.edu. She can also be reached at 916.739.7014.


Name:

Work Address and Telephone:

E-Mail Address:

Title / Position and Dates of Service:

I am applying for a grant to: _____AALL Annual Conference _____Other; please describe:

________________________________________________________________________

Check those that apply for the grant you are applying for:

______I have never attended an AALL Annual Conference.

______I have never attended an AALL workshop/institute

______I have never attended an AALL Chapter institute/seminar/workshop

______I have previously attended one or all of these education events. Year(s)

Will your employer pay any percentage of expenses? ____No____Yes, percent: _______

If I do not receive a grant: (Check one)

______I will be unable to attend this educational activity.

______I may not be able to attend this educational activity.

______I will attend this educational activity.

List AALL and AALL chapter activities in which you are presently involved:

Length of membership in AALL? _______________

Are you currently a student enrolled in a degree program to further your career in law librarianship? If yes, which one?

Please describe why you should be awarded a grant. How does attending this educational activity relate to your current job and career goals? Please list any additional factors the Committee should consider in reviewing your application.

Purpose: The purpose of the AALL CS-SIS Grants Program is to provide financial assistance to librarians who have a demonstrated commitment to the law library profession, especially those who are directly involved in providing technology support of any kind within law libraries. Funds are provided by the AALL CS-SIS. The CS-SIS Grants Program is a benefit of membership in AALL and was created by the CS-SIS Grants Committee in December, 1999. Grants issued will be used to support attendance at AALL educational activities, including AALL workshops, the annual AALL Conference or relevant AALL Chapter workshops and seminars. Grants will cover registration costs. However, applicants may request consideration for additional financial support to attend educational events. Information justifying specialized needs is required in such cases.

Deadline: May 1, 2009 for AALL Annual Conference or Institutes Awards for other relevant AALL or AALL chapter programs as needed.

Qualifications: An applicant must be a current member of CS-SIS and AALL.

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. In the event circumstances prevent the use of the grant by a recipient, the grant reverts to the CS-SIS for disposition at the discretion of the Chair. Individuals who have received a CS-SIS grant within the two previous years will not be considered.

Selection Criteria: Preference may be given to:

  • Active members of the CS-SIS
  • Individuals who have never attended an AALL workshop or Annual Conference
  • Individuals with financial need
  • Individuals who are not previous CS-SIS grant recipients

Notification: Grant recipients will be notified by phone. A general announcement may be shared in AALL publications or listservs.

Responsibilities: Grant recipients are required to provide some type of service to the CS-SIS in the form of an article for the CS-SIS website, active committee participation, attendance at program planning meetings, etc. Contributions may be negotiated with the CS-SIS Board at the time of receiving the grant.

Procedure: Applications can be sent to Monica Sharum, Electronic Services Librarian, University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law at msharum@pacific.edu. She can also be reached at 916.739.7014.


Name:

Work Address and Telephone:

E-Mail Address:

Title / Position and Dates of Service:

I am applying for a grant to: _____AALL Annual Conference _____Other; please describe:

________________________________________________________________________

Check those that apply for the grant you are applying for:

______I have never attended an AALL Annual Conference.

______I have never attended an AALL workshop/institute

______I have never attended an AALL Chapter institute/seminar/workshop

______I have previously attended one or all of these education events. Year(s)

Will your employer pay any percentage of expenses? ____No____Yes, percent: _______

If I do not receive a grant: (Check one)

______I will be unable to attend this educational activity.

______I may not be able to attend this educational activity.

______I will attend this educational activity.

List CS, AALL and AALL chapter activities in which you are presently involved:

Length of membership in AALL? _______________

Please describe why you should be awarded a grant. How does attending this educational activity relate to your current job and career goals? Please list any additional factors the Committee should consider in reviewing your application.

The following are changes that the Bylaws Committee (Susan Boland, Tina Ching, Dominick Grillo (Chair), Sheri Lewis, and Jean Willis) propose for a vote by CS-SIS membership. An online vote will be conducted 30 days after posting this on the CS-SIS website. CS-SIS members shall receive Bylaws electronic vote instructions via email.

Complete CS-SIS Bylaws are available online at:http://www.aallnet.org/sis/cssis/bylaws/bylaws_current.asp Recommended changes are listed below. New text is in bold; text to be struck is in brackets:

Change #1a & 1b

Article I: NAME

The name of this special interest section of the American Association of Law Libraries (hereinafter referred to as the “Association” or “AALL”) shall be the Computing Services Special Interest Section (hereinafter referred to as the “Section”), abbreviated CS-SIS or CS SIS.

REASON – Later in the Bylaws we use the abbreviation AALL, so we might as well make it clear what we mean. In many of our publications we use the hyphenated form CS-SIS. These changes clarify our current practices.

