Save the date for LLAM’s Spring Fling!

Spring fling 2014 banner

Date: Friday, May 16th 2014

Time: 4-6pm

Place: Gertrude’s, Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218

Cost: $25 per person. PayPal payment is preferred. You may also send a check addressed to “LLAM” to Bijal Shah at 1401 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21201.

Parking: Free along North Charles Street. View driving directions HERE.

Celebrate the season with fellow LLAM members at Gertrude’s restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Take a self-directed tour of the museum and Cone Collection before enjoying an open bar and scrumptious hors d’oeuvres in the Sculpture Garden Pavilion.

This event supports Operation Paperback. Please donate money and/or books to help send books to American troops, veterans, and their families.

Access 2 Justice LRI A Success!

LLAM’s All Access to Justice Legal Research Institute was held last Friday, March 21st at the University of Baltimore Angelos Law Center.  The event was a huge success; Kate Martin and her committee did a terrific job and we thank them for their efforts!

Librarians from across the state and all over the country convened at UB to learn about current issues and solutions for ensuring Access to Justice for all of our patrons. The programming covered the A2J topic from a variety of aspects; discussions included the basics of what Access to Justice is, how Public Libraries play a role in the future of the movement, what Private Law Librarians can do to advance the cause, the Academic Library’s role, and the type of assistance State and County Law Libraries should provide. The major theme throughout the day was that we need to remember we are librarians and while we can help a patron locate and utilize the correct resources, we must be careful not to give legal advice.

The number of Self-Represented Litigants (“SRLs”) in the country is growing for a variety of reasons and the Librarian’s role in helping them navigate the confusing and tumultuous legal landscape is an essential one.  It was exhilarating to gather with librarians from a variety of backgrounds and learn how each of us can contribute to this effort.

You can find more information, videos, slides, and PDFs of all of the handouts from the seminar HERE.

-Sara Thomas
Communications Committee Chair

We want to make next time even better! If you haven’t done so already, please take a moment to give us some feedback about your conference experience at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/justice2014.

ALL ACCESS to Access to Justice

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Visit the event webpage!2014 LRI web logo

Event: ALL ACCESS to Access to Justice

Date: March 21st, 2014

Time: 9:30AM-5PM

Place: University of Baltimore School of Law

LLAM is sponsoring a day-long national conference for anyone interested in access to justice issues (A2J)!

Hosted by the University of Baltimore’s School of Law, the conference will offer practical programs given by speakers from across the country that develop A2J and impart knowledge about this core library value.

Law firm librarians, pro bono attorneys, public librarians, academic librarians, court librarians, and anyone else interested in A2J are encouraged to attend.

Registration options range from $25-80 and grants are available.

LRI date and location button with title

CLICK HERE to register today!

Important Information about Maryland Uniform Electronic Materials Act (MUELMA)

Photo   Tonya Baroudi LLAM President. Emily Feltren AALL Director Govt Relations, Steve Anderson AALL President

Tonya Baroudi LLAM President. Emily Feltren AALL Director Govt Relations, Steve Anderson AALL President

LLAM needs your help in advocating for the Maryland Uniform Electronic Materials Act (MUELMA). Pre-filed HB46 is sponsored by by Del. Sam Arora, District 19, Montgomery County.

The First Hearing was held on Thursday, 1/23/2014 before the Health and Government Operations Committee. Testimony in favor of UELMA was provided by Delegate Arora; Steve Leitess, Uniform Law Commission, Maryland Member; Emily Feltren, AALL Government Relations Office; and Tonya Baroudi, LLAM President. Steve Anderson, Mary Jo Lazun, Paul Lagasse, and Joanie Bellistri attended the hearing to show support for the panel.

An interlineated copy was provided by Delegate Arora to the committee that included amendments to the pre-filed bill that removed requirements for reported decisions of the circuit and district courts and for certain administrative materials. The revision also added the Maryland Register to the list of legal materials. Tonya and Emily both voiced support as amended.

The Committee Co-Chair, Del. Shane E. Pendergrass, District 13, Howard County, had three questions:

  1. Why has the Act only been adopted in only 8 states in the last two years?
  2. Are there major differences between the Model Act and the Maryland Act?
  3. Have there been any problems where the Act has been adopted that have required a retroactive fix?

