LLNE Annual Report Submitted to AALL

Law Librarians of New England (LLNE) – Annual Report to AALL

Submitted by Elaine Apostola, LLNE President 2016-2017

Archives and History Committee:

The Archives & History Committee continues to assess the holdings of the repository and, as part of this effort, moved the holdings from Harvard Law School (where it was stored offsite) to Suffolk University Law School’s law library.  This will ensure easier access to the repository with the hope of increased use.  In addition, the committee helped organize a celebration of LLNE’s 70th anniversary at the fall meeting in Portland, Maine.

The Scholarship Committee:

The Scholarship Committee was able to award five scholarships, one academic, and four to meetings. Amy Wilson, of Wilmer Hale and a part-time student at Simmons, was the recipient of an academic scholarship. Alex Burnett, of Maine State Law and Legislative Library, and Bonnie Gallagher, of CT State Law Library, were awarded scholarships to LLNE meetings. Some unused scholarship money was used to assist Bonnie Gallagher with travel expenses. Barbara Schneider, of MA Trial Court Law Libraries, and Jessica Almeida, of UMass Law Library, were each awarded AALL meeting scholarships for the annual meeting in Austin, TX.

Communications & Technology:

Early in the 2016/17 year, the Communications & Technology Committee began an inventory of the content of various communications streams of LLNE and did a survey of LLNE members of their social media use, both of which were presented during a fall retreat of the Executive Board. The hope is to finalize a larger communications strategy for the organization. Newsletter editors Jenna Fegreus and Kyle Courtney hope to have the next issue out after the 2017 Annual Meeting and have made certain that the last issue published now appears on HeinOnline.   Digital files for content before the newsletter became born digital are still awaiting a platform/mechanisms for distribution.  Co-webmasters Alex Burnett and Artie Berns added tracking of website statistics for llne.org and implemented automatic emails for blog posts.

Education Committee:

Legal Research Instruction Program (LRIP)

Continuing with a great tradition of education and service, LLNE held their popular “Legal Research Instruction Program,” (LRIP) this spring from March 21st to April 25th. For the third year in a row, Suffolk University Law Library hosted the course, graciously allowing LLNE to use classroom space in the law library. There were 16 students from academic, firm and public libraries. Two of the students received LLNE scholarships to attend.

There were two big changes to LRIP this year. One was the addition of a class in Transactional Law, which also meant that the class ran for six weeks instead of five as it had in the past few years. The other was that the class on Case Law was taught online this year. The new format was piloted by Brian Flaherty and Susan Vaughn. In the months leading up to the course Brian and Susan came up with course materials and recorded video segments. These were made available to the students via TWEN.

Meetings

The Spring meeting was held at Boston University on the topic of professional development. Attendees had their choice of sessions throughout the day and the conference ended with a roundtable event.

The Fall meeting is scheduled to be held November 17th at the Salem Waterfront Hotel, in Salem, MA. It will be a joint meeting with SNELLA. The proposed theme is: “Hysteria, Hyperbole, and Hunting Witches: 1693 & 2017,” which would focus on information literacy and identifying bias, in both current and historical sources.

Membership Committee:

LLNE welcomed 35 new or returning members this year, from five different states, representing 14% of our total membership.  Our membership has remained fairly stable over the last few years and now totals 246.  New members represent the spectrum of law libraries and include new library school students.

The Committee would like to recognize the following LLNE members who have won awards granted by AALL:

  • AALL Spectrum Article of the Year: Pat Newcombe, Western New England University School of Law Library
  • LexisNexis/John R. Johnson Memorial Scholarship: Alisha Hennen, Roger Williams University Law Library
  • Marcia J. Koslov Scholarship: Jessica Lundgren, Maine Law & Legislative Reference Library
  • AALL Annual Meeting Grant: Elaine Apostola, Maine Law & Legislative Reference Library
  • AALL Annual Meeting Chapter Grant: T.K. Adkins, Boston University Fineman & Pappas Law Libraries
  • LISP-SIS Kathy Garner Grant: Jessica Almeida, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth School of Law Library
  • SR-SIS Alan Holoch Memorial Grant: Joshua LaPorte, University of Connecticut School of Law Library

Service Committee:

The Service Committee organized two successful service projects in conjunction with the LLNE Fall and Spring Meetings – the first was a stuffed animal drive benefiting Project Smile, which distributes stuffed animals and toys to first responders throughout New England to give to children who are in need of comfort. The Committee organized a professional clothing drive for the Spring Meeting, benefiting SolutionsWear, an initiative which provides interview clothes to homeless and low-income men and women who are enrolled in area job training programs.

The Committee continues its work on our on-going Legal Link project. Legal Link has two components: first, we continue to update and develop our online portal of information and resources to assist public librarians to provide legal research assistance to their users. Second, we do outreach to public librarians to make them aware of the online resources, train them in legal reference skills, and partner with them to address the lack of access to justice in the New England region.

To follow-up on our Books Behind Bars project from 2016, we drafted a letter from LLNE to the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections advocating broader inmate access to reference services and library resources.

LLNE Government Relations Committee:

On June 26th, the Reporter of Judicial Decisions for Massachusetts held a listening session for stakeholders to voice concerns about the possibility of decisions from the Massachusetts Appeals Court and Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to an online format.  Various LLNE members attended the meeting and LLNE Vice-President/President-Elect Ellen Frentzen spoke on behalf of LLNE.

The LLNE GRC had another busy year in advocating for AALL’s legislative priorities and in keeping LLNE members informed of legislative and policy issues of interest to law librarians in the New England states through the listserv and LLNE blog.

The LLNE GRC also reached the larger AALL membership through the “In the States” section of AALL’s Washington e-bulletin.

Government Relations Committee members, as well as LLNE members, participated in the AALL GRO’s Virtual Lobby Day, by contacting their members of Congress in support of AALL’s top priorities.

Thanks to the tireless advocacy of the UELMA in Massachusetts Subcommittee of the LLNE GRC, a UELMA bill was once again introduced in the Massachusetts Legislature.  H 812, sponsored by Rep. Carmine Gentile, was heard in the Joint Committee on the Judiciary on May 2, 2017.  The UELMA Subcommittee will keep the LLNE membership apprised of further action through the LLNE GRC  blog.

Treasurer’s Report: 

Account July 1, 2016
Balance
June 30, 2017
Balance
Change from
July 1 to June 30
Checking $13,946.25 $18,022.27 $4,076.02
Checks on hand $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Money owed $242.53 $0.00 -$242.53
Uncashed payments $0.00 -$3,007.79 -$3,007.79
Savings $17,018.06 $17,021.47 $3.41
PayPal $624.42 $346.76 -$277.66
Total $31,831.26 $32,382.71 $551.45

Annual Report 2017