By Nicole P. Dyszlewski, Immediate Past President as of 7/1
Dear LLNE Members,
Monday was leadership training at AALL for new SIS and chapter leaders and I was asked to speak about LLNE’s diversity and inclusion activities over the past year or so. It is with great pride that I talked about the statements we have written or signed, the executive board retreat focused on antiracism, the educational content we have produced, the money we raised, the awareness we raised, and the ongoing work of the taskforce that was formed. Although it was an exciting discussion and fun to talk about all of the amazing things we have done, I was quick to point out that this was not just the work of our organization’s leaders, but the work of our organization’s members.
As I end my year of service as President of this organization, I want to express my gratitude to all of the members who served in some way. Whether you volunteered to be on a committee, or chair a task force, or be an officer, or give money to a worthy cause, or attend an event, or speak at a panel, or decorate a bag for Meals on Wheels, your work was important and I am grateful. I am especially grateful to those who are ending their terms as officers or committee chairs or committee members. Thank you for your service to our organization. You will be missed, but the opportunities for volunteerism are always here if you wish to re-engage with the work.
This has been a difficult year personally and professionally for many. Many of us have suffered losses and tremendous change. But through it all, LLNE members continued to give and serve. Beyond work on diversity initiatives, we have had online meetings, a large online successful LRIP class, service projects, increased engagement on our blog and listserv, interviews with our pets, maintenance on our website, continued work on UELMA advocacy, the creation of a new archives policy, and monthly activities organized by our Fun Ambassador. LLNE is more active now than ever. We are a community working together, in spite of the demands on our time, our burnout, and fatigue.
In closing, a note about grace. We might not have gotten done all the things we wanted to in our jobs or house projects or committee service this year. And that is ok. At the same leadership training on Monday, I heard Jenny Silbiger and Taryn Marks both speak about giving yourself grace in the moments when you haven’t gotten everything done you set out to get done. And so that is the message I want to close with. Working intentionally toward the mission of this organization and giving grace to ourselves and those around us has been critical in this last year. And it needs to be critical going forward, as well. I have learned not just from what I have gotten done, but what I have failed to get done this year. I hope that I am able to finish out my term as Immediate Past President with this same grace.