Must-Have Programming

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The Annual Meeting Program Committee has compiled the following list of "must-have" program topics (see FAQ) for the 2016 Annual Meeting and Conference – timely topics that AALL members have identified as being vital to their professional education.  Peruse the list – Perhaps one of the topics is exactly what your library has been tackling this year.  Perhaps you know the perfect presenter.  Perhaps a working group within your SIS has been brainstorming about the topic already.  Propose a program!  (And of course, if you are thinking about proposing a completely different program – go for it!)  We hope these topics pique your interest for Chicago – we can’t wait to see your proposals!

Summary (see detailed view below for suggestions):

The Business of Law  Marketing, Communication, & Advocacy 
Supporting the organization's mission; the economics of law, key drivers, trends, profitability, value, funding Promoting library services and resources, needs assessment, and demonstrating value to the organization 
 • Innovation  • Marketing the librarian skill set and services
 • The disrupted workplace  • Collaboration
 • Pro bono  • Capturing institutional knowledge
 • Teaching legal technology  • "And justice for all"
 • Negotiation  • Competitive intelligence
Data & Content Management  Research
Organizing, collecting, preserving, presenting information and resources Research tools, skills, efficiencies, methods, results
 • Big data and analytics  • Research topic deep dive
 • Digital repositories  • How to create/prepare/present research training programs for end-users
 • Knowledge management  • Identifying and planning for future trends and/or current hot topic affecting research
 • Information security  • Best practices in research
 • Innovation  • Using and understanding big data/data mining/empirical research for legal research
Leadership, Administration, & Career Development  Education & Training 
Leading and managing staff, services, and resources as part of the organization's business; defining and achieving career goals Providing, evaluating, and measuring learning; defining competencies
 • Personal development  • Linking law student learning with law firm research
 • Fostering a positive culture  • Cool Tools Café
 • Career planning/development  • Using multimedia to complement and enhance instruction
 • Innovation  • What to expect when you're expected to do a training
 • Teamwork  • Serving all your constituents, from the “C” suite to the dean’s suite and beyond

Suggested focus areas for each topic:

The Business of Law
  • Innovation
    • Law firms investing in and adopting IBM Watson technology. Access to justice avatars, the avatar at the reference desk. Pubic kiosks for legal advice, “prevent law” clinics for the underserved, self-help portals and apps for law firm clients. Make an app for your job – then give yourself a promotion. Wearable technology in legal practice. The convergence of law firms as publishers and publishers as legal advisors. New roles for information professionals. Predictive analytics in the business and practice of law. Lean six sigma teams. The social life of legal research. 
  • The disrupted workplace
    • How the convergence of mobility, the financial crisis, work-life balance and diversity initiatives are all changing the legal workplace. Workplace of the future. New skills for the new workplace; the new rules for delivering and measuring value. Proactive reengineering. Information as a legal service. Outsourced and offshored staff; hiring a consultant. Virtual teams. The end of org charts – redefining workflows. Bookless libraries. Space planning as a knowledge management strategy. Is there a mega-firm in your future? How do you know if your firm/institution is in trouble? Management by predictive analytics.
  • Pro bono
    • Meeting the need for legal services; the state of pro bono efforts. Pro bono partnerships with law firms/law schools. Increasing access to justice: commissions and initiatives. Librarians in the “civil Gideon” debate. Helping self-represented litigants through the A2J maze. Creating digital, online and mobile apps for A2J.
  • Teaching legal technology
    • Training technologically competent lawyers. Following up on the KIA legal technology audit –where are the skill gaps, who fills them? The beginning of self-service lawyers; why technology competence is so important. Important technology skills for modern legal practice (from style sheets to . . .).
  • Negotiation
    • Negotiation skills for the next-century librarian. The new art and science of negotiation. Data-driven, skills-based negotiation. The brightest stars in the negotiation constellation.
Marketing, Communication, & Advocacy
  • Marketing the librarian skill set and services
    • Applying standard librarian skills and services to decision-making and other processes outside library walls. Free and low cost resources for creating stunning data visualizations. Using required orientation sessions to effectively communicate what we can do for our users. Communicating the library’s value upward through metrics. Leveraging the library website. Developing inter-departmental communication and collaborative projects with practice groups or faculty. Branding effectively by evaluating the target audience, the story the library wants to tell. Getting on the agenda in your workplace. Delivering engaging, excellent presentations. Communicating your best work to patrons and stakeholders. Examples of outreach successes and failures.
  • Collaboration
    • Identifying opportunities for collaboration in different contexts and unique settings. Identifying challenges, potential outcomes and benefits of interdepartmental or inter-organizational collaboration. Collaborating outside of the library with other units, departments, or organizations to meet certain goals. How librarian skills and the services they provide can benefit practice groups, other departments, other organizations. Examples of collaboration successes and failures and what was learned.
  • Capturing institutional knowledge
    • How librarians identify pockets of knowledge, determine the best way to preserve that knowledge and make it more widely available, and then use that preservation/dissemination capability to promote the library within the organization. Capturing institutional knowledge as a marketing tool. Processes/procedures to capture topic-specific knowledge of soon-to-be-retirees (e.g., someone's super-secret contact list, a collection of regulatory opinions existing solely in 20 binders hiding in someone's office) – and make it available to the department. Knowledge management.
  • “And justice for all”
    • Developing an outreach plan on programs available to people who could benefit from them. Putting together an equal justice program. Collaborating with law schools, referral services and other partners to improve representation for people of modest means. Examples of successes and failures on developing and promoting access to justice programs.
  • Competitive intelligence
    • Using librarian skills and technology to compile, analyze and form data into a coherent report on competitors, targets, or industries to facilitate success in increasing the firm’s business. How to write and put together a company dossier. The technical aspects of analyzing and compiling a report. The good, the bad, and the ugly in competitive intelligence research or reporting. Using data visualization to leverage the information within a report. How to identify industry information and include it in a report. Examples of collaboration successes and failures of CI projects.
Data & Content Management
  • Big data and analytics
    • Intro program to educate librarians about this topic and impact to the profession. Databrarians. Usage stats to improve and evaluate electronic resources. New big data research tools impacting legal research. Data visualization.
  • Digital repositories
    • Best practices in managing DR. What is DRM and how does it impact DR? Taxonomies and their relevance to DR. Next Gen DRs and ILSs. What part do vendors play in DR and big data? Is print still relevant in the age of DR?
  • Knowledge management
    • How to successfully start up a KM program. Legal project management. Legal process improvement. Managing intranets on SharePoint. Creating effective dashboards on SharePoint. Enterprise and federated searching. Information architecture. What's new in content aggregation? Metadata, taxonomies, social tagging. Engaging knowledge generators.
  • Information security
    • What is information security and why should librarians care? New models of collaboration with IT. Addressing privacy concerns and ethics screens. Ethical wall software. Collaborating with conflicts and intake. As they integrate external content on their organizations intranets, are librarians the weak link to being hacked? 
  • Innovation
    • Emerging technologies in legal impacting content management. Impact of artificial intelligence (e.g., ROSS Intelligence Inc., a legal research tool powered by IBM’s Watson technology). Innovation tournament. BIBFRAME.
  • Research topic deep dive
    • Intermediate to advanced level programs on specific types of research (e.g., a variety of IP law research, foreign/international law, understanding the litigation process). Discussion of best tools, sources, techniques, types of questions asked and how to answer them.
  • How to create/prepare research training programs for end-users
    • Innovative tools, technologies, and techniques – for different audiences from summer associate, new hire 1st years, to partners and paralegals or secretaries. Practice-ready programs to 3-minute videos to multi-session, and bridge-the-gap type programs. How to identify and use real practice situation questions. Budget options and cost effective tools. 
  • Identifying future trends and/or current hot topic affecting research
    • How current events and technology affect what we research, how we do the research, how we analyze and present the findings, and inform our end-users of issues. Our role in terms of IBM’s Watson and other collaborative innovation platforms. The right to be forgotten concept in the EU; public records and privacy issues. Information silos as information aggregators disappear. Data quality issues; new legislation. Outsourcing of library research services. PACER dropping older appellate dockets and electronic case files problems. Clients’ unwillingness to pay.
  • Best practices in research
    • What skills are needed by library staff; how can they be taught? What are the soft and hard skills for a successful reference librarian and how do we recruit, train, and retain them? How do we keep up-to-date? Designing and using effective search templates in your organization. How to manage the research function. Privacy concerns when searching public records/medical records. Using archives and consortia. Post processing and presenting research results. Using analyst tools such as BizInt Smart Charts. Research on a budget. Embedded librarianship. Managing an outsourcing situation.
  • Using and understanding big data/data mining/empirical research for legal research
    • Where to get data sets; how they’re collected and how collection techniques inform usage. Using commercial sources. Understanding the data, when and how to use it in research, and how to present it. Matching your project to the right kind of data. Specific use of big data in law (e.g., supporting professors research; litigation strategy; pricing legal services; marketing, business development and competitive intelligence). Empirical research.
Leadership, Administration, & Career Development
  • Personal development
    • Improving soft skills. Practicing mindfulness. Improving your public speaking and presentation skills. Selling yourself – developing your “elevator pitch.” Time management skills. Finding your own management style.
  • Fostering a positive culture
    • How to do a culture climate survey. Developing staff with different skill sets. Improving communication. Emotional intelligence. How to say “no” – either for yourself or for the library.
  • Career planning/development
    • Preparing for retirement (both personally and for the library). Succession planning (both as an employee and as a manager). Preserving institutional knowledge. How to be a good mentor. How to get the most from your mentor. Managing upward.
  • Innovation
    • Strategic planning; doing more with less – creating innovative services with fewer resources. Shared services and outsourcing programs. Sun-setting a dated service to make way for innovation. Thoughtful downsizing. Learning from failure.
  • Teamwork
    • Creating positive team dynamics. Building consensus. Facilitating communication. Inter-departmental partnerships.
Education & Training
  • Linking law student learning with law firm research
    • Examining the disconnect between how law firm research works and the research skills law schools are teaching. Designing a modern legal research course to deliver a better understanding of the "business of legal practice" and greater technology skills. Designing a research training curriculum in the law firm setting, offering quick research training courses on a regular basis – beyond the library orientation.
  • Cool Tools Café 
    • Attendees learn in small groups about emerging or existing technologies from librarians who have implemented these technologies in their libraries. Tools for legal research, collaboration, marketing services, instruction, productivity, citation, presentation, and website functionality.
  • Using multimedia to complement and enhance instruction
    • “How to" on creating instructional videos (Tegrity, YouTube, eduCanon, etc.) for flipped classrooms, distance learning, etc. How to effectively storyboard a training video.
  • What to expect when you're expected to do a training
    • Panel of all types of libraries. Designing and presenting a successful training session that incorporates not only presentation skills but also event planning, marketing, and technology skills. 
  • Serving all your constituents, from the “C” suite to the dean’s suite and beyond
    • A discussion of how librarians from all library types serve constituents beyond the traditional faculty, law firm associates, court members and the public. Are your constituents fully aware of all the services your library provides? Compare and contrast services other law libraries provide. Appraise new techniques to strengthen your library advocacy and communication.