Answers were provided by Steve Leitess of the ULC who stated that it is not unusual for a Uniform Act to take more than one year for adoption, that there are no major differences between the acts and that there are no known instances of a fix being needed after adoption.

Now that the first hearing has taken place, LLAM members can advocate for UELMA by contacting their delegates who are on the Health and Government Operations Committee. Read on to find out how.

HB46 Action Alert:

LLAM members can help by contacting their delegate if a member of the Committee:

  1. Who are your delegates?
  2. Is one of them a member of the House >Health and Government Operations Committee?
  3. If so call or write to your delegate requesting support

~By Joanie Bellistri, Anne Arundel County Public Law Library

AALL Local Advocate Lobby Day – March 27, 2014

AALL Logo

Date:         Thursday, March 27, 2014

Time:         8:30 am – 5:00 pm EDT

Location:   Capitol Hill*, Washington, D.C.

Who:         Washington-area AALL members and local chapters, including LLAM, LLSDC,
SEAALL, VALL, and others who can visit D.C.

Join AALL President Steven P. Anderson, AALL’s Government Relations Office staff, local chapters, and AALL members at AALL’s second-annual Local Advocate Lobby Day on March 27.

Last year’s lobby day was such a success, we’re doing it again! At this full-day event, you’ll become an expert on our top priority issues and learn best practices for successful advocacy. Then, you’ll put your knowledge into practice, attending pre-scheduled meetings with your members of Congress and/or their staff to advocate for AALL’s policy positions.

According to a 2011 survey by the Congressional Management Foundation, 97 percent of congressional staff say that in-person visits from constituents have an influence on the member. As law librarians and members of AALL, you are experts who represent not only yourselves, but your profession, other librarians, and your patrons. Exercise your influence to make a difference for your libraries!

The Lobby Day is free of charge for all AALL members and chapter members. Breakfast, coffee, lunch and an afternoon snack will be provided. Participants will have the opportunity to visit area sites including the Library of Congress, Law Library of Congress, and Folger Shakespeare Library during afternoon free hours.

RSVP to Elizabeth Holland at eholland@aall.org by March 1.

*Training will take place at a TBD location on Capitol Hill within close walking distance of the Senate and House Office Buildings, where lobby meetings will take place.

What Happens When Books Freeze?

This Polar Vortex and our current “arctic” temperatures have gotten me thinking…  What happens when books freeze?  Is it damaging to the paper? Does the extreme cold cause deterioration? Or are there hidden possibilities to be found there….?

After a bit of research, I discovered that freezing is a common method of preservation after a water disaster and can actually be effective for recovering wet books and paper records.  Freezing water-damaged materials prevents (further) mold growth and also inhibits additional water absorption into the paper. (For the record, it can also eradicate insects – should you have that sort of dilemma!)

Freezing can be used as a temporary solution to preserve materials while deciding how to ultimately salvage, treat or replace the damaged collection.  Or items left in freezing conditions will eventually dry on their own, if left indefinitely, but this is not a particularly efficient method since it takes several months to a year to thoroughly dehydrate.

While water-damaged materials will always exhibit signs of their trauma, freezing can vastly prolong their “shelf-life” (how’s that for a librarian joke?) and save them from untimely ruin.

Now you know… I hope you never need to employ these techniques in your own Library; but if you do, I found these resources particularly helpful in researching and writing this post.

http://www.nedcc.org/free-resources/preservation-leaflets/3.-emergency-management/3.12-freezing-and-drying-wet-books-and-records

http://www.lib.umich.edu/files/services/preservation/wetbooks-1.pdf

http://www.lib.msu.edu/preservation/wetbooks.jsp

-Sara Thomas (Head Librarian, Miles & Stockbridge PC)

SAVE THE DATE! Maryland Legislative Day: Help Make UELMA a Maryland Law

LLAM members, your presence is needed more than ever at this year’s Maryland  Legislative Day. If at all possible, PLEASE find room in your schedule on Wednesday, February 19, 2014.

Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act is an important issue on the table for discussion in the legislature and by attending Legislative Day, you can make sure your local delegate is aware and informed!  This link has more information so you can educate yourself about the topic.  http://www.aallnet.org/Documents/Government-Relations/UELMA

Perks to attending:

  • Eat a hearty breakfast at the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Law Library
  • Chat other Maryland librarians
  • Hear the General Assembly proclaim librarians as indispensable
  • Practice your elevator speech techniques
  • Meet your delegates and senators
  • Attend gorgeous evening reception with librarians, delegates, and senators
  • Feel good about making a difference!!

We hope to see you there!

Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2014!

Discussion on Legal Link Rot

Finally, Online Legal Information Is a Topic of Serious Discussion!

Legal link rot has been a newsworthy topic since the publication of  “Something Rotten in the State of Legal Citation: The Life Span of a United States Supreme Court Citation Containing an Internet Link (1996-2010) in Yale Journal of Law and Technology.  The New York Times featured the study in its September 23, 2013 article In Supreme Court Opinions, Web Links to Nowhere.

The ABA Journal has joined the discussion this month with “Link rot’ is degrading legal research and case cites.” The article features Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group (CDPG) which includes the Maryland State Law Library, Virginia State Law Library and the libraries of Georgetown and Harvard law schools.  CDPG harvests and preserves legally significant publications based on the collection development plans of its member libraries. Annually the members of the group check to see if links to a sample set of publications still work. The number of dead links has grown annually, but the 2013 report was significant because for the first over 50 percent of .gov links no longer worked.

It is gratifying to see the preservation of online legal information a topic of serious discussion and the work of groups like CDPG recognized. New tools like permaCC offer the promise of a consistent and permanent links to online legal information. Maybe by the end of the decade link rot will become a quaint artifact, like the sound of a 56K baud modem.

Mary Jo Lazun, Maryland State Law Library

Getting UEMLA on the General Assembly’s Agenda

Many counties in Maryland have open forums to allow community organizations to make an “elevator pitch” to their delegations. This Tuesday, Joan Bellistri, Paul Lagasse, and I attended the Anne Arundel County delegation’s forum in order to give them a quick introduction to the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA).

Although we were the second-to -last organization on the agenda, the delegates examined our packet of materials and appeared to be engaged by what we had to say. Of course Joanie is an excellent public speaker and came prepared with a succinct four-minute talk based a sample speech from the AALL UELMA resources page. (Thank you, Emily Feltren Felton of AALL’s Government Relations!)

Following our presentation, one of the delegates asked a question regarding funding; no big surprise there. And after the forum, Paul and I had an opportunity to chat with one of the delegates about the importance of preserving born-digital legal materials. We referenced the Chesapeake Project linkrot study that revealed that after five years, over 50% documents with .gov domain were no longer available at their original URLs.

Forums like this are a great (and easy) opportunity to educate our delegates and senators about UELMA. Keep an eye out for similar forums in your county. Joanie and I have a packet of material and a speech ready to go. Won’t you volunteer to the same in your county?  Consider volunteering with your county and bring a fellow librarian…it is more fun with a colleague.

Mary Jo Lazun,  Maryland State Law Library

LLAM Holiday Party and Silent Auction 2013

HolidayPartyBaltimoreatNightSave the Date!

The Law Library Association of Maryland invites you to a

Holiday English Tea

Friday, December 6, 2013
4:00-7:00 P.M.
at 17th Floor Bistro

100 Light Street, 17th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
http://www.17thfloorcafe.catertrax.com

Join fellow LLAMers in viewing the magnificent Baltimore Inner Harbor at a festive Holiday English Tea complete with sweets, savories, wines and sherry.

Holiday shopping: This year’s silent auction benefits Rebuilding Together and the LLAM scholarship fund, so please get your auction items ready.

Special Offer: Invite a non-member friend or colleague and get your second registration fee at half price.

Tickets: $25.00 per person ($12.50 for a non-member guest)
You may pay by check. Make the check payable to “LLAM” and mail to
Pat Behles
University of Baltimore Law Library
1401 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

We hope to see you there!

