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|ALLStAR's Development and Implementation|
ALLStAR Development and Implementation
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The ALLStAR (Academic Law Libraries: Statistics, Analytics and Reports) Benchmarking project began in 2014 when law librarian Teresa Miguel-Stearns developed a spreadsheet to track key data points to better understand the demands on Yale’s law library and make resource allocation decisions to meet these demands. In 2015, Harvard, Cornell, University of Chicago, and the University of California-Berkeley began testing and using this data-tracking spreadsheet. With the participation of additional law libraries, the ability to engage in benchmarking and share effective practices became two hallmarks of ALLStAR.
In 2015, the NELLCO Law Library Consortium joined the ALLStAR project to provide logistical and financial support. One of NELLCO’s first steps was having the data-tracking spreadsheet evaluated by the NELLCO Interest Groups. The Interest Groups were instrumental in refining the data points to ensure that the data collected would be meaningful for a wide range of academic law libraries.
Counting Opinions also became involved in the ALLSTAR project in 2015 by converting the spreadsheet and documentation to a web-based tool. After beta-testing, the revised ALLStAR database went live on LibPAS in July 2016 and all academic law library directors in the United States were invited to participate.
The importance of the ALLStAR benchmarking project increased when the American Bar Association discontinued the Law Library Section of the ABA’s annual survey in 2017. ALLStAR committed to continuing to gather the data that used to be collected by the ABA and providing summary results to all participating academic law libraries.
ALLStAR’s value to law librarianship was reinforced in 2018 when the Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section (ALL-SIS) of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) endorsed ALLStAR and encouraged all academic law libraries to participate in ALLStAR.
Since its launch in 2017, NELLCO and the ALLStAR Advisory Board has continued to refine and improve the project overall, the data gathering platform specifically, and resources available to academic law librarians. For example:
Founded in 2016, the ALLStAR Advisory Board guides the development and implementation of the ALLStAR Benchmarking Project to ensure that it is a robust product that collects data that is meaningful to participants. In particular, the Advisory Board oversees questionnaire development, reviews the resulting data, identifies trends or issues, and encourages participation in ALLStAR by academic law libraries. Advisory Board members serve two-year terms and care is taken to ensure that the board has representation from libraries that vary in terms of size, institutional control, budget, geographic location, and library staffing.
Current ALLStAR Advisory Board Members