NJLLA Grant Winner Essay

Yu-Hui Chuang, Rutgers Law Library

 I want to extend my sincere thanks to NJLLA for awarding me the NJLLA grant to attend this year’s AALL Annual Meeting in New Orleans. When I received the message from Marlene Gebauer on May 2, I literally screamed with excitement in my office. I immediately began anticipating the many opportunities of the Meeting, such as getting to know more law librarians, enjoying different events, and learning useful professional knowledge.

This year, I also received the ALL-SIS CONELL grant, which supported my attendance at CONELL on Saturday, July 14th.   Attending CONELL made me appreciate the fact that AALL facilitates the chance for all newer librarians to better understand the Association, and to gain awareness about opportunities to get involved with different committees, special interest sections, chapters, and caucuses. The Speednetworking helped newer librarians exchange their business cards and to get to know more librarians within a short time. In the afternoon, we had a bus tour of New Orleans. Unfortunately, there was a thunderstorm and we couldn’t see very clearly through the windows. Still, I was able to appreciate the beautiful scenery along St. Charles Avenue. The tour guide also showed us how Hurricane Katrina drastically affected the lives of the people of New Orleans.

On Saturday night, I enjoyed the opening event which had a Mardi Gras theme. The ballroom was decorated with beautiful masks, bright feathers and traditional regalia. Everyone enjoyed the chocolate desserts, as well as the chance to reunite with friends and colleagues, to exchange news, and to network with both old and new friends.

The keynote speaker was Joan Biskupic, who gave an insightful talk. She thanked her host and law librarians, and shared stories of her research for her biography of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.  Later, she answered questions from the audience and shared anecdotes from interviews with Justice O’Connor and other Supreme Court Justices.

 There were so many interesting programs this year that it was difficult to select which ones to attend. I enjoyed a fantastic program which was held by Jean M. Wenger and Mary Rumsey, entitled: “Globalization Moved My Cheese: Or, How Do I Find International Law?” From their thoughtful and fascinating PowerPoint presentation, the audiences received a lot of very useful information for searching for international laws.

I enjoyed socializing and talking with my old friends and meeting new friends at the Annual Meeting. Spending time in the Exhibit Hall and learning about the new products from the vendors also helped me catch up with the new trends of the technology. I also made a point to see some of New Orleans by walking around the French Quarter and enjoying a cup of cafe au lait and beignets at Cafe Du Monde.

I really appreciate NJLLA for giving me the chance to attend this year’s AALL Annual Meeting in New Orleans. This wonderful opportunity let me gain professional knowledge in a short time and meet with other law librarians.

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