Questions? Contact
Kate Martin, LLAM Program Chair
kmartin@mcccourt.com
240-777-9121

Fabulous News: UELMA to be Introduced This Year in Maryland

Fabulous News: UELMA to be Introduced This Year in Maryland
by: Mary Jo Lazun and Joanie Bellistri

Next year, hopefully, will be Maryland’s turn. LLAM has just received word that the Maryland state delegate Sam Arora (D-Montgomery County) will be sponsoring the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) in the 2014 Maryland General Assembly.

UELMA provides a technology-neutral, outcomes-based approach to ensuring that online state legal material deemed official will be preserved and will be permanently available to the public in unaltered form. UELMA has become law in eight states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, and Oregon and hopefully this spring, Maryland.

LLAM is in a unique position to help stakeholders and legislators understand the importance of UELMA. Now is the time to seek out opportunities to educate our attorneys, educators, and government officials about the importance of UELMA. The AALL Government Relations Office has made this easy by providing a useful selection of background information, advocacy materials, and sample letters at http://www.aallnet.org/Documents/Government-Relations/UELMA.

Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself on the law and its importance so that when an elevator moment presents itself, you will be ready to provide information and answer questions about UELMA.

This year’s library Legislative Day in Annapolis will be a great opportunity to talk face-to-face with our legislators about the importance UELMA. We’ll be announcing the date soon.

November LLAM Program: Judge Irma Raker on Maryland Pattern Jury Instructions

JudgeIrmaRakerHear the Honorable Irma S. Raker speak on

“Everything you need to know about Maryland Pattern Jury Instructions”
November 6, 2013 at 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Anne Arundel Circuit Court Library, Room 303
7 Church Circle
Annapolis MD 21401

A dynamic speaker, Judge Raker will recount her 30 years chairing the committee producing the popular Maryland criminal and civil pattern jury instruction books.

These books are relied on by judges across the state and cited by attorneys for their succinctness, clarity and attention to detail. Retired Chief Judge Bell calls them “of paramount importance to the court.”

The Honorable Irma Raker, a distinguished jurist and legal pioneer, was the second woman appointed to the Maryland Court of Appeals. She currently chairs the MD Access to Justice Commission and works in private mediation.

An open Q-and-A session about her illustrious legal career will follow the talk.

RSVP to Kate Martin at kmartin@mcccourt.com, 240-777-9121.

How Legislative History Really Works – Exhibit A — The Affordable Care Act

LLAM Program with John Cannan: How Legislative History Really Works – Exhibit A, The Affordable Care Act
October 15, 2013 at 12:00 P.M.
The Brown Room, Library Company of the Baltimore Bar 100 North Calvert Street, Baltimore MD 21202

A video recording of the presentation by John Cannan is now available online:

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Still using USCCAN, Google or THOMAS?  The rules have changed! New, unconventional tools are now available to mine more complex and different legislative procedure models.

Be ready to operate in this new reality. Legislative History is a core law library competence and a unique skill we can offer our patrons – a sure way to improve our ROI.

Join John Cannan of the Drexel University Law Library for a provocative talk on how to compile a federal legislative history.

A frequent writer on legal research topics, most recently in the Law Library Journal (http://www.aallnet.org/main-menu/  publications/llj/LLJ-Archives/Vol-105/no-2/2013-7.pdf), John’s current research interests are in services for self-represented litigants, Web 2.0 and judicial rules.

John received his JD and MLS from the University of Maryland and he has worked at the Montgomery County (MD) Circuit Court Law Library and then at the Law Library of Congress.

This program will be taped for later viewing on the LLAM site.

Parking: Limited parking, two garages are within a block of the

Bar library, north on St. Paul Street and west of Lexington Street. No onsite parking.

NEXT PROGRAM: November 6th, the Honorable Irma Raker will speak on chairing the MSBA committee that produced the popular Maryland Pattern Jury Instructions and her life as a Circuit Court and Court of Appeals Judge.

How Librarians Can Make the Shutdown Work for Them

This post is LLAM’s Maiden Voyage into the blogosphere and there is one hot topic boiling in the hearts of all Americans. Whichever side of the political fence we fall on, we are all faced with a disturbing reality – the United States Federal Government has shuttered all “non-essential” doors and shut down. We each recognize that on some level this affects everyone; some more than others.

