The LLMC-Digital Newsletter
June 25, 2008
1– LLMC’s annual members’ meeting –p.1-2
2– Final decisions near on new interface -p. 2-3
3– Rollout of records & briefs initiatives -p. 3-4
4– Rollout of vLex partnership -p. 4
5– AALL program on print repositories -p.4
LLMC’s Annual Members’ Meeting
As most readers know, LLMC is owned and run by a fixed group of Charter Members, comprised of the 256 intrepid and far sighted libraries that launched the digital project over five years ago when they became the founding subscribers to LLMC-Digital. (Endnote # 1)
The Consortium functions as follows. Day to day operations of the project are conducted by paid full time staff, who are supervised by a part time volunteer Board of Directors elected by the Charter Members. The Directors in turn seek advice as needed, particularly when unexpected issues arise between the annual meetings, by an eighteen member Advisory Council, also elected by the Charter Members. The Charter Membership meets once a year, always in conjunction with the annual convention of AALL. At these annual meetings the Charter Members select colleagues to fill vacant seats on the two governing bodies, receive reports from the LLMC staff on the project’s progress, provide their input on issues major and minor, and decide any policy questions submitted by the Board of Directors. All Charter Member libraries are invited to have a representative in attendance. Voting entitlement packets will be available for pickup at the door by representatives of the Charter Member libraries. Although voting privileges on balloted points are reserved to LLMC-Digital Charter Members, other subscribers and any interested law librarian colleagues are most welcome to attend the meeting and provide input into the discussions.
The 32nd annual LLMC Members Meeting will be held from 5:30-6:30PM, on Monday, July 14, 2007, during the AALL convention being held this year in Portland, Oregon.
— Room Assignment!!!!!!
For some reason the LLMC meeting room assignment is not listed in the Convention Program. Not to worry, we do have a room. We will meet in the Oregon Convention Center in OCC-E146. Please make a note of this before you head for Portland, as it will be hard for us to publicize this once people arrive at the convention. Thanks also for passing on this information to your LLMC colleagues.
As always, the main official business of our annual meeting will be to elect Directors and Councilors to fill open slots on our governing bodies: our Board of Directors and Advisory Council. The list of current incumbents in both bodies appears below. The final year of each person’s term is listed after the name. (Endnote # 2)
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In Portland we will be electing (Endnote # 3) colleagues to serve two open four year terms and one open partial term on LLMC’s corporate Board of Directors. Following traditional practice, and to ensure the availability of candidates able and willing to serve, the incumbent Board has recruited and will nominate candidates for all open positions. Nominations from the floor for these positions are also in order. Nominators should be prepared to aver that their nominees are both able and willing to serve. The Board nominees for the two four year slots being vacated by directors Judith Gaskell and Carol Roehrenbeck are: Jonathan Frank-lin, Asso. Dir. of the Univ. of Washington Law Library, and Barbara Garavaglia, Head of Reference at the Univ. of Michigan Law Library. In addition, due to the early resignation of Board Member Chris Simoni for professional reasons, the Board has recruited and will nominate Julia Wentz, Director of Loyola University of Chicago Law Library, to fill out the two years remaining in Chris Simoni’s term.
In addition to the election of new directors, we also will be electing six colleagues to fill the slots of individuals whose three year terms as LLMC-Digital councilors are expiring: Roger Jacobs, Holly Lakatos, Gail Partin, Kumar Percy, Maryruth Storer & Steven Weiter. (See footnote one above for their institutional affiliations.) Nominations for these Advisory Council positions will take place from the floor at the July 14 meeting. Again following tradition, and with the goal of gleaning the afterglow of their experience in years of service to our project, Board Chair Richard Amelung will be nominating outgoing Board members Judith Gaskell and Carol Roehrenbeck for two of these Councilor slots.
