1– LLMC hires new executive director -p.1
2– Plans for Jerry Dupont's remaining time -p.2
3– LLMC Board OKs Google partnership -p.2
4– Changes needed for your proxy servers -p.2
5– Enhancements for statistics reporting -p.3
6– Expanding our use of salt-mine storage -p.4
7–More on the LIPA/LLMC connection -p.4
LLMC Hires a New Executive Director
The LLMC Board is delighted and proud to be able to announce that, after a search taking over nine months, (Endnote # 1) its Search Committee has identified and recruited an outstanding individual to be our new Executive Director. Our new leader will be Kathleen Richman of Foster City, California.
Kathleen comes to us with sterling credentials. A native of Ohio, she graduated from John Carroll Univ. in Cleveland with a dual degree in science and psychology. She then earned a law degree with honors from the Univ. of Dayton Law School. Following graduation she immediately launched into what has developed as a distinguished career in legal publishing.
In 1982 a little local upstart called Mead Data Central was exploding into something called LEXIS, and Kathleen was “present at the creation.” In the next eight years she worked in the design of specialized collections in multiple subject areas and helped develop business case and CD products for legal market and accounting firms. Later she managed large law firm accounts in San Francisco while also managing sales for LEXTRACK private library in the western states. In 1988 Kathleen was recruited to Dialog Corporation, where during the next eleven years she served variously as: V-P, Business Affairs & Content Development; V-P Intellectual Property, Legal & Regulatory Content; & Director of Business Development.
In 1999 she was lured briefly back to Lexis, where she served as Senior Dir., Western Region Publishing and was responsible for the P & L of Lexis' electronic/print/cdrom publishing brands in the western region. However, the challenge of an exciting startup company developing cutting edge tools for patent management proved too much, and she signed on with Aurigin Systems, Inc. of Cupertino, CA, as V-P of Products and Services Portfolio Management. In 2000, when Aurigin, like many startups, was absorbed by others, she moved to Thompson Scientific, where she served until 2005 as V-P of Integrated Solutions and West Coast Corporate Sales. Currently Kathleen works as a Strategic Account Consultant with BNA for its West Coast Corporate Sales Team.
Starting July 1, Kathleen will bring her highly pertinent experience in management, sales, acquisitions and product development to the oversight of LLMC's production operations, personnel matters, sales, financial planning and reporting; the maintenance of our technical competence and our relations with our technical partners; the maintenance of LLMC-Board and consortial relations; and the overall conduct of LLMC's relations with the wider world.
A unique aspect of Kathleen's tenure with us is that, at least initially, she will be operating from her home in the San Francisco area, where her teenage children go to school and her husband is the managing partner in a large law firm. The LLMC Board wrestled with this prospect; only deciding that it could be made workable after Kathleen met for several days with our full staff in Kaneohe, HI, and they
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unanimously agreed that, given her potential as a leader, they wanted to give it a try. The plan is that, at least for the first year, she will aim to spend every other week in Kaneohe.
Plans for Jerry Dupont's Remaining Time
We are also happy to announce that Jerry Dupont will not be retiring just yet. Instead he will continue working for LLMC part time, initially for four days a week. Once the transfer of duties to the new Executive Director is navigated, he will focus his main energies in the area where we think that he can be most useful; i.e., content development.
As Asso. Director for Content Development Jerry's duties will include growing the LLMC-Digital collections through title selection, soliciting and maintaining the flow of materials from donor and loaning libraries, coordinating the bibliographic side of the work of our Extern Scanner Program libraries, recruiting additional such libraries, supervising the bibliographic aspects of LLMC's internal image production, managing our cataloging relationship with Saint Louis Univ. Law Lib., and handling the bibliographic side of our relationship with our technical partners.
In addition to the above, initially he will share some of the travel burden occasioned by our sales efforts and the need to represent LLMC at constituent gatherings such as AALL and CALL. Thereafter, his travels will focus more on bibliographic matters, while mostly sales-oriented travel will be taken over by the Executive Director or other persons recruited for that purpose. Finally, he will aid in responding to content-oriented queries from site patrons and perform similar duties as assigned and as his limited time permits.
LLMC Board OKs Google Partnership
Some of our colleagues in law school libraries complain that many first year law students now arrive with the belief that anything they need on the web can be got by Googling. They say it takes ages, if ever, to convince born-digitals that they might benefit by learning how to use other, more-focused-to-law, search interfaces. While we sympathize, as we must, with our beleaguered colleagues, some small gremlin at the back of our mind keeps whispering: “But what if the kids are right?” Well, we may soon know. At its recent meeting the LLMC Board voted to approve in principle allowing Google to ”crawl” all of the LLMC-Digital data and release controlled results to the world.
We are now negotiating with Google the mechanics of how it will be given access to our full backfile of 12m-plus images, as well as methodical access to all new images as they are produced. The thought is that, since most of our data is static, one-pass crawling should be sufficient, at least initially, for Google to index our content permanently. We have been assured that, however the crawling is accomplished, it will have no impact at all on the response times for regular subscribers using the LLMC-Digital systems.
