By Diane D’Angelo
LLNE was well represented on the list of AALL award winners for 2016 — even our organization won an award!
These awards are just one more reminder of how incredibly talented our members are. Building friendships and collaborating with these folks and many others like them is one of the great benefits of being an active member of LLNE.
Congratulations to the following LLNEers:
1.) Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award: S. Blair Kauffman, Law Librarian and Professor of Law, Yale Law School
2.) Chapter Professional Development Award: LLNE — special thanks to Nicole Dyszlewski, LLNE Secretary and Research/Access Services Librarian at Roger Williams University School of Law Library & Alex Burnett, Associate Law Librarian at the Maine State Law & Legislative Reference Library
3.) Best Public Relations Tool Kit: The staff at Roger Williams University School of Law Library
By Artie Berns
I recently attended the ABA Techshow in Chicago. The following are some of the highlights:
Prior to the actual event I attended a Dean’s Roundtable event, Teaching Technology in the Academy: Are We Finally at the Tipping Point. This event was hosted by Chicago Kent School of law and included a lively panel discussion about the modes and methods of teaching technology in the legal academy. For me, the main take-away was that while we in the legal academy can theorize about what we should be teaching with regard to technology, a better indicator of what is needed is what the firms hiring our students want them to know when they arrive. This event will be evolving into an actual academic track in next year’s Techshow. For more information about the upcoming academic track contact Michael Robak, firstname.lastname@example.org.
More than one program I attended discussed the impact of expert systems on the practice of law. In this context an expert system is one in which a computer conducts guided interviews to solve a particular legal problem, for instance in the program How to Hire a Robot – or Using Experts Systems in Today’s Law Firm an expert system was designed on the spot which would allow an end user to determine if they can obtain a divorce or annulment under Illinois law. Other expert systems are used to provide services for pro se litigants, for example Illinois Legal Aid Online (www.illinoislegalaidonline.org) uses A2J Author (http://www.a2jauthor.org) to help self-represented litigants to create legal forms for common legal problems. Here in New England, the Massachusetts-based Committee for Public Counsel Services (https://www.publiccounsel.net/) uses QnA Markup (http://www.qnamarkup.org/) to help guide people to various legal resources. In the long term it is thought expert systems will be used for the automation of boring or repetitive tasks which will allow attorneys to spend their time addressing more complex and thought intensive tasks.
Several programs taught attendees to maximize the use of existing technologies such as Word, Excel, and Acrobat Pro. Another very interesting program discussed the deep/dark web and how to conduct research there and why you would want to. I discussed this program on the my law library’s blog, Spot-on Legal Research (http://wnelawlibrary.blogspot.com/2016/03/below-surface-web.html). All told, I walked away from the ABA Techshow with a much better idea about what technologies we should be teaching to law students both today and in the future.
By Nicole P. Dyszlewski
Because the Service Committee’s Spring project benefits the Rhode Island Department of Corrections Library System and I am a Rhode Island law librarian, I have been receiving the donations here in my office at Roger Williams University Library. I have been so impressed by the generosity of LLNE members. While the book drive, Bringing Books Behind Bars, is being organized by the Service Committee, and I am sure that committee will thank all donors fully, I just wanted to take a moment from behind the wall of donated books in my office to point out what is obvious to me. It is obvious to me that LLNE is a community of thoughtful, generous, and committed members.
Every morning for the last few weeks I have come in to my office to find packages from Amazon. These books have been donated from active librarians and retired librarians from government, academic and private firm libraries from several New England states. Several people have even donated multiple books! It is clear from the response to the Service Committee’s call to action that the members of our organization are engaged and involved in this project.
Many professional organizations (including our own) have lately suffered from a decrease in members. In addition, leaders of these organizations, and LLNE in particular, work hard to assess how actively engaged members appear. LLNE uses data such as number of attendees at meetings and responses to listserv posts on issues to gauge the connectivity and vibrancy of the organization. These conversations and changes made to organizational processes are important. If you have ideas on how LLNE can continue to serve its members, the Membership Committee and all of LLNE leadership would be happy to speak with you. This conversation continues and we invite you to be one of the participants as we move forward.
By the LLNE Service Committee
In association with the 2016 Spring Law Librarians of New England (LLNE) Meeting, the LLNE Service Committee has organized a book drive for the Rhode Island Department of Corrections library system. The Service Committee has met with library staff of the prison system and has worked with volunteers to compile a list of needed acceptable books.
All books donated must be from this list and must be donated in new condition based on the institutional rules.
The list of books can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/registry/giftlist/1R2951TFE7498
We have chosen a wide variety of titles which are both legal and non-legal. We have also chosen titles at a variety of price points.
Donations can be purchased on Amazon and mailed to:
Roger Williams University School of Law Library
10 Metacom Ave
Bristol, RI 02809
In addition to the book drive we will also be engaging in an advocacy effort to ask prison officials to make the rules about acceptable material more lenient and more standardized. If you are interested in learning more about this project, please contact one of the co-chairs of the Service Committee, Joshua LaPorte (Joshua.email@example.com) and Jessica Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Boston University School of Law Library held an event to welcome Ron Wheeler, the new director, on March 23rd. Kyle Courtney joined to help celebrate as Ron met with students, staff, and faculty to introduce himself and his vision for the library.
By Elliot Hibbler
It is “Sunshine Week” this week! No, it is not about the weather (the warm temperatures have not correlated with clear days so far) but about open government and freedom of information. This week, we have seen the Senate pass a bill, S. 337, related to improving FOIA. Many such bills are also at various stages of the legislative process at the state level.
Which reminds me…the LLNE / ABLL Spring meeting is coming up soon!
We have a great day of programming planned. We will be looking at access to government information from a policy level, and also getting into the specifics of how access is working in practice. We’ll also look at projects shaping the future of access. There is still time to register at lawlibraryguides.neu.edu/LLNE2016!
At the request of the LLNE President, an ad hoc committee was charged to look at possible changes to the LLNE bylaws with the intent of streamlining the election process.
The committee’s report with the proposed bylaw changes, is now available for review. The text has also been submitted for review to the AALL Bylaws committee.
We hope to vote on the proposed changes at the Spring Meeting.
Submitted by the Ad Hoc Bylaws Committee
Elaine Apostola, chair, Elliott Hibbler, Mindy Kent and Barbara Schneider
By the LLNE Service Committee
The Service Committee continues to focus its efforts on making connections and building partnerships with public libraries in the New England. This Spring the co-chairs of the service committee will be presenting a session titled Successful Strategies for Managing Law-Related Patron Inquiries at the Rhode Island Library Association (RILA) Annual Conference in Warwick, RI. This will provide an opportunity for the Service Committee members to meet public librarians with an interest in law and to showcase LLNE’s Legal Link project.
For the third year in a row, the Service Committee worked with the LLNE Education Committee and the Legal Research Instruction Program (LRIP) to offer two scholarships to New England area public librarians interested in taking the LRIP course. The two librarians who received the scholarships this year were April Pascucci, Library Technician at the U.S. Court of Appeals Library for the First Circuit and Jazmin Idakaar, Generalist Librarian I of the Mattapan Branch of the Boston Public Library.
Registration for the LLNE/ABLL Spring 2016 meeting is now open! The theme of the meeting is “Access to Government Information.” We will be spending the day discussing the role of law libraries and the government in providing access to this information, and why it is so critically important. Registration is $50 for LLNE members, and $40 for ABLL members.
Registration, the full schedule, and more is available at http://lawlibraryguides.neu.edu/LLNE2016