Wednesday, June 04, 2008

AALS Workshop for Law Librarians

Fordham Law School Library, also a Government Document Depository.Image via WikipediaEarlier today I returned to Buffalo from the first Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Mid-Year Workshop for Law Librarians. About 100 law library directors and aspiring directors got together in Cleveland for three days of programs and discussion. The workshop dealt with two themes: (1) The question of the desirability or importance of the traditional requirement of tenure for law library directors, and (2) the skills and aptitudes required to be a successful director.

I thought it was an excellent conference. One of our small-group tasks was to draft a new ABA Standard on the status of the library director. Current Standard 603(d) reads:

(d) Except in extraordinary circumstances, a law library director shall hold a law faculty appointment with security of faculty position.
Interpretation 603-3 continues:
The granting of faculty appointment to the director of the law library under this Standard normally is a tenure or tenure-track appointment. If a director is granted tenure, this tenure is not in the administrative position of director.
At the end of the Monday session we were presented two revised versions of this standard: one essentially similar to the current version, the other making tenure clearly mandatory. A straw poll of the attendees found the group evenly divided between the looser and more mandatory standard.

If you'd like to hear more of what other attendees thought of the workshop, go to Flickr. I made a video blog project out of close to two dozen short video clips of workshops registrants recounting the most valuable things they got out of the conference. You can also leave comments and questions.

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