Monday, April 17, 2006

SWALL 2006 Blog is Now Closed

The "Information in Motion" blog for the SWALL 2006 Annual Meeting is now officially closed. A HUGE thank you to all that participated in helping produce a great blog for our historical archives. Photos of the event will be posted at our website

Monday, April 10, 2006

Attendees' List

We are working on updating the attendees' lists for the recent SWALL annual meeting. We'll be sending it out via e-mail by the end of the week.

Thank you.

Speakers, Powerpoints and Handouts

The speakers powerpoints and handouts will soon be available on the SWALL website. I'll keep you posted when they are ready for viewing. Thank you.

Executive Board for 2006-2007

Introducing the new Board members:

Barbara Fullerton, President
Anna Teller, Vice-President
Peggy Martindale, Secretary
Caren Luckie, Treasurer
Yvonne Chandler, Past President

Last entry

I'd like to thank the Academy - oops, wrong organization.

Seriously, I'd like to thank Terri Wilson and the grants committee for selecting me for the Coco-Miller grant, which allowed me to come to SWALL for the first time in nine years. I'd also like to thank Barbara Fullerton for encouraging me to apply for the grant, and I'd really like to thank my firm for allowing me the time off to attend the meeting. It was a wonderful meeting, and every session I attended exceeded my expectations. I might even catch up on my sleep one of these days.

I hope to be able to attend SWALL again in the future. Cross your fingers!

Most sincerely,
Jennifer Stephens


Peggy Martindale said she had several people ask her where she got the "I'm a Librarian. Don't make me shush your *" t-shirt. Here's the link!

Peggy says this holds the secret of how to obtain the t-shirt and much more.

Saturday, April 08, 2006



Sponsors & Exhibits

Just a HUGE THANK YOU to all our Sponsors & Exhibitors! With your support, we had a GREAT conference.

Gold Bracelet

If you found the gold bracelet in your gold box from NBI, Matt Mickelson needs to hear from you!

Contact him at

Search engines

Just one word: wow. Sabrina and Barbara blazed through the world of search engines in record time. You can catch the pdf on

Last day

Last day of the conference and I'm wondering why SWALL is addicted to 7:30 breakfasts. No matter, it should be a good early morning presentation. Sabrina and Barbara are doing a program on search engines beyond Google and Yahoo! I'll either post a summary after or when I get back home.

The Harry Ransom Center was a great treat, I loved seeing the old books. I had forgotten than the Muslim books from centuries ago were beautifully illustrated with vivid colors. It was also pretty wild seeing an actual Guetenberg Bible, as well as the dictaing equipment that Erle Stanley Gardner used when he was writing his 80 some odd Perry Mason novels.

It is very cool this morning (54 degrees), a nice change from the other mornings.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Visual motifs

I am finding the visual motifs at the SWALL conference to be quite appealing. First of all, the Driskill Hotel is simply beautiful! It is a living slice of an earlier more elegant (idealized) time. But in addition to a general admiration for the fin de si├Ęcle architecture, I'm finding Texas motifs everywhere! And of course, as an incurable shutterbug, I took pictures of it all.

Texas, as the lone star state, has adoped the five-pointed star as one of its symbols. And in the Driskill, you can see those stars everywhere. They are on the lamps and chandeliers. You can see them in the upstairs carpeting and the downstirs carpeting as well. Stars are in the windows, the elevators and the inlaid marble flooring. They shine above the cafe, and in stained glass over the great reception hall.

And who has not heard of the yellow rose of Texas? While not as prevalent as stars, yellow roses also appear throughout the Driskill. They are in the carpeting outside my door, and on the lamps and the wall sconces as well. And of course, there were yellow roses to welcome us SWALL-ows to the conference.

Perhaps most amusing is the food shaped like the state of Texas. I saw the shape of Texas in a colby-jack cheese at registration on Wednesday. On Tuesday, I saw the state formed out of biscuits and chocolate dipped shortbread cookies. (Perhaps it is a good thing that my sister is wrong, and chocolate is not, in fact, destiny, else Texas would have just annexed parts of New Mexico and Oklahoma!)

I don't suppose that star or rose (or Texas-shaped cheese) spotting at the Driskill will ever catch on the way searching for Hidden Mickeys has caught on at Disneyland, but it does add an extra element to the conference. It is nice to see such attention to detail in a world that is so often filled with a 'good enough' ethos.

Lunch and legislative history

Since my laptop suddenly decided it was blind after lunch ("Wireless network? I don't see no stinkin' network!) I wasn't able to beat Terri to the punch this time. Such is life.

