Many of us enjoy attending and sharing knowledge gained at conferences, and several fellow Slaw bloggers recently have done so in respect of last week’s American Association of Law Libraries annual meeting. An understated newer highlight of the AALL annual meeting is the poster sessions exhibit, introduced in 2012. I took a couple of turns through the exhibit and was impressed by the depth and range of projects and studies carried out by fellow law librarians, instructors, and researchers. The AALL annual meeting site contains the full list of accepted poster sessions, with descriptions. Below are brief notes about two sessions of several that piqued my interest.
Geeta Rooplal of the Toronto office of Stikeman Elliott presented a poster session on her firm’s library catalogue. From the abstract:
Maximizing Your Catalog Add useful features to your catalog that allow users to find much more than they are accustomed to in a traditional catalog. Users can peruse and search tables of contents, and quickly locate legislative concordances, published forms, precedents, and leading resources on a subject.
It’s been some time since I’ve seen the workings of a large law firm catalogue, intranet, or knowledge management system. The integration of this firm’s various knowledge assets and resources, accessible via multiple entry points in the library catalogue, is interesting. This session offered an excellent illustration of how law libraries do or can function in practice. Some images from the session follow:
Rachel Gordon of the Mercer University School of Law (and formerly with a major legal research database provider) presented a poster session on her research into the potential use of user-generated content to enhance commercial legal research citator services. From the abstract:
Enhancing Citator Reports with User-Added Content I am working on a paper that proposes that vendors add user data to their citator products to make citator reports easier to use. Lexis and Westlaw released new flagship platforms in recent years in response to users wanting easier search interfaces but citators remain difficult to use and interpret efficiently and correctly for all but the most skilled legal researchers. I worked at Lexis for almost ten years and I know that Shepard’s editors provide detailed customer-facing explanations of complex citator report issues. My proposal is to include these explanations as well as editor-approved explanations from customers in citator reports to help attorneys use these reports more efficiently.
Rachel provided me with an image of her research poster:
Though her work focuses on the LexisNexis citator product, there seem to be good possibilities for its use in other research environments, including locally-created ones. Recent musings about the potential of user-generated content in Canadian legal research services prompted me to consider the application of her research to such possible initiatives.
Thanks to Rachel Gordon and Geeta Rooplal for their permission to use images from their respective poster sessions.