Information for Program Speakers


In response to continued concerns related to COVID-19, the AALL Executive Board made the very difficult decision to cancel the in-person AALL Annual Meeting & Conference scheduled for this July in New Orleans.

The Executive Board and AALL staff are working with AALL committees, juries, and other entities—including New Orleans program coordinators and speakers—to offer a virtual conference in July. Stay tuned—detailed information will be provided to program coordinators and speakers. Contact AALL’s education and programs manager, Heidi Letzmann, with questions.

We Couldn’t Do This Without You

Thank you for agreeing to speak at the American Association of Law Libraries 113th Annual Meeting & Conference in New Orleans, July 11-14, 2020. We welcome your expertise and want to make your participation in the Annual Meeting & Conference successful. Here you’ll find important information that will assist you in preparing and delivering your presentation. Read on to learn about the audience you will be addressing, what to expect, and what we expect of conference speakers. The Annual Meeting Program Committee thanks you for participating in the Annual Meeting & Conference. Do not hesitate to contact the AMPC chair or any AMPC member, AALL staff, or your program coordinator with any issues or concerns. Your own successful experience will translate directly into a successful experience for our attendees.

We’re Here to Help


The Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC) is responsible for the educational programming at the AALL Annual Meeting & Conference. AMPC members work throughout the year to guarantee quality and successful educational programs and to set the tone for the Annual Meeting’s programming. They advise AALL members in the development of educational program proposals, select the programs for presentation at the Annual Meeting, and serve as liaisons to coordinators of accepted programs and preconference workshops. They are also available to speakers if there are problems, concerns, or issues that need to be resolved. AMPC members come from a variety of backgrounds, representing the various constituencies of AALL, and work as a team to ensure that the educational programming as a whole meets the needs of the membership. Please contact any member of the AMPC should you have any questions or need any additional information.

Your program coordinator

Your program’s coordinator is your link to the AMPC and AALL. If you have questions or problems, please contact him or her. If the program coordinator does not have the answers to your questions, or if you cannot reach your coordinator for some reason, please contact Heidi Letzmann (312.205.8014).

AALL staff

In addition to your program coordinator and the members of the AMPC, the following members of the AALL staff are available to answer your questions.

  • Heidi Letzmann, education and programs manager: program and speaker management, and Annual Meeting online and printed content; works with AALL’s travel and housing agents. (312.205.8014)
  • Pam Reisinger, CMP, director of meetings: questions relating to room set-up and audiovisual equipment needed for your program. (312.205.8026)

Speaker Listserv

To facilitate communication between AALL headquarters and the dozens of program speakers, we will establish a forum (listserv) for the 2020 Annual Meeting & Conference. As a speaker, you will be subscribed to this forum, where you will receive notices and information to help you meet your deadlines and prepare for our meeting.

In addition to the forum for speakers, your program’s coordinator has been subscribed to a separate forum since the beginning of the Annual Meeting planning process. Reminders of deadlines and other important coordinator information are posted there as well.

Important Deadlines

Many administrative details need to be completed prior to your presentation in New Orleans to help make this experience pleasant and successful for everyone.

Equipment Requests

Presentation equipment/technology is ordered through AALL headquarters. The following will be automatically provided in all program rooms for presenters:

  • one AALL-provided laptop (with standard presentation software)
  • one remote slide advancer
  • VGA connection-enabled LCD projector and screen
  • one podium microphone
  • one wireless lavaliere microphone
  • two wireless handheld microphones (to share between panelists)
  • aisle microphones (for audience use during Q&A)
  • wireless internet access

Carefully consider the equipment that is appropriate for your presentation. Confer with your program coordinator to determine if multiple presenters on the program can share the same computer. This is usually more efficient. Please let your coordinator know by April 15 if you have any special requests beyond what is already provided. Your coordinator will compile these requests and submit one separate Equipment Request Form for the program to AALL.

Wireless internet connections will be available in each program room. However, please be prepared to use screen captures and temporary internet files (to be available offline) as a backup should problems arise with the live internet connection. While internet connections are usually reliable and instantaneous, this cannot be guaranteed. Presenters who rely entirely on a live internet connection may find their program in jeopardy should this connection suddenly fail.

Rooms Sets

Educational program rooms are used for multiple sessions throughout the day. For this reason, the room is set up to accommodate the maximum number of people. Audience seating in all program rooms will be configured in one of three formats:

  • Theater style (rows of chairs)
  • Banquet style (roundtable seating)
  • Classroom style (desktop tables)

All program rooms will feature a platform riser with a podium and four chairs (set in a “talk show” style semicircle), plus a low coffee table (for speakers’ notes, etc.). Please note: A panelists’ head table is no longer part of the standard room setup. (Setups for preconference workshops vary based on their formats.)

Speaking Commitment & Copyright Agreement

All program participants (speakers, moderators, and coordinators) must submit this form (even if there are no handouts). If you decline to allow the Association to audio-record your presentation and publish your handouts, there is an option to indicate this on the form. It is very important that this form be completed by June 15. A completed agreement must be on file for all program participants.