Anyway, Darla Agard from New Products at Westlaw did a very informative presentation of StatutesPlus and RegulationsPlus. Hearing how the West editors slaved over millions of headnotes to put in the final 250K+ headnotes in the CFR made me appreciate the sheer scope of the project.

Seeing how Westlaw does legislative and regulatory history was a nice introduction to the program presented by:
  • Kristina Niedringhaus - Arizona
  • Kathryn Fitzhugh - Arkansas
  • Alan Pannell - Colorado
  • Eileen Cohen - New Mexico
  • Kay Schlueter - Texas
The panel was moderated by Barbara Fullerton.

It was interesting to hear the similarities and differences in the approach to legislative history in the five states. All started out with "look at the annotated statute, find the session law, get the bill numbers, and away we go!" All reported varying degrees of depth and breadth of information available electronically.

The funniest was Eileen Cohen who said that there is no legislative history in New Mexico. You get the bill and that's about it.

Up tonight: reception at the Harry Ransom Center & Museum.

PS: The answer is Caddo Lake.

Health Law

I attended this morning's "Health Law Research Online: Good for You or Hazardous to Your Health?" by Beth Schneider and Spencer Simons. A tremendous number of links to a variety of health law topics. I hope they will be posting their PowerPoint on the SWALL website so I can link to it. It is a great resource for research into Medicare/Medicaid, Bioethics, Elder Law, Nursing Homes, and Health Law in general.

Austin trivia

Dina Dreifuerst here, posting under Barbara's account.

In response to Barbara's question about the streets of Austin, it is true that the downtown north-south streets are named after the rivers of Texas, in order. So the eastern-most street is Red River; the western-most, Rio Grande.

As a native Austinite, I learned that tantalizing tidbit in Texas History class :)

Of course, there is no "Congress" River in Texas!

And speaking of the second-largest employer in Austin (after UT), aka "politics," Texas' capitol building is one of the only domed state capitols in the nation, and the only one *taller* than the one in D.C.

That's Texas pride for ya!

Final bit o' trivia: here at the Driskill, we're just a few blocks from Town Lake. Town Lake, Lake Austin and Lake Travis are the three lakes in the Austin area. None are real lakes. They're dammed up sections of the Colorado River. In fact, all but one of the lakes in Texas are man-made with dams on our numerous rivers.

Librarians, start your engines! What is Texas' only natural lake?

Library Raid Jacket

For those of you who keep asking about my jacket, you can find the Library Raid series (jacket, t-shirt, cap) on It also has the daily cartoon on library life in a public library - I highly recomment it.

Raid collection Scroll toward the bottom - choose which you want to look at.



If you missed Sabrina's session on competitive intelligence, you missed a tremendous session. I felt like it was a two hour session crammed into one. You can, however, get the presentation from - and the bibliography is located here.

SWALL Business Meeting

The business meeting/breakfast/AALL Chapter Visitor meeting concluded just a few minutes ago. We had the minutes from previous meetings approved, heard that Tempe, AZ will be the 2007 site, and most excitingly, heard that the 2008 meeting will be a cruise! 2008 will be SWALL's 50th anniversary year, so the Board decided that a cruise departing from Galveston would be the best way to celebrate with food, beverages, and programs.

In other news, Amy Hale-Janake announced that New Orleans is slowly but surely coming back, and that liquor and food are definitely available. She encouraged us all to come to the 2007 AALL meeting, which will be held in New Orleans, saying we would have a fantastic time.

Lyonette Louis-Jacque, AALL Executive Board member, gave us a quick summary of what the board discussed at their recent meeting. This may be summarized as AALL is pushing for more educational and leadership initiatives, and is willing to put up the money in form of grants to make it happen.

Yvonne Chandler did her usual fine job of making a speech, giving us a run down of her mentors, and thanking us all for helping her as SWALL President for the past year. Barbara Fullerton took over the mike (in lieu of a gavel) as her transition from president-elect to president, and presented Yvonne with some fine crystal and a silver tray with SWALL President 2005-2006 engraved on it.

It's almost time for Sabrina Pacifi to present on Competitive Intelligence Report. This should be good.

Pass the coffee

Whoever invented the 7:30am breakfast meeting deserves a special place in hell. That said, welcome to Friday and SWALL's full day of conference activities. We kicked off with our business meeting. Lots of things covered. A special shout-out to Mike Beaird who was voted a lifetime membership to SWALL. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy! How many more days to retirement, Mike?

The passing of the presidential torch from Yvonne Chandler to Barbara Fullerton. Thanks, Yvonne! And good luck, Barbara!

Our speaker from AALL was Lyonette Louis-Jacques. Learned lots of new things about AALL events and activities.