Change #2

Article IV: GENERAL BUSINESS MEETINGS

Section 2. At each annual meeting [the budget ]a financial summary of the Section

will be submitted to the membership for approval.

REASON – To conform to current practice. We don’t plan a budget for the

following year but instead explain moneys coming in and going out.

Change #3

Article V: OFFICERS AND ELECTIONS

Section 2. Election Procedures.

(b.) Nominations for office may be submitted in advance to a Nominating Committee appointed by the Chairperson as provided in Article VII. The [n]Nominating [c]Committee shall submit a slate of at least two candidates for each office and the slates shall appear on the ballot. Write-in votes will be permitted on the official ballot.

REASON – Adjust capitalization.

Change #4

Article V: OFFICERS AND ELECTIONS

Section 2. Election Procedures.

(d.) In the event electronic ballots are used, the details of conducting the election shall first be approved by the Executive Committee. The Committee shall ensure that an election conducted by electronic balloting is fundamentally fair and preserves the right of secret ballot. The candidate for each office receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected. In case of a tie vote, a run off election shall be held at the annual business meeting. Run off elections shall be by secret ballot. The ballots shall be immediately counted, and the candidate with the largest number of votes declared elected.

REASON – Right now we have no method to handle this (admittedly rare) event. The new language is similar to the AALL bylaws.

Change #5

Article VII: COMMITTEES

Section 1. There shall be an Executive Committee consisting of the officers named

above and the immediate past [chair ]Chairperson.

REASON – We use Chairperson and not Chair in the document.

Change #6

Article IX: PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE

Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, in the latest edition, shall govern all deliberations of the Section, except as otherwise specified in these bylaws. When used throughout this document, terms of gender (for example, pronouns) shall be considered to be gender-neutral in intent.

REASON – We often us his, her, etc. in the document, and for readability, this seems the simplest way to make explicit that in a line such as: “If a Chairperson leaves his office, the Vice-Chairperson will assume his duties.” does not require a male officer.

CS-SIS now has a Facebook Page. Become a Fan, write on our Wall, check out our AALL events, recommend an app, or even start a discussion.

Attending the ® ABA TechShow 2008 was a great experience. Maybe it was because my colleague and I traveled by train to Chicago, or maybe it was because our double room at the Chicago Hilton had two closets and bathrooms. Most likely, it was because of the excellent programs and extensive Expo Hall. We were lucky the train and hotel kept us well rested; the ABA TechShow is intense! The American Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Section put together 50 sessions covering 16 topical tracks. (Download the Program Guide.) With seven simultaneous sessions and nearly 120 exhibitors, it was hard to take it all in. Fortunately each registration packet came with a CD of handouts and supplementary materials. A month after the conference, attendees received a link to the Power Points. I will be delving into the sessions I missed for the rest of the year.

As an academic law librarian without a J.D., I had three objectives in coming to the TechShow. First was to explore law practice technology with the idea of creating a presentation or workshop for our graduating students. The exhibitors at the Expo were generous with their time and sample software. I came away with an overview of technologies that are being used in law practice and what future webinars and on-site training opportunities are available for our students. It will probably take me several months to peruse all the opportunities.

Second, I looked at how and why lawyers are using technology. I concentrated on sessions from the Paperless Office, the Solo/Small Firm I, and the Mobile Technology tracks and learned that technology can not only make law offices more efficient and effective, it can also help attorneys fulfill their Code of Ethics obligations. Since our university is actively pursuing digitizing faculty publications, I wanted to see how attorneys approach digitizing documents. Paul Unger’s presentations in the Paperless Office track were especially clear and helpful in explaining the process and the technologies used.

My third objective was to attend the 60 Tips in 60 Minutes and the 60 Sites in 60 Minutes sessions to prepare for a short presentation on technology I was giving for the Southwestern Association of Law Libraries annual meeting. Preparing for my presentation is how I ran across the ABA TechShow website in the first place. Among the free resources I found on the site were annotated listings of all 60 Sites in 60 Minutes from 2004 through 2007. The 2007 CD and selected audio recordings of sessions are also available for purchase. Between the TechShow and the website I came away with more than enough resources to evaluate

Keynote speaker Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, is an example of just how tech savvy all the presenters were. Rotenberg incorporated the Governor Spitzer prostitution scandal endlessly playing on the elevator TV screens into his afternoon address. Spitzer served as an up-to-the-minute illustration of how little privacy is possible online as Rotenberg showed us documents, images of the hotel room, the call girl Ashley Alexandra Dupre’s MySpace page, and a selection of the many news sites and blogs covering the scandal.

