1– Report on annual members’ meeting-p.1
2– Highlights, Bd. of Dirs. meeting-p. 2
3– Subsidizing St. Louis cataloging-p. 2
4– Expanding off-site scanning-p. 2
5– Raising microfiche prices-p. 2
6– Fine-tuning LLMC-Digital prices-p.3
7– Archiving LLMC hardcopy-p. 3
8– Cooperating with LIPA-p. 4
9– Cooperating with a Google test-p. 4
10- Recognition of Canadian Caucus-p. 4
11- Correction: Loading OCLC records-p. 5
12- Good news re: a microfiche service-p. 5
13- One more specialized list-serv-p. 6
14- Donations, the honor roll grows -p. 6
Report on the 2005 Annual LLMC Meeting
LLMC has held annual meetings for libraries participating in its microfiche program every year since 1978. To maximize attendance the meetings are held during the annual AALL conventions. Our 28th annual meeting took place last month in San Antonio. The meeting was conducted under the new rules adopted at the 2003 meeting, when the LLMC-fiche-era libraries voted to transfer control of LLMC’s assets and their accumulated voting rights to the Charter Members of LLMC-Digital. As always, the main official business of the meeting was to elect Directors and Councilors for open slots on our two governing bodies, our Board of Directors and our Advisory Council. Ballots reflecting each library’s subscription status were picked up by delegates on arrival. Some 48 representatives of the 265 LLMC-Digital libraries attended.
In the Board of Directors election two slots were open due to the expiration of the terms of Roger Jacobs, Dir. of the Notre Dame Univ. Law Lib., and Maryruth Storer, Dir. of the Orange County, Calif., Law Lib.. Nominees were Bruce Johnson, Dir., Ohio State Univ. Law Library and Betsy McKenzie, Dir., Suffolk Univ. Law Library. Both were elected by acclamation.
In the election for Councilors, seven slots were available, two due to Councilors Johnson and McKenzie being tapped for service on the Board of Directors, and another five due to the expiration of the terms of Councilors Bob Buckwalter, Asso. Dir. at Harvard Univ. Law Lib.; John Pedini, Libn., Social Law Lib.; Kathy Price, Dir., Univ. of Florida Law Lib; Tom Reynolds, Asso. Dir. Ret., UC-Berkeley Law Lib.; and Mark Strattner, Senior Collect. Devel. Spec., Law Lib. of Cong. Elected to these positions were outgoing Directors Maryruth Storer and Roger Jacobs, and Jonathan Franklin, Asso. Dir., Univ. of Washington Law Lib.; Holly Lakatos, Libn., Chicago-Kent Sch. of Law Lib.; Gail Partin, Dir., Dickensen, Sch. Law Lib. of Penn. St.; Kumar Percy, Libn., Univ. of Texas at Austin Law Lib.; and Steven Weiter, Libn., N.Y. App. Div. Lib., Rochester.
Following the above elections, the membership of our two governing bodies for 2005/06 will be as below. (See endnote # 1) In conclusion, on behalf of all members we extend our sincere thanks to Roger Jacobs and Maryruth Storer for their just completed four years of service on the Board of Directors and for their willingness to put in yet another three years as Councilors.
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In addition, we thank Bob Buckwalter, John Pedini, Kathy Price, Tom Reynolds, and Mark Strattner; each of whom has given many years of service on one or the other, or both, of our governing bodies.
Report on July Board of Directors Meeting
The LLMC Board of Directors normally meets twice annually, usually at the annual AALL and January AALS meetings; in both cases with the aim of economizing on travel costs and maximizing attendance. The recent mid-summer meeting was held on Saturday, July16, from 9:00AM to 3:45PM. Our gracious hosts were Bob Summers and Bob Hu, respectively outgoing and incoming directors at St. Mary’s University Law Library. The meeting was held in the “Dean’s Atrium,” a pleasant space adorned with tropical vegetation by means of an indoor conservatory.
