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A Message from the President: LLNE Executive Board Retreat on Antiracism and a Volunteer Opportunity

Earlier this month the LLNE Executive Board and LLNE Committee members were invited to engage in a two day retreat on the topic of antiracism. It is hard to take out 2 days of your schedule and make yourself available for intense volunteer work, but many of our amazing board members and volunteers did; some while on reference duty; and some on mommy duty. Beyond just showing up, those that attended engaged with the work, for which I am grateful.

The speaker on the first day of the retreat was Dr. Raul Fernandez who is the Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at BU’s Wheelock College of Education & Human Development and a lecturer in Wheelock’s Higher Education Administration program. He was phenomenal. (I recorded the talk and am free to share it with members if any of you are interested!). The remainder of the retreat was spent on thinking about big ways and small ways we can make our organization and its policies antiracist and more inclusive.

In 2020, our board released a statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement where we stated:

We therefore want you to know we are committed to systemic change and doing work which furthers equity, access, and justice for the Black community not only in our country, but within our organization.

This was a statement condemning acts of violence and committing ourselves to the work of systemic change. We released the statement because we thought it critical to affirm our beliefs. It is also an invitation to hold the organization and its leaders responsible for following through on its statement. The statement was a promise to do more and do better.

The work of the new Diversity and Inclusion Working Group is one way we are upholding our promise. This retreat was another. Our work will continue throughout this Spring.

One of the themes that surfaced at the retreat was that the organization needs to be more open and inclusive when selecting leaders. Another way of expressing this is that our organization needs to choose leaders in a different, and more transparent, way. We need to recruit beyond our own networks of colleagues and instead post position descriptions and open calls for volunteers in a more intentional way. This may not yield instant results but it may set the tone for a more inclusive professional organization.

One way this can begin is through the organization’s yearly nomination process. The first step in this journey is selecting members of the LLNE Nominating Committee.

The Nominating Committee currently has room for 2 volunteersIf anyone is interested, please email me. As described below, the duties are fairly limited and the tasks completed in about 2 months.

Below is the description of the Nominating Committee charge:

1. Members of the Nominating Committee are appointed by the President in consultation with the Executive Committee at least ninety days prior to the annual meeting. Three in number, the members should represent a cross-section of library types and states in the Chapter. The Chairperson should be a previous member of the Committee. Members hold office for a term of one year.

2. Committee members shall develop a list of candidates who are knowledgeable, dedicated to improving the profession, have an interest in the chapter and its goals, and have a willingness to serve. In developing the slate of candidates, the Committee shall attempt to give representation to each state and library type when possible.

3. The Committee develops a priority list of candidates for each office and approaches each candidate about his/her willingness to serve.

4. Once the slate of candidates has been finalized, the Chairperson notifies the President at least sixty days prior to the annual meeting. Although additional nominations may be made directly to the President (see Article VI of the LLNE Bylaws), the slate generally includes one candidate for each office.

5. After the President has been notified, the Committee Chairperson sends a copy of the Committee Report to the editor of LLNE News for publication at least thirty days prior to the annual meeting.

I am the president of LLNE for the next 6 months and I hope that during this time, and beyond, we all can work to make LLNE a better organization. I am open to hearing about ways this can be done. I invite you to email me or call me to discuss your thoughts. I invite you to hold us accountable for our actions and our statements.

Finally, thanks should also go to the D&I working group members and leaders for their work. Also, there was a lot of behind the scenes work that was done by Christie, Mike, and Rachel to make the retreat happen that I am thankful for. 

Nicole P. Dyszlewski

LLNE President

Meet LLNE’s Communications Committee Co-Chair: an Exclusive Puparazzi Interview with Allegra, Andante, and Parker about life with Ellen

Hi, LLNE members! Our names are Allegra (“Ally”), Andante (“Dante”) and Parker Frentzen and we are the trio responsible for coming up with crazy stories to share with LLNE. Our mom is Ellen, one of the Communications Committee Co-Chairs of LLNE and the Assistant Dean for Administration at the Boston University School of Law. We were supposed to have been interviewed by the pup-arazzi in November, but we were too busy causing holiday mayhem, and so had to wait until we were ready for a little R&R (that’s “recuperation and recovery” for those of you who have never had to be on bedrest after splitting a toenail chasing a squirrel out of the backyard). Those holiday decorations don’t destroy themselves, you know!  But we are delighted to take a moment to tell you more about Ellen. Here is a transcript of our conversation with Sara and Nicole:

Andante, Allegra, and Parker Frentzen. Two black labs and a black cat sleeping on a dog bed.

