AALL Working Group Update

By Joan Bellistri
Anne Arundel County Public Law Library

The Maryland Inventory of Primary Legal Information is Done!

The Maryland Working Group has completed the Maryland section of the National Inventory of Primary Legal Information. The Maryland Working Group is one of many AALL working groups working to collect information on the availability of all primary legal resources in the United States at every level of government. Each state has been working to enter this information into their own Google spreadsheet. According the Government Relations Office Issue Brief,  once information from all fifty states, D.C., and the federal government has been collected, the results will be analyzed and used as needed by experts who will be working with LAW.gov, the Law Library of Congress and AALL public policy committees.

The Maryland Working Group has been working since last August to collect information for all Maryland primary law. We had a “final push entry party” on May 12 at the Maryland State Law Library to work entering the information for the municipalities. I joined Susan Herrick, Mary Rice, Vickie Yiannoulou, Andy Zimmerman and Mary Jo Lazun for our “party.” Meeting at the State Law Library allowed us to all work together with laptops accessing the online information via the wifi there. We also had easy access to the library’s collection of municipal print codes. Working as a group we were able to discuss and resolve any questions as they arose.

The working group began work with the state level of primary materials. After the first “party” in August where the spreadsheet and entry form were demonstrated, each member of the group volunteered to collect information for the various branches of government. The next step involved collecting the information for all levels of county government. Members of the Conference of Maryland Court Law Library Directors volunteered to enter information for their respective counties. Since there are many more counties than conference members, it was great that Mary Rice was willing to work on most of the other counties.

There are more than 150 municipalities in Maryland. This next step presented a challenge for meeting the June 2011 deadline. Mary Rice and Janet Camillo began work on the municipalities as soon as the counties were done. In order to meet the deadline, I planned another group entry “party.”  After May 12, we all agreed to continue until all municipalities on the list had been entered. (We used another Google spreadsheet to keep track of who had done which municipality so that we would not duplicate efforts.)

I am happy to report that we were finished by June 1. I want to thank everyone who contributed to this major project: Steve Anderson,  Janet Camillo (who continued to work after her retirement), Pat Behles, Joanne Colvin, Tonya Baroudi, Katherine Baer, Susan Herrick, Mary Jo Lazun, Carol Mundorf, Andy Zimmerman, Flossie Barnes, Errin Roby, and Vickie Yiannoulou.  And a special thanks to Mary Rice, who did far more than her fair share, and also took on the task of  reviewing the inventory after all was entered.