AALL Annual Meeting 2013 (Part 2 of 5)

Day 1  - Saturday, July 13th

CONELL

Day 1 consisted primarily of CONELL, or the “Conference of Newer Law Librarians”. CONELL is basically a structured, full day networking event for first time attendees and librarians new to the profession. After breakfast, we began the day with some introductory remarks from various members of the AALL leadership, covering topics varying from general thoughts on the profession to very concrete, practical advice, such as that from outgoing AALL Spectrum Editor Mark Estes, who advised us as to where we should place our name badges for maximum visibility (after which I nonchalantly relocated my own name tag, secretly hoping nobody would notice). This was followed by a short “meet the board members” session where we broke into small pre-assigned groups of about 8 people, and each group sat at a round table with one board member for casual discussions. It was during this round table discussion that I learned that a surprising number of law librarians really enjoy knitting. Who knew? In the hallway between sessions I also got the opportunity to meet the director of the law library at my own law school alma mater, where I spent countless more hours than I care to recall. We then returned to main meeting room for a few more remarks, after which we broke into two large groups for the next couple of events.

My group first moved on to the “speed networking” session, which is exactly what it sounds like: speed dating, but for contacts instead of dates. This was a great concept, and I exchanged more business cards during those 20 minutes than I did during all of the next three days put together, but the combination of close quarters and high noise levels made it very difficult to make any substantive connections. After speed networking, we walked across the hallway to the “AALL Marketplace”. The Marketplace was essentially one large room where various AALL committees, special interest sections, caucuses and other groups set up at tables to meet with interested students. I started off at the table for the two AALL publications, where I met the incoming editor of AALL Spectrum (a publication which I highly recommend to anybody interested in keeping up on the current trends in law librarianship). Ophelia just happens to be in the process of writing an article for Spectrum, which I’ve been helping her edit, so I was glad to hear that the article was close to final approved with minimal changes from the Spectrum staff. I also had a chance to stop by the Government Documents table, where I began telling the AALL representative about a government docs project of my own that I’m working on for library school, which we’re soon hoping to use to propose a joint project between my current institution’s library school and their law school. By some amazing cosmic coincidence, I soon realized that the woman I was speaking with just happened to be the government documents librarian at my current institution’s law school, and was exactly the person I would eventually need to speak to about my joint project, so essentially I had proposed the project without even realizing that I was doing so!

Hard Rock and Roller Derby

After the Marketplace, we all reconvened for lunch. The next and final event was a 2-hour bus tour of Seattle, but with a long evening ahead, I didn’t have the energy for that, so instead I just went back to the hotel for a nap. When Ophelia returned from her own adventures we headed out to the Hard Rock Café for a late lunch, where I had yet another delicious salmon-based meal, and also got a tip from our incredibly friendly Bostonian waiter about where to find the best halibut sandwich in town (a story for Day 2).

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Ophelia then went off to continue her sightseeing, while I went back to the conference center for the ribbon cutting and opening reception.

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I stayed just long enough to have a drink and liberate some candy from a few vendor tables, then it was off to reconvene with Ophelia at the Key Arena for a night of roller derby with the Rat City Rollergirls (as covered in her previous post). After a couple of hours of intense battling, Rat City had built up a very healthy lead over Charm City, and we were both getting pretty sleepy, so we skipped out of the bout a bit early and headed back to the hotel at around 9:00pm. On the walk back, I confirmed what I had previously heard about the Pacific Northwest Sun – it never seems to set.

Unlike the sun, however, I could no longer continue the day, so we settled in for the night in order to assure that I would be well rested for the next three days of fun-filled law library education.

Come back tomorrow for the next installment, featuring the keynote speech, cost recovery in legal research, the cool tools cafe, live music and more drinks and partying.

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