January 9, 2011
Day 4 at AALS
Before I relate important events about today, I need to amend my Day 3 post. After the presentation of papers by law librarians yesterday, the section on law librarians held a brief business meeting. At the meeting we voted for a new president elect and executive board member. I apologize for the oversight yesterday.
Congratulations to Michelle Wu as incoming chair of the section, and to Darin Fox who will serve on the board!
For many law librarians, the day started with a 7 am CALI breakfast. Thanks to CALI we had a wonderful hot breakfast (or cold if you preferred, or both!). During the breakfast, Executive Director John Mayer reviewed many of the highlights of the 2010 CALI season, including:
- Over 1,000,000 lesson downloads (WOW!) this year
- Improved CALI lesson interface
- Linking casebooks to corresponding CALI lessons
- QR Code project
- Migration of Classcaster to WordPress
- Success of the e-Langell CALI Casebook Series
Executive Director Mayer indicated that, after 3 years of stable dues for law schools, that they were considering a raise in dues. This would be discussed at an executive board meeting. Personally, considering all the excellent work that CALI does, with such a limited staff, I think a dues increase is perfectly reasonable.
The breakfast ended about 8:30 which left the rest of the day for random attendance at the conference, or some sightseeing. Since it is really very cold in San Francisco, I stuck it out in the conference for the rest of the morning.
Following the CALI breakfast, I attending a program on the "Challenge of Empirical Work in Law." My motivation for attending this session was two-fold. First, I am tring to figure out how librarians can support the trend of empirical research in law schools. Second, I was hoping to learn a little bit about issues in conducting original empirical research. The session did not disappoint.
In particular, Daniel Ho at Stanford, and Andrew Martin at Washington University, gave offered particularly interesting comments on empirical work in the legal academy. The comments ranged from how to visually present the information to how to compile the information. Professor Martin comes from a political science background. During his comments he stressed the importance of using librarians in the organization of datasets and databases, and advised researchers to make better use of their librarians. Go Martin! Can I introduce you to Dean Polden?
Following the session on empirical research, I attended a session on "Book Publishing for the Legal Scholar," which really did not offer me much new information. They talked about how to select a publisher, how to switch from article writing to book writing, what publishers looked for, etc... These considerations seem automatic for me as a librarian, but I suppose to those unfamilar with the publishing industry, it was informative. I had hoped that they would discuss the problems and benefits associated with e-publishing in more detail, but that did not happen.
After that session, the conference was over for me. My head was saturated and I finally took off my badge and got ready to watch the Jets game!
That is the news from San Francisco tonight... (VS)