Highlights among the policy decisions made by the Board at its July meeting were:
— Subsidizing St. Louis cataloging: As most readers know, all titles appearing on LLMC-Digital are cataloged to meet the highest level OCLC standards by the staff of the St. Louis University Law Library (SLU-LL). To date LLMC has reimbursed SLU-LL through barter arrangements. However, the quantum of titles being cataloged has now increased well beyond the bounds of our original agreement. In recognition of this, the Board voted to initiate direct subsidies to cover the overage and to permit SLU-LL to expand its cataloging staff as needed to meet the burden. A monetary subsidy of $20,000 per annum will begin in January 2006. Given the large number of smaller titles, meaning more cataloging, which will be entering the pipeline in the next few years, it is anticipated that this initial subsidy will need to be increased relatively soon.
— Expanding scanning partnerships: Our partnership with St. Louis will take on a new dimension early next year when that institution’s main library (SLU-ML) will become the focus for LLMC’s second (See endnote # 2) off-site scanning operation. The Board approved the broad details of a partnership in which St. Louis University will provide a project supervisor and a full FTE of operator time, while LLMC will provide the equipment, training and maintenance, and all post-scanning image processing services. The initial targets for scanning will be materials from SLU-ML’s government documents collection (See endnote # 3) and its rare books collections. The latter are especially rich in materials permitting a substantial broadening of scope in LLMC’s Canon Law and Civil Law collections.
Raise in LLMC microfiche prices: When LLMC switched to a primarily digital product, our expectation was that fiche sales would taper off dramatically. That may still happen, but it certainly has not done so yet. As a result LLMC finds that it has had to invest money, both to keep some present machinery going, and also to buy a new duplicator. Given those expenses the Board decided that a rise in fiche prices is justified to ensure that the fiche side of our operations is carrying its share of the load. The Board approved an increase in our list price per microfiche from the present $1.50 to $2.25 per fiche effective with this publication of the price rise in the Newsletter. The 66% discount program for LLMC-Digital subscribers will be retained; so that this rise in list price will have the effect that in the future digital subscribers will be paying $0.75 per fiche instead of the current $0.50.
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— Modifying LLMC-Digital pricing: The Board addressed the subscription schedule for LLMC-Digital and decided that some modifications were justified in the light of our limited experience to date.
— Law schools: At this time 88.5% of all AALS-associated law schools (member & fee-paid) subscribe to the service. Heretofore the requirement has been that any of the remaining 22 schools may subscribe if they end up paying the same amount as the other schools have paid since the service began. The Board decided that with the passage of time this requirement has become too onerous, especially since most of the remaining schools suffer from exceptionally low budgets. The Board approved a new program under which these schools may subscribe to the service at an annual rate of $6,380 per annum if they pledge in good faith to subscribe for a period of ten years. This will entitle them to all the rights of subscribers with the exception of Charter Membership,
— The Board approved a very substantial reduction, from $750 per year to $250, in our annual rate for single practitioners and other solo subscribers. This category has only two subscribers at present. Both will be billed at the new rate in the future, but will retain Charter Membership status.
— In another move to increase our presence in an underrepresented class, the Board set a special new rate of $1,000 per annum for government documents libraries in colleges and universities which do not host law schools. This category has only one subscriber at present. That library will be billed at the new rate in the future, but will retain Charter Membership status.
