By MARIE-LOUISE H. BERNAL
The Law Librarian of Congress, Rubens Medina, and staff from the Law Library and the Cataloging Directorate offered special presentations to attendees of the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), which met in Baltimore, July 20-23.
The association, established in 1906 by a few law librarians in Narrangansett Pier, R.I., held its 90th annual conference focusing on the theme "From Narragansett to Now: Covering the Waterfronts." According to AALL outgoing President President Frank Houdek, "covering the waterfront" is "emblematic not only of the range of information and services law librarians provide to their clients, but also of the depth of knowledge, ability and talent they bring to the task."
Mr. Medina met with other leaders to discuss archivability and authenticity of electronic information. He was invited to address the Center for Research Libraries' Task Force on Foreign Official Gazettes, chaired by Robert Buckwalter, associate librarian for Collection Services, Harvard Law School Library. The task force addressed the issue of how electronic access to foreign official gazettes will affect resource sharing and preservation of these materials. In this context, the group was interested in the status of the Library's Global Legal Information Network (GLIN). Mr. Medina, GLIN director general, said that although GLIN is not yet a substitute for the full archival record, new software will soon improve GLIN's search capability. GLIN currently has 11 active members and seven in training. While the network is adding four to five countries per year, Mr. Medina estimated that it may soon increase by 10 to 15 countries per year.
Rose Marie Clemandot, chief of the Collection Services Office of the Law Library and a member of the task force, spoke on the Law Library's collecting and microfilming of gazettes for its collection. The Library continues to film the gazettes of Mexico, Central and South America and the Arabic-speaking countries north of the Sahara. Because the budget for microfilming of official gazettes is limited, Ms. Clemandot said the Library is seeking other libraries to share the task.
The Law Library held a reception, sponsored by the Friends of the Law Library of Congress, for law library directors and association officials. Friends President Abe Krash and Mr. Medina welcomed nearly 150 guests, including Judith A. Meadows, incoming AALL president, Roger H. Parent, AALL's executive director and member of the Board of the Friends. Also from the Friends Board were Brian H. Hall, president and CEO of the West Group; former Law Librarian of Congress M. Kathleen Price, now professor of law and director of New York University School of Law Library; and Keith Ann Stiverson, former special assistant to the Law Librarian of Congress and currently deputy law librarian of the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.
As a special post-convention event, some 60 members of the AALL attended presentations in the Digital Library Visitors' Center. Co-sponsored by the AALL Technical Services Special Interest Section and the Law Library of Congress, the program offered an online presentation of the new Library of Congress Class K schedules; the Global Legal Information Network; U.S. congressional documents and debates, 1774-1873; and American Memory, the Library of Congress's online collections.