Maryland Partners for Justice – May 14 in Baltimore

The work of law librarians will be a topic at the conference this year: “Access to Justice through Access to Legal Information” with Catherine McGuire, Dave Pantzer, Mary Jo Lazun and Sara Witman on the panel.  Here is the program description: Knowledge of the law and the legal system is an important component in providing Access to Justice. Everyone says “it’s all online” – but where?  Law librarians will showcase free resources that can be used by legal services providers for their own research or as referrals to clients or anyone interested in accessing legal information. The Maryland State Law Library website contains a wealth of information on legal resources and legal research including links to free online legal resources.  The Maryland Peoples’ Law Library is “a legal information and self-help website maintained by the Maryland State Law Library.”  Everyone knows how to use Google but may not be familiar with the Google tools for accessing legal resources.  Learn the many ways that Google can enhance legal research for attorneys and non-attorneys alike.

The early bird rate – until April 24 – is only $95 ($105 after).  Considering this includes breakfast and lunch in addition to the great programming there is no good reason to miss this conference. In addition to the law library program another interesting program will be “Serial” – How the Popular Podcast Impacts the Court System.   It is great opportunity for law librarians to let the legal community know the role we play in access to justice.

Find out more here:


It would be great to see more of the law library community this year!




Joan M. Bellistri
Law Library Director
Anne Arundel County Public Law Library
Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, RM 303
P.O. Box 2395, 8 Church Circle
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-222-1387 P
410-268-9762 F

National Plan for Access to US Government Information

Earlier this week at the Maryland State Archives, Mary Alice Baish the U.S. Superintendent of Documents, presented the National Plant for Access to US Government Information to a group of LLAM members for our February Program. The attached PDF is a copy of her Powerpoint presentation.  Check it out for some really helpful nuggets of information!

LLAM_MSA_National_Plan FINAL (02242015)

Maryland Library Legislative Day Details

Next Wednesday, February 18th is LLAM’s opportunity to make a real difference. It is Maryland Library Legislative Day, a chance to meet with your legislators and urge them to support libraries and UEMLA: House Bill 162 and Senate Bill 611. During the day members of the various county libraries visit with their delegations. LLAM has arranged to  have county delegations to adopt a LLAMer for a day so you do not need to worry about making appointments, finding buildings, and rooms. They are vets at this process and will welcome your expertise in UELMA.

The agenda for the day is below and the attached PDF includes the day’s agenda, map, and MLA talking points and info on UELMA.

  • 8:00 AM   Continental breakfast (hosted by LLAM) briefing packets and candy giveaway will be available for pickup in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Library (enter from Church Circle).  The legislative panel will brief us on general talking points to keep in mind as visits are planned.  The law library will be available all day if anyone would like a place to sit down and take a break.
  • 9:15 AM   Proceed to State House for Senate presentation followed by House presentation. We will split up with a group going to House Balcony and a group going to Senate Balcony At conclusion, participants to make delegation visits.
  • 1:00 PM UELMA Hearing at the House of Delegates Office Building Room 240.
  • 5:30 PM Legislative Reception in the President’s Reception room in the Senate office Building. This is an opportunity to mix and mingle with legislators and other officials.  Be on the lookout for elected officials from your district and extend greetings to them.  When you make your visits to their offices, make a point of inviting them to stop by the reception. (All legislators were mailed invitations)

CLICK HERE: Md Lib Leg Day for LLAMers
for more information on the agenda, parking and other important information.

Need more info contact:
Mary Jo  Lazun  |
410-260-1441 work | 410-292-8882 cell

LLAM Needs You In Annapolis On February 18th

LLAM Needs You In Annapolis On February 18th

Now is the time LLAM really needs you. The Maryland Uniform Legal Materials Act (UELMA) is on track for potential passage for this year. We have a hearing in the House of Delegates scheduled for Wednesday, February 18th at 1:00. That day also coincides with Maryland Library Day. We need you in Annapolis that day.

During Maryland Library Day members of the various county libraries visit with their delegations. Joanie Bellistri and I have asked the Maryland Library Association county delegations to adopt you for a day so you do not need to worry about making appointments, finding buildings, and rooms. They are vets at this process and will welcome your expertise in UELMA.

If you need a crash course in UELMA the AALL and Uniform Commissioner’s web sites have LOTS of information to make you an expert very fast. Joan Bellistri and I are available to answer any questions you may have.

Please let me know if plan to attend, even if right now it is just tentative. I also need to know what county you live in so we can hook you up with your county delegation.

