The Conference before the Conference (AALL 2017 Austin)

The Conference before the Conference (AALL 2017 Austin)

Hi lawbrarians!  Rachel Purcell here, member of the Academic Law Libraries New Law Librarians (ALL-NEW) Committee. As our committee chair, Marty Witt explained in a previous post, each month a member of ALL-NEW will be blogging helpful info for those attending our AALL Annual Conference in Austin, TX.  Last post, Marty provided a list of grants gathered from numerous sources in the law librarian world that will help you get to the AALL conference this July.  Look below for more information on applications and deadlines.

Once you’ve made the decision to go, you’ve got to decide if you’re doing the conference before the conference.  Educational programs begin Sunday July 16, but preconference workshops offer the opportunity to take a deeper dive into a specific topic.  The complete conference schedule can be viewed at  All information regarding registration fees and dates can be viewed at AALL Annual Conference – Registration.  Attendees can sign up for preconference workshops when they register for the main conference, but be aware that advance registration by June 19 is required for all preconference workshops and CONELL (Conference of Newer Law Librarians). Space is limited so apply now!

Read on for a list of preconference workshops available for AALL 2017:

CONELL (Conference of Newer Law Librarians)

Cost: $125

Registration fee includes: program and supplemental handouts, continental breakfast, and boxed lunch.

Date & Time: Saturday, July 15 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Location: Hilton Austin Hotel / Governor’s Ballroom sponsored by Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis, Thomson Reuters and Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory US

Description: The Conference of Newer Law Librarians (CONELL) is held every year on the Saturday of AALL’s Annual Meeting & Conference. CONELL welcomes newer AALL members by introducing them to the Association, its leaders, one another. Attendees have the opportunity to talk with representatives from AALL’s committees and special interest sections to learn firsthand how to get involved and maximize the benefits of Association membership.

Attendees who are arriving on Friday, July 14, are invited to attend “Dutch treat dinners” at 6:30 p.m.—a great way to meet one another and members of the CONELL Committee.

Saturday’s events start with a continental breakfast at 8:00 a.m., with the conference beginning promptly at 8:30 a.m. Attendees will meet the AALL Executive Board, participate in speed networking, and explore the AALL Marketplace to learn more about getting involved in member communities. Lunch is followed by a tour of Austin and additional opportunities to network with colleagues and meet with possible mentors. For questions about the CONELL program, contact a member of the Conference of Newer Law Librarians (CONELL) Committee .

Don’t miss this opportunity!
Attendance is limited to 100 attendees—register now!


Internal Assessment and Peer Benchmarking in Academic Law Libraries 

Cost: $125.00 (Member Discounted Fee) $187.50 (Nonmember Fee)

Registration fee includes: program, morning beverages, and boxed lunch.

Date & Time: Saturday, July 15 9:30am – 4:00pm

Location: The University of Texas at Austin Townes Hall

Description: What do we do with all the data we are collecting in our libraries? Experts will discuss the theory and practical benefits to internal assessment and peer benchmarking. Then, using the ALLStAR Benchmarking tool in this workshop, which includes all ABA, USNWR, ACRL, and ARL data points, and many more, participants will be guided through effective report creation using multiple data point and trend analysis, for internal library assessment and peer benchmarking. Participants will learn proven effective data point combinations and explore relevant factors to one’s own library. Additionally, participants will learn how to use reports for internal library assessment and institutional advocacy for resources, human and capital. Finally, participants will learn how benchmarking also serves to identify best practices in peer institutions, leading to implementation and improvement in their own institutions.

Attendees should bring their own laptops to access the ALLStaR database.

1) Participants will be able to create relevant, multi-point, and complex internal assessment reports showing trends over time that will aid in the allocation of resources and provide justification for resources, both human and financial.
2) Participants will be able to create relevant, complex peer benchmarking reports demonstrating peer allocation of resources (human and financial) and trends over time, which will aid in understanding internal allocation of resources, highlights best practices, and provide justification for resources.
3) Participants will learn best practices in data collection and analysis, including which data points can be valuable tools when combined.

Who Should Attend: Academic law librarians using the ALLStAR Benchmarking tool or responsible for data collection and assessment in their libraries; all librarians interested in data collection and analysis, assessment, benchmarking, and best practices


Not Pie in the Sky: Practical Strategies for Embracing Change in Technical Services

Cost: $55.00 (Member Discounted Fee) $82.50 (Nonmember Fee)

Registration fee includes: program and supplemental handouts, continental breakfast, and boxed lunch.

