10/31/16

The Dual Meaning of AALL's Tagline "Your Legal Knowledge Network"

As the Vice-President/President-Elect of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), I wanted to tell our 3 Geeks' readers about the new visual identity and tagline that AALL officially rolled out last night. Leaders within the organization worked on this rebranding effort for nearly two years, and displayed the new logo back at the annual meeting in Chicago last July. I, for one, like the new logo, and the tagline that goes along with it. I applaud those that worked on the rebranding effort and I hope that members of AALL, as well as those that benefit from the work that law librarians, legal information professionals, take a moment to look at the new branding and take a moment to think about all the good work that the Association, its members, and staff provide to the legal industry.

I wanted to focus on the tagline, and the two meanings that it represents.

Your Legal Knowledge Network

Internal Meaning: To members of AALL the tagline represents the community of knowledgeable law librarians and other legal information professionals who identify with the ideals of access to justice, the dissemination of legal information, and the ability to reach out to that community in a way that adds value to the service we provide for our individual organizations. To me, the best thing about AALL is its members. It is your legal knowledge network because we learn from each other, and we form bonds that unite us and allow us to leverage the knowledge of the entire association, regardless of the type of work we perform, or the organization which we work. This is your legal knolwedge network of highly-educated and forward-thinking professionals are willing to give their time and experiences to help others within AALL and beyond is a valuable professional development tool which all law librarians and legal information professionals should feel proud to belong.

External Meaning: For the legal industry, AALL members represent some of the most educated, connected, and resourceful employees of your organization. AALL becomes your legal knowledge network and exposes your organization to advanced educational opportunities to keep your law librarians ahead of the curve for changes in the legal environment. AALL is your legal knowledge network to discover new legal information resources and provide access and understanding of how these resources may bring value to your practices within your organization. AALL is your legal knowledge network to fight and lobby for legal information to be open and available and not locked behind a government or corporate wall. AALL is your legal knowledge network that multiplies the talents and skills of your legal information professional by the diverse talent and skills of thousands of other law librarians and legal information professionals.

I may be biased in my appreciation for AALL and what it does for me, my organization, my profession, and the legal profession as a whole… but I am not wrong. I have written and talked about the value of law librarianship ever since former AALL President and Georgetown University Law Library Director, Bob Oakley, reached out to a very green law librarians some sixteen years ago and asked me to write about where he thought I believed the profession was going. AALL gave me a voice and an opportunity to leverage its members and resources to expand my own career. I hope that in the course of my journey I return the favor to another member of my network.

I think our current President, Ron Wheeler says it best. "AALL's new brand honors our past, embraces our present, and emboldens our future as legal information professionals. The knowledge and talent of our members, combined with their unrivaled dedication to service, make our whole legal system stronger. I have never been more proud to be a law librarian."

For those current members of AALL, thanks for being a part of this network. For those that have lapsed in the past few years, I encourage you to come back. If you're a law librarian or someone who works in the legal information profession, I invite you to come join and make this network your own. For those who employ law librarians and legal information professionals, encourage them to join and leverage this network. After all, AALL is your legal knowledge network.

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