Need more info contact:
Mary Jo  Lazun  |
410-260-1441 work | 410-292-8882 cell

PS if you have not sent the UEMLA message to your delegates PLEASE do so. See

UELMA Introduced in Maryland

Good news! Last week The Maryland Uniform Legal Materials Act (HB 162) was introduced in the General Assembly and is sporting a growing list of sponsors throughout the state. Many thanks to Del. Cathy Vitale of Anne Arundel County who introduced the bill.

We need your help to increase the number of sponsors of the bill so we are asking LLAM members to contact their legislators to request their sponsorship of the bill.  If you do not know who represents you (there have been a lot of changes) see Locate Your Legislators.

Below is a sample message that will fit perfectly in the Contact Legislators form available for each legislator. FYI, this form has a 1,500 character limit and the sample message below is around 1400 characters.

Also, please mark your calendar for Maryland Library Legislative Day on February 18. The schedule begins with a terrific breakfast at the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court law library. Details will be forthcoming.

Time is of the essence so please contact your legislators right away and urge them to support UELMA.

For more information, you can contact:
Mary Jo Lazun
Joan Bellistri



I write in support of House Bill 162, the Maryland Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act (UELMA). I strongly urge to you to sponsor this important legislation.

UELMA ensures that online state legal materials that are deemed official — for example, the Code of Maryland, Maryland Rules, reported appellate court decisions, Attorney General Opinions, and the Code of Maryland Regulations — will be preserved in unaltered form and made permanently available to the public.

In Maryland, there have been efforts to discard traditional print access with no method to ensure access, preservation, or authentication to these materials. For example, The Division of State Documents recently proposed offering online-only access to the Maryland Register. Last year the General Assembly exempted the state judiciary from publishing rules committee materials in the Maryland Register if they are promptly posted on the Judiciary web site. Some states no longer publish important legal materials in print — a decision that Maryland may eventually make as well.

UELMA is the people’s insurance policy that our state’s laws are available, preserved, and authenticated online.

To date, twelve states have passed UELMA. By adopting UELMA, Maryland will establish itself as a national leader and demonstrate its commitment to providing its citizens with access to legal materials regardless of format.

Copyright Series – Part 3 or “DRM”

Let’s talk about DRM.

Digital Rights Management, or DRM for short, can be generally defined as a system that restricts how one is able to view, save or share digitally acquired information. Much like the now ubiquitous “Terms of Use” agreement required to use most digital services, DRM is a way that publishers can control who, how and where material is being viewed.

DRMs can be particularly problematic for libraries. Librarians are being put in the position of either breaking the electronic locks in order to exercise their legal rights under the Fair use Exemptions or letting a company determine how best to serve library patrons. Fortunately, those put in this predicament now have some recourse. You might recall that in October there was mention of upcoming opportunities for public comment. That day has come! The Copyright Office published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.  <Proposed rule: >

Here are a few highlights of the proposed rules:

  • Space & Format shifting. “This proposed class would allow circumvention of access controls on lawfully made and acquired literary works distributed electronically for the purpose of non-commerical space-shifting or format shifting. This exemption has been requested for literary works distributed electronically in e-books.” (Proposed Class 10: Literary Works Distributed Electronically—SpaceShifting and Format-Shifting, 79 Fed. Reg. 73856, pg.73863 (B) (2).)  This would allow for the stripping of DRM or reformatting of content, for purposes of “backup copies” and other (Legal) purposes. This issue came up before in 2006 and was not adopted. Support and good examples might help it pass this time.
  • Jailbreaking-Dedicated E-book readers. “This proposed class would permit the jailbreaking of dedicated e-book readers to allow those devices to run lawfully acquired software that is otherwise prevented from running.” (Proposed Class 18: Jailbreaking—Dedicated E-Book Readers, 79 Fed. Reg. 73856, pg.73867 (3).) This would return some freedom of choice to consumers and library systems in how to purchase and read e-books. It could potentially reduce some of the administrative friction of getting an e-book to a patron. Imagine reading a book purchased on Amazon via a Nook rather than a Kindle or vice versa.

Re-reading the preamble, prior to commenting, is encouraged. The required formatting is very specific and it might be best to use the long or short form guidelines provided by the Copyright office.  <Link is here:>

Each of us is in a different and unique position to provide insight, guidance and advocate for our users. Go forth! February 6, 2015, is the deadline for comments.

Part 4 of our Copyright Series is forthcoming.

by Rachel Englander