by Anna L. Endter
I’m back with a second report about my trip the ALA Midwinter Exhibit Hall. As promised in Part One, this post will focus on what I learned from talking with vendors.
One of the products that Thomson was showcasing at ALA was EndNote, it’s citation management tool. Endnote is much like Zotero and RefWorks in that it was designed to help people organize and collect resources during the course of scholarly research. (As an aside, while it might seem like citation management is primarily an academic concern, attorneys in private practice also write articles and might benefit from learning to use one of these tools. And Zotero is free!). Continue reading 'ALA Midwinter Exhibit Hall: Part Two'»
by Anna L. Endter
A wrinkled t-shirt, as it turns out. This is a side effect of my shirt’s afternoon spent crumpled in a free ALA bag with other library swag and material. Today, I made a field trip to the ALA Midwinter 2013 Exhibit Hall.
Now, having just recently been to my first AALL Conference and experiencing that exhibit hall, I was curious to see how ALA does things. I was also looking for some perspective about the library profession generally since my focus has been on law librarianship. It was time to learn more about the larger world of linking people and information.
This post includes my observations about visiting the Exhibit Hall. Stay tuned for Part Two where I’ll report on my discussions with Thomson Reuters about its citation management tool Endnote and ProQuest about the Statistical Abstract of the United States.
Continue reading 'Today I Bought a T-Shirt: The ALA Midwinter Exhibit Hall, Part One'»
The Third International Conference of the
Chinese and American Forum on Legal Information and Law Libraries (CAFLL)
Shanghai, China, June 10 – 12, 2013
This third international conference is sponsored by the Chinese and American Forum on Legal Information and Law Libraries (CAFLL), a non-profit U.S. organization, in conjunction with a similar organization in China represented by the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL); East China University of Political Science and Law (ECUPL); Tongji University School of Law; and other prominent law schools in China. The host for this conference is ECUPL, located in Shanghai, China. The venue for the meeting will be the Renaissance Shanghai Zhongshan Park Hotel: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/shabz-renaissance-shanghai-zhongshan-park-hotel/.
The Conference will be an opportunity for law librarians and legal information professionals to share experiences and exchange views about legal information access and development and law library management in both the United States and China. The theme of the conference is Collaboration: Information, Access, and Partnership. Topics will include public access to legal information, digital technology in libraries, internationalization of shared legal information, and more.
Registration information will soon be available at: http://cafllnet.org/annual-conference/.
Previous successful international conferences were held in Beijing (2009) with sponsorship from CAFLL, AALL and IALL and Philadelphia (2011) with sponsorship from CAFLL and AALL: http://cafllnet.org/annual-conference/. Speaker materials from the Philadelphia Conference are available at: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/library/cafll/presentationhandouts.pdf.
Save the Date – AALL Law Library Management Online Course
November 1-December 14 AALL will offer a six-week online course designed to help you achieve higher management performance and advance your career potential. You will have an opportunity to connect and collaborate with peers. Topics will include effective law library management, communication effectiveness, negotiation and making the case for library value, and more. Stay tuned—registration opens in October.
AALL2go Pick of the Month
AALL’s Continuing Professional Education Committee presents the AALL2go pick of the month: What Makes a Librarian Worth a Million Bucks? Valuing Staff, Resources, and Services When Dollars Are Scarce.
At the 2012 AALL Annual Meeting, two law firm librarians gave a detailed presentation on how to prove the true value of law librarians. They demonstrated how hard data and soft skills can be used in a numbers-based evaluation that can be effectively used to show worth. Continue reading 'AALL October Announcements'»
by Philippe Cloutier
One of the top library blogs I follow regularly is Hiring Librarians. The posts are especially useful for managers and those seeking work (obviously). However the general information makes for great professional development reading. Also on display is the intelligence and ability of library managers. For the most part hiring managers hit the nail on the head for job hunting tips. Yet once in awhile a phrase or two will stick out and confuse, as the latest finds:
What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?
“Ever since I was a little girl/boy I’ve wanted to be a librarian.” This is almost always a lie. Librarianship is often a second-choice field. It comes after people spend a couple of years trying to be an artist/ conservator/ writer etc. It’s a practical career for an artistic or literary type. So don’t tell me it was your dream. It’s a great job, but it’s nobody’s dream. Continue reading 'The Interview and You'»
by Karen Helde
When I was invited to be a speaker at the 2012 AALL Annual Meeting, I hesitated for a few days because (1) I was scared, and (2) I hadn’t budgeted to go to Boston. Once I decided that nervousness was a lousy reason to say “no” to opportunities, I tackled the second problem by applying for a LLOPS grant. I’m very grateful to LLOPS for awarding me that grant and giving me the chance to take on this personal and professional challenge. My program, titled iCan! Empowering Librarians with iPads and Other Mobile Devices, was part of the joint AALL/ILTA track that ran throughout the day on Monday, July 23rd. It attracted about 240 attendees eager to hear about ways for librarians to lead the way as mobile technologies enter the legal workplace.
Presenting a program requires a lot of work before the conference ever starts, but I thought I’d share my tips for what you can do once you’re actually on the ground in the host city.
- Talk it up. When you meet new people and are comparing conference plans, tell them you’ll be speaking at a program. It’s a great conversation starter and sometimes a point of connection. If you’re catching up with old friends, make sure they know too. You’ll get lots of interested questions and encouragement. If nothing else, you’ll make a few people happy by allowing them a “better you than me!” moment.
- Scope out the competition. When attending programs prior to your own, dedicate some of your attention to what works and what doesn’t work. Notice how speakers use microphones, podiums, seating arrangements and AV equipment. Does their Q&A approach work well? How smooth are the introductions and transitions? You probably can’t rewrite your whole talk at this point, but you might see a few areas to tweak for improvement.