And how many people out there thought Angela Kubala was kidding about the 2008 SWALL conference being on a cruise? I'm still in shock! :-O

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Evening activities

We were bussed over to the Tarlton Law Library tonight and had a lovely, relaxed time just chatting and taking tours of the library. We got to see the art collection and the rare books room.

Afterwards, a group of us decided we were still hungry and went down 6th Street and stopped at the Iron Cactus for dinner, where we chatted and watched the denziens and tourists trooping up and down the street.

Next up: the breakfast business meeting waaaay too early.

What I learned about Austin

I was told last night that the streets in Austin are named after the rivers in Texas and in order of? Please help me on this!

I hope I have this correct...Dina??

Tomorrow's Schedule

Don't miss:

1. Sabrina Pacifici's session on Competitive Intelligence Research
2. Searching for Health Law Online
3. Find out about XML
4. Learn about Statutory and Regulatory Products
5. Discover Legislative History Research
6. Find Tools for Addressing the ABA Section 605 Instructional Mandate

Students, don't forget the roundtable chat with our AALL Representative, Lyo. And Lisa Rush is coordinating the Formation of the Texas County Law Librarian Chapter.

First Day

It was a fantastic first day and I second everyone's motion on how great the Bar & Grill Singers' performance! Our speakers for today were wonderful and I heard many great comments about all the programs. It was nice to get an update on the U.S. Patriot(sp) Act, hear strange but true reference questions, open source journals, and find foreign and international laws. Thanks to all the speakers and moderators that made this possible!

A special thank you to the local arrangements committee and the volunteers for keeping the registration desk going, picking up our speakers from the airport, handing out evaluations, and just making sure everything is running smoothly.

See you tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. Boy, that is early for some of us!

Interesting patrons...

Amy Hale-Janeke and Peggy Martindale gave a wonderful, funny, and somewhat sad program on those interesting patrons in public situations who you are not sure whether or not they are quite sane. They had lots of funny stories, acted out situations, and gave practical tips on how to handle the problem patrons of the world. The best piece of advice: don't ever belittle anyone, even if they are talking to invisible people.

Next up: jumpstarting foreign/international research.

I've been Grilled!

I second Jennifer's take on The Bar & Grill Singers! They were great! So funny! This is the first time that I've ever seen/heard them, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Check out their website. You can buy their CDs and check their schedule to see if they will be coming to a town near you.

First program and opening luncheon

I went to the preconference program on cataloging, presented by Joni Cassidy of of Cassidy Cataloging. It was a swift look at some of the interesting problems that face law library catalogers.

More on this later.

The opening luncheon had the Bar & Grill Singers, who are practicing attorneys and judges, changing words to (law)suit the strange legal world. It was great, and they donate a percentage of their sales to pro bono.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Eight of us hiked over to 2nd street to Taverna Pizzeria and Risotteria for a nice Italian supper. It was tasty, not too crowded, and we had a great waiter. Nice way to start off the conference.

Driving to Austin

Barbara wasn't kidding about the drive - but I didn't run into construction, I ran into a wall o' cars in Round Rock and took about 45 minutes to crawl 2 miles. Turns out it was a disabled vehicle in the right lane. I felt like I was back in the Dallas area ;-).

Need something to do in Austin?

I was looking at the local newspapers and found a few interesting events for this week in Austin.

1. Express Yourself. The Madonna Sing-Along. Audience participation necessary. Thursday, April 6th at 9:45 p.m. at the Alamo Downtown

2. Into martial arts films? "The Magic Blade" is showing at 7 p.m. at the Downtown Alamo on Thursday, April 6th.

3. "Deep Sea 3D" is showing at the IMAX Theatre at the Bob Bulock Texas State History Museum at 1800 N. Congress Ave.

4. Want a tattoo? Try Custom Tattoos from the Soul. Located at 516 E. 6th St. and open until 2 a.m.

5. Hungry for a hamburger or veggie burger? Try Hut's! Voted the Best Hamburger for 18 years and Best Veggie Burger for 3 years. Address: 807 W. 6th St.

The Driskill

I've arrived early to Austin and I must say I'm impressed with The Driskill Hotel and I think everyone will also be impressed. It is a beautiful historical place with high ceilings, great decor, and comfortable beds.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Friday Night Dinner & Music

Friday evening's dinner at the Harry Ransom Center promises to be a delightful evening. For those who haven't had the pleasure of visiting the HRC yet you are in for a wonderful experience. The permanent exhibits include items such as one of the few complete copies of The Gutenberg Bible. Current exhibitions include Technologies of Writing which explores forms of recorded human thought from thousands of years ago to the present. For a sneak peak, take a look at the online exhibitions. See you Friday night!