Supplemental Materials

Adult education takes place on many different levels, so it can be very valuable to provide attendees with written material to accompany your presentation. Program presenters can upload their supplemental materials directly to their online presenter profiles. These profiles are part of our conference app, and attendees will be able to access your materials directly.

If you plan to do a PowerPoint presentation, please use the AALL conference template. Contact Heidi Letzmann (312.205.8014) if you have formatting questions. If you do not submit materials online, you may either ship your materials to yourself at the Annual Meeting or arrange to have them printed locally. Speakers will not be reimbursed for the cost of producing or shipping materials if they choose not to upload their materials online.

About AALL

We believe that people need timely access to relevant legal information to make sound legal arguments and wise legal decisions. Our members are legal information experts—problem solvers of the highest order. Every day we connect members with one another and passionately champion the value of their roles because, when we do, it makes our whole legal system stronger.

AALL has approximately 4,000 members working in the full spectrum of legal, information, and library communities. Because of this diverse membership, it is important to understand and identify the particular audience that you will address. Here are some demographics you might find useful.

Organizational Demographics

  • 37% of AALL members work in academic (law school) settings; 33% work in private (law firm) settings, and 11% work in court or government libraries.
  • More than 40% of AALL members have job titles that indicate some management responsibilities (such as Director, Dean, Associate, CIO, Solo Librarian, Department Head, etc.).
  • The average of firm librarian works with more than 100 attorneys. The average of law school librarian works with more than 700 law students.

Personal Demographics (based on a recent survey)

  • 48% have more than 16 years of library experience.
  • Majority (64%) is in mid-career age range (31-55).
  • More than three-fourths are female.
  • 91% have an MLS/MLIS degree; 41% have a JD (or equivalent) degree.

Conference Overview

AALL 2020 will celebrate the innovators within the legal information profession and highlight the skills, talents, and attributes that provide added value and meaning for their organizations. A wide variety of programs designed to empower an evolving profession will be presented over the course of three days in the following content areas comprising AALL’s Body of Knowledge:

  • Professionalism + Leadership at Every Level
  • Research + Analysis
  • Information Management
  • Teaching + Training
  • Marketing + Outreach
  • Management + Business Acumen

There will also be several preconference workshops and an opening general session featuring a keynote speaker.

Who attends the Annual Meeting?

(based on recent attendee surveys)

  • 53% are from law schools; 25% from law firms; 16% from state, court, county, or federal libraries.
  • Most AALL members report that their employers pay their conference registration and related expenses.
  • Membership attendance at the Annual Meeting is high—42% of the AALL membership attends every year, 16% every other year.

What do Annual Meeting program attendees want?

The Annual Meeting is consistently ranked as the most valuable service to AALL members, and as a top educational resource. Unless you have been told that the program for which you are speaking is geared specifically toward beginning law librarians, and depending, of course, on your topic, the majority of our members are looking for:

  • In-depth coverage of the material
  • Good, strong programming with practical application to their day-to-day jobs
  • Since the majority of members receive funding from their institution to attend the Annual Meeting, employers are also looking for concrete ways in which the programming will contribute to their librarian’s ability to do his or her job.

Preparing for Your Program

In addition to the information below, you are strongly encouraged to review our guidelines for Delivering a Better Learning Experience. All program coordinators are expected to conduct a virtual dry run of the program with their panelists/presenters in advance of the conference. Members of the AMPC will provide support and feedback for these practice sessions.

Defining the Topic

You have been asked to speak on a particular topic because you have demonstrated knowledge or expertise in that particular subject area. The challenge in any presentation is to define the topic properly to ensure that it meets a perceived need and that it can be dealt with in the allotted amount of time. Discuss the program’s content with your coordinator and fellow speakers, and ask the following questions:

  • Who is the audience? In what types of environments do they work and how will this presentation help them in that environment?
  • What has been the audience’s previous exposure to this topic? Are they up to date on the latest issues? What does the audience hope to hear in the presentation?
  • Given the amount of time set aside for this program, how can you and your fellow panelists use it most effectively?
  • What written materials or audiovisual materials will help present this information more effectively?  If you are uncertain of the answers to these questions, consult your program coordinator. He or she might be able to give you a better idea of who your audience will be for the particular topic.


Imagine your program as a road trip. What’s the attendees’ final destination? What practical, relevant, and applicable solutions or tools will you deliver to them? Those would be the takeaways, and they’re what most learners use to decide whether they’ll attend a program. By choosing to attend your program, they are investing time and resources, and they expect a healthy return on that investment.

Specific learner takeaways are part of your program’s description. Takeaways specify what program attendees should know or be able to do as a result of the learning activity. Please keep these in mind as you prepare your presentation.

Adult Learning Styles

Once you have a clear understanding of your program’s takeaways, you need to think about the best ways to deliver them, and that involves understanding how adults learn.

