Grant Winners 2018

Congratulations to this year’s CS-SIS Grand Award Winners!

Experienced Law Librarian Grant:

  • Lucinda Harrison-Cox, Roger Williams School of Law
  • Cynthia Bassett, Univ. of Missouri School of Law

Newer Law Librarian Grant:

  • Aaron Retteen, Texas A & M Univ. School of La

Election Results 2018

CS-SIS is happy to announce that Darla Jackson will be the incoming Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect. Darla works at the Oklahoma Bar Association and focuses on providing assistance to attorneys in using technology and other tools to efficiently manages their offices. Elizabeth Outler will serve as Member-at-Large for a two-year term. Elizabeth is the Assistant Director for Technical Services at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and has consistently been a leader in her professional role to help librarians learn and feel comfortable with technology. We are excited to welcome both these members to the Board!

We are also grateful to all members this year, and each year, who stand for office and are willing to serve CS. Thank you, all.

CS-SIS Member Spotlight: Kenneth Hirsh

The Computing-Services Special Interest Section is made up of awesome law librarians doing interesting things.   The CS-SIS Member Spotlight is designed to shine light on our membership so that we can learn more about each other and stay connected.

CS-SIS Member Spotlight:  Kenneth Hirsh

Kenneth J. Hirsh, a Familiar Name

Since 2004, CS-SIS has honored members who have made outstanding contributions to the section, to AALL, and to the profession as a whole with the Kenneth J. Hirsh Distinguished Service Award.  Ken received the inaugural award in 2004 and continues to be recognized for his outstanding contributions having served as CS-SIS chair, SEAALL president, AALL Executive Board member, and a long-time member of the CALI Board of Directors.  If you didn’t meet him in one of these associations, you may have encountered him as a student at the University of Miami (AB), the University of Florida (JD), or Florida State University (MS).  He was a reference librarian and an I.T. director at Duke and is now the Director of the Law Library and Professor of Practice at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.  Last, but not least, you may have watched him win some money on Jeopardy in 2016.


What we know as Computing Services SIS was formerly the Automation and Scientific Development SIS.  Members communicated through the section’s print newsletter, Automatome, which is archived on our website for those interested.  In the 1990’s, many academics who were interested in computers joined the Technoids mailing list, hosted by Tom Bruce at Cornell.  Discussions at the time considered the roles of librarians, questioned who should manage computers in the law school, and covered hot topics such as Gopher and the internet.  Ken recalls when Anne Myers set up the first internet room at AALL in Boston in 1993.  In 1996, when Ken served as vice-chair, the section was renamed Computing Services.  Although several names where considered, “Computing” Services was selected to signify that the section is about people, not about devices.  With the name change came a new online newsletter, CS-SIS Connecting. It was initially edited by the late Liz Glankler, who received the Distinguished Service Award in 2006.


Ken continues to love CS-SIS and is glad to be part of it.   He believes that our section has always been and will continue to be a home for all law librarians interested in technology, regardless of their professional titles.  These days he sees a strong interest in teaching technology in law schools and in law firms.  He notes that this interest is reflected in conference coverage, such as at the ABA tech show and CALIcon, and in organizations such as ILTA (International Legal Technology Association).  An innovator in his own right, Ken has developed a Technology in the Law Practice course which he co-teaches at the University of Cincinnati.

Karaoke with Ken

Have you heard of Karaoke with Ken?  If you haven’t participated before, consider it a must-attend event at your next AALL annual meeting.

History:  While Ken had indulged in karaoke with Duke coworkers and SEAALL colleagues in years prior, 1997 was the year that Karaoke with Ken became AALL tradition, starting in Baltimore with Jim Milles and Don Buffaloe.  In 2001, CS-SIS became the official sponsor of Karaoke with Ken (well played, Kris Niedringhaus), and 2018 will mark the famed event’s return to Baltimore.

Please download the AALL 2018 app and add Karaoke with Ken to your schedule.  Singing will begin at 10pm on Saturday, July 14th at Supano’s Prime Steakhouse, 110 Water Street, but get there early to secure a seat.  Ken anticipates starting off the night with Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, will work in his tradition Mack the Knife, and is hoping to sing a duet with Shira Megerman from Boston University.  We hope to see you there!

