Dennis Kim-Prieto, Rutgers-Newark Law Library
The World in Philadelphia: What I Saw at the 2011 AALL Annual Meeting
Thanks to the generosity of the New Jersey Law Librarians Association, I was able to represent NJLLA and Rutgers University throughout the entire 2011 Annual Meeting, and found the experience to be beneficial to all involved. I was able to meet my own professional service responsibilities by convening the business meeting of the Diversity Committee and by moderating this year’s Diversity Symposium, which called past winners of the Minority Leadership Development Award to reflect upon what the award has meant to their career and to the profession at large. I was also pleased to continue my participation in the Latino Caucus; we not only held our business meeting, but also enjoyed hearing Yolanda Vazquez of the University of Pennsylvania Law School present her work exploring the nexus between immigration and criminal law. We were further treated to hearing AALL President Joyce Janto discuss her recent visit to the law libraries of Chile, and share the lessons that trip imparted.
I found that the educational programs met the high quality that attendees of the Annual Meeting have come to expect. While I attended more programs than space allows me to discuss, I found the highlights of the Annual Meeting to include a survey of Empirical Research Programs, an introduction to Medical Legal Research (offered by NJLLA’s own Caroline Young Einaugler), a comprehensive presentation on Transnational Litigation in Latin America and the Civil Law Tradition, not to mention hearing Dahlia Lithwick’s insights into current Supreme Court jurisprudence. Perhaps the most moving presentation, however, was offered by this year’s Schaffer Grant recipient, Ms. Gloria Marcela Orrego Hoyos. Speaking from her own personal history, as well as from her professional duties as the Legal Reference Librarian and a Professor of Law and Legal Research at the Universidad de San Andrés in Buenos Aires, Ms. Orrego Hoyos discussed the role of libraries and archives in reconstructing collective memories and the historical record of Argentina’s “Dirty War” in a presentation entitled “Never Again, Never Forget.” While she was able to marshal documentation and journalistic accounts of the years of terror, she also spoke from her own life events, which contributed both a historical gravamen and an extraordinarily emotional tone to this exceptional presentation.
I was also fortunate enough to enjoy the results of our co-ordination of the joint LLAGNY/ALLUNY/NJLLA reception, which was not merely well-attended, but also well-stocked in terms of food and beverage. Despite a small touch of confusion with the on-site catering host, I was delighted to see that all went well, and that we were able to pack so many folks into such a tight space!
Overall, it was an outstanding experience. In addition to the outstanding programming, I was also able to network with colleagues from around the country in venues ranging from the cozy confines of the historic Reading Terminal to the chic outdoor terrace at the Vango Sky Lounge. I am truly grateful to NJLLA for the opportunity to tell folks that my chapter organization sponsored my attendance.