— Archiving LLMC hardcopy: LLMC is receiving a very large amount of donated materials. These books are disbound and run through our high-speed scanners. The quality of the images produced easily equals that achieved from our traditional step-and-repeat scanners, which are used for bound books. The benefit to LLMC is that high-speed scanning costs a third or less than the step-and-repeat process. The policy decision facing the Board was what to do with the disbound paper after the high-speed scanning is completed. Of course, discarding the paper would be the cheapest course. However, there is a reasonable possibility that the advance of technology will be such that reformatting will become either necessary or highly desirable in the future. If that transpires, possession of an already-assembled and carefully audited “library” of raw material would be a major corporate asset; especially if meanwhile alternate sources of material had dried up because of general discarding. This argument has convinced JSTOR, for example, to save the scanned paper. Faced with this uncertainty the Board decided to take a median course, basically treading water for a decade or so to keep our options open. Management was instructed to find inexpensive storage space where our growing backfile of scanned paper can be kept in reasonably safe conditions for from five to ten years, at which point the Board will review its options in the light of then current technology. (See endnote # 4)
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— Cooperating with LIPA: As has been tracked in past issues, (See endnote # 5) LLMC has been exploring a joint use of the materials-tracking database it already has been developing for its own purposes. The LIPA group would like to use that database in its separate mission of tracking the archiving of print copies of U.S. primary legal materials. Citing a report in June by the LIPA subcommittee charged with monitoring the development of the prototype that this model was worthy of expansion and utilization by LIPA, the Board formally approved LLMC’s continued participation, contingent upon LIPA’s adoption of its subcommittee’s report. That action occurred on the day following our Board’s meeting. LLMC staff will spend the remaining months of 2005 scaling up the prototype database to test out its applicability to a large number of titles. The scaling up process will concentrate on tracking U.S. state court reports titles. LLMC’s primary partner during this test period will be Columbia Univ. Law Library, with other dark-archive owners being invited to join in later.
— Cooperating with a Google experiment: The last issue of this newsletter (#14, p.4, para. 4) described a beta-test being mounted by the Franklin Pierce Law Center Law Library (FPLCLL). The experiment, which is strongly supported by NELLCO, aims to test out the feasibility of using a local Google search engine (GSA) to provide “one box searching” of the full array of FPLCLL databases. As explained earlier, our technical partners at Michigan advise that searching the LLMC-Digital metadata (the MARC records and other bibliographic information provided) can be done quite easily, since this data is already freely available. They warn, however, that significantly more developmental expense would be involved should the FPLCLL beta-test be expanded to involve “crawling” the millions of digital tiffs on the site. Given that background the Board approved initial LLMC cooperation with the FPLCLL/NELLCO project to the extent that it involved “crawling” the LLMC-Digital metadata, while reserving its options regarding further cooperation until cost issues can be clarified. (See endnote # 6)
— Recognition of a Canadian caucus: The request of our Canadian colleagues to be recognized as a special caucus within the LLMC-Digital subscriber group received the Board’s approval. The goal of this group will be to provide focused suggestions for the inclusion of legal Canadiana on LLMC-Digital. The group also asked for, and received, approval to purchase at cost Silver Halide preservation microfiche created through LLMC’s operations in these cases where titles are not yet held in a suitable preservation format in any Canadian depository.
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Correction on Loading OCLC Records
In the last issue of this newsletter (Issue 14, p. 4, para.3ff) we notified subscribers of the imminent implementation of a new system of URL called “handle” by our technical partners at the University of Michigan. The basic message was that this new system is expected to be “more robust” than even PURLs, and will therefore respond to the requests we have received from subscribers over several years that we provide an assurance of durability in our URL system. However, at the end of that article we advised people that it would be prudent for them to wait until the implementation of the handle system before they loaded any more records; lest they have to re-do any of their work. In subsequent dialog with the folks at Michigan and OCLC, we now realize that our caution was excessive. The head of our cataloging effort at St. Louis, Richard Amelung, provides this clarification.
“Many of our subscribers have asked about the wisdom of securing the OCLC MARC records for the titles represented in LLMC-Digital. Initially, I advised against getting the records, since there were so few titles mounted on the site. That caution no longer applies, since hundreds of titles are now or soon will be available online. However, last year the University of Michigan informed us that they planned on moving away from the form of the 856 (URL) we have been using in favor of a "handle" link. Since, at the time, it was unclear what sort of impact this would have on MARC records loaded into a local system, I recommended that institutions refrain from loading the records until the impact of such a change could be more fully understood. Certainly, no one would want to load hundreds of records, and then be forced to modify the 856. As it turns out, the University of Michigan has now given us strong assurances that they will continue to support all previously released URLs. They have committed themselves to providing for the indefinite future a “redirect” for the URLs assigned thus far. Consequently, concern arising from uncertainty surrounding the validity of the new 856's on existing LLMC-Digital records should no longer be a factor when an institution is deciding at what point to acquire the MARC records for the project. At such time as we are notified as to the format for the University of Michigan "handles", we will begin using that style in the bibliographic records and abandon the current format.” But the old format will continue to be valid for those records already loaded. The changeover to handle will be noted and explained in a future issue of this newsletter.
