The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) announced two name changes for its Special Interest Sections (SIS) this morning. These changes represent a broadening of the SIS appeal to law librarians and information professionals, as well as a modernization of who the SIS represents, and the mission it serves. The two SIS changes are:

  • Government Law Libraries (GLL-SIS) formerly the State, Court, and County SIS.
  • Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals (PLLIP-SIS) formerly the Private Law Libraries SIS.

I’ve been a member of both of these Special Interest Sections and like where both are going with the name changes.

The GLL-SIS has a continued focus on supporting those within libraries or other government information services with the Access to Justice (A2J) issues that these members work every day to promote on the local level.

The PLLIP-SIS name change represents the changes in the basic structures of our profession. Turning the focus away from libraries as a place, to the librarians and other professionals that contribute to the overall gathering, compiling, analyzing, and distribution of information and knowledge resources found throughout the private legal practice profession.

These may be subtle changes on the surface, but are really leading indicators that the profession has changed, and the association that represents the profession is beginning to change in order to meet the needs that its members face. I see these changes as foreshadowing upcoming changes in other parts of the organization. More focus on individuals rather than maintaining traditional facility models; more focus on supporting services, processes, and strategic missions of the groups, and; more focus on expanding the base of the organization to include those who align with these missions and goals, rather than simply looking at the department in which they work.

It’s a new day for the profession. I am happy to see the changes and look forward to seeing more.

Below is the official statement from AALL HQ:

Contact: Cara Schillinger
Director of Membership, Marketing, and Communications


CHICAGO, June 18, 2015 — The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) announced today
that it has approved the name changes of two special interest sections (SISs) — member groups
with specialized areas of interest in law librarianship and legal information.

The AALL Executive Board approved the following SIS name changes:
• Government Law Libraries Special Interest Section (GLL-SIS) is the new name for the former State, Court, & County Special Interest Section (SCCLL-SIS).
• Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals Special Interest Section (PLLIP-SIS) is
the new name for the former Private Law Libraries Special Interest Section (PLL-SIS).

The SIS name changes reflect the interests of their members and required member votes, SIS bylaw
amendments, and final approval from the AALL Executive Board.

“AALL’s special interest sections represent the interests of more than 2,800 of our members who
belong to one or more group,” said AALL President Holly M. Riccio. “It is important for our SIS
members to feel that the names of their sections represent the types of institutions in which they
work, their areas of expertise, and their roles within those areas.”

“Changing our name to GLL-SIS reflects the multiple levels of government where our members
serve the public, the practicing bar, and the judiciary,” said GLL-SIS Chair Maryruth Storer. “Maintaining access to justice is imperative to a democratic society.”

“The PLLIP-SIS name change reflects the expansion of new roles undertaken by legal information
professionals in law firms including competitive intelligence, practice alignments, analytics,
knowledge management, pricing, and business development,” said Jean O’Grady, immediate past
chair of the PLLIP-SIS. “As the legal industry has changed, our members have been at the forefront
of driving innovation in the development of information strategies and the delivery of knowledge to all facets of the business and practice of law.”

AALL will gradually implement the name changes on the AALL website and in forthcoming
publications and communications.

For more information about AALL Special Interest Sections, visit For more
information about AALL, visit or contact AALL Member Services at

About AALL
The American Association of Law Libraries was founded in 1906 to promote law libraries’ value to the legal and public communities, foster the law librarianship profession, and provide leadership in the legal information field. With nearly 5,000 members, AALL represents law librarians and related professionals who are affiliated with law firms; law schools; corporate legal departments; courts; and local, state, and federal government agencies. For more information, visit

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