Nicole: Hi, Ally, Dante, and Parker. Thanks for sitting down with us today.

Sara: Thank you for granting us this exclusive interview.

Nicole: We want to get to know the real Ellen better and we thought we could start by asking you a few questions.

Sara: What does Ellen do for fun?

Ally: She really likes to do projects. She’s always coming up with something to do, and moving our bed so she can paint the wall, or rearrange the furniture, or digging up the yard to plant a garden or taking us to the beach to look for seaglass or letting the tiny humans make a giant mess or something.

Two happy black labs hiking outside.

Parker: all the moving is terribly exhausting. I wish she’d just stick to her fun hobbies, like knitting. All that yarn makes a nice snuggly bed.

Nicole: What is your favorite thing about Ellen?

Ally & Dante: She is always up for trying something new. Almost every weekend we go explore a new place or try a new activity. And she adopted us from Texas together, because we are a bonded pair and cannot be separated, so that was nice. And she came up with our names, which are a perfect reflection of our personalities.

Allegra showing her upbeat personality.
Andante sleeping upside on the couch.

Parker: She really likes to read, which is a nice quiet activity with a lot of sitting and relaxing.

Black cat sleeping in blankets.

Sara: What is your least favorite thing about Ellen?

Parker: She can’t leave well enough alone. She’s always pushing people to do more and achieve more. All I want to do is sleep, preferably on someone’s lap, and she keeps buying new toys to try and get me to play. Also, she says I am a nosy Parker, which I think is terribly unfair. Someone has to keep track of the goings on around here, or it would be total chaos.

Black cat sleeping on dog bed while dog looks dismayed.

Ally and Dante: She massively overreacts when we achieve new heights. The other day, we figured out how to open the oven door and took out the short ribs she left hidden in there for us, and then washed those down with a pan of marshmallows off the counter and smashed the pan on the floor. Did she praise our ingenuity? She did not. She said it made a huge mess, and kicked us out of the house so she could cleanup. She said the same thing when we removed the dishrack from the dishwasher to more efficiently prewash the dinner plates. We didn’t even get a cookie!!! Also, whenever we’ve dug under the fence and gone running through the swamp up the street, she makes us take a bath before being allowed back into the house.

Nicole: What is Ellen’s favorite guilty pleasure?

Parker: Very few people know this, but she’s weirdly obsessed with waste management and what people consider trash, because she studied environmental science and archaeology. She likes to read books on supply chains and waste management, and she would love to have Catherine Coleman Flowers give a talk at LLNE or her law school.

Ally & Dante: Sometimes, she sneaks out of the house really early in the morning to go for a walk all by herself. She doesn’t even always take us!

Sara: We are down to our final question, if Ellen won the lottery, what would she do with the funds?

Ally & Dante: She firmly believes that everyone should have enough to eat, so she’d send a lot to food panties and food rescue organizations. She’d also like to expand her garden and start a #littlefreefarmstand to share extra pumpkins and tomatoes with her neighbors! We would like a big field to run around in, preferably with a pond to swim in, though.

Parker: She also feels everyone should have a home, which I agree with. I don’t even like to go outside, so I don’t think anyone should have to sleep on the street, and I would support her in donating to Habitat for Humanity, as long as there was enough to make sure I never run out of Fancy Feast.

Ally and Dante: In closing, we would just like to welcome Major as the historical first rescue dog to serve as First Dog and wish him a happy “Indoguration” and a enthusiastic first 100 days of digging in the Rose Garden.

End of Year Message from LLNE President Nicole Dyszlewski

Dear LLNE members,

2020 has been memorable but I think we are all ready for the start of the new year.

This year has been filled with loss and challenge. But it has also been a year marked by tremendous innovation and grace.

I am proud that our organization was one of the first law library organizations to hold its conference online in the Spring. This educational opportunity was followed up by frequent LLNE Friendly Friday Zoom meetings, a trivia event, and another all online meeting this Fall, hosted by UConn.

