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What I Did on My Summer Vacation If you took a plane anywhere this summer, you probably spent some time waiting in airports. Anticipating this on several trips, I took along my office reading — specifically, the press releases and mailings from a variety of sources. It provided many hours of interesting reading. Here’s a summary of what I learned while airport-waiting over the summer: There are many excellent meetings and conferences coming up this fall. One of them is the Internet Librarian 2000 Conference and Exposition ( www.infotoday.com), a bargain at $335. See our calendar for full details. West Group has made changes to www.westlaw.com. The Web site now provides a more intuitive interface, improved speed, and lower technical requirements. A new, tabbed interface enables researchers to find the most commonly used databases. You can take a free guided tour of the new site. The State Bar of Wisconsin produces a line of client education videotapes, including “Preparing for Your Business Deposition” and “Preparing for Your Personal Injury Case.” The tapes tend to be short in length (20 to 30 minutes) with prices ranging from $59 to $149. Most tapes include handbooks as well. Discounts are given if you are a Wisconsin Bar member. For more information, visit www.wisbar.org/video. The Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) has set up its Learning on Demand program. This line-up of online educational opportunities is intended to enhance skills or build new ones. The program, which can be accessed through the ALA Web site at www.alanet.org, offers more than 250 Web-based courses that focus on management, leadership, human resources, knowledge management, and more. There is a free course offered on e-Learning, which I intend to take. Otherwise, courses are only $90 if you are an ALA member. Just out: a new book by Margaret Basch, J.D.: “Every Woman Should Go to Law School or Read This Book!” (HarperResource, $14, August 2000, ISBN: 006-095360-8). She offers practical tips on “making sense out of law libraries and legal documents.” Clever title — perhaps I would have saved a lot on my law school tuition if this book had existed when I went to law school. LEXIS Publishing has acquired Mealey Publications, Inc., the publisher of legal newsletters in specific areas of litigation and arbitration. Mealey’s also produces annual conferences in areas of hot litigation subjects. Years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Mealey, who kindly gave me some great advice about newsletter publishing. Loislaw.com has been accepted at over 90 percent of ABA-accredited law schools. By “accepted,” the company means that the law schools have agreed to provide access to their students, faculty, and research staff. (A company called Vault.com has released its third annual report, “The Vault.com Guide to the Top 50 Law Firms.” Almost 5,000 lawyers ranked the top firms and give the inside story in a 900-page report. The cost is only $19.95 if ordered at the Web site, http://www.vault.com/. Google ( www.google.com) is one fast search engine. I tested this site after reading about it in a recent issue of Information Advisor at www.informationadvisor.com. I like the way that the information is arranged using different colored text. Here’s hoping that your summer was just as interesting. ‘GATEWAYS TO LEADERSHIP’ CONFERENCE “Gateways to Leadership” was the theme of the 93rd AALL Meeting and Conference, held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in downtown Philadelphia. Everything in the city was spruced up for us librarians (and incidentally for the Republicans), so it was a very pleasant place to be. Even the weather cooperated — not too hot and very little rain. I was a panelist at the CONALL program for newer academic law librarians. I attended the entire session, which featured a clever skit depicting many situations that new librarians encounter when they enter the academic world. The panel on which I participated was to acquaint attendees with the publishing opportunities for their professional development and the “publish or perish” syndrome that exists in many institutions. Other panelists were Mark Estes from Trends,Cindy Chick from LLRX,Peter Beck from AALL Spectrum,Mike Chiorazzi from Legal Reference Services Quarterly,Frank Houdek from Law Library Journal,and Mary Hotchkiss from Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing.It was very interesting for me to hear about all these publications and their article requirements, and I’m sure the attendees felt the same. There were three highlights from the program that I will tell you about here. The first was the talk by Lisa Guedea Carrveno at the Private Law Libraries SIS luncheon. You may have seen the Inc. cover story about Highsmith and its librarian — that was her (“The Smartest Little Company in America,” Inc., January 1999, p. 42). Now director of the library at Goshen College in Goshen, Ind., Lisa Guedea Carrveno’s motivational speech was titled “Life After the Privates: Competencies, Caveats, and Confession.” She spoke from her experience and told us that “simple questions do not necessarily have simple answers; neither do complex questions always have complex answers.” She also asserts that “the essence of being a good effective librarian is in having an inquiring mind and a caring heart;” and “the more of a life you have outside of work, the more alive you will be at work.” I attended back-to-back sessions that I found interesting and stimulating. The first was “PLL and SLA Legal Division: Meeting Our Needs in the 21st Century.” The panelists discussed the similarities between the two groups, who belong to each (or both), and how the two groups can work together. To build a bridge between the two, the first thing is to understand how each works. More collaboration is needed, with members making suggestions that are actions, volunteering (e.g., propose a program), and better participation in each organization (e.g., voting and e-mail response to issues confronting the groups). The second session was “Do Our Salaries Reflect Our Leadership?” As you might expect, the room was full. James M. Matarazzo, dean of the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science, was one fantastic speaker. He had done a prodigious amount of research on the numbers of librarians, numbers presently in library schools, and the salaries of special and law librarians. His talk was quite humorous — he said that if he owned a company, he would “fire everyone and hire librarians because they were well educated, worked hard, and didn’t cost a lot of money.” His (Matarazzo) salary research indicates that law librarians were better paid than the profession in general. However, he was followed by Elizabeth Kenney of Dechert Price & Rhoads, who read job announcements from newspapers across the country offering salaries that were mostly appalling. The speakers made a number of suggestions about what we can do to get salaries that reflect our leadership: develop negotiating skills, look at categories to define what you do, prepare a salary memo before your annual review, and get a job description that is process-oriented. This was quite an eye-opening session; you should get the tape and listen to it (Mobiltape Company Inc., 800-369-5718, tape # 00AALL-C2).

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