NYS Dept. of Law Library
Albany, NY 12224
I was very fortunate to be awarded a grant to
attend the July 19-20th "Intermediate Cataloging
for Law Libraries" workshop held in Orlando,
Florida. Although I was not able to attend the
full AALL Conference, nevertheless I gained a
lot of valuable information and had time for some
fun as well during my short 2 day stay!
The first workshop presentation on ‘Authority
Control’ featured in-depth
discussions/explanations of the importance of
establishing & maintaining an ‘Authority
Control’ file; comparisons of a ‘one
time authority batch processing’ versus ongoing
(possibly yearly) authority control; 3rd party
‘authority control’ vendors and OCLC
Mars. The information plus the group problem solving
exercises provided an excellent foundation that
was especially helpful to our library as we have
never created an ‘authority file’ for
The ‘Cataloging Workflows’ session offered
an abundance of very useful information. The portion
of the presentation dealing with ways to combine
& streamline various cataloging/acquisition
functions was most helpful as our library is currently
in the process of reviewing the functions of the
acquisitions & cataloging staff in preparation
of our first online system installation.
On Thursday evening (July 18th), I took my first
ever Airboat ride. I took an evening cruise
down the St. John’s River that was exhilarating.
The sun was just beginning to set as we toured
the "Tosohatchee Preserve," providing
spectacular views. And yes, I did see several
alligators– our boat actually glided over
a few as well! The river is teeming with blue
herons, cranes and even cattle from the nearby
farms. What an exciting adventure!
On Saturday afternoon, I also had an opportunity
to take a ‘Scenic Boat Tour’ of 3 beautiful
lakes joined by a series of canals in the Winter
Park area. The enormous cypress trees adorned
with Spanish moss that we encountered crossing
the canals were just sensational as were the crape
myrtle and hibiscus bushes.
I can honestly say that I had a wonderful, whirlwind
time and I enjoyed my Florida experience enormously!
My First AALL Meeting
by SaraJean Petite
I attended my first AALL meeting in Orlando,
Florida from July 19 to 24, 2002. This was largely
made possible by a grant from AALL that paid
for my registration. I would like to thank the
AALL Grants Committee and share my experience.
On Friday and Saturday, I attended the workshop,
Intermediate Cataloging for Law Librarians.
The speakers discussed authority control, cataloging
Internet resources, and cataloging workflow.
On Saturday after the workshop, I was able to
attend the last part of the Innovative Law Users
Group meeting. Barbara Plante told the group
about her library’s experience as a beta
test site for Millennium Cataloging.
Sunday after visiting the exhibit hall (and
learning about some of Lexis’s new features),
I went to the OBS-SIS Research Roundtable where
research and writing for publication was discussed.
At the roundtable, I met Diana Jaque, who compiles
book reviews for Law Library Journal. In the
afternoon, I attended a program on training
non-law librarians to use government information
and a program on legal information services
for young adults. In the evening, I went to
the Opening Reception at Sea World and enjoyed
a Shamu show with a stadium full of law librarians.
Monday, after grabbing breakfast at the exhibit
hall, I attended the Plenary session, "Generations
at Work," followed immediately by the Association
Annual Awards Ceremony, the Association Luncheon,
the program "Connecting with Your audience,"
and the program "New Connections in Copyright
Law: The right of public display – a solution
to the ‘RAM copy’ doctrine?"
It was interesting to go from the practical
program about how to be a good speaker to the
program about a fine detail of copyright law.
After a few hours’ rest, I went the West
Customer Appreciation Event at the Hard Rock
Café, where I learned that some of my
colleagues have amazing endurance on the dance
floor. The DJ ended up making the announcement
that the party was over, and those of us on
the dance floor would have to leave.
Tuesday at the ORALL/MichALL Luncheon, I finally
got to meet members from other libraries and
put faces with the names I’d been reading
in the newsletters and listserv messages. In
the afternoon, I attended the programs "Restructuring
the Documents Department to Accommodate Electronic
Digitization Projects" and "The Catalog
vs. the Home Page? Best Practices in Connecting
to Online Resources." One of the ideas
presented at the "Catalog vs. the Home
Page" program was using the catalog to
generate dynamic lists for the home page. Upon
returning to work, I started to create a list
of faculty members at CWRU with hypertext links
to each professor’s publications in the
Ironically enough, the final program I attended
was Mary Ellen Bates’ presentation on information
overload, where I learned some things that now
save me 45 minutes to an hour every morning.
Following Ms. Bates’ program, I hurried
to the room where the presentation on preservation
was taking place to get a handout, then rushed
to the hotel to meet the airport shuttle.
Once again, I would like to thank the AALL Grants
Committee for this wonderful opportunity.