As law librarians, this situation threatens to have a colossal impact on how we perform our jobs. Some of our colleagues have been furloughed and aren’t even able to go to work. Those of us that are still standing face a number of frustrations because the government resources we use have been suspended. Many of the government websites that we access daily to perform reference services are already shut down. If the situation continues much longer, there will be more that go dark.

Some of our most essential databases, like FDsys, aren’t being updated. When we visit many government webpages, we are met with glaring messages about budget appropriations and lapses in funding. How long will it be before the Federal Courts close? And PACER shuts down?

Fdsys Shutdown Image

Some of the less-essential (but still important) services are also closed. For example, there is no one at National Library of Medicine to pull the medical articles that my patent attorneys need.

This situation should motivate us all to step up to the hypothetical plate and provide some clarity in this crisis of uncertainty. We Librarians need to provide stability. We need to use this state of affairs to our advantage and demonstrate our VALUE to our user communities. In this time of confusion we must emerge as the knowledge experts. We should know the alternate sources that are available and be prepared to guide our patrons to them. Dig deep in your bag of Librarian tricks and think of every clever way you can prove your Library to be the authoritative resource. This is the moment that we Librarians must to seize to show our continued need and importance.

I certainly hope this shut down doesn’t last much longer. I hope our lawmakers can come together and do what needs to be done to get up and running again. In the meantime, let’s be the best information providers we can be, use this as an opportunity to show our ingenuity and in the words of Tim Gunn, “Make it work!”

LLAM Legislative & Advocacy Activities

Here are photos from Maryland Legislative Day on February 13th and AALL Advocacy Day in DC on April 18th. Thank you Joanie Bellistri and Janet Camillo.

LLAM Spring Fling 2013

A great time was had by all at the 2013 Spring Fling at Kinder Farm Park. Special kudos goes out to Kate Martin for her wonderful catering and party planning.

Tour of Peabody Library in Baltimore

Peabody Tour, April 12th, 2013

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Thanks to Deborah Judy from the Maryland State Law Library and Jenny Rensler from the Thurgood Marshall Law Library for these fabulous photos.

February LLAM Program: Speaker Andrew Jezic, Maryland Law of Confessions

LLAM warmly welcomes Mr. Andrew Jezic, co-author of Maryland Law of Confessions, as a guest speaker on February 6, 2013, in which he will shed light on his experience with the publisher, Thomson Reuters,  and the relevancy and connection of this resource and libraries.

In 2011 and 2012, Mr. Andrew Jezic, was recognized as a Super Lawyer, an accolade that goes to only the top 5% of attorneys in Maryland.  In 2012, Mr. Jezic received another honor by appearing in Washingtonian magazine as one of the best defense attorneys in the area.

Please RSVP to Tonya Baroudi at tebaroudi@co.pg.md.us by Thursday, January 31, 2013.  Thank you and we look forward to seeing you on February 6, 2013.  Beverages and desserts provided.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Maryland State Law Library
Conference Room
361 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, Maryland  21401

November LLAM Program: Charlotte Harrington, Bloomberg Law

You won’t want to miss the LLAM Program in November. Charlotte Harrington, Legal Research Specialist, will provide a look into the new world of Bloomberg Law as enhanced by the Bloomberg BNA Content – such as dockets, company analytics and litigation, news and much more.

Date/ Time/ Location:  Thursday, November 15, 2012, 12:00-1:30pm.
University of Baltimore Student Center
21 W. Mt Royal Avenue (corner of Maryland and Mt Royal Avenues)
Student Center Room 301
Baltimore, MD 21201

In order to secure parking vouchers, good for parking at the reduced rate of $7, please RSVP by COB Thursday, November 1, 2012 to Tonya Baroudi at tebaroudi@co.pg.md.us

For parking information see http://www.ubalt.edu/about-ub/offices-and-services/auxiliary/parking-and-public-transportation/visitor-information.cfm.  The campus is also convenient to the light rail, and the Circulator bus.

You are welcome to bring your lunch; beverages & desserts provided.  If you have any questions, please let me know.  Thank you and we look forward to seeing you on November 15.