NJLLA Grant Winner 2015

Kristina E. Anderson 
AALL Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, 2015

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to attend the American Association of Law Librarians 2015 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.  It was my first full AALL conference.  It was amazing to meet with not only other technology librarians, but also with librarians who engage in a variety of roles and functions.

I presented in two sessions at the conference and found it to be a really rewarding experience.  The first session was entitled “Seton Hall Law: Why We Implemented WMS”, presented during the OCLC event “What’s New at OCLC: Sharing Resources and Managing the Library in New Ways”.  This presentation was to share our experiences implementing a new ILS.  It was a wonderful opportunity to meet other OCLC customers, and to share our experiences.

The second session I presented in was a panel entitled “Uncovering Discovery Systems: Digging Beyond the Hype and Gripe.  Preparing for this presentation took a lot of coordination over a long period of time.  Through that work I had multiple skype calls with the other panelists, including Nancy Babb at the University of Buffalo, who coordinated the whole thing.  It was wonderful to get to know librarians having the same experiences as us.  It was equally fascinating to discover how differently we were all handling our technologies.  The best thing about presenting was the feeling that I already knew a few people at the conference.

The presentations offered this year were really diverse, which was great.  I have attended other library conferences, but they have mostly been very focused on one area of the library.  Although I am our technologist at Seton Hall, I am interested in other facets of the library.  I really enjoyed the session “Proving Your Library’s Value: Tips from a Library That Has Done It”.  It was great to hear how a library used real numbers to show how valuable the library was financially to their organization.  I appreciated their willingness to share their survey and other documents.

I also really enjoyed “Enterprise Social Media: A Business Tool for the Future”.  Three different library perspectives were covered.  The two law firms presenting had professional systems, but Georgetown used a system called #Slack that has a pretty robust free version.  The presentation included lots of use cases. One example the law firm librarians gave was making partners lives easier by minimizing useless e-mail.  The academic librarian discussed librarians and professors collaboratively working on a book in an academic setting.  After listening to Jill A. Smith from Georgetown Law, I can not wait to return to work and begin looking at #Slack.

I saw Professor of Law Ross E. Davies speak at the Association Luncheon and although I didn’t win a Supreme Court bobble head I really enjoyed his ideas on ways to give discarded books a second life.  I initially signed up for the luncheon to hear Professor Davies speak, but I got so much more out of it then a 15 minute speech and a meal.  I sat at a random table with many welcoming people that included 2 previous AALL Presidents.  I got to hear their experiences and stories, and rejoice with them as their lifelong friends and colleagues won awards and recognition.  It was truly a wonderful experience.

I want to close by saying thank you again.  This was a truly rewarding experience for me.  I am already trying to find funding for next year.