Reference/Electronic Services Librarian
O’Quinn Law Library
University of Houston
It was to my great satisfaction that I received
a grant from AALL to attend the 2002 Annual Meeting
in Orlando, Florida, this year. My enthusiasm
to attend the conference stemmed from the fact
that I was about to enter a new career in a field
that is filled with constant changes and interesting
developments. An additional challenge to me was
the fact that my new position as Reference/Electronic
Services Librarian at the University of Houston
O’Quinn Law Library, which I was to start
less than one month following the Annual Meeting,
would require that I be proficient at researching
topics in the area of intellectual property law.
Although I had taken a course in Computers, Cyberspace
& Policy in law school and had written an
article on UCITA in 2001, I had no experience
doing patent and trademark research. Therefore,
it seemed that these skills would have to be learned
on the job.
Of course, AALL did not let me down. There were
many fascinating lectures on vendor relations,
licensing, and copyright issues, which were of
particular interest to me because my new job would
require that I act as liaison with vendors, review
vendor contracts, and resolve any disputes over
alleged copyright violations. However, most interesting
to me were the discussions between R. Anthony
Reese, Assistant Professor of Law at the University
of Texas, and Marybeth Peters, Register of Copyrights,
in the lecture entitled "New Connections
in Copyright Law: The Right of Public Display—A
Solution to the ‘RAM copy’ Doctrine?"
This talk featured a professional debate about
how the courts and the U.S. Copyright Office treat
digital media in light of the Copyright Act and
the DMCA, the effects of those interpretations,
and thoughts on how they might alternatively rule.
For those of you who may have missed this talk,
it would be well worth your while to obtain a
copy through AALL.
Finally, the meeting that had the most significant
impact on me occurred at 5:30pm Tuesday evening.
Yes, it was the Business Meeting of the Intellectual
Property Law Librarians. The participants at that
meeting were incredibly kind to me, as well as
generous with their advice and their knowledge.
They recommended listservs that I should I join,
directories I should consult, and people I should
contact. It was the best half-hour I spent in
all my time in Orlando!
Finally, I would like to thank the membership
of AALL and the AALL Grants Committee for awarding
me my grant. I had a great time—hope to see
everyone next year!
University of Southern California Barnett Info.Tech.
Center & Call Law Library
At my first few AALL meetings, I had that deer-in-the-headlights
look as I wandered from program to program, not
quite sure where to go or what to see next. This
year marked my third annual meeting and I was
determined to attend a wider variety of programs
and events, getting the most out of the conference.
The grant I was awarded by AALL made this possible.
Thank you, AALL!
Here are my top highlights and hints from this
year’s Annual Meeting in Orlando:
Participate in roundtables. Roundtables, such
as the OBS/TS-SIS research and writing roundtable,
are a great way to meet other librarians in a
casual setting. If you keep running into the same
librarians over and over, that could be a sign
of your mutual interests! The OBS/TS-SIS research
and writing roundtable is a discussion of writing
opportunities for tech services folks -- a must
for any librarian who loves to write, or wants
to improve their writing skills. I find this to
be the most valuable roundtable for my interests.
Engage yourself in programs, sit up front, ask
questions. I admit it. My attention span is short
and I am easily distracted in crowded places.
Sitting up front keeps me engaged in the program
and I get more out of it. Besides, the overheads
are easier to read! The true meat of the annual
meeting is in the large sessions and this year
was no exception. My two favorite programs this
year were "Technical and Public Services
Connections: Making the Most of Your Online Catalog"
and "How to Avoid ‘Search Reopened’:
Hire the Right Technical Services Candidate the
First Time Around." The latter program was
light and entertaining while explaining the do’s
and don’ts of hiring.
Volunteer. For the last two years, I have staffed
my chapter’s table in the Activities Area.
This is a great way to help your local chapter
or SIS. As a newer law librarian, it has been
important for me to meet other librarians, volunteering
has made this task much easier.
Attend committee meetings. This year I wanted
to gain greater insight into the annual meeting
programs proposed by the various SIS’s. On
a whim, I attended the open meeting of the OBS/TS-SIS
Education Committee and came away with a better
understanding of how to write an effective program
proposal. This information will improve any future
program proposals I draft. Most committee meetings
are open, but double check in the annual meeting
Visit the exhibit hall. One of the best secrets
is to visit the exhibit hall at a time other than
an exhibit break. Without throngs of people, vendors
have more time to showcase their products and
discuss upcoming releases. Each year, I find myself
spending more and more time chatting with vendors
in the exhibit hall. This year, I found several
new products and publications to bring back to
Accept the fact that you cannot see everything
or attend every program. Pick your battles and
consider purchasing an audio tape of any programs
you miss. And finally...take time to have fun
and meet your colleagues!