From the LJ article, Deal or No Deal: Periodicals Price Survey 2019: “For the past decade, libraries have battled declining university budgets and increasing serials expenditures. With each Big Deal package renewal or cancellation, librarians and publishers have asked themselves: Did I make the best deal? Did I make the right deal? Recent developments in open access (OA) promise to bring major reform to academic publishing and, with that, new challenges and opportunities to the way that librarians and publishers choose to deal.”

The price survey indications that law periodicals increased 7% over last year’s pricing.

The LexisNexis tying controversy was on the agenda for our association’s Spring executive board meeting. It appears on the April 5 agenda as one of six items listed under the heading “informal considerations.” See the Spring 2019 Meeting Board Book. The agenda indicates that AALL President Femi Cadmus gave an “update on current LexisNexis Practices.” There was no action item associated with the tying controversy agenda item. Hopefully AALL will communicate the substance of this update to the rank-and-file membership in the near future.

The AALL State of the Profession 2019 Snapshot is a preview of the inaugural AALL State of the Profession 2019 report. The preview takes a quick look at law librarians’ role in technology management, as well as topics of note in each setting. The Snapshot’s content is an excellent teaser for the full report.

The full report provides an overview of the law library and legal information landscape. This report captures the range of legal information professionals’ contributions and talents, challenges in the field, and ambitions for the future. It is intended to be used as a tool for benchmarking, advocacy, or organizational planning, and personal development. The report is available for preorder on AALLNET (http://bit.ly/AALLSOTP19).  The price is $199 for members and $299 for non-members.

 

Referring to my Nov. 8, 2018 LLB post entitled So what’s up? Is AALL going to follow up on the LexisNexis tying controversy? a reader asked what I knew about the current status of the AALL-LexisNexis tying dispute last week. My response: to the best of my knowledge, nothing has happened since the July 2, 2018 meeting between AALL officers and LN where LN executives served up the company’s usual word salad over this controversy.

The reader could have but didn’t ask:

  • “Will the LexisNexis tying matter be on the agenda for the executive board’s next meeting?” Don’t know. Too soon to say because the meeting’s agenda will not be released until early April.
  • “If not, does this mean that the executive board doesn’t intend to take legal or commercial action after the unproductive July 2, 2018 meeting?” I fear it may.

What AALL has done so far.  After fielding requests for assistance from law firms without obtaining satisfactory resolutions of the tying complaints, CRIV recommended that the executive board issue a “letter of disapproval.” The matter was placed on the executive board’s Spring 2018 meeting agenda and after the meeting the executive board issued a statement that the executive board was going to investigate LN’s tying sales policy.

On June 7, 2018, the executive board sent LN’s CEO Mike Walsh a letter criticizing the tying sales policy and calling for a meeting to resolve the controversy. That meeting took place of July 2, 2018 and was reported to the rank-and-file membership. In a nutshell, LN stonewalled AALL by stating that  the company is unable to discuss any product packaging or pricing matters, except with their customers, since each relationship is customized to meet the firm’s needs, and because Lexis has negotiated NDAs with all of its customers. From the meeting’s summary prepared by AALL:

“AALL President Greg Lambert strongly urged Lexis leadership to reconsider the new practice. While we do not anticipate that will occur, he further urged that they communicate fully to the membership and to their individual customers at the local level the specifics of this new sales practice and how it will affect them when renewing their Lexis contracts. … AALL will continue to pursue any rights we might have in addressing these product-tying policies.”

Since then, CRIV has continued to field requests for assistance by law firms over the tying policy and on Nov. 29, 2018, CRIV brought up the matter during its semi-annual vendor call once again. In essence, LN’s response stated its tying policy was legal so the company was going to continue executing it. Here’s one pertinent part of LN’s statement to CRIV:

“We appreciated the time and effort the AALL leadership team put into sharing their insights on our products and pricing. We will certainly keep these perspectives in mind as we move forward. We also were grateful for the opportunity to discuss our integrated product strategy and our compliance process that includes internal and external legal review of all pricing and packaging prior to release to customers.”

And that’s where the matter stands.  If it is not on the Spring 2019 executive board meeting agenda, then in all likelihood, AALL’s first significant attempt at consumer advocacy for law firms in many, many years has failed due to the executive board’s collective lack of will power to stand by its statements.

At ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, ALA Council adopted revisions to “Copyright: An Interpretation of the Code of Ethics”. The changes, proposed by the Committee on Professional Ethics, strengthened “Copyright: An Interpretation of the Code of Ethics” by adding legal citations; expanding the text to include definitions of important principles for “Fair Use” and “First Sale Doctrine”; and addressing digital licensing agreements. The interpretation has also been broadened to encompass all types of libraries and material formats.

H/T InfoDocket.

ALA’s Library Bill of Rights has been updated to include an article focused on the concept of ensuring privacy and confidentiality for library users.The new article of the Library Bill of Rights, Article VII, states: “All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.”

H/T beSpacific.

The Legal History and Rare Books (LH&RB) Section of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), in cooperation with Cengage Learning, announces the Eleventh Annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition. The competition is named in honor of Morris L. Cohen, late Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale Law School.

The competition is designed to encourage scholarship and to acquaint students with the AALL and law librarianship, and is open to students currently enrolled in accredited graduate programs in library science, law, history, and related fields. Essays may be on any topic related to legal history, rare law books, or legal archives. The winner will receive a $500.00 prize from Cengage Learning and present his or her paper in a national webinar.

Winning and runner-up entries will be invited to submit their entries to Unbound, the official journal of LH&RB. Past winning essays have gone on to be accepted by journals such as N.Y.U. Law Review, American Journal of Legal History, University of South Florida Law Review, William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law, Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities, and French Historical Review.

The entry form and instructions are available at the LH&RB website. Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., April 15, 2019 (EDT)

From the press release:

ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions announces a new facilitated eCourse in collaboration with the Office for Intellectual Freedom, The First Amendment and Library Services. Theresa Chmara will serve as the instructor for a 4-week facilitated eCourse starting on Monday, March 4, 2019.

Librarians and library staff are aware that the free and equitable provision of information is an important part of the library’s mission. The First Amendment protects the right to speak, publish, read, and view materials in the library, but courts have recognized that libraries also must have reasonable rules in place for patron use of the library, consistent with the library’s mission to provide access to library materials and services to the entire library community.

This course, brought to you in collaboration with the Office for Intellectual Freedom, will introduce you to the legal principles behind the First Amendment, their practical implications in daily life, and how those principles affect library work. You will learn basic legal concepts, your rights as library employees, the rights of library patrons, and what the First Amendment does and does not obligate the library to provide.

The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled is a key legal instrument adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organisation in 2013. It sets out to end the book famine for visually impaired people around the world. The Treaty provisions allow institutions such as libraries, under specific circumstances, to produce and exchange accessible format copies of works, including across borders. By doing so, more works will be available for people with print disabilities.

IFLA is keeping track of changes at the national level to bring national legislations in line with the Treaty. This is important, as in almost all cases, for the Treaty to have an impact, there needs to be both ratification or accession to the Treaty, and national reform.

The monitoring report follows up on the previous edition from October 2018. Many countries have been added to the list, and several more have made legislative changes in their national law since then.

H/T INFOdocket

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has published the ARL Statistics 2016–2017, ARL Academic Law Library Statistics 2016–2017, and ARL Academic Health Sciences Library Statistics 2016–2017. These three publications present information describing the collections, staffing, expenditures, and service activities of the Association’s 124 member libraries in fiscal year 2016–2017. Of these 124 members, 114 are university libraries (15 in Canada and 99 in the US); the remaining 10 are public, governmental, and nonprofit research libraries (1 in Canada, 9 in the US). The law and health sciences publications focus on the 72 law libraries and 58 medical libraries among the Association’s membership that completed the law and health sciences surveys. Unfortunately the reports are paywalled.

H/T Gary Price’s INFOdocket post.

On Nov. 29, 2018, CRIV conducted its Fall semiannual call with LexisNexis (reported in CRIV Blog on Dec. 18, 2018 here). CRIV tried to address two advocacy requests from law firms unable to renew their Law360 subscriptions without having a Lexis Advance contract. Here’s what LexisNexis said:

We’ve worked with Law Librarians and AALL over many years and deeply respect our longstanding relationship with this community. We see Law Librarians as critical collaborators in the journey to evolve our offerings and better serve all customers. It is in that same spirit that we’re engaging with AALL to fully understand the concerns that have been raised. Ultimately, our goal is to provide legal information and analytics that help lawyers cut through vast amounts of data to efficiently gain insights, make better decisions, and achieve the best outcomes possible.

