ARCHIVED: From the Desk of Sarah Holterhoff - 5/1/2006

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Monday, May 1, 2006

On behalf of the 2007 Annual Meeting Program Committee, It is our pleasure to announce the theme for the 2007 New Orleans meeting:

Rise to the Challenge!

For the past one hundred years, members of the American Association of Law Libraries have been gathering annually to share their ideas and experiences and to learn from their colleagues. The AALL Annual Meeting and Conference is the premier educational and networking event for the law library community. Looking ahead to 2007, we are asking you to Rise to the Challenge. This theme reflects the spirit that enabled the people of our host city of New Orleans to survive a disastrous storm and its aftermath and to begin the process of rebuilding for a brighter future. Their example inspires us individually and collectively. As an association at the start of our second century, AALL's reliance on the energy and creativity of its members has never been more important. As professionals facilitating access to legal information, we need to be flexible and resourceful in an age of rapidly changing technology.

Having the capacity and motivation to rise to the challenge in our work lives is part of being a professional. Rising implies not just reacting to events or changed circumstances. It means looking ahead, anticipating new developments, and taking the lead in areas where we are the real experts. Standing up and making ourselves heard is at the heart of rising to the challenge. For many AALL members, an important part of this proactive approach is their participation in educational programs at the AALL annual meeting- as a proposer, coordinator, moderator, speaker, or program attendee.

The challenges facing our patrons, our employers, and individual law librarians are increasingly complex. Our roles, jobs, and institutions are being scrutinized in the face of declining budgets and by critics with incomplete information. Responding effectively to these challenges requires us to stay current in a variety of areas, including legal information retrieval, delivery techniques, customer service, information policy, and changes in the law. We also need to find ways to raise our visibility and communicate our value to significant decision makers in the legal profession. To help law librarians address these issues, we encourage AALL chapters, special interest sections, committees, caucuses, and individual members to start by envisioning programs to be presented at the 2007 annual meeting.

If you have an idea in mind for a relevant and substantive program, use the resources provided in the Program Planner's Handbook to develop that idea into a proposal to be submitted to the Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC) 2007 by the August 15, 2006 deadline. Included in the Handbook are suggestions for creative formats, pointers for identifying appropriate and compelling speakers, and tips for writing well-developed proposals. All program and workshop proposals will be submitted online, through the 2007 Program & Workshop Proposal Collection site, where you can develop your proposal(s) in your own virtual workspace, save your work as you go, and even share it with colleagues.

New Orleans is an especially appropriate location for AALL's 100th annual meeting. Ongoing efforts to rebuild the city, in the face of overwhelming obstacles and uncertainties, provide us with stirring examples of what a community can accomplish with cooperation and determination. As AALL members gather there in July 2007, we will arrive ready to learn about issues confronting our profession. If all goes well, we will leave for home at the end of the meeting with fresh ideas and renewed energy, prepared to rise to the challenge!


Sarah (Sally) Holterhoff
AALL Vice-President/President-Elect