A look back at the AALL New Product Award Winners 2000-2009
Almost each year AALL chooses a New Product Award that “honors new commercial information products that enhance or improve existing law library services or procedures or innovative products which improve access to legal information, the legal research process, or procedures for technical processing of library materials. A “new” product is one that has been in the library-related marketplace for two years or less. New products may include, but are not limited to, computer hardware and/or software, educational or bibliographic material, or other products or devices that aid or improve library workflow, research, or intellectual access. Products that have been reintroduced in a new format or with substantial changes are eligible.”
But what is the track record of these awards? For many years the Grammy Awards “best new artist” was derided as a curse that doomed new artists. Do AALL New Product awards follow that track? Let’s have a look!
2009: Subject Compilations of State Laws (HeinOnline)
A good choice! Hein’s database has only expanded since 2009 and” the 2017-2018 volume adds more than 1,000 entries under 310 main subject headings. Researchers now have instantaneous access to more than 27,000 bibliographic records, many with extensive annotations. There is no longer a need to browse the twenty-plus print volumes in the series.
Most importantly, the annotations link directly to articles and other documents residing in HeinOnline. In all, more than 14,000 records link to HeinOnline periodicals, while the majority of other records link to case law or external websites. Additionally, users will find a subcollection within the database called “Other Related Works” which contains links to more than 670 full-text documents within HeinOnline. Database users also enjoy access to the current and all prior volumes in this series.” (full details available here).
2008: Cassidy Cataloging Services (WLX Cataloging Record Service)
Since 2008 Cassidy Cataloging has expanded the number of records available. Many libraries use their products to provide easier access to electronic resources. Although the titles of these collections have changed, a full list is available here.
2007: No award.
At first glance the “no award” years are worrisome. However, upon reflection, this is a good idea! Not every year is going to have an amazing new product and recognizing this fact keeps the high quality of choices. (Unless an amazing product debuted in 2007! Did I miss something?)
2006: No award.
2005: Thomson Gale (The Making of Modern Law)
This database instantly placed thousand of historic legal materials in the collections of many law libraries. Currently this remains a thriving database that is widely adopted by libraries. “Together, the distinct collections that comprise The Making of Modern Law cover nearly every aspect of American and British law and dig deep into the legal traditions of Europe, Latin America, Asia, and other jurisdictions, both classic and contemporary. Encompassing a range of analytical, theoretical, and practical literature, these collections support and complement the traditional study of law by featuring valuable books from the most influential legal writers throughout history.” More information is available here.
2004: Jenkins Law Library & American Lawyer Media (ALM) (palawlibrary.com)
ALM gradually acquired this resource and redistributed the content to other titles in their electronic databases.
2003: No award
2002: No award
2001: William S. Hein & Co., Inc (Hein-On-Line)
Since 2001, HeinOnline (spelled differently now) greatly expanded and is available in almost all law school libraries in the United States.
2000: IndexMaster, Inc (Indexmaster)
I am not familiar with this title, and it apparently ceased around 2010.
So what does all this mean? In brief, most of the resources that win this award have stood the test of time and remain important parts of the law library collection even 20 years later. I recommend keeping track of current New Product winners as the track record is pretty good!
Agree? Disagree? Did AALL miss major products during this time such as in 2002 or 2002? Was your favorite database snubbed in 2000?