Final Decisions Near on New Interface
As regular readers are aware, for well over a year LLMC has been working on the development of a new interface for LLMC-Digital. Our partner in that project has been National Business Systems (NBS) of Egan, Minnesota, which has been developing a prototype with input from various LLMC constituencies. In the last Newsletter we described how that prototype was undergoing a second review and evaluation by a committee of seasoned legal reference librarians. The Interface Critique Committee (ICC), (Endnote # 4) as it was called, has now completed its work and has submitted its evaluations and recommendations to the LLMC Board. Board members are now reviewing those results and doing their own final review of the prototype guided by the ICC’s input. The lengthy process is now well on track for a final decision by the LLMC
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Board on whether and when it will adopt the new interface. This decision will be made at the Board’s mid summer meeting to be held at Northwestern University, Lewis and Clark School of Law Library, on the Friday preceding the AALL Convention. This decision on our future digital directions will be one of the main items announced and explained at our Members’ meeting on July 14.
Rollout of Records & Briefs Initiatives
In gross, excluding duplicates, there are roughly 2,000,000 unique volumes held in the aggregate by North American law libraries. This is LLMC’s target universe, and just under a third, roughly 650,000, of those volumes are accounted for by the class of U.S. legal literature known as Records & Briefs (R&B).
R&B as a type of legal literature are near strangers to a majority of law librarians. This is not because they lack worth. They are extremely valuable as practical guides to attorneys with similar cases, and they have huge potential value for historians because of the vast quantity of historical information they incidentally contain. The principal impediment to their effective use to date has been their extreme inaccessibility. Few copies exist for any given jurisdiction, and these are often held in repositories far from the physical concentrations of potential users. (Endnote # 5) For these reasons generations of librarians have neglected to recognize records and briefs as a resource, and the majority of potential users are hardly conscious of their existence.
Attempts were made in the fiche era to make these materials more accessible. But those efforts foundered on economic shoals. Despite its relative low cost, even film did not provide sufficient distribution economies to permit mass accessibility. Thus, only a few “cherry picking” film projects proved feasible, and most of the R&B series for most of the states, and even some of the federal circuits, moldered away in library basements or worse conditions, far from the ken of potential users.
Digitization could change all that. Scanning is a relatively cheap operation, and once reformatted to digital, these materials can be economically delivered, in searchable form, to every possible user in the world. We finally have the technology in hand to solve this perennial problem. However, as noted above the numbers are extremely daunting. In a good year LLMC scans roughly 10,000 volumes. This project is off our scale. We’re definitely going to need help. The good news is that we finally are going to get it.
Among the highlights of our annual Members Meeting will be the announcements of the launching of two major R&B scanning projects. One will be undertaken by the Los Angeles County Law Library in partnership with LLMC, and will target the roughly 70,000 volumes in the various California R&B series. The other will be undertaken by Google in partnership with LLMC, and will initially target the 47,000 volumes in the various New York R&B series. Do come to the meeting and make the acquaintance of some of the principal actors in what will surely be among the most exciting projects our consortium has ever undertaken.
Rollout of vLex Partnership
In the previous Newsletter (Issue 29, pp.1-2) we described an emerging partnership with a European company, vLex, whose principal market coverage is currently Southern Europe and Latin America. The agreement envisages the distribution of selected LLMC-Digital titles via the vLex web service on a commission basis tied to usage. The technical details for the implementation of the partnership are almost complete, and LLMC has begun the delivery to vLex of roughly 780,000 OCRed TIFF images covering many titles in a variety of subject areas. Our new partners hope to be offering our data by the end of July. They will have a representative in attendance at our Members Meeting in Portland to celebrate the inauguration of the partnership and to respond to questions from attendees. A translation of the vLex European press release on the new partnership (with the section solely devoted to
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describing LLMC omitted for space reasons) is footnoted below. (Endnote # 6)
AALL Program on Print Repositories
The Technical Services SIS of AALL is sponsoring a program at the Portland convention that describes a project dear to our hearts in which LLMC plays a significant supporting role. The program, entitled “Role of Print Repositories in an Electronic Age” will be presented on Sunday, July 13, 2008, from 3:00-4:00 PM in the Oregon Convention Center in Room OCC-B114. The program moderator will be Carmen Brigandi, Asst. Dir., Tech. & Admin. Services, California Western School of Law Library. Carmen’s description of the program, edited for space reasons, is footnoted below. (Endnote # 7)
1.) New readers can view the list of Charter Members by going to www.llmc.com and clicking successively on the tabs “About LLMC” & “Charter Community.” They will see that our membership includes all kinds of libraries, although it is decidedly weighted toward the academic side, including 90% of all U.S. law school libraries and 80% of the Canadian. This list also provides the voting entitlements for each Charter Member.