Thanks to Ken for his willingness to be interviewed for this CS-SIS member spotlight.   If you are interested in interviewing and writing a blog post about a CS-SIS member, please contact Tawnya Plumb at  It is a great opportunity to learn about a fellow member.

Karaoke with Ken – Important Update!

Due to Ken’s family circumstances, we’re moving Karaoke with Ken to Saturday night, July 14. Our venue will be Supano’s Prime Steakhouse110 Water StreetThe Debra Crawford Karaoke Show kicks off at 10 P.M., so we plan on being at the restaurant starting at 9:00 on Saturday. If you plan on dining at the restaurant, a reservation is required. Visit the website or call them at (410) 986-4445.

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Annual Meeting Preview: Cool Tools Café

One of the highlights of the AALL Annual Meeting, Cool Tools Café, is back for another year. For about ten years, participants have learned about useful existing or emerging technologies through small group demonstrations. This year will be a little different. First, each of the presenters will present a short demonstration of their tool or tools to all participants. After these are finished, the presenters will lead small group demonstrations and answer questions from participants. This format will allow participants to learn about all of the tools presented while keeping the small group format for questions.

Cool Tools Café (program I5) will be in BCC Ballroom II on Tuesday, July 17. The formal presentation will run from 11:30am to about 12:20pm, with small group demonstrations and questions to follow.

  • Sarah Gotschall from the James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona will demonstrate several Android tools to access the dark web.
  • Kris Turner from the University of Wisconsin Law School Library will be demonstrating Coggle, a mind mapping tool.
  • Rebecca Fordon from UCLA School of Law will be showing a number of GIF-creation tools for Windows and Mac.
  • Iain Barksdale from the University of Alabama School of Law will demonstrate the use of a Raspberry Pi for OPAC terminals, circa terminals, and research stations.
  • Deborah Ginsberg from the Chicago-Kent College of Law Library will be presenting a visualization showing how blockchain works,
  • Bailey Eagin from UNT Dallas College of Law will be demonstrating IFTTT, an app that connects a number of apps and devices.
  • Kenton Brice from University of Oklahoma College of Law will demonstrate TextExpander, a text automation application.
  • Mari Cheney from Lewis and Clark Law School will show Monosnap, a screenshot tool.
  • Cynthia Bassett from University of Missouri School of Law Library will demonstrate Power Notes, a browser extension that allows you to grab text from web pages and PDFs and arrange them into outlines.
  • Becka Rich from Shepard Broad College of Law, Nova Southeastern University will demonstrate Twine, an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories.

AALL 2018 Annual Meeting: Exhibitor Showcase Sessions

As promised, here is a list of the Exhibitor Showcase Sessions at the AALL 2018 Annual Meeting that may be of interest to CS-SIS members.

For descriptions, see the conference event page or the app.


  • 11:30
    • Legal Analytics for Winning Litigation (Lex Machina)
  • 1:15
    • You Can Implement a KM Solution in Under 30 Minutes—Lucidea Will Prove It!
  • 2:30
    • Future-Proofing Libraries with Fastcase: Building AI, Analytics, & APIs
  • 4:00
    • Law Libraries and the Evolving Research Impact Conversation (bepress)


  • 10:00
    • My Account & the Digital Experience with Thomson Reuters
  • 11:30
    • Today’s Law Firm Library: Navigating Traditional Research and New Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.)
  • 2:00
    • Oh No, Not This Renewal Again: Using Electronic Resource Management to Take Control of Your Acquisitions
    • Teaching Tech: The New Frontier


  • 11:30
    • How AI is Both Changing and Fooling the World (Thomson Reuters Westlaw)

AALL 2018 Annual Meeting: Program Preview

Since the AALL 2018 Annual Meeting in Baltimore is drawing closer, I’ve gone through the conference schedule to pick out some programs that may be of particular interest to CS-SIS members.

