Proposed CS-SIS Bylaws Changes

Last fall, our Executive Board queried membership on its support of having a CS-SIS virtual business meeting prior to the annual conference beginning in 2020.  Over 90% of our voting membership said yes.  We will vote on the following bylaws changes, with a friendly amendment offered by Ken Hirsh, at our breakfast business meeting in DC to permit our section to move forward with this option.



Current: Section 1. There will be a general business meeting held annually at the annual meeting and conference of the Association.  It shall be held at a time and place so that all business which needs to be conducted can be.

Proposed:  Section 1. There will be a general business meeting held 1) in connection with, or during the annual meeting of the Association or 2) virtually on a date determined and announced in advance by the Executive Committee.

Current: Section 3.  For purposes of tabulating votes, only members in full standing of the Section may vote; a quorum shall consist of the members present at the meeting; and majority shall be based on the number of voting members who vote (i.e. do not abstain).

Proposed: Section 3.  A quorum shall consist of the members present at the meeting  (amendment would add … or remotely participating in a virtual meeting.)

Current:  Section 4. The presence of twenty section members at the commencement of the annual section business meeting shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Proposed: Delete Section 4.



Current:  Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, in the latest edition, shall govern all deliberations of the Section, except as otherwise specified in these bylaws. When used throughout this document, terms of gender (for example, pronouns) shall be considered to be gender-neutral in intent.

Proposed: The rules of order mandated by the AALL Bylaws shall govern all deliberations of the Section, except as otherwise specified in these bylaws. When used throughout this document, terms of gender (for example, pronouns) shall be considered to be gender-neutral in intent.

ABA TECHSHOW Call for Proposals

If you have a suggestion for a topic you (and others) would like to hear, or if you are interested in being a presenter, consider submitting a proposal for ABA TECHSHOW 2020. Proposals should be submitted here. Proposals will be accepted until midnight (Central Time) Friday, June 21, 2019. For those of you who are academics and interested in speaking in the academic track at TECHSHOW 2020, you should submit your proposal and forward a copy to Michael Robak (, who will be working with the diverse and qualified TECHSHOW Board to help coordinate the Academic Track.

While submitting a proposal does not guarantee a speaking slot at TECHSHOW 2020, it certainly increases the chance that you could be selected.

If you are selected as a speaker, there are benefits, including complimentary registration to TECHSHOW. I hope that CS-SIS will be able to support a travel grant to TECHSHOW again in 2020. If you missed the blog post by the recipient of the CS-SIS ABA TECHSHOW 2019 grant winner, you may want read it for some inspiration. However, I encourage you to go ahead and submit a proposal to increase your chances of attending.

CS-SIS Breakfast Meeting

If you haven’t already, please consider registering to attend our traditional CS-SIS breakfast meeting to be held offsite at Busboys and Poets at 7:00 am on Tuesday, July 16th.  We have some important business to attend to, including:

  • voting on changes to our bylaws that would permit online annual meetings,
  • discussing and voting on a new CS-SIS strategic plan,
  • recognizing Roger Skalbeck as the 2019 recipient of the Kenneth J. Hirsh Distinguished Service Award,
  • congratulating Mari Cheney and Kenton Brice as grant recipients,
  • and last but certainly not least, honoring and thanking Ken Hirsh for his service to CS-SIS as he launches toward a new challenge.

Hope to see you there!

CS-SIS 2019 Annual Meeting Grant Winners

The CS-SIS Grants & Awards Committee would like to announce this year’s AALL Annual Meeting Grants winners.  The 2019 CS-SIS grant for students and new librarians was awarded to Kenton S. Brice, Director of Technology Innovation at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.  We also awarded the 2019 CS-SIS grant for experienced librarians to Mari Cheney, Assistant Director, Research and Instruction at Lewis & Clark Law School’s Boley Law Library.  Congratulations to Mari and Kenton.  We look forward to seeing you in Washington D.C. in July.

