In modern law librarianship, technology promises a more connected and informed future. But the rapid conversion of legal information into machine-readable formats has caused paradigmatic shifts in library staffing, spending, and structure—and raises fears of overreliance on machines.  How do we provide users with the tools and training to keep up, without ceding control over search and information?  How do we balance the necessity of technology adoption against our fears of losing the human aspects of librarianship and information management?

Star Trek presents many interesting examples of humans’ relationships with “thinking” machines: voice-responsive computers for effortless information retrieval, artificial life forms, and a networked “hive mind” of mechanized humanoids, to name a few.  This session will use examples from the Star Trek universe to illustrate the challenges involved in harnessing new technology while purposefully and responsibly supporting, staffing, and managing these solutions to serve our goals--without swallowing our institutions.