Last week, the CCLA’s Library Technician, Amanda Elliott, and Reference Librarian, Kaitlyn Tribe (that’s me!) attended the annual Canadian Association of Law Libraries Conference, which took place in Calgary, Alberta. The conference, entitled Scaling New Heights, had an excellent and robust program this year, filled with information that we hope to apply here at the CCLA Library. Program highlights included collection development in the digital age, the introduction of e-books to law libraries, new formats for training and programming, and ideas for applying green principles in a law library setting.

This year, I was co-chair of CALL’s Courthouse and Law Society Libraries Special Interest Group, along with Anne Bowers of the Northumberland County Law Association Library and Michel-Adrien Sheppard of the Supreme Court of Canada Library. The position provided an excellent opportunity to meet Courthouse and Law Society librarians from across the country, share knowledge and ideas, and discuss shared issues and experiences across law libraries. I found the position extremely valuable as a vehicle for professional development and very much enjoyed being involved in the conference and program. I will be staying on as chair next year, and the CCLA’s Head Librarian, Jennifer Walker, will be chairing CALL’s Education Committee.

As co-chair, I organized and moderated a session entitled Going Green at your Law Library, featuring members of Calgary Public Library’s Eco-Action Team. Calgary Public Library is a leader in implementing green initiatives in Canada’s library community, and has won multiple awards for green marketing and efforts such as recycling and waste reduction. The session addressed the unique challenges law libraries face when attempting to implement green initiatives, such as their very specific collections and user base, and lack of control over building practices in the courthouses they are housed in. We learned how to develop an eco-plan for the library, and tackle complex issues such as recycling, waste reduction, and procurement of sustainable materials. The library staff certainly hope to apply some of the lessons learned at this session to the renovation that the CCLA is currently planning.

Another valuable aspect of the conference is the opportunity to meet and speak with a wide variety of legal vendors and publishers from across the country. Thomson Carswell, Lexis Nexis, and other publishers large and small have a dedicated presence at the conference, offering plenty of opportunity for liaison, discussion, and questions. New organizations and innovators are also present, and we are very excited about the new research products that they are developing for the legal community. We hope to be able to share them with you here at the CCLA Library.

Overall, the conference was an extremely valuable experience, and Amanda and I very much enjoyed it. Stay tuned for news from Head Librarian, Jennifer Walker, who will be attending the American Association of Law Libraries Conference this summer.

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