by Tina Ching
It is an excellent time to be involved in AALL policy related activities. Various events held at the AALL annual meeting in Denver highlighted some of the issues that are important to us as law librarians and demonstrated how at the state level you are needed to help advance the objectives of our organization.
AALL Vision 2010-2013 states, “Law librarians, possessing unique education and training, have the special responsibility to promote permanent public access, authentication, and preservation of public domain government information.” There were several programs at the annual meeting this year, related to this part of our organization’s strategic direction that reflected the movement in this area and the need for involvement from our members. Here are just some of the highlights:
- The Legislative Advocacy Training 2010: Raising the Bar in Your State focused on promoting the value of public law libraries and the importance of the national inventory of primary legal information led by the State Working Groups.
- A-1: The Bluebook: An Open Discussion Among Editors and Librarians demonstrated that there are law students, lawyers and judges who recognize the importance of having authentic and stable online sources to cite to.
- At C-3: A Vision for the Future: Authenticated and Official Online Legal Resources, we learned more about the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) Drafting Committee on the Authentication and Preservation of State Electronic Legal Materials Act.
- During F-2: In PKI We Trust: Authenticating Our Future, the speakers discussed chain of custody and authentication issues related to federal government documents.
If you filled out the WAC and Session Laws Publication Survey from the Code Reviser’s Office, you know that these issues are hitting home. The State of Washington is facing difficult budget issues, and like a lot of states, it sees the possibility of eliminating print publications as a way to save money. However, the print should not be discontinued until the digital version is designated as the official, authenticated version and it is preserved with permanent public access ensured.
Get involved today! We need your help! We are currently working on a national inventory of primary legal resources. Our state Working Group needs your help in contributing to this inventory. This information will be analyzed and used by experts working with LAW.gov, the Law Library of Congress and our AALL public policy committees to advocate for no-fee, permanent public access to authentic online legal information on government websites.