To read full descriptions of each program, visit the conference event page or app.

Exhibitor Showcase Sessions are not included here and will be listed in another post to come.


  • 6:45 PM – Joint SIS Dine Around (CS, OBS, RIPS & TS)


  • 11:30 am
    • Powered by AI, Built in the Law Library
    • Working in a Virtual World: Tips, Tools, and Best Practices for Forging Relationships When Working with and Managing a Remote Team
    • Manipulating Data with OpenRefine
    • Hot Topic: Keeping Up with the Legalities of Electronic Surveillance
  • 12:45 pm
    • CS-SIS Roundtable #1
  • 2:30 pm
    • APIs: What They Are and How to Use Them *Deep Dive / 2.5 hrs*
    • Game Day! It’s Librarian Skills vs. eRecords to Demonstrate ROI for the Win!
  • 4:00 pm
    • Give Me Your Knowledge!
  • 5:15 pm
    • CS-SIS Roundtable #3 (Don’t ask me why #3 is before #2, which is on Monday…)
  • 9:00 pm
    • Karaoke with Ken!


  • 10:00 am
    • Data Mining for Meaning: The Law and Corpus Linguistics Project
  • 11:30 am
    • Businesses Be Warned: Data Breaches Don’t Discriminate
    • From Concept to Deliverable: Build Your Own Law Library Chatbot
    • Demystifying Text Analysis: A Tutorial in Method and Practice
    • Compressing an Elephant: How We Shrunk Acquisitions and Collections Workflows by Developing Our Own Best Practices for Operational Excellence
  • 2:00
    • Digitization as Choose Your Own Adventure
    • Copyright, Digitize, and Lend: What You Need to Know
    • Oh No, Not This Renewal Again: Using Electronic Resource Management to Take Control of Your Acquisitions
    • Teaching Tech: The New Frontier
  • 3:30
    • Bepress and SSRN Integration Pilot Results: Exploring New Synergies for Open Access Legal Scholarship
    • CS-SIS Roundtable #2


  • 7:00
    • CS-SIS Breakfast and Business Meeting
  • 8:30
    • Reference Analytics for Data-Driven Decision Making
    • 25 Free Technologies for Law Libraries: Second Edition
    • The PEGI Project: Preserving Electronic Government Information
    • Biological Evidence for the Effective Use of Educational Technology
  • 10:00
    • Telling Your Story: Using Metrics to Display Your Value
    • Technology Competence in Legal Practice: Where Do Libraries Fit In?
  • 11:30
    • Cool Tools Café (NEW format this year; check it out and provide feedback, please!)

ABA Center for Innovation Explored

There has been much gnashing of teeth over the failure of the legal profession to embrace technological innovation as a way to increase the efficiency and affordability of legal services. In the 2016 Report on the Future of Legal Services in the United States, dedicated to the estimated 80% of people of limited means “without meaningful access to our justice system,” the American Bar Association (ABA) acknowledged that efforts to address the access to justice crisis have been hampered by resistance to technological changes and innovations. It was further noted that the legal profession has failed to keep pace with industries such as medicine and personal finance which have invested in technologies to improve service and client relationships. In an effort to catch up, Recommendation 6 of the Report was to establish an ABA Center for Innovation.

The Center was established in 2016 with the mission to “Encourage and accelerate innovations that improve the affordability, effectiveness, efficiency, and accessibility of legal services.” It operates by encouraging and supporting partnerships and initiatives and by funding fellowships.

According to the website, on rare occasions, the Center will initiate and lead a project such as it has done with the Louisiana Flood App project. The Center partnered with Stanford University and LSU law schools to create the app that helped 2016 Louisiana flood victims qualify for FEMA disaster assistance. The app is called Flood Proof: La. Legal Help and is accessible on the Web and available for download in the Google Play and iTunes stores.

The Center also joins collaborative efforts and is currently working on two projects. One involves partnering with other ABA divisions to help the New York State Unified Court System develop an online dispute resolution system to resolve consumer debt cases more efficiently. The Center is also part of an ABA effort to create a free online legal checkup tool to help the public identify legal problems and find resources to solve them.