C.J. Pipins, Chair, 2018-19 CS-SIS Grants & Awards Committee

Roger V. Skalbeck – 2019 Winner of the CS-SIS Kenneth J. Hirsh Distinguished Service Award!

Congratulations to the recipient of 2019 Kenneth J. Hirsh Distinguished Service Award, Roger V. Skalbeck, Professor of Law & Associate Dean for Library and Information Services at the University of Richmond School of Law.  Roger’s contributions to CS-SIS, AALL, and the profession as a whole are plentiful.  He is a frequent presenter on legal technology at national conferences, and he writes about libraries, technology, and intellectual property. Some (but not all) of Roger’s other professional activities include serving on the Board of Directors for the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI), serving as a member of the Virginia Access to Justice Commission’s Committee on Self-Represented Litigants, and participating as a member of the Legal Scholarship Advisory Board for LawArXiv.  Congratulations on this very well deserved award!

C.J. Pipins, Chair, 2018-19 CS-SIS Grants & Awards Committee

Cool Tools 2018 Spotlight: Powernotes

In this video, Cindy Bassett, Electronic Services Librarian at the University of Missouri School of Law, demonstrates Powernotes, a paid browser extension that helps researchers to collect sources and citations from multiple websites.  Powernotes is a great tool to create outlines or bibliographies, with the potential to assign citations and quotations to specific subject areas quickly, add comments to each source as they are saved, and re-order sources very easily.

CS-SIS Election Results

Congratulations to our newly elected CS-SIS board members:

Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect:  Amanda Tyre Watson

Treasurer/Secretary: Shay Elbaum

Member-at-Large: Eli Edwards

Sincere thanks to those who were willing to run for office and to Eric Young and his Nominations Committee for selecting such excellent candidates.


Volunteers Needed – Cool Tools Cafe 2019

As the AALL Annual Meeting approaches, we are still looking for presenters for this year’s edition of Cool Tools Café!  Cool Tools will be at a new time this year: Sunday, July 14 at 4:00 PM!

This year’s program will feature demos of tools, apps, and gadgets that will help librarians create, organize, and deliver information, increase productivity, and connect with users.  Each presenter will present a short (about five minutes) talk about their tool to all attendees.

Following the main program speakers will be available for more in-depth discussions.  The presenters will each move to a demo table to show the tool and answer questions. Presenters will need to bring their own laptops and/or non-laptop devices for the demo table.  Once again, The Cool Tools Café is Sunday, July 14 at 4:00 PM!

Would you or a colleague be willing to demo a technology at Cool Tools Café? Prep time is minimal since all that is needed is a brief explanation and demo of the tool and a 1-page handout to post on the web. If you would like to help but can’t demo we could use a couple of people to help direct attendees to various demos and answer questions.

BYO gadget/laptop is strongly preferred, but let us know if that is not possible and we can try to find an alternative.

Please email Caroline directly to volunteer or if you have any questions.

Review – ABA TechShow 2019

Thanks to a CS-SIS travel grant, I had the good fortune to attend the ABA TechShow 2019 in Chicago.  If you, like me, are teaching a course in legal technology, this conference is a must.  Part of receiving the travel grant was a request to write about the conference and my takeaways.

First, I learned that it is very important to download the conference app.  If you go to the ABA Techshow, you will not have time to go to everything you might want to see.  The programs that I attended were excellent, but often choosing which one to go to was difficult.  The conference app gives you access to program materials, and you can download the materials for those programs that you can’t attend.  It’s not the same as actually attending the program, but at least you get some information about what it covered.

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Data Services in the Law Library

Data Services in the Law Library

By Shay Elbaum, Reference Librarian, Stanford Law School

As empirical legal scholarship continues to pick up steam, academic law librarians are increasingly called upon to support empirical research and provide data services. I’ve had the chance to do so in one of my first assignments as a new reference librarian, gathering and managing a dataset for one of our faculty who’s applying statistical methods to data collected from

As a new librarian with just enough tech know-how to be dangerous, working on this project has been a learning experience in several dimensions. I’m sharing some highlights here in the hope that others in the same position will glean something useful.

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