In the scheme being discussed, Google would deliver results following some variant of their “snippet” format; the snippets being a surrounding block of words along with identification of the source. Users clicking on a desirable snippet would be led, either to the document itself if they are patrons of a subscribing library, or to information about contacting LLMC if they are not. In this way our service may derive some modest “directional” benefit as potential subscribers become aware of our existence.
The main benefit however, would be an increase in knowledge on several fronts. Nobody doubts that the Google search engines are powerful adjuncts to information discovery. However, even Google admits that it has too little experience to accurately gauge how effective they may be in browsing legal literature. So it will be a learning experience on all sides, and LLMC is proud to be part of the experiment. If it comes up roses, we'll all be the gainers. Even if it flops, at least we will have something to tell those smug One Ls.
Changes Needed for Your Proxy Servers
The following squib need not be read by any of our technophobic readers. We only print it here because it is VERY important that one special person in your institution does read and understand it; namely the guru who baby-sits your local proxy server. If you even suspect that that worthy doesn't read this news-letter regularly, please pass on the next four paragraphs, thereby ensuring that your library's access to LLMC-Digital stays live.
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The message comes from Cory Snavely, the head technician at the University of Michigan's Library IT Core Services (DLPS). It affects all LLMC-Digital collections. He warns:
“Starting next week, all services hosted by DLPS will begin a gradual migration from the existing <ets.umdl.umich.edu>, <images. umdl.umich.edu>, and <www.hti.umich.edu> server names to a new common server name, which is <quod.lib.umich.edu>. This change is part of a series of hosting infrastructure improvements designed to increase performance and reliability. There will be no interruption of service as this change is made, and support for existing URLs will be maintained for at least a year hence.
HOWEVER, on or around Monday, April 2, the non-public resources, (including LLMC-Digital,) which are restricted by IP address, will begin their migrations. These services are often accessed through proxy servers, firewalls, and similar intermediary services that use specific server names internally. These services MUST BE UPDATED with the new server name in order to continue working properly and prevent access issues for users.
DLPS recommends that the following server names be present in proxy server configurations, effective immediately: <ets.umdl.umich.edu>, <hdl.handle.net;hdl.lib.umich.edu>, <name. umdl.umich.edu>, <quod.lib. umich. edu> and <www.hti.umich.edu>.
For further information about this and other common access problems, see <http://www.umdl.umich.edu/docs/dlps/docs/access.html>. If you need to get in touch with Cory on this, contact can be made through LLMC-Kaneohe at <email@example.com>. (Endnote # 2)
Enhancements for Statistics Reporting
No doubt inspired by the rule that “everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler,” (Endnote # 3) our partners at the University of Michigan have greatly improved the statistics reporting system that provides each library individualized reportage on its patrons' use of LLMC-Digital. The enhanced system, which becomes operational on April 1, has a number of significant improvements and a new functionality, including:
— A user interface
that has been completely redesigned for simplicity
— Web-based reports that now can be generated in either HTML or Excel
— COUNTER-style reports (1,2, & 5) available via e-mail on demand
— Statistics that are now tabulated daily, not monthly, allowing for custom reports that
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can be generated
showing use for any range of dates
— Several improvements aimed at more accurate tabulation, including double-click detection
— HTML reports that include a monthly breakdown that can be “rolled up” to a total, avoiding the need for two separate reports
In addition to the above, the entire system has been re-architected for faster performance.
If you haven't used the statistics system before, now might be a good time to become familiar with its simplified operations. (Endnote # 4) The URL for accessing your institutional statistics is <http://stats.umdl.umich.edu>.
Expanding Our Use of Salt-Mine Storage
As reported earlier in this space (Issue 22, pp. 1–2), LLMC has signed a long-term contract to store up to 200,000 volumes of already-scanned paper in the ideal storage conditions of salt mines in Hutchins, KS. This preserves our options off into the indefinite future if any of this LLMC-owned material has to be reformatted. (Endnote # 5)
At their recent meeting the LLMC Board approved in concept the idea of also storing at the Hutchinson facility our silver halide master microfiche. At present these are stored on a rental basis at the Harvard Depository, a purpose-built, dark-archive, long-term-storage facility located at ground level about forty miles from Cambridge. (Endnote # 6)
Moving our masters to Kansas would achieve minor cost savings. However, the main advantage would be to concentrate all of our archived materials within a unified archival system that could, in fact, survive a long-term breakdown in mechanical systems. Of course, it's not always wise to put all one's eggs in one basket. But in this case, at 650 feet down, we would have a very secure basket. In addition, the Board is intrigued by the promise of combining a move to Kansas with the implementation of a new technical approach, akin to shrink-wrapping, for hermetrically sealing blocks of microfiche intended for permanent dark storage. (Endnote # 7) LLMC staff will be studying this option over the next six months or so. If everything proves out as hoped, we expect to make the move in early 2008.