2.) LLMC 2007/ 2008 governing structure:
— Board of Directors:
Richard Amelung Asso.Dir., St. Louis ULL (10)
Georgia Clark Dir. Wayne St. ULL (represent W.S.U.)
Judith Gaskell Dir. U.S.Sup.Ct.L. (08)
Stuart Ho Honolulu Atty. (represents Univ. of Hawaii)
Bruce Johnson Dir. Ohio St. ULL (09)
Elizabeth McKenzie Dir. Suffolk ULL (09)
Marian Parker Dir. Wake Forest ULL (11)
Kathleen Richman LLMC Executive Dir. (ex officio)
Carol Roehrenbeck Dir. Rutgers-Newark ULL (08)
Chris Simoni Dir. Drexel ULL (10)
Regina Smith Dir. Jenkins Memorial LL (11)
— Advisory Council:
Glen Peter Ahlers Dir. Barry ULL (09)
Herb Cihak Dir., U.Arkansas-Fayetteville.L.L .(09)
Joel Fishman Asst. Dir.Law.Serv. Duquesne ULL (10)
Jonathan Franklin Libn. Univ. of Washington. LL (08)
Joe Hinger DirTechServ., St. John's ULL (09)
Yolande Goldberg Sen,Cat.Policy Spec., LC (10)
Roger Jacobs Dir. Notre Dame ULL (08)
Marcia Koslov Dir. Los Angeles Cnty. LL (10)
Holly Lakatos Libn. Chicago-Kent LL (08)
Margaret Leary Dir. U.Mich. LL (10)
Ann Morrison Dir. Dalhousie ULL (09)
Gail Partin Dir. Dickinson S.LL (08)
Lee Peoples Libn, Oklahoma City ULL (09)
Kumar Percy Libn. Georgetown ULL (08)
Jeanne Price Asso. Dir., U.Texas LL (10)
Ann Rae Dir. (Ret.), U.Toronto LL (10)
Maryruth Storer Dir., Orange County Law LL (08)
Steven Weiter Libn. N.Y. App.Div.L. ,Rochester. (08)
Jules Winterton Dir. Insti.Advan.LegalSt. LL, UK (09)
3.) Voting entitlements at this year’s meeting will be governed by the revised constitution adopted by the delegates attending the 2003 LLMC Participating Libraries Meeting. At that meeting the assembly voted unanimously, both to transfer all of the assets of LLMC/Fiche to LLMC/Digital, and also to surrender existing voting rights to the charter subscribers to LLMC-Digital. In the past LLMC voting rights had been tied to the cumulative level at which a given library had supported LLMC over the years by purchasing its fiche product. Under the current constitution voting rights derive from the category level at which a Charter Member library subscribes to LLMC-Digital. Another change from past practice relates to the voting eligibility of non institutional libraries. In the fiche era, while they welcomed the attendance and programmatic input of these libraries, the LLMC Board interpreted an IRS rider on our non profit 501(c)(3) award, issued over 20 years ago, as prohibiting their voting on matters of governance. The Board is now informed that the rider does not reflect current IRS practice. In addition, the IRS expressly based its rationale for the cautionary rider on a concern that for profit law firm libraries might end up numerically dominating LLMC and thus imperiling its not for profit character. Given the current LLMC constitution, and the established Charter Member constituency, in which non institutional Charter Members have only about 5% of the voting entitlements, such dominance could not occur. Therefore, the LLMC Board now permits voting by non institutional Charter Member libraries.