- Practice and prepare. My talk was in pretty good shape before I left I for Boston, but I still ran through it on the plane (under my breath so as not to make any air marshals nervous), in my hotel room, and in an unoccupied corner of the convention center the morning of my program. Also, figure out what soothes your particular butterflies and find a way to do it. Some people are calmed by deep breathing and meditative stillness in a quiet place. Others feel better if they can work off some adrenaline with physical activity like a brisk walk.
- Dress the part. Wear something that makes you feel confident and professional, but relaxed. You know your own tolerance for walking in heels, arranging scarves or carrying off a handlebar mustache. This isn’t the time to try something new. Bonus tip: If you’ll be using a lavalier microphone, wear something that has a pocket or belt to hold the transmitter. Otherwise you’ll end up holding it in your hands like I did.
- Have fun. Even if public speaking is scary, at some point it will hit you that it’s kind of cool to have a room full of people interested in what you’re saying. Enjoy that moment, as well as the conversations and connections that follow.
by Michele Knapp
My first AALL Conference experience kept me on my toes. It was busy, filled with job interviews, networking opportunities, and interesting programs. I found particularly useful a program sponsored by RIPS-SIS, Connect with Patrons by Creating Strong Research Guides. The program was led by Catherine Dunn of the University of Maryland, Sara Sampson of the University of North Carolina, and Morgan Stoddard of Georgetown University.
One of the most important things a research guide can do is to confirm that a type of resource does not exist or that a tool cannot perform a particular function. This saves time and improves efficiency. Research guides can be used to teach skills through the use of videos and tutorials. They can cover areas beyond substantive law, such as job search and legal services. It is important that an organization keep internal consistency with its research guides. They should be viewed as serials that require periodic updating. For instance, revisions will be needed as materials are updated and links change. Finally, each guide should be the responsibility of a specific person in the library. This will ensure that it is updated on a regular basis.
Although we tend to think of research guides as a tool used mainly in academic law libraries, they can be useful in other settings, as well. Court libraries use research guides to reach out to public patrons and members of the bar. Law firms can utilize research guides to provide assistance to new attorneys fresh out of law school. Moreover, research guides are useful reminders to law librarians in any area as to how to approach certain types of legal research questions. If you are looking to learn more about research guides, you can find materials from the RIPS program here.
Thank you to LLOPS and the Grants Committee for supporting my attendance at the AALL Conference in Boston. My membership in LLOPS has enhanced my experience as a newcomer to law librarianship. I have no doubt it will contribute to my success in future endeavors.
by Kristine Lloyd
Photo Credit: Thomaston Public Library
After a series of minor funding and accommodations miracles, I learned in June that I would be going to the annual meeting. I was thrilled, and of course, the first order of business was wardrobing. Yes, I packed a month’s worth of attire in my steamer trunk for a mere few days, but one never knows what sartorial mood will strike. I hadn’t attended a conference since 2007 in New Orleans, and this time I was attending as the PLL Secretary. Surely, once landed in Boston there would be a driver awaiting my arrival with an official Madame Secretary placard and a limo with champagne ready to whisk me away to the meeting.
Alas, there was no official welcome wagon, but I made my way successfully to the hotel and enjoyed a lovely PLL Summit opening reception at The Harvard Club that evening. Continue reading 'Consider the Lobster Roll'»
by Neel Kant Agrawal
2012 LLOPS Grant Recipient
As a newcomer to the profession, I found the 2012 AALL Annual Meeting and Conference to be an exciting experience. I prepared over the course of the year for a weekend of immersed learning and non-stop networking. My primary goal at the conference was to acquire knowledge in the area of foreign, comparative, and international law librarianship (“FCIL librarianship”). I came away with a profound appreciation for those who have paved the way in this globalized and dynamic area of law librarianship. Needless to say, the conference exceeded my expectations.
My favorite event was the Teaching FCIL Topics Roundtable on Saturday, hosted by the AALL FCIL-SIS. This provided the opportunity for me to interact with FCIL librarians who have taught courses on foreign and international legal research, as well as those, like myself, who will someday teach a course on this increasingly critical subject. We discussed teaching methods, course structure, as well as content. The intimacy of the roundtable enabled me to ask essential questions about teaching and to engage librarians who I greatly admire and respect.
On Tuesday morning, I presented my research on training in FCIL librarianship at the AALL/LexisNexis Call for Papers event. It was an honor to speak in front of such an interested audience, comprising library directors, innovative librarians, and influential scholars. Finally, my last event was perhaps the most memorable. The Association Luncheon, on Tuesday, featured speeches given by some of the most prominent figures in the field. Listening to their stories inspires me to engender positive change in areas that I feel strongly about, such as FCIL librarianship and diversity in the profession.
I look forward to returning to Seattle next year for the 2013 conference. With the first conference under my belt, I will be even more equipped for such an intensive and enjoyable experience.
by Anna L. Endter
2012 LLOPS Grant Recipient
I received a LLOPS Chapter Registration Grant and attended my first AALL Conference in Boston this July. I’m a (very) recent graduate from the Law Librarianship program at the University of Washington and was excited to experience a few days of all things law librarian. The Conference turned out to be a great combination of interesting programming, networking opportunities and a chance to talk with vendors about their products. I am looking forward to 2013 in Seattle, and I hear that a few other people from the Conference are excited about coming to our city next year, too.
One of the sessions I attended was called “Embedding Librarians to Add Value to Your Institution.” I chose this program because it seems like I keep coming across blog posts, articles, etc. about embedded librarianship and how this model can be applied to law librarians, particularly those in private law firms. I was interested to hear how embedding librarians can be used as a strategy for strengthening and re-focusing a library’s place within an organization and showing added value.
Continue reading 'AALL Conference Report: Embedded Librarians'»