Friday, July 16, 2010

AALL Update

Hello everyone!

Sorry I did not update yesterday as I was busy running around. So let's get to the update!

Sunday (Day 2) was the first official full day of the conference. While many of the special interests groups had board meetings on Saturday, this was the big opening event. The morning started off with the general session, welcoming all the attendees to the conference. Following the welcome, key note speaker Dr. David Lankes, Director of the iSchool at Syracuse gave a tremendous speech on the state of libraries and librarians; stating that the best days of librarianship is still ahead of us. He directed our attention towards the future, and to an almost radical idea that the function and purpose of the libraries is not specifically to exist as an entity standing alone. Libraries have to be molded to fit their communities, and strive to fit what their communities stand for. With this being said, he also pushed the audience to push for their own self value, rather than the value of collections. Collections are great, but they exist only to be used because over centuries we have learned how to utilize collections. Needless to say, it was truly an uplifting presentation.

I had the liberty of attending many great panel discussions as well as presentations on a wide variety of topics. Some of the big more popular topics revolved around digital preservation of digital born objects (such as blogs, websites, etc) as well as how the digital age has provided a new set of obstacles for legal research. These are very real concerns, as more and more people turn to the internet to find and use evidence (social media has been used in court cases as well as competitive intelligence). How do we preserve digital epherma and WHAT do we preserve?

Now, I think one of the coolest things that I encountered at AALL was the exhibit hall, where all the legal vendors showed off their wares, both print and electronic. This was very cool and a unique experience that librarians can use and test drive new technology, as well as talk to executives of the vendor companies about problems and give them suggestions.

All in all, This was a fabulous experience that I suggest anyone attend. It not only helps people keep up with the current trends and topics in librarianship, but also brings together the field; where life long connections and friendships can be made.

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