Funding fellowships is a large part of the Center’s approach to encouraging innovation. They offer two types of fellowships – NextGen Fellows who are recently graduated attorneys who are paid a $45,000 stipend to spend one year at the ABA headquarters in Chicago or at a legal organization and Innovation Fellows who aren’t required to be attorneys who take a 9 to 12 week sabbatical from their jobs to work at the ABA headquarters in Chicago. There is no stipend for Innovation Fellows.

There are currently eight fellows, two Innovation and six NextGen. And what are some of them up to?

Amanda Brown, Microsoft NextGen Fellow, is working with Microsoft, Pro Bono Net, and the Legal Services Corporation to create an online portal to help people navigate the civil justice system.

Innovation Fellow Bryan Wilson is working on the DFENDR Project which involves using data, technology, and a network of experts to identify possibly wrongfully convicted people.

Irene Mo is a NextGen Fellow who is creating tools to help low-income and marginalized people to better understand the privacy and data security risks of the Internet.

As you can see, the Center is involved in a lot of interesting projects. Check out the Center’s website and blog for more information on their activities.


CS-SIS/PEGA-SIS Member Spotlight: Jordan Jefferson

The Computing-Services Special Interest Section is made up of awesome law librarians doing interesting things.   The CS-SIS Member Spotlight is designed to shine light on our membership so that we can learn more about each other and stay connected.

The intersections between Special Interest Sections offer opportunities to expand our horizons and build on each other’s knowledge. The following member spotlight is written by Eve Ross, a member of Professional Engagement, Growth & Advancement Special Interest Section (PEGA-SIS), and focuses on Jordan Jefferson, a member of both CS-SIS and PEGA-SIS.

CS-SIS/PEGA-SIS Member Spotlight: Jordan Jefferson

Jordan Jefferson is the Coordinating Librarian for Research Services and Lecturer in Legal Research at the Yale Law School.

To Jordan, PEGA means opportunity. When she was a newer member of AALL, PEGA-SIS was the main lens through which she learned about AALL as an organization. Her goal in continuing as a leader in PEGA-SIS is to give today’s newer members ongoing opportunities to lead, create, and learn. She also reminds herself to pause and learn from today’s newer members because they have so much to offer. PEGA-SIS’ strength is its transparency; as an SIS, it champions openness, honesty, and even vulnerability. As PEGA-SIS’ current newsletter editor, Jordan supports these SIS goals by including discussions of emotional labor in the library and how to have difficult conversations.

Jordan is a member of CS-SIS because she is “obsessed with technology” (her words). She loves the idea of technology and revels in the thought of how different her job would have been 50 years ago—or even 15 years—and how different it will be 15 or 50 years in the future, mostly because of changing technology. CS-SIS helps Jordan take an aspirational vision of “libraries of the future” and turn it into boots-on-the-ground conversations around specific issues others have encountered with AI or with SQL, for example. Jordan benefits from the fact that someone in CS-SIS has probably already run into any technology question she is likely to have, and fellow CS-SIS members are generously willing to offer their insight.

In the words of her Twitter bio (@jordanajeff), Jordan is a “law librarian, wife, mother, baker, [and] amateur time lord.” Her amateur time-lordship may have something to do with the fandom shelves she maintains in her office, one of which is pictured below. Jordan plans to take a 10-week Python course via this summer, and she recommends the book All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai as a geeky summer read.

Karaoke with Ken Returns to Its Starting Point

In July AALL brings its annual meeting back to Baltimore for the first time in twenty-one years. As we’ve noted before, the seed for our CS-SIS Karaoke with Ken outings was planted in Charm City at that annual meeting. If you’re attending the 2018 meeting, then we invite you to join us for this year’s renewal of our night of singing and good cheer. Our venue will be Supano’s Prime Steakhouse, 110 Water Street. The Debra Crawford Karaoke Show kicks off at 10 P.M., so we plan on being at the restaurant starting at 9:00 on Sunday, July 15th! Be sure to add Karaoke with Ken to your AALL 2018 App!