This year’s Canadian Association of Law Libraries conference will be taking place in Halifax, NS May 24-27, 2009 with business meetings on Sunday, May 23rd and sightseeing tours and a pre-conference workshop on Saturday, May 22nd.
I am looking forward to the pre-conference workshop: it is on “Making & Presenting a Business Case” with Maggie Weaver. I consider it a must-attend at this year’s conference! I have been working with Ulla de Stricker’s 2008 book on the same topic, Business Cases for Info Pros, and have found this formal breakdown of what should go into a business case to be immensely useful. Especially with libraries having to justify certain expenditures and purchases, knowing your way around a business case is invaluable. In reading the book I discovered I have been presenting business cases a good part of my career, so having an outline of what it should contain lends a more formalized approach to what I was already doing by instinct (sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much). I look forward to Weaver’s take on the subject, and the opportunity to ask questions and clarify things for myself.
There are a lot of interesting topics in the program, with many substantive law topics being covered that I don’t recall seeing at CALL conferences. This is from a message sent around by the 2009 Conference Planning Committee:
Our program committee has been busy planning plenary sessions covering a variety of subjects such as Canadian immigration and refugee policy, creation of digital legal information, and the legal issues surrounding end of life care. In addition, they have collaborated with many SIGs and Committees to provide numerous simultaneous afternoon sessions that should appeal to our diverse membership. Some of the topics being presented are transformative leadership, law firm green initiatives, Sharepoint and knowledge management, library construction, embedded librarians, user training, and e-discovery.
The highlight for me, however, will be Monday afternoon’s session Making Some Room: Strategies that Turn New Staff Into New Leadership with Ryan Deschamps. Deschamps is the e-Learning Manager at Halifax Public Libraries, and in my mind one of the leading thinkers in North America with regard to public administration in libraries. For a glimpse into his thinking, have a look at his blog The Other Librarian. I was recently in Halifax for Podcamp Halifax, one of the reasons being to get to know Ryan Deschamps a bit better (he was one of the key organizers of the event). I look forward to hearing from him.