A Reflection on Conferences Past and Future. Save October 25th to attend the Fall LLNE Conference.  

From Maureen Quinlan

An interesting and educational Spring LLNE/ABLL Conference was hosted by the Social Law Library. It was titled History in Law / Law in History. I thoroughly enjoyed each lecture.  Professor Amar and Justice Kafker provided a thought-provoking session on Law In History. The session gave me a clearer awareness of how Constitutional Law is perceived and how to understand Constitutional Law in the context of the past and today.

The panel of expert librarians on legislative history gave us insight into the resources available in each New England State to understand legislative histories. Providing legislative history information requires an understanding of each state’s resources and the patrons’ needs.

The final presentation on preservation problems with e-resources with Caroline Walters and David Walker defined the current state of the preservation challenge. The discussion led to some practical ways librarians can help solve the problem for future generations. Asking vendors to consider creating an archive of superseded materials is one practical tip for helping open the conversation. Over time it has the potential to create awareness and begin to address the issue.

I wanted to announce the Save the Date for the Fall LLNE Conference.  The date is Friday, October 25th. The Conference is being held at the McKernan Hospitality Center located on the campus of Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) in South Portland.  

We hope to plan a fall conference as interesting as this past spring conference. The fall conference’s working title is The Role of Law Libraries in the Age of AI. Further details will follow.

The McKernan Center is a converted mansion that sits on the SMCC Campus with views of the Atlantic Ocean. The SMCC campus is a lovely place to visit, with a beach at the end of campus.  SMCC still does not charge for parking. The campus is just over the bridge from Portland.  Autumn is considered by many to be the best time to visit Maine.  Foliage, pumpkins, and local apples are readily available. The Spring Point Inn is attached to the McKernan Center and sometimes has a few rooms available.   

I was trying to remember the first LLNE Conference I attended. If you can not remember the last LLNE Conference you attended, it may be time to consider joining us on October 25th.  The LLNE Conference will not be held in Maine again for years!  Do not miss another opportunity.

Spring Service Committee Project: Supporting Digital Historical Initiatives

The Service Committee would like to present its Spring project: Supporting digital historical initiatives. Most of the projects below ask for assistance with transcribing documents. Transcription adds so much value by helping make documents more discoverable in catalogs and other search engines. Digital transcription projects are projects you can work on from the comfort of your own home (with one exception below). Be a part of history while helping to share it with others!

The organizations below welcome your support:

State Organizations:

Massachusetts Historical Society: https://www.masshist.org/mymhs/

Digital Main Transcription Project: http://digitalmaine.net/projects/contributors

ArtInRuins (Rhode Island): https://artinruins.com/support/#donate-time-andor-expertise

Regional Organizations:

Historic New England: https://www.historicnewengland.org/explore/library-archives/casey-family-papers-archive/help-transcribe-the-casey-family-papers/

National Organizations:

National Archives and Records Administration: https://www.archives.gov/citizen-archivist/get-started-transcribing

Native Northeast Portal: https://nativenortheastportal.com/

The Native Northeast Research Collaborative‘s Native Northeast Portal contains primary source materials by, on, or about Northeast Indians from repositories around the world.  Documents are digitized, transcribed, annotated, reviewed by the appropriate contemporary descendant community representatives, and brought together with scholarly annotations and academic/community commentary into one edited interactive digital collection. The Portal currently contains thousands of records associated with scores of Native communities.”

LLNE LRIP Scholarship Announcement

All public librarians are encouraged to apply for a scholarship, sponsored by the LLNE Access to Justice Committee, to attend our chapter’s Legal Research Instruction Program.

The Legal Research Instruction Program (LRIP) is a six-week online seminar geared towards public librarians interested in learning more about law librarianship. Each week, a different aspect of legal research is covered — everything from an overview of the U.S. legal system to finding business transactional documents. The class will run on Tuesday evenings from March 26th through April 30th. 

 For more information about the LRIP course, go to https://llne.org/llnes-legal-research-instruction-program-is-back/ or contact Brian Flaherty directly at brian2@bu.edu.

