AALL 2016: Hopeful for the Future

by Greg Stoner

This July, with extremely generous support from both VALL and my employer, I attended the AALL Annual Meeting in Chicago. As I had previously attended the Annual Meeting only once before (in 2010), I was particularly excited to be able to participate once again. The theme of this year’s meeting, “Make It New: Create the Future,” also really resonated with me as it emphasized the ever-evolving and important role information professionals play in defining our roles and helping to identify and shape the services we can provide in our institutions.
During the conference I attended a number of sessions: some focusing on areas I felt I knew a great deal about, as well as others where I admittedly knew very little. Several of the sessions I attended were related to topics that I found particularly relevant to my current work, such as programs dealing with the evaluation of electronic research resources and the utility of usage statistics and other metrics in determining value. The variety of programming was particularly noteworthy as I felt I gained valuable exposure to new areas of interest and further insight in other areas of benefit to me, my colleagues and my firm. I also valued the opportunity to spend a good bit of time in the exhibit hall, learning firsthand about various research resources and services and discovering new products and solutions that may be useful in the future. In the end, I was mentally exhausted but all the better for it.
I also thoroughly enjoyed attending the annual meeting as it reinforced a conclusion I drew when I first attended the meeting as someone just entering the law library field (see http://valltalk.blogspot.com/2010/08/mapping-future-at-aall-annual-meeting.html). I’ve progressed in my career during the past few years, learned a lot, and met a ton of amazing helpful, supportive and encouraging people along the way – many of them VALL members! I’m still impressed by what we do as professionals and encouraged about what the future holds for our profession. I’m honored to be part of this community and appreciative of VALL’s support of my attendance at the meeting.

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The Virginia Association of Law Libraries (VALL) supports and serves its members’ professional pursuits by fostering a spirit of leadership and cooperation, providing educational and leadership opportunities, and promoting and enhancing the value of law libraries.

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