We appreciated the time and effort the AALL leadership team put into sharing their insights on our products and pricing. We will certainly keep these perspectives in mind as we move forward. We also were grateful for the opportunity to discuss our integrated product strategy and our compliance process that includes internal and external legal review of all pricing and packaging prior to release to customers. Since pricing and packaging plans vary by customer type and are customized to meet specific customer needs, we encourage members to follow-up with their LexisNexis account representative with any questions regarding their firm’s specifics.

AALL leaders shared their “insights” in this June 7, 2018 letter to LN CEO Mike Walsh. That letter stated, among other important points that “The AALL Committee on Relations with Information Vendors (CRIV) his attempted to open a dialogue with LexisNexis regarding the impact of its anticompetitive policy on law firm libraries and on law firms. But, to date, LexisNexis’ response has been vague, incomplete, and unsatisfactory, evincing. no interest or intent to revoke or otherwise modify the practice in question.”

Nothing has changed; AALL leadership has yet to take action against LexisNexis.

This year marks the I Love My Librarian Award’s 10-year anniversary. ALA has received thousands of nominations over the last decade, but only 110 librarians have received the honor. Ten librarians have been honored with the 2018 I Love My Librarian Award. Selected from more than 1,000 nominations submitted by library users nationwide, the winning librarians are being recognized for their leadership in transforming lives and communities through education and lifelong learning. This year’s recipients include four academic, three public, and three school librarians.

In mid-2017, CRIV received complaints about LexisNexis sales reps who were tying the acquisition of the Company’s print and ancillary products to licensing Legal Advance. After three failed attempts to work with an uncooperative LexisNexis, CRIV brought the matter to the attention of AALL’s Executive Board. The Spring 2018 Executive Board meeting records CRIV’s recommendation that AALL issue a “statement of disapproval.” The Executive Board took up the issue in executive session so we have no official minutes on CRIV’s recommendation. But the Executive Board did take action.

On June 7, 2018, AALL sent Mike Walsh, CEO of LexisNexis Legal, a letter calling for the company to cease tying the acquisition of its print and ancillary products to licensing Legal Advance or face “legal or commercial action.” About four weeks later AALL also had an unsatisfactory meeting with LN executives. Because of that meeting the ball is back in AALL’s court.

Taking “legal or commercial action” is something only the Executive Board can do. Initially I thought the Executive Board would take action at its November 2018 board meeting but the matter wasn’t even on the board meeting’s agenda. This silence from our association’s elected officers makes me wonder … is our association planning to take any action — “legal or commercial” — or do nothing? So what’s up?

On June 7, 2018, AALL sent Mike Walsh, CEO of LexisNexis Legal, a letter calling for the company to cease tying the acquisition of its print and ancillary products to licensing Lexis Advance or face “legal or commercial action.” About four weeks later AALL had an unsatisfactory meeting with LN executives. Because of that meeting the ball is back in AALL’s court. But is the LexisNexis matter on the Executive Board’s fall meeting agenda?

Hope so. Don’t know. But don’t think so. The matter does not appear as a specific agenda item. What does appear in the Fall Board Book is an opening presentation by Paula Goedert, a partner in the Chicago office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP where she chairs the Associations and Foundations Practice Group. But Goedert was not the attorney of record for the Walsh letter; James P. Fieweger of Michael Best & Friedrich was.

Yesterday our association announced it has hired Oolagamani (Vani) Ungapen as AALL’s new executive director following the retirement of Kate Hagan. Ungapen earned her bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Manchester School of Law in England, and her master’s degree in international law and business, magna cum laude, from Stetson University College of Law.

Prior experience includes serving as manager of global education and membership for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), managing certification programs as well as marketing those certification programs to the country’s more than 1.3 million Realtors. Prior to joining NAR, Ungapen spent 12 years as director of global business and legislative research with Florida Realtors where she created education programs, served as a public policy liaison, and was responsible for initiating the strategic planning of the association’s legislative and global agenda.