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Howland Contributes to China-U.S. Law Library Conference

JUNE 9, 2009—Professor Joan S. Howland, the Law School’s Associate Dean for Information and Technology, was an advisory board member, co-chair of the American program planning committee, and a speaker at a landmark conference in Beijing May 27-29, 2009.

The China-U.S. Conference on Legal Information and Law Libraries gathered legal educators, law librarians, judges, and other legal professionals from the two countries to exchange experiences and views on legal education, legal information development, law library management, and other issues of common interest and concern. Conference planners intend it to be the first in a series of conferences that foster sharing of professional knowledge, cooperation, and collaboration.

Howland participated in a session that examined autonomy of academic law libraries, staffing, status issues, escalating costs, and evolving technologies. Professor Philip Berwick of Washington University and Professor Herbert Cihak of Pepperdine University were also on the panel, moderated by Robert Hu of St. Mary’s University. Howland also served as the moderator for a program on the collaboration potential between China and the United States in regard to the development and training of legal information professionals.

The Conference offered the more than 200 attendees an overview of Chinese and U.S. developments in legal education, online information resources, legal research tools, cataloging systems, legal and governmental Web sites, and ongoing digitizing projects. The hope is that both Chinese and U.S. law libraries will develop better collections and resource-sharing plans as a result of this and future conferences.

The Chinese Legal Information Center, China University of Political Science and Law, hosted the conference. Official co-sponsors were the American Association of Law Libraries, Chinese Education Association of International Exchange, International Association of Law Libraries, People’s Republic of China, and the State Guidance Commission on Legal Education of the Ministry of Education.

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