By the Service Committee
This year, the LLNE Service Committee was LLNE’s largest committee in terms of number of members. In one year our membership tripled in size! Although this has been an exciting year of growth for our committee, it has not come without some growing pains. Part of what makes working on such a large committee fun and dynamic is the diversity of geography, viewpoint, and skill set. Part of what makes working on such a large committee intimidating and daunting is the diversity of geography, viewpoint, and skill set.
This year the Service Committee tried a new format where we broke down into two smaller subcommittees to tackle year-long projects. This allowed each of the subcommittees to feel ownership over their work, but also led to some floundering. One subcommittee worked on creating and implementing an online platform to provide resources about legal reference to New England non-law public librarians (for more info on the new LLNE Legal Link, see http://llne.org/legal-link/) while the other subcommittee worked on planning outreach to public non-law librarians in person through regional networking and professional development opportunities (for more information on this project, stay tuned for more updates!). The two projects were discrete in focus but aligned in vision.
What we learned from this year was immense. We have identified ways to improve our outreach attempts to regional non-law public librarians and are just now releasing the LLNE Legal Link. We have also learned more about ourselves as a committee. We have learned that we need to try a different structure. We have come up with a plan to define our roles within the committee through the use of position descriptions. This allows all volunteers to be more aware of the extent of the projects they are signing up to work on, as well as the nature of the service commitment.
While we are working on defining the duties of committee members, we are also in the process of developing roles for LLNE members who may want to help work on our projects without signing up for one more committee! We have gotten feedback that some librarians have the heart but not the time to commit to our work, and we are developing opportunities for those among our membership who may not be ready or able to commit to committee membership (and meetings and obligations!) at this time.
Our year has been busy. Please check out our new LLNE Legal Link webpage, our poster session at AALL, and our annual report at the LLNE annual meeting for more details about our on-going projects. Also, please consider giving of your time and talents. We are nothing without our members and invite you to reach out to us to discuss possible opportunities for volunteerism and service in the coming year.