June 23, 2011
Unbound: CALI Conference for Law School Computing Starts Today
Recently I had the opportunity to talk with John Mayer, CALI Executive Director, mentioning that one thing (really the only thing) I miss about not being an academic law librarian anymore was that I cannot justify having my little county law library pick up the tab for the cost of attending CALI. For me, CALI has always been the most interesting annual conference to attend, one where I actually attended sessions throughout each day on the annual meeting. Not being a techie for some 30-years now, CALI's annual conferences exposed me to what was going on -- creativity in terms of new experimental projects, plus status reports on ongoing projects, etc.
CALI's annual session agendas are not in any way, shape or form directly relevant for my little county law library. But professionally speaking CALI was always the best opportunity to see, listen and talk with some of most creative people who are expending their blood, sweat and tears to advance law school computing, which, in turn, may advance legal computing beyond the legal academy. Take for example CALI's eLangdell casebook project. As noble an effort as it is, it may be more ground-breaking as a 21st century model for creating law school casebook published by commercial legal casebook publishers. But isn't imitation the best complement?
Not Just for Techies; Not Just for Academic Law School Computing. CALI's annual meeting certainly is a gathering place for techies but it is also the best place for law librarian non-techies like me to gain a glimpse at what the future might hold. I guess the point of this post is that public and private sector law librarians should not dismiss considering the possibility of attending CALI because it looks like an irrelevant academic legal computing conference. In terms of the cost of attendance, my past experience as a non-techie is that CALI offers a higher return on investment than attending AALL's annual meeting, at least for professional education and development purposes.
Wish I was attending this year's meeting. Perhaps next year. You (or a member of your staff)? [JH]
I'm basically a reference librarian, and I agree completely. Last year I attended CALI and it was the best conference experience I ever had. I wish I could be there this year, but that perk goes to our new Emerging Technologies Librarian now.
Posted by: Helen Frazer | Jun 24, 2011 7:37:11 AM