CALL Conference round-up

25May12

Brenda and I recently attended the Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2012 annual conference in Toronto. It was five days of intensive meetings, educational sessions, vendor demonstrations, networking and social events. I came home exhausted!

So what did I get out of it? Well, I met face-to-face with people I’ve been working with on various committees. I got some great new ideas to implement here in my firm. I even found some vendors whose products I’m interested in purchasing, if I can convince my managing partner.

One of the committees I’m on is responsible for moderating a panel. We solicit questions from our membership and prepare them for the members of the panel in advance (publishers). After the prepared questions, there’s time to take questions from the floor. I found out the night before that I was going to be the moderator of the panel!

There’s more to successful moderating than meets the eye. I’ve done it a few times now, and sometimes I’ve found it difficult to maintain that balance between being respectful of the party asking the question, and keeping the discussion moving along on relevant topics. This forum was very well behaved. I made sure to allow each participant on the panel the opportunity to answer the question first. It ended up being a great learning opportunity.

I served on the program committee for this conference, and I think we did a good job. People seemed happy with the content and the plenary speakers we arranged. The opening plenary was on reputation management. Many in the audience were wondering how this could relate to law libraries, but it didn’t take long to figure it out. One of the themes that speaker Prof. Rick Powers (Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto) kept returning to was trust. We need to be trustworthy individuals, and the organizations we deal with need to be trustworthy. The presentation was engaging and thought-provoking, and we continued to talk about it later on in the conference.

At the tail end of the conference (not part of the official program), there was a tour of three recently renovated law firm libraries. It was fascinating to see how three different large Bay Street firms treated their library, from the layout and location of the space, to the amount of staff employed in it. And yet, despite the different sizes of those firms to mine, we continue to have the same problems: continuously proving value and relevance, ensuring we have a voice in the firm.

The energizing effect of a conference doesn’t end when you leave. I’m looking forward to incorporating some of these new ideas into my library.

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One Response to “CALL Conference round-up”

  1. 1 Brenda W.

    Thanks Karen. I may or may not write more about trust and credibility issues as discussed by Rick Powers. So glad I went to plenary and CALL.Montreal in 2013?



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