Change: A Constant Refrain
By Andrea K. Guldalian, Research Librarian at Duane Morris LLP
Over the years, American Association of Law Libraries’ members and presidents have ruminated on the growth and evolution of law librarianship, and on the internal and external forces affecting our profession. These AALL advocates have called for the association’s members to look forward, to adapt, and to be proactive in addressing the challenges facing the legal information profession. Law librarians answered that call by shapeshifting into knowledge managers, competitive intelligence professionals, information specialists, and research analysts, among other roles. However, many of us maintain that, despite new titles and new roles, we are still essentially librarians, putting valuable and timeless librarian skills to good use organizing, finding, and disseminating information, regardless of format.
Have we finally reached the tipping point though? In the face of all the changes, does the librarian name still properly convey all that we contribute to our organizations, and all the roles that our positions encompass? Or are the cumulative changes to our profession so great that a new, broader name for our association is warranted? Well-informed, reasonable minds will differ on this point, and American Association of Law Libraries members will have a chance to vote on a proposed name change beginning tomorrow, January 12, 2016.
As we mull over whether Association for Legal Information appropriately represents our soon-to-be 110-year-old association and its members, we thought it would be worth reviewing some of the myriad reflections on our ever-changing profession and professional environment.