CALLABCD Conference IRL

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries conference is #IRL in 2023. Our theme Innovation Research Leadership features a focus on each topic during the event May 28-31 in Hamilton, Ontario. Early Bird registration is available for a few more days if you are looking for a discount price. The conference is a must for anyone working in law libraries and welcoming to anyone who has an interest in legal research, knowledge management, legal technology.

This conference is our first in-person event since our 2019 meeting in Edmonton. Our virtual events were very successful the last couple years. Member focused activities like the Association’s Annual General Meeting are remaining virtual so this In Real Life event is an educational and networking event. We are absolutely delighted to have an opportunity to connect in person with attendees, speakers and exhibitors and sponsors.

There is a wonderful lineup of plenary speakers. Attendees can look forward to hearing and meeting Teresa Scassa, Dr. Jennifer Leitch, and Benjamin Alarie and Abdi Aidid. A pre-conference workshop featuring Vicki Whitmell will help you become a resonant leader.

Haven’t been to Hamilton? It is a vibrant city with plenty of activities to keep you interested and engaged. And the food! Sunday May 28 in Hamilton we feature several tours.

Plenty of educational sessions round out the event:

Innovation in the provision of library services is the focus of many presentations by CALL/ACBD members.

  • Alexia Loumankis will be describing her “lending library” of Research Assistants, who support the needs of professors with short-term projects and questions.
  • Fiona Chiu and Ellen Norlander will be describing how the BC Courthouse Libraries used the pandemic to re-align the libraries’ service model to meet strategic goals, re-engineer business processes and empower staff to add new skills to their repertoire
  • Improving metadata and description of resources to emphasize inclusion and diversity is the focus of a presentation by Laura Daniels & Jacqueline Magagnosc.
  • Alan Kilpatrick will be presenting Saskatchewan’s SALI project (Saskatchwan Access to Legal Information) – a multi-institutional collaboration which improves public access to legal information.
  • “Advocating for Yourself and Your Law Library” is a presentation from Kim Nayyer, Sabrina Sondhi and Eve Leung. Gain support for your innovative ideas and services by learning how to understand and anticipate the pressures on decision-makers.
  • Tania Djerrahian and Katarina Daniels’ will introduce us to “Visualping- our top 2022 #lifehack,” which supports a variety of services at Davies LLP.
  • Sandra Craig and Amy Tang’s lightning talk on Indexing Large-Scale digitization projects.

Technology is a component of our Innovation theme.

  • Dominique Garingan will explore the integration of AI with instruction in advanced legal research in her lightning talk, “AI-Generated Content as Unorthodox ‘Secondary Sources’.”
  • Mita Williams’ presentation “What is Wikidata and Why You Should Do Data Entry For the Greater Good” will introduce us to a potentially useful resource (and challenge us to contribute to this emerging community).
  • Mark Doble, Colin LaChance and Brenda Lauritzen will discuss the use and implications of ChatGPT in legal applications.


CALL/ACBD members support the research activities of their clients, but they also conduct their own research to support learning and decision-making.

  • James Bachmann & Matthew Renaud will present “Legal Research Instruction in an Academic Setting – Best Practices/Methods for Teaching Success,” recounting their experiences in teaching Advanced Legal Research in person and on-line, finding traditional and non-traditional methods to help students develop critical thinking skills and to understand the limitations and advantages of a variety of research tools.
  • Erica Smith & Bryony Livingston’s lightning talk “What is the “gold standard”? Developing a Best Practices for Reference Writing Guide” will outline how the Legislative Library staff created a guide to give their communications a consistent, branded voice.
  • Lisa Levesque, Kim Clarke & Dominique Garingan present “Finding your way into Research,” challenging participants to identify information gaps and research opportunities to support their professional practice.
  • Mita Williams introduces us to Wikidata and makes the case for the use of and contributing to this global resource.
  • Nicholas Lobraico will present the results of his practicum project in his lightning talk: “Researching reference transactions.”
  • Kim Clarke will demonstrate the advantages of career management in her presentation.
  • Fiona Chiu & Ellen Norlander show the research methods used to support the evolution of library services in “How we adjusted our reference services in response to COVID-19.”
  • Dominique Garingan returns with a lightning talk,”AI-Generated Content as Unorthodox “Secondary Sources”: Towards the Recognition and Integration of Advanced Legal Technologies in Legal Research Instruction.”
  • Alexia Loumankis will be describing her “lending library” of Research Assistants, who support the needs of professors with short-term projects and questions.
  • Julie Lavigne and Yolanda Koscielski will show us how their work supports the study of law at institutions without a law school. “What’s Law Got To Do With It?” and how is the work of law librarians changed by these new perspectives?

Leadership can be more than management. Use this theme to challenge your thinking about the roles you occupy in your organization and your profession. Expand your horizons!

  • Zena Applebaum’s lightning talk, “7 Leadership Skills in 7 Minutes” – distilled learning!
  • Eileen Lewis will offer lessons from the past few years in her session: “How to lead through the storm without losing your humanity.” How can we support the organization’s goals and sustain an empathetic connection with staff?
  • Influencing decision makers and making a successful case for resources is the focus of Kim Nayyer, Sabrina Sondhi and Eve Leung’s presentation, “Advocating for Yourself and Your Law Library.”
  • Can your library help the organization become more inclusive? Yes, according to Laura Daniels & Jacqueline Magagnosc in their session, “Finding a way: collaboratively forging paths to more inclusive descriptive practices”
  • Jaimie Kechego, Vicki Leung & Lyonette Louis-Jacques will help us understand how to create respectful land acknowledgements.
  • Fiona Chiu & Ellen Norlander show leadership in their session “How we adjusted our reference services in response to COVID-19.”
  • Kim Clarke asks “Are you using Career Management?” which will challenge managers and individuals alike to take an active role in planning a satisfying progression through working life.
  • Planning your retirement goes well beyond the financial aspects. Join Louise Hamel and Wendy Reynolds for an overview of the professional and personal considerations which should accompany your entry into a new chapter of your life story.

I look forward to seeing everyone in real life!

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