Sunday, July 15, 2007

AALL 2007 Conference: Greetings from New Orleans!

The 2007 conference of the American Association of Law Libraries has kicked off in New Orleans.

It is indeed as hot and humid as they say. This morning, it was so humid my glasses fogged up in less than 10 seconds as I started walking the 2 blocks to the convention centre.

Another thing about New Orleans: many of the street names are French but don't make the mistake of pronouncing them correctly (in French): people will not understand what you are talking about. For example, Chartres Street is pronounced "Char-duhrs" with a hard D sound.

Yesterday, there was a pre-conference called CONELL or Conference of Newer Law Librarians whose purpose is to welcome newer AALL members or first time attendees such as myself. It is very much a "get acquainted" event with brief introductions on the Association, how to volunteer, advice on how to network at the conference, etc.

The real highlight of the day was the bus tour of New Orleans which went beyond the more well-known tourist spots. We spent quite a lot of time visiting the neighbourhoods most devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

The tour guide provided a very detailed explanation of the civil engineering dimensions of New Orleans: the massive canal system, the levees, the network of rain water drainage routes, etc.

Despite the efforts at reconstruction, there are many areas where the destruction is still extremely visible: vacant spaces where houses used to stand, caved in buildings, homes that are nothing but empty shells, boarded up shopping centres, etc.

It is much more gut wrenching than on any TV screen. These people have amazing courage and resilience.

The vendor exhibits have opened this morning. Workshops begin this afternoon.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:21 pm


Blogger Amy Wright said...

Hi Michel-Adrien, I'm a fellow AALL blogger (ZiefBrief), and I had to laugh when I read your post about being a bit bemused by the way that New Orleans residents pronounce street names. It does take some getting used to, and I still get it wrong even though I've been a regular visitor to New Orleans for 7 years -- you may find the pronunciation guide from the Gumbo Pages of some assistance:

1:21 am  

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