We work in libraries that were created under a very different set of circumstances than exist today. It is vital that we understand the changes in this structure and their impact on the people, processes, and services involved. Can members of the staff really be "recycled" or retrained to do entirely new jobs; is staff "fungible;" are WE capable of handling such extensive retraining. As an administrator bringing in the changes or a staff member living with the changes, you will be better prepared to survive if you understand what is going on, how it affects you personally and professionally, and how you can work it to your advantage.
ALL-SIS is sponsoring an advanced level program for our annual meeting called "Upside Down and Inside Out: Organizational Change in Law Libraries," co-coordinated by Sara Robbins, Law Librarian and Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School and Mary Jane Kelsey, Associate Director for Technical Services, Lillian Goldman Library, Yale Law School. This program will address some of the issues we share as we incorporate new technology, retrain staff and reorganize our libraries.
Intended learning outcomes:
The program, moderated by Mary Jane Kelsey, will be a dynamic interchange between Wendy Battles, an Associate with Good Work Associates, Louise Lantzy, Director of the Law Library and Associate Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law, Herbert Cihak, Director of the Law Library/Associate Professor of Law, University of Kentucky College of Law, and Roberta (Bobbie) Studwell, Associate Dean of Library and Information Services & Associate Professor of Law, Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
Ms. Battles received her Master's degree in Community Psychology from the University of New Haven with an emphasis in program development and evaluation. She has several years of experience in the nonprofit sector specializing in mentoring, diversity training, strategic planning and team building. Good Work Associates, New Haven and San Francisco, is a consulting firm whose goal is to create more humanistic organizations by helping people understand and overcome obstacles to group effectiveness.
The purpose of this program, sponsored by the Committee on Diversity, is to offer newer and mid-career AALL members guidance on how to plan a successful, satisfying and secure career in law librarianship. The panel of speakers, who come from a variety of law library environments and who all have productive and energizing careers, will offer insights on the importance of setting clearly defined, effective strategies to achieve these goals. A critical element of the program will be discussion by each speaker on how to deal with the many types of "glass ceilings" pervasive in the law library profession as well as in the legal and business worlds.
The speakers, all outstanding librarians as well as leaders in the profession, include Ruth Bridges, a corporate librarian at Freddie Mac, whose past professional experience includes positions in the private and academic environments; Jonathan Thomas, the Collection Development Librarian at Boston College Law School Library, who will provide guidance from the perspective of a law librarian who has built a distinct and marketable set of competencies by pursuing a career that offered training in technical services, public services, and administration. Malinda Allison, who after holding professional positions in government, academic and corporate libraries, moved into the law firm environment where she has a unique as well as satisfying and challenging position as her firm's Environmental Information Specialist. and Joan Howland, Professor of Law and Director of Information and Technology at the University of Minnesota Law School, who will discuss the relevance of strategically planning all aspects of a career path including professional development activities and continuing education and the importance of developing oneself into a "value-added librarian."
The formal presentations will be followed by a question and answer period during which the speakers will respond to career strategy queries from the audience.
The ongoing introduction of library technology requires library patrons to use increasingly sophisticated skills to access legal information. Participants will hear a discussion about whether automation hinders some law library users, especially older, low income, or infrequent patrons. Panels will also discuss whether technology will create barriers between wealthy, technologically sophisticated libraries and less technologically sophisticated, and presumably, smaller and poorer libraries. Panel members will also consider whether, on the other hand, technology will act to bridge barriers. They will discuss how technology and resource sharing can lessen the gap between the information rich and the information poor.
Dr. Judith Dixon, Willem Scholten, and Deana J. Harragarra Waters are featured speakers on this panel. It is hoped that this discussion will increase sensitivity to the actual and perceived technological barriers patrons face, as well as provide ways to help alleviate these barriers, including practical ways to help "level the playing field" between the information rich and the information poor.
As librarians, we find ourselves faced with various opportunities and/or obligations requiring effective speaking skills. Whether through informal discussions, formal teaching opportunities, reports to senior administrators, fundraising efforts or even AALL programs, we all need to know how to best convey the ideas, information or messages that we want to share with others. In addition, the development of new technologies has both expanded our opportunities and made our efforts more complex.
A certified public speaking trainer will share her knowledge and skills to help us improve the quality and effectiveness of our teaching and speaking opportunities.
Speaker: Jo Robbins, Jo Robbins Associates