The LLNE Access to Justice Committee is providing two scholarships to cover the cost of registration. Applicants must be public (non-law) librarians from the New England region.

Applications should be submitted through this Google form https://forms.gle/Wdyy1hiYQJtzNwY89 by March 19, 2024. Scholarship recipients will be notified by March 22, 2024.

Please send questions about the scholarship to Anne Rajotte at anne.rajotte@uconn.edu.

We encourage all LLNE members to share this scholarship opportunity with their local public libraries and any public librarians that would be interested in this excellent professional development opportunity.

LLNE’s Legal Research Instruction Program is back!

LLNE is happy to announce that our Legal Research Instruction Program (LRIP) is back and registration is open!

The program is entirely online, every Tuesday from 6:30-8:00pm starting March 26th and ending on April 30th.

LRIP will cover:

  • A general overview of the US Legal System
  • An introduction to legal research methods, including secondary sources
  • The role of case law, the courts, and case finding tools such as digests
  • The organization of statutes and conducting a legislative history
  • Finding regulations
  • Understanding administrative law
  • Finding transactional law documents
  • Finding information about businesses and people
  • Putting everything together with legal research strategy.

For more information, about the course, visit the program’s webpage or contact Brian Flaherty directly.

Registration is $150 and closes on March 23rd! Stay tuned for information on scholarships!

Registration URL: https://www.jotform.com/form/240584669539169#preview

Fall Service Project Wrap-Up

by Nicole Belbin, Service Committee Chair

The Fall Service Project marks the Service Committee’s first service project with our newest committee member, Rebecca Valentine, Associate Librarian at UMass Law. She has proven herself an invaluable member of our committee already and John, Stephanie, and I are so happy she joined us. For the Fall 2023 Service Project, the Service Committee chose to highlight the International Institute of New England (IINE) in Boston. They do amazing work supporting refugees and immigrants and have recently seen an unprecedented influx of Haitians into the Boston area. We felt their mission complemented the theme of the Meeting, The Fog of War: International and Foreign Legal Research in Today’s World, nicely. We sponsored a goods drive for members to bring in or purchase items online via their Amazon Wishlist. LLNE members generously donated towels, sheets, toys, and hats, among other items.

We learned a lot about coordinating a goods drive with this project! As luck would have it, IINE had its annual full staff meeting on November 3, the same day as our Fall Meeting. This put a small monkey wrench into coordinating the drop off of donated items to IINE’s office, as none of the Service Committee members were available to deliver the goods another day. The Planning Committee was extremely helpful in storing the items and helping us figure out alternative means of getting the items where they needed to go. Ultimately, Katie Kerekes, Senior Law Library Intern at Northeastern, saved the day. She delivered the items to IINE on November 7.

If you didn’t get a chance to donate an item during the Fall Meeting but would like to support this great organization, they are still in need of winter coats or you can purchase other much-need items from their Amazon Wishlist.

As always, thank you to our members for your continued generosity. The Service Committee is looking forward to offering impactful service opportunities for LLNE members in the New Year.

Registration Now Live For 2023 Fall LLNE Meeting!

Registration for LLNE’S Fall 2023 Meeting, The Fog of War: International and Foreign Legal Research in Today’s World, is now live! You can register here, on the meeting LibGuide! The registration fee is 70$ and the registration form will be open until October 20th.

Check out the LibGuide for additional information about the theme, schedule, speakers, and travel.

We hope to see you there!

Nominations Committee Report

The LLNE Nominations Committee is pleased to announce the slate of candidates for the upcoming election at our next annual meeting. All candidates have been approached and are willing to serve. The slate is as follows:

Vice-President/President Elect: 

Maureen Quinlan
Reference & Gov. Doc. Law Librarian
Garbrecht Law Library
University of Maine School of Law
246 Deering Avenue
Portland, ME 04102
(207) 780-4835
maureen.quinlan@maine.edu

Treasurer:

Rachel Weiss
Research Librarian
Nixon Peabody LLP
53 State St.
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 345-6141
rweiss@nixonpeabody.com

Education Director:

