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Long-time Wayne Law Library Director Georgia Clark Co-Founder of LLMC

September 02, 2008

DETROIT (Sept. 2, 2008) – Upon meeting Wayne State University Law School long-time Law Library Director Georgia Clark one immediately gets a sense of her passion for and dedication to providing students, alumni and community members with access to legal information.

“The ability to seek out information is so crucial to society,” Clark said. “Preservation of information, delivery of information, accessibility of information is what I’m all about.”

What people may not know, however, is that the ever-gracious and humble Clark is one of the masterminds behind the single largest library consortium in existence.

More than 30 years ago, Clark, along with then Wayne Law Dean Donald Gordon and University of Hawaii Law Library Director Jerry DuPont, saw a need for better preserving legal documents and providing enhanced methods of accessibility to a wider variety of publics. Together, they embarked on a journey that would forever change the face of legal library services.

Through their efforts and the seed money raised from foundations and private individuals, the Wayne Law Arthur Neef Law Library and the University of Hawaii Law Library partnered in 1976 to launch the Law Library Microform Consortium (LLMC), a non-profit cooperative of libraries. Its initial mission? To “preserve legal titles and government documents on film, while making copies inexpensively available in microfiche format.”

According to LLMC’s website, it provides libraries with a reliable and budget-friendly source of film replacement when their older, physically deteriorating books become too burdensome to store. While aiding libraries in their preservation and space recovery programs, it also provides an economical way to complete retrospective collections.

LLMC launched its online service in 2003, called LLMC-Digital, and by 2005 all data capture conducted by LLMC was accomplished through digital scanning. Today, LLMC’s mission has expanded to include preservation and accessibility digitally through LLMC-Digital.

“LLMC has helped our Law Library and law libraries around the world build better collections and share precious reference materials that would’ve otherwise been accessible to the very few,” Clark said. “Through this cooperative, information and documents found around the world are able to find a home among their respective collections.”

Some of those special collections pieced together by LLMC and now available through Wayne Law’s Arthur Neef Law Library include the Canon Law Collection, Native American Collection, The Yale Law Library Blackstone Collection and the U.S. Military Law: History and Development collection – just to name a few.

So who has access to all this information? Today, subscribers to LLMC span the globe. Approximately 90 percent of American Association of Law Libraries-affiliated American law schools, 75 percent of Canadian law schools, and virtually every library serving units of the U.S. Federal Court System are members and have access to more than 50-million page images.

In what began as a conversation between colleagues, LLMC is now partnered with heavy-hitters such as Google and PublicResource.org to enable even greater accessibility to legal information online. Even so, Clark remains humble about her role with LLMC and continues to pay more attention to the impact the Consortium will have on future generations of information seekers.

“I never imagined LLMC getting as big as it has,” Clark said. “It is a legacy that will last indefinitely and will continue to provide and deliver necessary information to all parts of the world for years to come.”

Clark began her Wayne Law career in 1973 and has served as the director since 1976. She earned a bachelor’s degree from College of St. Scholastica and her master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Michigan. She was recently honored as the Special Treasure Honoree at Wayne Law’s 2008 Treasure of Detroit Gala.

For more information about LLMC, visit http://www.llmc.com/ today.

About Wayne State University Law School
Wayne State University Law School has educated and served the Detroit metropolitan area since its inception as Detroit City Law School in 1927. Located at 471 West Palmer Street in Detroit’s re-energized historic cultural center, the Law School remains committed to student success and features modern lecture and court facilities, multi-media and distance learning classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium, and the Arthur Neef Law Library, which houses one of the nation's 40 largest legal collections. Taught by an internationally recognized and expert faculty, Wayne Law students experience a high-quality legal education via a growing array of hands-on curricular offerings, five live-client clinics, and access to well over 100 internships with local and non-profit entities each year. Its 11,000 living alumni, who work in every state of the nation and more than a dozen foreign countries, are experts in their disciplines and include leading members of the local, national and international legal communities. For more information, visit www.law.wayne.edu.  

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