More on the LIPA/LLMC Connection
Those who would like a short and lucid explanation of the workings of the joint LIPA/ LLMC program for preserving a minimum number of hardcopy versions of U.S. and Canadian primary legal materials are invited to visit a presentation, with color exhibits no less, in the recent Mid-America Association of Law Libraries' newsletter. It is authored by Richard Amelung, Asso. Dir. at Saint Louis U. Law Lib. & LLMC Board member. A copy is available at < http://www.aallnet.org/chapter/maall/Maallmarkingsjan07.pdf > pp. 7–8.
1.) The Board began the search process at its April '06 meeting (see Issue #19, pp.3, col. B) by appointing a special Search Committee: Chair Margaret Leary, Dir. Univ. of Mich. LL; Judy Gaskel, U.S. Sup. Ct. Lib.; and Richard Amelung, Asso. Dir. Saint Louis U.L.L. Margaret's indefatigable crew advertised both in periodicals directed at the law library community and also more widely in journals aimed at experts in the digital publishing area. It then winnowed through over twenty applications from candidates representing several disciplines in the U.S. and Canada, interviewing many of the candidates via teleconference and then the more promising in person. The two finalists met with all Board members in several meetings for each during the Boards recent mid-winter meeting. Following the Board's choice, final negotiations with Ms. Richman were conducted by the Board's Executive Committee composed of Chair Richard Amelung, Margaret Leary, Chair of the Board's Personnel Committee, and Ann Rae (Ret. Dir., U. Toronto LL), Chair of the Board's Finance Committee.
2.) We already have received several questions querying aspects of Cory's message, which went out on our listserv earlier. In response to one, our chief cataloger asks us to reassure all subscribers that: “This change affects ONLY the proxy servers and NOT the individual URLs in the library's bib records.”
Another questioner asked: “Your e-mail seems to say that ALL your services will be migrating to <quod.lib.umich.edu>. However, you give a list of 6 domains that you strongly recommend all customers have in their forward tables. Are you migrating everything to <quod.lib.umich.edu>, or do we need all six?” Cory responded: “Exactly three server names <ets.umdl.umich.edu>, <images.umdl.umich.edu>, and <www.hti.umich.edu> are being consolidated to <quod.lib.umich.edu>. The other server names are related to persistent URLs, and still need to exist for backwards-compatible support. Before the consolidation, we want to be sure that sites have both old and new server names in their configuration; hence the long list. After the consolidation is complete, three server names can drop off this list. When that change is due, we will send a follow-up notice.”
3.) Attributed to Albert Einstein in our colleague and LLMC-collaborator Fred R. Shapiro's brilliant new work The Yale Book of Quotations, xxiv, 1067p, New Haven/London, Yale Univ. Pr., 2007, $50.00. This tome took Fred the last six years to compile (when he wasn't doing his day job, one element of which is shipping Yale Law Library books out to Hawaii for scanning). The hefty compilation makes for fascinating browsing. It was the subject of a glowing and fun review in the Feb. 19/26 double issue of the New Yorker. Readers will find it extremely catholic and très à la page. In what other book of quotations will you find quotes like this from Fred Allen (U.S. comedian, 1894–1956) “You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, place it in the naval of a fruit fly, and still have room enough for three caraway seeds and a producer's heart.” — or this from Peter Fleming (English travel writer, 1907–1971) "Long Island represents the American's idea of what God would have done with Nature if he'd had the money.”
4.) Understanding how your statistics are organized, around the division of LLMC-Digital into discrete collections will aid enormously in their interpretation. That subject was covered an earlier Newsletter archived at <www.llmc.com/Newsletter/ issue3_november_2003.asp>.
5.) One reader, reacting to that article, contacted us with the intriguing news that our materials may even benefit from the effects of speleotherapy, also known as halotherapy or radon therapy. It appears that salt gives off negative ions, which cure a host of ills when ingested in sufficient quantity. After Googling “speleotherapy” we learned that salt therapy is an age old healing method for soul and body, that is still used today in “salinas” throughout Europe, Scandanavia and Russia. In Russia the Ministry of Health has even qualified a salt-diffusing apparatus as an approved medical device. Perhaps our books, if ever needed, will return so rejuvenated that they will scan better the second time around.
6.) These masters are created post facto from the digital versions of all materials scanned by LLMC. Creating these masters on archival quality film and storing that film safely helps to implement our belief that true preservation requires storage of data in more than one medium. A very good popular article by Brad Regan backing up LLMC's philosophy that digital storage alone is not enough appeared in the December 2006 issue of Popular Mechanics. A digital version can be found at http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/industry/4201645.html
7.) A good article describing studies done on this approach at Cornell University is: John F. Dean et al's “Hermetric Sealing: Gaining Longevity for Microforms in Tropical Climates” found in Microform Review, Fall, 2006, Vol. 35, #4, pp. 134–147.End of Issue # 24