Nicholas Mignanelli
Head of Library Programming and Lecturer in Legal Research
Lillian Goldman Law Library
Yale Law School
127 Wall St.
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 432-8153
nicholas.mignanelli@yale.edu 

LLNE Nominations Committee:

Barbara Schneider, Chairperson
Mindy Kent
George Taoultsides

Featured LLNE Library: The Moakley Law Library at Suffolk University Law School

Location, location, location

The Moakley Law Library is a gem in the heart of Boston. If you ever find yourself strolling down the Boston Common near the Park Street T stop, look up! You’ll see Sargent Hall – a curved building, right beside the Orpheum Theatre. The Moakley Law Library is right at the tippity-top, on the sixth and seventh floors. The views are breathtaking – especially at sunset. From most windows that face Tremont Street, you can marvel at the sparkling gold dome of the State House building, that’s just a 2-minute walk from the law school. In the distance, you can see the Charles River, the Prudential & John Hancock buildings, and the iconic Citgo sign. History buffs adore our location – the law school is directly across from the Granary Burying Ground, where Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock, James Otis, five victims of the Boston Massacre, including Crispus Attucks, Mother Goose and Benjamin Franklin’s parents lay at rest. From the imposing white tower church bell to the changing of the seasons, Suffolk’s views are one of a kind, especially at sunset.

The People

Speaking of one of a kind, let’s talk about the Moakley Law Library’s staff. They are a collaborative team of experts in their respective areas who inspire, encourage and support each other daily to provide the highest level of support to the law school community. In addition to the director of the law library & associate professor of legal research, and the assistant director for public services, there are four legal research librarians and seven other law library admin and staff members. Some of the legal research librarians wrote an AALL Spectrum article together, highlighting the innovative trainings they offer to law students that are about to begin first year summer internships.

Student Outreach & Resources

Mindful of diverse studying habits, we devised a plan to arrange the law library space into a welcoming environment for all. Students can decide if they want quiet studying, collaborative interactions, or even low tone videoconferencing. There are also many large and small study rooms for students who want a more private environment for studying and collaborating. Both day and evening students are at the core of our services. The librarians launched a quarterly law student e-newsletter to promote library services, legal research instruction, new resources, a funtivity, and more. To foster community year-round, the law library designed outreach activities such as a kindness mural, where students write positive or encouraging messages to fellow classmates; a succulents garden, where the plants were named after past justices; and a find-the hidden-object game with a law theme.

Building Community

The law library is always looking for ways to support the law school community and bring people together. We recently transformed a seldom used elevator lobby on the 7th floor and are excited to launch our very first gallery exhibit to celebrate Suffolk Law history and pride. The exhibit includes two interactive elements and lots of really cool archival photos of Suffolk Law from its inception at the beginning of the 1900s – thru the 1980s.

Faculty Services

The Suffolk Law faculty are prolific scholars. The Moakley Law Library designed a faculty library liaison program to assign a legal research librarian to each full-time faculty member to help ensure that they get the customized support they need for all their scholarly and teaching endeavors. The law library also helps ensure faculty success by working with the Vice Dean of the law school to play a leading role in managing the paid Faculty Research Assistant program, which allows law students the opportunity to work alongside law faculty on significant research projects and writing.

Embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion is a cornerstone of Suffolk Law, which advocates for acceptance and systemic change. This informs its curricular design, making Suffolk Law a national leader in key areas from legal writing to legal technology.

Librarians in the Classroom

Librarians play a significant role in the classroom – teaching two week-long legal research modules every fall, as part of the first-year legal research and writing curriculum, offering 2-credit advanced legal research classes every spring and fall, and visiting upper-level classes to provide trainings and support to students who are working on legal research papers. The law library also offers workshops and trainings – like the Bluebook refresher training that we offer every spring for first-year students who are about to participate in the law review write-on competition.

If you’d like to learn more about the innovative things we’re doing at Suffolk, please don’t hesitate to reach out – we’d love to chat, tell you more, and learn about all the great things your law library is doing too – and we’d be happy to schedule a tour of the law library with you.