4.) ICC Commitee members were:
Barbara Garavaglia Ref.Libn.U.Mich.L.L.
Linda Corbelli ResearchLibn.U.S.Sup.Ct.Lib.
Dan Giancaterino InternetLibn.JenkinsMem.L.L
Mike Hannon Asso.Dir.U.Minn.L.L.
Cheryl Nyberg Ref.Libn.U.Wash.L.L.
Jeanne Price Asso.Dir.U.Texas L.L.
Rob Richards Ch.Ref.Libn.Drexel U.L.L.
5.) Where the inaccessibility problem is minimal and access close to ideal, use of these materials skyrockets. For example, Los Angeles County Law Library, which is sited in the middle of one of the greatest concentration of courts and lawyers in the nation, reports that daily use of its California Records & Briefs series exceeds the usage of any other class of material in its collections.
6.) vLex signs a strategic agreement with LLMC consortium which marks a step forward in the global spreading of unique and historical legal information.
The Barcelona based company vLex (see www.vlex.com) has signed a strategic agreement with the LLMC consortium to integrate into vLex's platform more than 780.000 legal documents from different countries around the world. Some of the licensed contents by vLex include unique Iraqui legislation that is not available from any other commercial vendor, not even those in Iraq.
According to Lluis Faus, vLex's CEO, "this agreement means a major spread of legal documents to a large group of professionals and students from all around the world. Thus, we are delighted to allow users by having access to unique titles which were only available by researchers in American libraries, but now they are available by any subscriber globally".
For Kathleen Richman, LLMC Director, "vLex responds perfectly to our expectations as the company integrates the content by respecting the initial format of the document such as index or footnotes; but also by providing an added value (relating the content with other documents, facilitating the search or using translations tools). Our main goals are preserving and spreading those contents and vLex is therefore the most indicated partner as it is growing internationally in a very quick way in terms of content and customers".
LLMC and vLex have found their complementarity as LLMC consortium preserves the unique and historical legal content and vLex spreads these unique titles globally.
About vLex.com: vLex (www.vlex.com) is the most advanced provider of global legal information, giving access to contents from 96 countries in 10 different languages. vLex has agreements with global publishers, such as World Bank Publications Office, European Union, Commonwealth Secretariat, and more than 60 independent publishers all over the world. vLex serves customers in over 40 countries, who access daily more than 20 million legal documents available in its advanced online platform. vLex has more than 150 employees from more than 30 nationalities. vLex is headquartered in Barcelona, Spain.
7.) This program addresses the role of print repositories in an electronic age, as demonstrated in the concepts and logistics of the print repository program of the Legal Information Preservation Alliance (LlPA). The speakers (Kent McKeever, Dir., Columbia Univ. Law Lib., and Jerry Dupont, Content Manager at LLMC) are members of the LIPA Print Preservation Committee. LIPA recognizes that online copies have eliminated most need for physical access to print versions of many legal materials. However, the country as a whole needs to preserve a minimum number of paper copies of core titles for preservation and security purposes.
The LIPA program seeks to preserve 5 to 6 paper copies of all primary U.S. legal materials. Participation is open to any library holding such materials that can offer secure and climate controlled storage. This distributed resource model, and sharing of archival repositories, will ensure the preservation in aggregate of all targeted print legal material in last, best copies.
This program explores crucial issues such as: Must the print repositories be dark archives, or is secure low use open storage acceptable? What are the trade offs between regional shared facilities vs. institutionally owned off site storage? How can information on the preservation status of each title be shared? What are the administrative and coordination considerations?
LIPA has partnered with LLMC on a website that manages the record keeping essential to the implementation of the scheme. Some of the initial records from Columbia & Harvard can be seen in the U.S. state court reports holdings section of www.llmc.com, while the LIPA program itself is described in greater depth on the LIPA section of that site.
This program will inform participants of the materials covered, and the technical and legal steps that have been initiated, and will explore future needs. Please join Kent, Jerry and I as we share our visions of the future of print legal materials.
End of Issue # 30