Good News Re: a Microfiche Service
For some time many of our best fiche customers have been enhancing the patron value of their fiche collections by providing their users with take-home copies of the fiche. Of the several library-scale fiche-to-fiche duplicating systems, the most popular has been the GEM system marketed by Alos Micrographics Co. Its popularity derives from the fact that it does not utilize smelly and messy liquid ammonia. Instead it uses a non-smelly “coupler paper” as the transfer agent. Lately we have been getting distress calls from our fiche friends because Alos has announced that it no longer can supply coupler paper for Gem systems. (See endnote # 7)
LLMC definitely still stands squarely behind its microfiche product. And we assume that, if some customers have contacted us, there are probably others out there whom we haven’t heard from yet. So we felt that, if possible, we should go the extra mile and develop an alternative supplier of coupler paper. We are happy to report that we have unearthed a source in the UK which still manufactures the product, and also that we have convinced one of our more reliable vendor colleagues to handle this product as the North American dealer. Our American friend was at first reluctant to take this on because the ex-factory price from the UK is higher than Alos was charging. However, we convinced him that what our people clearly want is a continued reliable supply, and that they would understand if the price had to be slightly higher. The new North American source for this product will be: Analogue Imaging LLC, Pres.
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Russ Burkel, 514 Brookdale Court, South Milwaukee, WI 53172 — Tel: 414 764 1702, Fax: 4124 764 1701. Mr. Burkel advises that he will not be able to give final details on the pricing immediately, since the company involved is currently out on annual vacation. He suggests that interested libraries contact him in September.
One More Specialized List-Serv
We have received several suggestions that we set up a separate list-serv through which interested parties could receive personal e-mail notice of the monthly changes to our Content Status Table, the main bibliographic list describing holdings, URLs, etc. for titles on LLMC-Digital. Since we have discovered that running list-servs, is fairly easy and inexpensive, and since our default setting is “Yes,” we will start operating this new service with the September up-load. If you wish to have your name included on this new list-serv, please e-mail our Business Manager, Debbie Bagwell at LLMC-Digital@hawaii.rr.com. It would help if you could include the phrase “Log of Monthly Additions” in the subject line.
Donations, the honor roll grows
It is a pleasure to round out this issue of the Newsletter with the notice of a raft of new donations of materials for filming.
— From the College of William and Mary’s Marshall-Wythe Law Library we received a number of rare U.S. federal judicial titles. Prime among them was an almost complete set (anyone have Vol. 2?) of Blatchford’s Reports of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and an almost complete set (anyone have Vol. 5?) of the very rare Morrison’s Transcript of the Decisions of the Supreme Court of the U.S. As to the last title, we checked. LLMC has been advertising in its catalogs for a filmable copy of this title for over fifteen years.
— From the Utah State Law Library, which is not yet even a subscriber we received a mint condition set of Ruling Case Law. Says the donor: “We haven’t got the budget for you yet. But we want this title on there when we join.” Yea Utah!
— The Alaska State Court Law Library (ASCLL), which handles the needs of the entire Alaska Court System, has weighed in with an extremely interesting proposal. They would like to loan for scanning a bevy of titles, many quite rare, related to the development of constitutional government and the legal codes in Alaska topped off with post-statehood statutory compilations. We already have received the post-statehood compilations, and they probably will be on the site by Xmas. The pre-statehood codes will follow. LLMC and ASCLL hope that this focused assemblage of materials for a small and manageable state can serve as a template for similar efforts our larger jurisdictions.
