AALL 2019 Annual Conference

By Jennifer Chapman, LLAM Grant Recipient to AALL 2019 Annual Conference

From the keynote address to the many sessions and roundtables to the networking and community-building opportunities, the overriding theme I encountered at AALL’s 2019 Annual Conference was the importance of access to information. Throughout the conference I felt inundated with information in the most welcoming and engaging ways. I was grateful for the opportunity to have access to so many resources and left the conference feeling a sense of responsibility to take everything I was learning, apply it to my work, and – most importantly – share it with others.

Shon Hopwood’s keynote address highlighted the importance of access to legal information in prisons. His story is not only one of redemption, but a story of how providing information resources can encourage knowledge and growth for the betterment of the individual and society. This point was further emphasized in the LISP/GLL/SR-SIS Roundtable on Law Library Services to Prisoners and Public Patrons, which focused on the PACER fees class action. I knew a bit about the class action, but hearing directly from individuals working on the case provided richer context as to why the case is so important. Professor Ross E. Davies of the Green Bag further emphasized the importance of providing access to information to the incarcerated in the session “What Librarians Can Learn from the Green Bag.” Professor Davies stressed that we need to write about the law in a way that is “easily and quickly digestible” for prisoners.

In addition to learning about why access to information is essential, I also learned about the ways AALL works to ensure libraries, librarians, lawyers, and the public have access to essential information. Prominently, the “AALL Public Policy Update” session not only gave an overview of the public policy work done over the past year, but also celebrated the accomplishments of Keith Ann Stiverson and Carl Malamud. Stiverson was awarded the 2019 Robert L. Oakley Advocacy Award for her advocacy work to make expand access to government information. She gave a brief and inspiring speech – mostly focusing on Robert L. Oakley’s accomplishments rather than her own. Prior to the session, I did not know who Stiverson or Oakley were; following the session, I had two new models of exemplary service to inspire me. Malamud and the nonprofit he founded, Public.Resource.org, received the 2019 Public Access to Government Information Award. He was not at the conference because he was traveling internationally for work promoting access to information.

The conference also highlighted the importance and, often times, difficulty of ascertaining and providing good, thorough, and correct information. For example, the session “The New Wild West: Assessing and Managing News in the 21st Century” focused on issues of fake news and how the 24/7, info-tainment news cycle has altered the information landscape. A number of sessions examined the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other technologies that are also transforming the information landscape. I was happy to see so many people interested in how AI and emerging technologies can make information more accessible. I was also struck by the need for even more education to ensure that the people using these technologies understand the limitations as well as the benefits. This emphasized why the AALL conference is so important – continuous education and professional development is essential to protecting access to information.

The above only captures a snapshot of my AALL experience. Perhaps more important than the sessions and roundtables was the opportunity to meet and learn from law librarians and information professionals from around the country and realize there is a community of support. Overall, the 2019 AALL conference was a wonderful and enriching experience – plus, where else can you pet Percy the stress-relief dog, get a Justice Byron R. White Bobblehead, and hear Professor Ross Davies say: “It would be so cool if a [Supreme Court] justice sued the Green Bag.”

I am grateful to LLAM for giving me the opportunity to attend the 2019 AALL conference and for being my local community of support.

Justice Byron R. White Bobblehead

Justice Byron R. White Bobblehead

Percy, the stress-relief dog

Percy, the stress-relief dog

CONELL Recap

By Julia Roberts, 2019 CONELL Attendee, Thurgood Marshall State Law Library

Some of our newer LLAM members were able to attend the 50th annual Conference of Newer Law Librarians (CONELL), which was held July 13th as part of AALL’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.

The morning session included a hot breakfast and an opportunity to hear AALL President Femi Cadmus and newly elected Executive Board members share their advice about law librarianship. It was an easygoing, open atmosphere, with conversation ranging from tips on dealing with imposter syndrome to guidance on how to cultivate leadership skills in non-supervisory roles.

A brief speed networking session allowed attendees to learn more about each other and identify connections and friendly faces for the rest of the conference. A “Marketplace” session provided the opportunity to speak with representatives from Special Interest Sections and interest groups and learn about the work they do. Attendees were highly encouraged to join and participate.

After sharing lunch, attendees boarded tour buses for a relaxing and informative afternoon tour of the city, complete with a stop at the Lincoln Memorial.

CONELL is a great way to meet law librarians from all over the country who are experiencing many of the same challenges and uncertainties as they begin their careers in the field.

LLAM Dine Around – Washington, D.C.

LLAM members and guests gathered at Espita Mezcaleria on Saturday, July 13th for our annual dine around. This year’s AALL Annual Meeting & Conference got off to a great start with good food and fun conversation.

We had a great turnout this year, with members and guests enjoying Oaxacan cuisine. Delicious varieties of tacos, featuring crispy confit chicken, roasted vegetables, and seared catch of the day, were table favorites. We look forward to seeing everyone at next year’s dine around in New Orleans!

LLAM Dine Around-2019-Espita

2019 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference

The 112th AALL Annual Meeting & Conference is around the corner, and we hope to see many LLAM members there. This year’s conference is at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The conference runs from July 13th to July 16th.

Join us for the LLAM Dine Around on Saturday, July 13th, at 7:00pm at Espita Mezcaleria! Space is limited, so please RSVP to Chi Song (chi.song@mdcourts.gov / 410-260-1441).

If you find yourself wandering the Exhibit Hall, take a moment to check out LLAM’s display board in the Activities Area.

Also, check out these LLAM Member Programs.

LLAM Display Board

LLAM Display Board – Exhibit Hall, 2019 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference

LLAM Dine Around

Join us for the LLAM Dine Around during the 2019 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference!

Date & Time: Saturday, July 13th at 7:00 p.m.

Location: Espita Mezcaleria, 1250 9th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20001

Menu: The restaurant’s menu is available online.

Directions: The restaurant is a short walk from the Convention Center. Exit the Convention Center onto 9th Street. The restaurant is located across the street, at the corner of 9th St NW and N St NW.

RSVP: Space is limited. Please RSVP to Chi Song (chi.song@mdcourts.gov).

Friends and family of LLAM members are welcome to join us.

Congratulations to our 2019 LLAM Grant Recipients!

Jenna Wolf and Jennifer Elisa Chapman are the recipients of LLAM’s Grants to attend the 2019 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference in Washington, D.C.

Jenna is a part-time MLIS student in the University of Kentucky’s online MLIS program and an employee at the Montgomery County Circuit Court Law Library. She will start her last semester this summer and hopes to have her degree conferred in September.

Jennifer is a legal research fellow at University of Maryland, Carey School of Law’s Thurgood Marshall Law Library and a member of AALL and LLAM. This fall, she will be an MLIS student at the University of Maryland, College Park, College of Information Studies.

Please join us in congratulating Jenna and Jennifer on their grants!