Date & Time: Saturday, July 15 8:30am – 3:00pm

Location: The University of Texas at Austin Townes Hall

Description: Technical services librarians are being asked to provide seamless delivery of new services and resources, achieving successful transitions that result in new and different work products. During this workshop, participants will explore many changing facets of technical services, including the use of metrics to prove value, best practices for use of vendor records, practical strategies to attack the complex landscape of BIBFRAME, and nontraditional roles for librarians, including repositories, websites, and faculty projects. Participants will develop the ability to effectively collaborate interdepartmentally, leveraging their expertise and establishing new roles.

1) Participants will learn best practices to demonstrate and support their library’s value to leadership using metrics, enabling strategic decisions that resonate with the overall mission of the parent organization and encourage additional investment in the library.
2) Considering future trends, participants will be able to differentiate between controlled vocabularies, taxonomies, and ontologies; identify the organizational features on websites, including facets, term lists, and vocabulary hierarchies; and develop a familiarity with the challenges involved in moving toward BIBFRAME and linked data. Participants will also be able to describe the advantages of collaborative group learning strategies to implement in their institutions.
3) Participants will acquire an understanding of how one MARC record provider goes about creating records and best practices for evaluating and editing MARC records provided by third-party vendors and publishers.

Who Should Attend: Technical services librarians at any stage of their career wanting to stay abreast of current topics and trends.


Having Difficult Conversations: Becoming More Comfortable as a Manager

Cost: $120.00 (Member Discounted Fee) $180.00 (Nonmember Fee)

Date & Time: Saturday, July 15 8:30am – 12:00pm

Location: Hilton Austin Hotel / ACC-Room 15

Description: Having difficult conversations, whether addressing a staff member’s performance or behavior or negotiating with a vendor or stakeholder on behalf of your library, is a necessary and regular part of a librarian’s job. Yet few people are comfortable having a difficult conversation and sometimes even prefer to put up with a bad situation because it feels easier to avoid the confrontation, ultimately making an issue worse by failing to address the issue. Having difficult conversations, whether with staff, vendors, or stakeholders is not an innate skill, but one acquired through training, mentoring, and practice. This workshop will provide strategies, training, and practical exercises to help participants become more confident in their ability to constructively have a difficult conversation.

1) Participants will discuss and apply communication and feedback skills to constructively address difficult or sensitive topics with coworkers and other staff members.
2) Participants will discuss and practice their negotiation and collaboration skills to better negotiate with vendors to create a positive outcome for both parties.
3) Participants will be able to use the skills introduced in this workshop to increase their comfort level and confidence in having difficult conversations.

Who Should Attend: Librarians who are responsible for having difficult conversations with students or full-time staff or have to negotiate with vendors or stakeholders, including deans, directors, partners, department heads, and other key decision makers


PLLIP-SIS Summit: Navigating the Critical Nexus of Knowledge and Legal Technology

Cost: $199.00

Date & Time: Saturday, July 15 8:00am – 5:00pm

Location: Hilton Austin Hotel / Grand Ballroom Salon FG

Keynote Speaker: Professor Gabriel Teninbaum

Description: Now in its seventh year, the PLLIP-SIS (Private Law Librarian & Information Professional Special Interest Section) Summit is once again centered around providing thought-provoking insight and practical application to the private law librarian community. The 2017 PLLIP Summit: Navigating the Critical Nexus of Knowledge and Legal Technology examines the rapid pace of change brought about by developments in legal technology and how best to leverage that change in ground-breaking ways. Learning to anticipate, manage, and master change will help position attending information professionals as true leaders within their organizations.

Our Keynote presentation at the 2017 Summit will provide an overview of the current state of legal technology and scan the horizon for what’s to come – with a focus on the opportunities these developments present to information professionals.

Each session will be led by the same type of knowledgeable and authoritative presenters attendees at past Summits have come to expect. We’re looking forward to offering a slate of speakers equally versed in the hands-on use of technology and the successful navigation of constant and all-encompassing change. Please return to PLLIP Summit 2017 page for updates as additional program details become available.

As in years past years, an opening reception on Friday evening before the Summit will provide an invaluable networking opportunity and a chance to build on the excitement for the following day’s events.

About PLLIP Summit: The PLLIP-SIS Summit was originally created in 2010 as a two-year project to explore ways to embrace change, demonstrate value, and learn about leading-edge trends. As a result of its continued success and ongoing popularity, the Summit endures as a leading force in empowering private law firm librarians to be change agents within their organizations. Summits are held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries.

Goals of the Summit:

  • Enable private law firm librarians to understand the trends, structure and pressures of the law firm environment so that they can be prepared to take leadership roles as the practice of law goes through a time of radical change.
  • Develop best practices and practice models for new law firm requirements through research and consensus..
  • Offer learning opportunities on how to use tools that will keep the library/research center at the forefront of law firm service.
  • Cultivate new ideas and experimental solutions.
  • Cast the debate for how law firm libraries should operate and meet new challenges in this new environment.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s