The Government Relations Policy [hereinafter Policy] of the AALL outlines the objectives of its government relations program. The Policy emphasizes that a primary goal of this Association's program is to ensure timely and equitable access to government and legal information. This Policy represents the views of an association with more than 5,000 members who provide law library services to government officials, the bench, the bar, legal scholars and the public in nearly 1,900 libraries. AALL, its members and its users are affected by a broad span of public policy concerns "ranging from the development of the National Information Infrastructure and the dissemination of government information to intellectual freedom and intellectual property. AALL members have a special responsibility for ensuring that federal, state and local legal information resources are developed, managed and shared effectively." For these reasons, the AALL membership and its leaders recognized early in the Association's development that they must participate in legislative, judicial and regulatory processes. It is only recently, however, that the government relations program of AALL has been formalized into a "proactive program to inform its members of current issues and to assist government decision-makers developing laws and policies consistent with its Government Relations Policy." This statement traces the early involvement of the Association, its committees and its members in government activities and tracks the developing collective interests of law librarians and AALL members in these issues. The discussion concludes with the late-1980s and early- 1990s developments, which resulted in an increased AALL, presence in Washington, D.C. The presentation deals exclusively with the American Association of Law Libraries' activities and not with the activities of its chapters and Special Interest Sections. It focuses primarily on involvement at the federal level, rather than at the state and local levels.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date