Must-Have Program Topics

The Annual Meeting Program Committee has compiled the following list of “must-have” program topics (see FAQ) for the 2018 Annual Meeting & Conference—timely topics that AALL members have identified as being vital to their professional education. Peruse the list— Perhaps one of the topics is exactly what your library has been tackling this year. Perhaps you know the perfect presenter. Perhaps a working group within your SIS has been brainstorming about the topic already.

Programs on the topics below will be offered in Baltimore, and we thank you for your proposals that address them. Any topics not sufficiently covered by the submitted proposals will be curated by the AMPC, often with assistance from interested members and SISs who may have expertise and/or speaker recommendations in a particular area.

  • Information Management

    • Metadata creation, manipulation, and use
      Metadata tools and techniques. Linked data. BIBFRAME. Authority control/identity management. MarcEdit. Taxonomies. Gathering vendor usage statistics to evaluate electronic resources. Social tagging. Metadata standards, including XML. Foreign, comparative, international law (FCIL) cataloging. Transitioning staff from traditional cataloging to metadata creation in IRs and DRs.
    • Information and data ethics, privacy, and security
      Patron privacy in law libraries and on websites. ABA’s cybersecurity obligations. Starting the data ethics conversation in your organization. Librarian’s role in information privacy and security education. Who owns website visitation info? Data mining.
    • Digitization, preservation, and institutional repositories
      Best practices in managing DRs and IRs. Creating a preservation plan. Digitizing special/delicate/historical collections. Crowdsourcing IRs. Elsevier acquisition and ensuring access to purchased content. Accessibility testing library websites and e-resources. Digital curation and preservation. Digital commons.
    • Information governance (IG), including records & information management (RIM), and knowledge management (KM)
      What is IG. KM workflows. Google Drive database to manage reference questions. What does RIM have for law librarians? Managing systems change. Practical features and uses of big data. Usage monitors for collection development. Cataloging and ERM concepts for non-specialists. Creating, sharing, and using data from unique sources. Caselaw as data. Data analytics examples. Using and preserving data sets. Data preservation and curation. Measuring faculty scholarship. Data or text mining algorithms. Big data and data visualization. Web analytics.
    • Emerging technologies and innovation
      Experience databases. Accessible powerful information (APIs). Cryptotech. Information gateways, hubs, bots, portals. Creating an app. Troubleshooting e-resources. Next-gen ILSs, discovery layers, and search algorithms. Teaching technology competency. Artificial intelligence.

  • Management & Business Acumen

    • Business skills
      Understanding financial reports. Developing a budget. Using metrics to show ROI and demonstrate value. Project management. Negotiation skills. Running the library as a business.
    • Personnel management
      Best practices in managing employees. Communication skills for supervisors and managers. Writing job descriptions. Emerging roles for law librarians. Staffing strategies and outsourcing.
    • Technology
      Current law practice management technology. Library management systems and related technology, including ILS and resource tracking software. KM technology and implementation. General business technology and tech competency requirements for lawyers. Data security. Business continuity planning for technology failures or data breaches.
    • Creating the indispensable library
      Strategic visioning and strategic planning. Optimizing library services and resources to meet organizational needs. Emerging roles for librarians within legal organizations. Change management, including preparing for expected and unexpected changes.
    • Business of law
      Legal industry economics and disruption. Legal project management. Matter pricing and alternative fee arrangements (AFAs). New business intake and conflicts. Cost recovery, librarian time, and outside counsel guidelines.

