Tag Archives: AALL 2009

AALL Annual Meeting: PLL-SIS Luncheon

I always look forward to the PLL luncheon as a time to gather with colleagues; see old friends and meet new ones! In addition to all of the networking, a great speaker is always a part of the program. This year we enjoyed listening to Ross Guberman of Legal Writing Pro. I thought that Ross was an interesting choice, as I don’t normally think about law firm librarians having a role in legal writing. However, Ross made some very compelling arguments, some of which I agreed with, and some of which I did not. Here is a summary:

  • Why is “researching like a librarian” a compliment, but “writing like a lawyer” is an insult?
  • A good writer makes the reader feel smart
  • How can librarians get involved? Ross went through the stages in the associate writing process and asked the audience to discuss:
    • #1 — Starting fresh or using an existing document? Howard Trivers from Baker & Daniels was at my table, and stated that “the librarian usually knows who the expert is on a given topic, and can tell the associate.” We also agreed that the librarian could help with search strategies for the KM system.
    • #2 — Initial research stage. The entire audience agreed that pointing associates towards treatises and other secondary sources is a huge role for the librarian.
    • #3 — Writing. Ross believes that this is an area where the librarian has a great opportunity to help with structure. He stated that the librarian could serve as a proxy for the ultimate reader and help with structure.
    • #4 — Attention to detail. Again the librarian can help with the proof-reading, citation checking and direct the associate to reference sources.

While some of this may seem radical, in these economic times an open mind is called for and may be rewarded by the firm. Don’t know where to start? Ross has some fantastic free tools/articles on his site to get you started!

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AALL Annual Meeting: Opening Session

An opening session at a convention should inspire the attendee and carry over into the remaining days. I think that this opening session definitely accomplished that goal and more.

As we arrived, a short video presentation was repeating on the large screens. The video, an introduction to the ideas presented in We-Think by Charles Leadbeater, was amazing and I encourage you to watch it.

Up next, the keynote speaker Jonathan Zittrain author of The Future of the Internet–And How to Stop It. Jonathan started his remarks with the confession that his knowledge of libraries is somewhat limited, so he wanted solidify a definition and identify challenges.  Some of his thoughts:

  • Library (n.) – A fortress; protecting the books
    • Collections have become archives (e.g. fallout shelters; just in case)
    • 80/20 Rule applies – only about 20% of the collection is used
    • Library has become a place to get online; reading rooms look like computer clusters
  • Library (v.) – No more in person reference; “self help”
  • Library (adj.) – This is the real challenge we are facing; what is the “core purpose”?
    • Look at AALL’s mission and break it down into the important components:
      • Central to society
      • Fair and Equitable
      • Authentic
      • Educate

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AALL Annual Meeting: Opening Event

I kicked off the convention on a sugar high at the opening event sponsored by LexisNexis and held at the Library of Congress. The dessert extravaganza featured many beautiful confections, including an elaborate multi-tiered cake! It was a fabulous welcome to the conference and Washington, DC.

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