Andragogy as a study of adult learning originated in Europe in the 1950s and was then pioneered as a theory and model of adult learning from the 1970s by Malcolm Knowles (an American practitioner and theorist of adult education who defined andragogy as “the art and science of helping adults learn”). Speakers are strongly encouraged to review the six principles of adult learning as identified by Knowles, within the context of association learning.

Working with Other Panelists or Presenters

If you are working with other panelists or presenters, please be in contact with them early in the planning process to identify the various components of your presentation and to avoid duplication of material covered. Be sure to include your program coordinator in all of these discussions. Remember to check in with each other frequently as you prepare. It also is valuable to share copies of any written materials. Your program coordinator can share the names of the other speakers on the program.

Format of Presentation

The AMPC encourages the creative presentation of educational programming and approved the format suggested by your program coordinator. It is important to discuss this format with your coordinator because the logistics, such as room arrangements, must be set relatively early in the planning process and later changes. Please be sure to communicate your equipment needs to your program coordinator by April 15.

Supplemental Materials

Adult education takes place on many different levels, so it is beneficial to provide attendees with written materials to accompany presentations. Specific, detailed supplemental materials can help audience members fully focus on the speaker, rather than any lengthy notes they might be trying to jot down.

Program presenters can upload their supplemental materials directly to their online presenter profiles. These profiles are part of our conference app, and attendees will be able to access your materials directly. Please review the tips for preparing materials; this will help to insure inclusion of all pertinent speaker information, as well as uniformity of materials. AALL’s conference PowerPoint template should be used for presentation slides. If you have any questions regarding formatting guidelines, please contact Heidi Letzmann (312.205.8014).

Housing and Travel

In accordance with AALL policy, complimentary housing and/or travel can be provided for nonmembers of AALL who are speaking on AMPC-selected programs at the Annual Meeting, when these arrangements are requested by their program’s coordinator. These speakers will receive detailed information from AALL in the spring, and should not make these arrangements on their own.

The aforementioned speakers will receive housing at one of the conference hotels for one night (unless speaking schedules or available flights/trains necessitate an extra night). Nonmember speakers are assigned to conference hotels based upon the availability of rooms and will be contacted by onPeak (AALL’s housing agency) to make housing arrangements. Room and tax will be direct-billed to AALL’s master account. Upon check-in, be prepared to present a credit card to cover incidental charges. Incidental charges will be reimbursed according to the AALL Expense Reimbursement Policy and as requested and approved as part of the speaking commitment. Should a speaker book his/her accommodations independent of onPeak, he/she will not be reimbursed by AALL.

Travel arrangements (when requested by the coordinator) for nonmember speakers will be coordinated through AALL’s travel agency, Association Travel Pros (ATP). Coach airline and train reservations must be made through ATP and in conformity with AALL’s Expense Reimbursement Policy. Nonmember speakers will receive detailed instructions for making travel arrangements that are direct-billed to AALL. Should a speaker choose to make his/her own air travel arrangements, he/she will not be reimbursed by AALL.

At the Annual Meeting

Here are some things to keep in mind about the Annual Meeting:

  • You should to contact your program coordinator ahead of time and prearrange a meeting with them and any other panelists or presenters once you arrive at the conference. Keep in mind that it is sometimes difficult to locate people who are spread throughout several hotels, so planning and scheduling ahead of time is helpful. It’s best to meet your co-presenters before the time of the actual session.
  • Nonmember speakers will be automatically registered for the conference and should pick up their name badges and the official program at AALL’s onsite registration desk New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The desk is open from late Friday afternoon (July 10) through Tuesday midday (July 14). If your approved stay coincides with our Opening Reception on Saturday evening, you will receive a ticket to this event with your registration badge. AALL member speakers should preregister and check in as usual. All speakers should pick up a yellow speaker ribbon at the registration desk, so that they may be so identified.
  • If you have questions about using audio-visual equipment or would like to preview your presentation prior to your program, you are encouraged to stop by the “Speaker Ready Room” in advance of your scheduled program.
  • If questions or problems arise, help is available in the AALL Staff Office in the convention center; details will be provided to all speakers and program coordinators prior to the conference. AALL staff will also help you contact your program coordinator, if necessary.

After the Annual Meeting

Expense Reimbursement

Shortly after the Annual Meeting, nonmember speakers are encouraged to submit expense reports to AALL Headquarters. (Speakers designated to receive reimbursement and/or honoraria will receive a personalized expense reimbursement form via email, shortly before the Annual Meeting.) They are due within 30 days of the conclusion of the Annual Meeting. Only expenses approved by the AMPC prior to the meeting and indicated on the Speaker Control Forms (submitted by the program coordinator) will be reimbursed. Please remember that AALL members cannot be reimbursed for expenses, in accordance with the Association’s Expense Reimbursement Policy.


Finally, evaluation summaries may be requested after the meeting (usually available by September 1) by contacting AALL.