The TechShow made me realize that attorneys are starting to take on activities from the information transfer cycle: creating, storing, organizing, accessing, and destroying information. This gives librarians an opportunity to use our expertise to expand our role in law firm settings beyond legal research. I found the TechShow to be well worth my time. I learned a lot from those tech savvy attorneys. The sessions were informative and stimulating. I even had the chance to eat with a speaker and a small group at a Taste of ABA TechShow dinner, but I was too new to feel comfortable participating. Maybe next year I’ll try that. The ABA TechShow is free for law students and has a reduced registration rate for academic law librarians. Just email the Law Practice Management Section for details. Attorneys can receive CLE credit. The 2009 ABA TechShow will be held April 2-4, 2009 at the Chicago Hilton. Maybe I’ll see you there.

I keep tripping over this thing called GTD®. Gobbling Turkey Day? Getting There Directions? Going To Disney World? While I would love any one of those things, it actually stands for Getting It Done® and it is one of those ubiquitous management phrases floating around. According to The David Allan Company’s website, “GTD® is the popular shorthand for “Getting Things Done®”, the groundbreaking work-life management system and book by David Allen that transforms personal overwhelm and overload into an integrated system of stress-free productivity.” The David Allen Company, The Definition of David Allen’s Getting Things Done®, (2008), http://www.davidco.com/what_is_gtd.php. I’m not hawking the book or the system, but I am a fan of using technology to help me accomplish the things I need to in as efficient a way as possible. Unfortunately, I’ve had all too much contact with technology that becomes a black sink hole of my time! Thus, I’ve compiled a list of some of the more useful technology tips that help me, and can maybe help you, save time.

1. Use an RSS Reader and subscribe to feeds for current awareness research.

If you haven’t already discovered RSS and subscribed to feeds, this is one area that can save you time. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. It is an XML (Extensible Markup Language) format that enables efficient distribution of Web content. Rather than visiting each individual Website or blog that you get news from, or subscribing to and reading dozens of e-mail newsletters, you can use a software program to collect headlines. The RSS feed contains the information while the aggregator or reader collects and stores the information, as well as decodes it so you can read it. Once you are ready to read your news, you’ll need to find RSS feeds. Usually if a site offers a feed, there will be an icon letting you know: or

For basic, easy to get started RSS Readers:

There are many other reader/aggregators out there. To find the right news aggregator for you, check out these reviews:

2. Organize your feeds.

There is a temptation to read every feed you subscribe to. This can lead to a mental breakdown. Feeds can be overwhelming, especially if you subscribe to a feed where posts are made almost every hour. Organizing your feeds enables you to give yourself permission to prioritize where your time will be spent. Most feed readers offer ways to organize your feeds. I happen to organize my feeds into purpose folders that are in order of priority: Faculty Liaison Feeds, Library Feeds, Technology Feeds, General News Feeds, and Fun Feeds. Some Readers allow you to tag individual messages as well as organize them into folders. No matter how you organize your feeds, don’t be afraid to hit the Mark All As Read button!

3. Limit your web browsing or time your tasks.

Sometimes you just need a little help to keep yourself on track. Perhaps you need to work on a project but can only devote a certain amount of time to it. Additionally, as useful as the Internet is, it is also huge time sink. It is easy to get distracted by an interesting article or site that is tangential to what you were originally searching. One way to keep yourself on track is to limit the amount of time you can spend browsing on the Internet. For those of us who are easily distractible or without the willpower to do this voluntarily, there are technology tools to help!

  • Code Jacked, Take Control of Your Browsing Time with Browser Timer, http://www.codejacked.com/take-control-of-your-browsing-time-with-browser-timer/ (last visited 5/15/08). Browser Timer will actually shut down your browser when the amount of time that you specified passes.
  • Online Stopwatch, http://www.online-stopwatch.com/ (last visited 5/15/08). The online stopwatch will keep track of how much time you are spending at a particular task. While it won’t shut down your browser, it will let you see how much time you’ve spent browsing on the Internet.
  • Countdown Timer, http://theinsomniacsociety.com/timer.html (last visited 5/15/08). The countdown timer is a browser based timer that not only allows you to set a certain amount of time to accomplish a task but also allows you to set up an alert when that time expires.
  • LeechBlock, https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4476 (last visited 5/15/08). LeechBlock is a FireFox extension that allows you to block up to six websites at certain times of the day. Thus, you can avoid the temptation to look at your favorite technology website in the morning by blocking the site but set it to unblock in the afternoon when you have time available.

