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Lessons Learned from AALL in Boston

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I enjoyed collecting feedback from my co-workers after last year’s American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) annual conference.  I thought it would be a good idea to continue the tradition.

This year’s conference was in Boston.  In addition to snapping some library pictures while I was there, I presented with David, Tina, and Emily Feltren on Building the Law Library of Congress’ Web Presence.  For more on the presentation, look through our slides.

Below is what a few of my colleagues had to say about the conference.


I was extremely delighted that the Library of Congress participated in so many programs (five!) and that they were well attended and of interest to conference attendees.  Besides these five programs, I  enjoyed the program, “Linked Data, Law Libraries and the Semantic Webas it covered a subject that is very important to us at the Law Library.

As a member of the Annual Meeting Program Committee for 2012-2013, I spent a great deal of time talking and listening to AALL members about their educational needs and hopes for the 2013 meeting in Seattle.  These conversations gave me the opportunity to hear about the issues that are important to our colleagues and the profession.


I’m very interested in the issue of internet privacy and attended two thought-provoking sessions on this topic.  The first was the “Distinguished Lectureship Address by award winner Anne Klinefelter: Should Librarians retire the privacy ethic?” Anne Klinefelter’s University of North Carolina (UNC) page lists some of her publications.

The second was the “Right to be Lost: Comparative Law Approaches to Internet privacy and personal data protection” given by a panel that included two of my colleagues at the Law Library of Congress, Peter and EdithA new multinational report on privacy laws is now available at the Law Library’s website.


At this year’s AALL Annual Meeting, I had the honor of moderating a program titledWhat Were They Thinking and Where I Do I Find It?: Strategies for Starting Legislative History Research,” which was sponsored by the AALL Research Instruction & Patron Services (RIPS) Special Interest Section.  The program featured my colleague at the Law Library, Margaret, as well as former Law Library colleague John Cannan, now at the Drexel University Legal Research Center in Philadelphia, Susan Sullivan of the U.S. Courts  – 1st Circuit Library in Boston, and Meg Evans, librarian at the Boston office of Fish & Richardson P.C.  The program involved simulated reference interviews among the panelists and a detailed roundtable discussion on the nuances of helping patrons to begin federal legislative history research in academic, court, law firm, and public law library settings.  Approximately 100 librarians attended the program, and details on the program are available, and links to program materials are at the bottom of the RIPS Program page.

I also enjoyed attending the Distinguished Lectureship Address “Should Librarians Retire the Privacy Ethic,” by Anne Klinefelter of the UNC, Kathrine R. Everett Law Library, and, specifically, the questions that Professor Klinefelter raised about protecting library patron privacy in an era of social media and other emerging technologies.

Update: I’ve added a link to our slides to the post.

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