  • Marketing & Outreach

    • Marketing and communication strategies
      Developing effective internal and external marketing and communications campaigns. Effective strategies to communicate value to stakeholders. Measuring and communicating ROI of the information center. Defining the library and its services. Measuring success and performance. Branding and brand management. Strategic planning. Performing in-house outreach. Identifying and reaching invisible customers. Building patron loyalty.
    • Engaging, serving, and collaborating with your patrons and community
      Library services for legal clinics. Remote reference services. Providing practice area support. Effective attorney engagement. Cultivating student and librarian relationships. Identifying and reaching invisible customers. Services for unique or underserved patrons. Collaborating with other units or departments (communications, PR, marketing, etc.). Collaborative services/resources provided for legal aid offices, local courts, law school clinics, and law firm pro bono departments. Identifying and overcoming challenges to engagement and collaboration.
    • Practical skills and technologies for marketing and outreach
      Effective use of blogs, social media, and other technologies (WordPress, LexBlog, Photoshop, etc.). Examples of successful marketing campaigns and best practices. Measuring ROI. Creating useful and effective annual reports. Improving communication, public speaking, and listening skills. Creating effective surveys to evaluate current services and patron needs. Using analytics and metrics to promote value. Curating faculty scholarship metrics.
    • Leveraging library collections and services
      Building relationships and partnerships via unique collections and services. Using special collections, online collections, and institutional repositories as marketing tools. Creating unique and engaging displays. Creative uses of library spaces. Evaluating traditional and nontraditional collections for marketing opportunities. Promoting local collections, unique holdings, and hidden collections. Special and unique services/resources provided to legal aid offices, local courts, law school clinics, and law firm pro bono departments. Services and resources for unique or underserved patrons. Providing public libraries with direct services or basic legal reference skills training.
    • Access to justice, advocacy, and outreach
      Creating of access to justice services, webinars, and workshops. Providing public libraries with direct services or basic legal reference skills training. Creating diverse and inclusive library environments for patrons and staff (e.g. safe spaces). Role of the library during community crises. Services and resources for unique or underserved patrons. Research strategies for pro se and indigent parties. Free legal resources/databases and information about pro bono and legal aid programs. Collaborative services/resources provided for legal aid offices, local courts, law school clinics, and law firm pro bono departments.

  • Professionalism & Leadership at Every Level

    • Adoption of change and process improvement in the workplace
      Grant writing. Checklists. Career transitions. Decision making processes. Stagnant library policies. Climates adverse/open to change.
    • Relationship building in the organization and beyond
      Communicating value. Stakeholders. Working with boards. Best practices in other industries. Finding and developing library advocates. Leadership across the miles. Alignment of our profession with the business of law. Vendors as partners.
    • Ethical aspects of leadership and management
      Professionalism today. Coaching vs. mentoring. Sharing and saving employee information. Appointed leadership. Leadership against the odds. Leading up. Mergers and leadership. Workplace ethics. Human resources.
    • Relationship with and presentation of metrics for predictive and productive action
      Presentation skills. Pitching new ideas and tools. Writing a business case. Best practices for visuals in presentations across tech tools. Critical elements for an annual report. Communicating the “best” metrics. Metrics that lead to action.
    • The leadership and management lifecycle: hiring, managing, evaluating, succession planning and beyond
      Job performance evaluation tools and processes. Peer evaluation as a growth tool. Titles and departments. Coaching and mentoring best practices. Strategic planning. Negotiation skills. Budgeting. Knowing and implementing the priorities of your organization.

  • Research & Analysis

    • Data and analytics
      Using predictive analytics. Algorithmic accountability. Best practices for testing legal analytics tools. Understanding the algorithms of text analysis. Patent analytics.
    • Evolving research technology
      The robot lawyer. Artificial intelligence in competitive intelligence. Transferring institutional knowledge. Databases that visualize research results.
    • Topical areas of law research
      Cybersecurity. Historical statutes. Ethical limitations of internet research. Presidential tweets as presidential record? Accessing data on district attorneys in relation to mass incarceration. Cyberspace regulation. Religious arbitration. Business intelligence 101. The Lanham Act/Slants Decision. Civil rights.
    • Subject specific research skills
      How to research people. The U.S. Congressional Serial Set. Copyright ownership, CCC, and permission departments. Pooled investment vehicles. Security interests in intellectual property. Finding disappeared federal information. Empirical legal research in law firms. Trademark research. Bitcoin and blockchain.
    • Foreign and international legal research
      Brexit updates. Researching EU legislation. Regulatory research in foreign countries.

  • Teaching & Training

    • Instructional methodology and pedagogy
      Best practices for teaching legal research. Teaching techniques that make an impact. Providing effective feedback to learners. Understanding how neuroscience can affect how we educate. Techniques for skills assessment. How to prevent plagiarism.
    • Teaching specialized legal research skills
      How to conduct regulatory, intellectual property, and/or foreign law research. Learning how to evaluate databases and their use in different situations. Demystification of fair use and associated guidance.
    • Teaching in the context of the practice of law
      What employers want new hires to know about practice management and legal technology and how to design courses to support those demands. Decision making skills. An overview of the knowledge management and timekeeping systems used in practice. Using learning management systems to track professional development. How to manage continuing legal education (CLE).
    • Innovative learning environments and alternative methods of instruction
      Best practices for teaching online. How to manage classrooms to ensure positive and effective experiences. Video editing tips for instruction and outreach.