AALL Spectrum Blog


The AALL Spectrum® Blog is published by the American Association of Law Libraries. Submissions from AALL members and other members of the legal community are highly encouraged. Opinions and editorial views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of AALL. AALL does not assume any responsibility for statements advanced by contributors. The previous Spectrum Blog was located at aallspectrum.wordpress.com.
7/18/2013 7:50:25 PM

The New Normal and Your Library

The "Social Media and Your Library: Strategies to Lead the Way" session with Kathleen Brown, Steven Lastres and Jennifer Murray was very interesting discussion regarding how to strategically utilize social media in a law library environment. I was particularly interested in the session because I recently completed a marketing plan project for my Law Library Administration class. 

So, what does the "new normal" mean? It means that the web-based and mobile technologies such as Twitter, LinkedIn and blogging have changed how we communicate with each other. Communication has turned, due to the influence of social media, into an interactive dialogue in which all may participate in real-time.  The panelists assert that law librarians must use social media to market the law library's value to the community it serves. I believe it was Steven Lastres who said, "We must embed ourselves or perish." 

However, it most be noted that often an organization's leaders do not understand how social media can add value and will throw up barriers that must be overcome. Thus, it is up the library administration to overcome those barriers or as stated by participant, Stacy Posillico from Touro Law, "Make a good pitch!" 

I found the session to be very interesting and thought-provoking. Additionally, I was happy to learn that my marketing ideas were not as completely off-base as I feared they might be. But the most important takeaway for me was something Steven Lastres said about about our role as librarians - "Our job is to be ahead of the curb."

Posted By Kim Castellano at 7/18/2013 7:50:25 PM  0 Comments
7/18/2013 2:12:57 PM

Pizza, Pure Bliss, Sauce...Crust...Cheese, Heaven on a Plate, Satisfaction

In Pulitzer-winning journalist Jesse Katz's session titled "Releasing Your Inner Writer" I was reminded that I may grossly overestimate my ability to be understood.  I hope I am not alone.

I've not figured out how it started but it may have begun in law school where the IRAC method of writing was drilled into me for three years.  I believe I spent many years after law school writing that way; here is the Issue, here is the Rule, here is the Analysis, here is the Conclusion.

There's nothing wrong with this method, but Jesse reminds us to start with what is important and then what is less important, to what is least important.  So, this made me wonder, do we start with the conclusion instead of the issue?  I guess it depends.

We should definitely know what the point is, know our audience, and skip the corporate acronyms and jargon.

During the session we had the opportunity to write a story about our favorite food and then turn it into a poem.  I've shared my poem, a cinquaine, above in the title. 

We learned to set aside "weak" verbs for more "muscular verbs."  Jesse told us to circle all the "to be" verbs in our story and consider restructuring those sentences by removing those "to be" verbs.  He also suggested to remove adverbs and prepositions.

At the end, Jesse asked us to turn our cinquaine into a strong sentence....here's mine:

Sauce, crust and cheese dance on my tonque to create the perfect bite of pizza.

Posted By Sonal Pandya at 7/18/2013 2:12:57 PM  0 Comments
7/18/2013 1:21:13 PM

Are your Summer Associates Looking Bored During Orientation?

Steve Hughes' session titled, "Own the Room: Presentations That Captivate and Win Over Any Audience" was my favorite session at AALL 2013.

You'll likely agree that many presentations, PowerPoint or otherwise, don't capture the audience's attention nearly as much as one would like.  Steve had a useful method to get past this audience apathy.  I'm going to highlight the things I found most useful below:

*  Ask questions, if you get no answer, answer your own question and repeat. 90% of the time, the audience will join with their own questions.

*  Don't start with your name and title, start with statistics or a story first to gain attention.

*   Remember that the audience is always thinking, "How does this apply to me?"

*  Human attention span is at its max only 6-8 minutes.

*  Eye contact is important. Lock eyes with one person as you deliver one thought, for the next thought move to another person in the audience. If doing this towards the back of the room, focus on one person because to the audience it looks like you are looking at many people from that distance.

*  Remember what it's like to be a novice.

*  Keep the spotlight on the audience.

*  Steve says to use the SPARQ method:

  • S-Surprising Statistics
  • P-Pictures or Video
  • A-Anecdote
  • R-Real-life example
  • Q-Question/Quote
*  To create a good PowerPoint, consider the following factors:
  • One idea per slide
  • Visual (pictures trump words)
  • Slide Variety (bullets, charts, pictures)
  • The 4x4 Principle-4 bullets 4 words per slide
  • Create a dialogue

*  Remember to open big, have a good PowerPoint presentation if using one, make it interactive and be confident.

Posted By Sonal Pandya at 7/18/2013 1:21:13 PM  0 Comments