The 2000 AALL Annual Meeting in Philadelphia saw the introduction of a new Academic SIS program: the Convocation for Newer Academic Law Libraries, or CONALL. The purpose of the program was to make academia a little less mysterious to newcomers to the profession, and at the same time encourage them to participate in Section activities. Almost 70 people attended, including approximately 40 self-identified newer librarians. The program succeeded in both its goals.
The largest portion of the program was a skit titled "Alice in LawLibraryLand." Authored primarily by Grace Mills and Rhea Ballard-Thrower, this production followed Alice through her first AALL Annual Meeting. Assisted by the White Rabbit, Alice met a variety of characters who helped answer her questions about AALL, law libraries, law schools, and universities. Among the more memorable characters were Dean Queen and the Tweedles (so referred to because neither thespian wished to be Tweedle-DUM, although both were willing to be "Dude"). The full cast list included:
Alice: Ruth Hill
White Rabbit: Ed Edmonds
Dean Queen: Tory Trotta
Professor with Chair: Pam Deemer
Visiting Professor Ben Franklin: Mike Chiorazzi
The Tweedles: Ted Potter and Kumar Percy
Librarian 1: Beth Smith
Librarian 2: Rosalie Sanderson
Assistant Dean: Shaun Esposito
Associate Dean: Marguerite Most
Moderator: Barbara Bintliff
Videotaper: Suzanne Thorpe
Authors: Grace Mills and Rhea Ballard-Thrower, with the assistance of Barbara Bintliff
Following the skit, the leadership of the SIS was introduced and the floor was opened to questions. A lively session followed, with questions from the newer librarians ranging from "can I call a law faculty member by his/her first name?" to "what can I, as a new librarian, offer to a committee" to "does it matter what kind of article I publish and in which journal it appears?" Skit participants and audience members joined together to answer questions.
The final portion of the program was the introduction of the editors of the major law librarianship publications. Those in attendance included:
Peter Beck, AALL Spectrum
Cindy Chick, LLRX
Mike Chiorazzi, Legal Reference Services Quarterly
Mark Estes, Trends in Law Library Management and Technology
Mary Hotchkiss, Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing
Frank Houdek, Law Library Journal
Nina Wendt, Legal Information Alert
Each editor spoke briefly about the nature and purpose of his or her publication, types of articles accepted, audience, etc., and then attendees were allowed to ask questions. The time allotted for the program ended before the questions did, and informal discussions continued long after the program was over.
It is important to note that every member of the CONALL Committee was an active contributor to the development of the program and its production. Each Committee member deserves thanks from the SIS for a highly successful program.
Submitted by the CONALL Committee,
Barbara Bintliff, Chair