Not many professional associations are more than a century old, but the American Association of Law Libraries, founded in 1906, is one of them. And next week in Chicago, AALL will hold its 109th Annual Meeting and Conference with a future-oriented theme.
Make it new – create the future
We’re excited by this theme, because we believe librarians (legal or otherwise) must create the future of our profession, refusing to accept the status quo for no other reason than it being the status quo.
As Libsource Executive Vice President and former law library director John Harbison says,
“Law librarians have it in their power to create their own future by embracing change, not fearing it. Embracing change creates growth opportunities with boundless horizons in which to excel.”
Several people from LibSource and parent company LAC Group will be attending the conference, and LibSource Senior Director John DiGilio will be co-presenting one of the breakout sessions. Taking a look at the conference’s “Must Have Programs” list, following are three that stand out.
DEEP DIVE INTO COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE
Sunday, July 17
Why we like it:
First, we love the session title – Deep Dive: Hooking the CI White Whale. Otherwise, this 2.5 hour workshop covers what we believe is a necessity for researchers—the ability to add context and analysis to their results. No longer are data dumps sufficient or necessarily appreciated—in fact, editing, curation and analysis are becoming as important as research.
Yet researchers often hesitate to insert their ideas, even when it would improve relevance and understanding. It could be the culture of law, in which attorneys have exalted status as the ultimate arbiters and experts.
That’s why we encourage any researchers, both those who are new to the profession and those who have been delivering research the same as always for a long time, to attend this session. If that’s not possible, take its description to heart:
“With a corporate target information profile that offers analysis of the client and industry, the attorney is in a better position to make strategic decisions for their client.”
NEW FUTURES THROUGH CAREER TRANSITION
Monday, July 18
Why we like it:
Career transitions can be exhilarating or terrifying, often at the same time. In our work in recruiting, staffing and managed services, we have seen every response. As a profession steeped in tradition, librarians may struggle more than other professions and industries. We applaud this session, which will highlight stories of librarians who have been successful, whether moving from one type of library to another or other career shifts.
John Harbison on librarian career transitions:
“I think the outlook for law librarians and the profession in general is brighter than it’s been in a while. We’ve weathered some difficult years, but librarians have many new avenues for using their skills and different directions for taking their careers.”
DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES IN LEGAL RESEARCH AND OTHER LIBRARY SERVICES
Tuesday, July 19
Why we like it:
Because it features LibSource Senior Director John DiGilio. Need we say more? Though in all honesty, we would choose it no matter who was presenting it. John will be co-presenting this session on disruptive technologies, an important topic in a time of flux and innovation. Having once been dominated by a handful of major vendors, new legal research and library service start-ups are entering the field and having an impact.
As John and colleague Jean O’Grady, Senior Director of Research and Knowledge Services for DLA Piper will discuss, disruptive technologies are changing the business of law. They will talk about the new opportunities for using them to enhance value and visibility, and how to evaluate them and determine if they are worth the effort and cost, both financial and cultural, of implementing them. Jean and John will discuss some of the most promising new resources for providing legal research services, as well as the visions of the creatives behind them.
How DiGilio views disruptive technologies in library services:
“The industry landscape has changed greatly in recent years. In many ways, what we are in now is that ‘after the storm’ period when everything feels so fresh and new. It is a time of great uncertainly and real reason for optimism. The key to success is not to fear the new or the challenging, but rather to embrace it, harness it, and leverage it.”
Session details: “Disruptunity”: The Legal Research Revolution Is Now!
And of course, one presentation that all conference participants should be looking forward to is the keynote address on the future of knowledge work, presented by Will Evans, Chief Design Officer for PraxisFlow.
Make it new. Create the future. It’s important we do this; if not, our future may be created for us.
If you’re attending AALL 2016, we hope you have a fun, productive experience. If you miss it, stay tuned, we will provide follow-up reports!