— Last but certainly not least, over the past year or so the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC) Law Library has been assembling original paper copies, suitable for scanning, of a large collection of titles relating to the federal courts issued by the AOUSC, the Judicial Conference, and similar agencies. Finding complete runs has been a major chore, since the earlier years of some of these titles were printed in small runs. In addition to assembling the titles, the Law Library has been securing copyright releases or permissions to replicate wherever needed. We already have received a score of the target titles; prime among them full runs of The Third Branch, The Reports of the Judicial Conference of the United States (which is combined with the annual reports of AOUSC itself), Federal Court Management Statistics, Federal Judicial Caseload Statistics, Statistical Tables for the Federal Judiciary, and Federal Probation. Once these titles make it through the system and are joined up with our complete collection of the Federal Judicial Center texts (fiche catalog Section 1-B, now being digitized from the fiche), LLMC-Digital will have available on-line one of the most complete collections of U.S. Federal judicial secondary materials ever offered. Major kudos to the AOUSC Law Library for a project that will so greatly benefit all of us.
LLMC 2005/2006 governing structure:
(The final year of each person’s term follows the name)
Board of DirectorsRichard Amelung Acting Hd., St.Louis U. Lib. (06)
Advisory CouncilMichael Beaird Dir., U.Arkansas-LR L.L. (07)
2.) For the record, LLMC’s first off-site digital scanner (announced in Newsletter issue #13, p. 1, para. 6fl) was installed at George Washington University Law Library (GWU) in the last week of June, with a week of operator training by LLMC personnel taking place in the week after the July 4 holiday. Scanning at GWU has begun in earnest and images from that source soon will begin to appear on LLMC-Digital. For the rest of this year we plan to use this new capacity mainly to scan original hardcopy for titles which appeared earlier in LLMC’s Canon Law and three Civil Law fiche collections.
3.) Regular readers may remember an earlier article in this publication (Issue 11, p. 6, column 2) describing the almost total loss in a flood of the Univ. of Hawaii’s GovDocs collection. The installation at SLU-ML is partially motivated by our need to replace our former main source of materials for LLMC’s filming and scanning operations.
4.) At the time of the Board meeting, the leading candidate for a storage site was a limestone mine complex near Springfield, MO, which has been converted into a long-term document storage facility. Storage costs were quoted at $0.42 per volume per year; although LLMC management anticipated that the price could be negotiated a bit lower given that our need for retrieval would be less frequent than for other site users. However, since the Board meeting management has located another underground site located within ten miles of our headquarters in Kaneohe. In this case the storage facility has been developed from a complex of tunnels, known as Battery 405, dug by the U.S. Army during World War II. Battery 405 was but one of many such installations constructed to protect Oahu from a possible Japanese invasion. Massive guns were set up in camouflaged locations on the surface, while the tunnels were used as the bunkers for crew and ammunition. Historic ambience aside, the main news is that we were able to negotiate a price of $0.33 per volume per year. That remarkably low price, and the convenience of housing the materials so close to our plant, made all the difference. Our “vault” has an estimated capacity of 60,000 volumes. It will be ready for move-in on Oct. 1. Because of the proximity and low cost, we are taking more space than we will need initially for the primary storage mission. The extra capacity will be used to provide surge space over the next three years as we renovate the LLMC headquarters building, substituting for far more expensive conventional commercial storage space we had been planning to rent.
5.) See issues #12, pp. 2–3 & #14, p.2, para.1
6.)LLMC’s Exec. Dir. met with the FPLCLL/ NELLCO team the day after the Board meeting and ascertained that its initial beta-test will be confined to crawling metadata. With that he signaled LLMC’s enthusiastic cooperation. We have subsequently learned that both Hein and Oceana have also agreed to cooperate by permitting access to their metadata. For its part, LLMC will closely monitor the results of the FPLCLL/NELLCO project with the goal of determining whether aspects of this approach may merit expansion to the wider LLMC-Digital subscriber base. As a postscript, it should be noted that it has lately been announced (see Barbara Quint column in Information Today, June 2005, p. 7, para. 6) that JSTOR has been conducting a pilot project with Google Scholar and has succeeded in working out some of the technical difficulties involved with crawling tiffs. So we will be watching those developments also, and, if something useful evolves, may well pay JSTOR the ultimate flattery of imitation.
7.) The alternative they offer is that their GEM system customers purchase Alos’ liquid ammonia system for $2,225. Another alternative would be a switch to vesicular film, but that has the downside, both of lower resolution quality, and also that it requires a special reader-printer (capable of producing bi-modal prints) which most patrons do not have in their offices