This year, the Southern California Association of Law Libraries (SCALL) held its 43rd Annual Institute on February 27 and 28 at the historic and majestic Mission Inn located in downtown Riverside. The idea behind this year’s institute, neatly encompassed by its title “Thriving in the Network Economy”, is how law libraries can thrive in an increasingly online and technologically advanced world.
Law Library staff, Victoria Williamson (SCALL President), Bret Christensen (Institute Technology Support Sub-Committee Chair and Daisy Cortes (Institute Publicity Sub-Committee Chair) along with the entire Institute Committee did an outstanding job of putting together this year’s program which attracted over 100 attendees to the City of Riverside. The Institute included a tour of the Historic Courthouse and a special dinner reception for the SCALL VIPs, hosted by the Riverside County Law Library Board of Trustees.
The keynote speaker, Michael Roster, wonderfully articulated the current state of the legal profession with an explanation of market forces that led to the increase in cost for legal services and the current slump. He also explained how technological advances are affecting the way law firms and law schools are operating.
Pauline Aranas and Stephanie Frame of Foley & Larder, LLP spoke to the challenges and solutions of building institutional networks through open communication with other departments within the library as well as across a parent organization.
Ron Wheeler of Suffolk University law library had a fun an information session on how to deal with various personalities within the working environment and spoke on how to effectively use emotions to communicate with co-workers and subordinates.
Christopher Carlton and Grace Nguyen discussed best practices when dealing with employees and their use of social media prior to and during employment.
Finally, John Adkins, director of libraries at San Diego Law Library, Mark Gediman, director of Information Services at Best Best & Krieger and Ramon Barajas, research librarian at Munger, Tolles and Olson, LLP provided a plethora of information about how to utilize social media as a library tool from three different perspectives: county law library, competitive intelligence and litigation support.
The Institute concluded with a wonderful lunch and an AALL update from immediate past president of the American Association of Law Libraries, Steven P. Anderson on the importance of quantifying the value of services provided to patron through the World Wide Web and other online technologies.