4. Use FireFox Extensions.

One of the perks of using FireFox as your browser is all of the useful extensions available. Here are just a few:

  • Zotero, http://www.zotero.org/ (last visited 5/15/08). Zotero is an extension for a researcher that allows you to capture and store all types of files, including web pages. You can annotate and manage your research, and export your citations. This is invaluable for a research project.
  • TinyURL Add On, http://tinyurl.com/2qfukv (last visited 5/15/08). TinyURL is a program that allows you to turn a long URL into a short one. This is especially useful when posting URLs into documents or emails. The FireFox extension allows you to create a TinyUrl right from FireFox rather than going to the TinyURL page (http://tinyurl.com ), cutting and pasting, and then cutting and pasting again.
  • Session Manager, https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2324 (last visited 5/15/08). Session manager saves and restores your tabs and windows. This is handy if you accidentally close all tabs when you meant to only close one.
  • Download Sort, https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/25 (last visited 5/15/08). This extension allows you to automatically send downloads that you are saving to specific places. You can set it up so that all of your pdfs automatically download in one place, your jpgs in another, and your Word documents in yet another.

5. Use Thunderbird to check multiple email accounts.

Thunderbird, http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/thunderbird/ (last visited 5/15/08) is a cross-platform email client that allows you to manage multiple email accounts. It also has a built-in RSS Reader. Rather than check each email account individually or set up forwarding rules on each account, set up Thunderbird so that you download email messages from each account using one software application. Best of all, Thunderbird comes in a portable addition so you can take it with you on a USB drive, CD-ROM, or MP3 player. See http://portableapps.com/ (last visited 5/15/08).

6. Use Remember The Milk or other task based software to help you manage your list of things to get done.

  • Remember The Milk, http://www.rememberthemilk.com/ (last visited 5/15/08) is a web-based program designed to help you manage your tasks. In addition to letting you list and organize tasks, it also provides integration with email, instant messaging, text messaging, Blackberry, Twitter, iPhone, Google Calendar, and many other software applications and devices. Remember The Milk has great search features too.
  • Another good option for managing tasks is TiddlyWikki, which is available at http://www.tiddlywiki.com/ (last visited 5/15/08). See http://www.checkettsweb.com/tw/gtd_tiddlywiki.htm for a Getting It Done version of TiddlyWikki. TiddlyWikki is portable too!
  • ToDoList at http://todoist.com/ (last visited 5/15/08) is another web-based task manager with many of the same features as Remember The Milk.

7. Use mind mapping software to plot projects and actions.

Mind maps allow you to brainstorm and connect ideas to the actions that need to be taken to implement them. I find these most useful at the beginning of a project. You don’t need technology to mind map – you can create mind maps with paper and colored markers but technology can make them easier to share and store.

  • MindMeister, available at http://www.mindmeister.com/ (last visited 5/15/08) is an online mind mapping tool with a free basic version. You can collaborate and share mind maps. The free version limits you to a small number of maps.
  • Bubble.us, available at http://bubbl.us/ (last visited 5/15/08) is another online mind mapping tool. It is flash-based and has fewer export options than MindMeister.
  • Freemind, available at http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page (last visited 5/15/08) is a java-based mind mapping tool. It does not offer the collaboration features of the others but is a good stand alone tool.
  • CMap, available at http://cmap.ihmc.us/ (last visited 5/15/08) is another mind mapping tool free to individual non-commercial users or educational users.

These are just a few technology tips and tools for those of us trying to get things done with or without a system.

The 2008 recipient of the CS-SIS Kenneth J. Hirsh Award is Mark Folmsbee, Associate Dean of Computer Services and Associate Director of the Law Library at the Washburn University School of Law. Mark has been a guiding force in law school and law library technology for nearly 20 years and has been a leader in the CS-SIS and AALL.

An early innovator, Mark established the AALLnet site online in the 1990’s. He hosted the site at Washburn University School of Law using Telnet and a Lynx Web client. He also hosted the first AALL email lists, including the listserv for the Automation and Scientific Development SIS – the predecessor to the Computing Services SIS.

Mark has been active at the national level in AALL by serving as a member of the AALL Executive Board from 1997-2000. He was chair of the CS-SIS from 1995-96. Additionally, Mark has been a frequent presenter at the AALL annual meetings and CS-SIS sponsored events. He has served on numerous AALL committees and committees and workgroups in the CS-SIS.

On a personal level, Mark has been an informal mentor and an advisor on technology matters to innumerable CS-SIS members and colleagues in the law librarian profession.The Hirsh Disinguished Service Award will be presented during the AALL Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon in July 2008. The membership of the CS-SIS Awards Committee for 2007-2008 is Prano Amjadi, Therese Clarke Arado, and Sheri Lewis.

Congrats to our two grant winners this year, Stacey L. Rowland from the University of Mississippi and Raizel Liebler from John Marshall Law School. The CS-SIS grant covers their conference registration fees to attend the annual AALL conference.