We were also one of the first law library organizations to issue a Black Lives Matter statement. Since issuing that statement, we’ve continued the conversation about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and anti-racism in our profession with other chapters and with our national organization’s leadership. I heard from other chapter leaders that our statement influenced their own deliberations about both the creation and content of their chapters’ statements. Further, LLNE organized a new Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, and they are doing important work which will help LLNE act in accordance with its espoused beliefs.

The work of a regional law library association is sometimes quiet and forgotten. But the impact of the work our association and our members do is loud. The Service Committee raised thousands of dollars for a local charity, the A2J Committee is rolling out new content on eviction resources, and our members are writing, teaching, leading, helping, and researching all the time.

Thank you to all our members, leaders, and volunteers for your contributions this year. I am proud to be the president of an organization that consistently leads our profession forward, even during trying times.

Happy New Year!

Nicole Dyszlewski

LLNE President

Job Posting – Law Library Assistant – Essex Law Library

The Law Library Assistant assists the Head Law Librarian in providing reference service, implementing circulation and interlibrary loan policies, utilizing knowledge of judges, court personnel, and the general public. Performs major duties under the direction of the Head Law Librarian. Law Library Assistants will be required to occasionally travel within a designated county to provide services at another law library as needed. The position title above the entry-level performs more complex and varied work. Employees are hired at the entry-level position title and are eligible for reclassification to the higher level position title within this series, consistent with the specifications for the higher-level position title. The position title reverts to the entry-level when there is a vacancy. 

Qualifications

High school diploma and two (2) years of clerical experience in a library or an Associate’s degree or paralegal degree and one (1) year of clerical experience in a library or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Knowledge of library procedures, interlibrary cooperation, and the types of resources and services available to librarians and library users.

Demonstrated knowledge of personal computers including MS-DOS and Window environments, and proficiency in word processing, spreadsheets and CD-ROM use is preferable.

Ability to perform Trial Court fiscal procedures in accordance with MMARS accounting system.

Ability to travel to multiple court locations.

Ability to reach with hands and arms, bend, climb, crouch and lift materials weighing up to 30 pounds.

Ability to gather, analyze and report information.

Ability to communicate well both orally and in writing.

Ability to deal effectively with judges, court personnel, and the general public.

Ability to work independently.

Full/Part Time

Full Time

Education

NA

Salary

$51,193.42/Yr.

Closing Date

Until filled.

How to Apply

If you are not currently viewing this posting online, please visit the Trial Court website at www.mass.gov/jobs-in-the-courts to apply for this position or any other Trial Court employment opportunity.

LLNE Fall Service Project Wrap-Up: The RE∙Center of Hartford, Connecticut

This fall, the LLNE and SNELLA Service Committees joined forces to raise money for the RE∙Center of Hartford, Connecticut.  The RE∙Center is an organization that works to promote racial equality in education.  The RE∙Center offers anti-racism programming to students, educators, and the community.  For more information on the RE∙Center, visit https://re-center.org/.

As part of our project, LLNE hosted a trivia night to raise funds for the RE∙Center on October 28, 2020.  LLNE members, law librarian colleagues, family, and friends from across the country joined us in a fun trivia tournament hosted by TTodd of Jeporardy and Washington Post fame.  Congratulations to the team from Yale for coming in 1st place! The winning team members received amazing prizes courtesy of the event’s sponsor, Lexis. 

Missed the trivia event and still want to give to this great cause?  There is still time to give!  Just visit https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E331556&id=1, select “I would like to dedicate this donation”, and type in LLNE Service Project.  

Finally, the Service Committee is happy to report that this initiative has raised $1,322.78 for the  RE∙Center!  Thank you to all of our members who donated and were part of our first ever virtual trivia event.  If you have an idea for a future service project or would like to join the Service Committee, please email Jessica at jessica.almeida@umassd.edu.  

Edgar Award presented to Darcy Kirk

Darcy Kirk was presented the Edgar Award at the recent Fall Meeting. Due to the virtual format of the meeting, we arranged the presentation of the award to be done via a video. We reached out to a handful of current and former colleagues and friends of Darcy to contribute tribute videos, arranged for a brief outdoor presentation to be video recorded, and then edited everything together into a presentation video which was shared during the lunch break. You can view the video here.

We would like to thank everyone who helped make this award and its special presentation possible.

Technology Committee Update

The LLNE Technology Committee continues to maintain and develop the LLNE.org website, support the LLNE and Executive Board listservs, and implement and maintain automated membership tools. Specifically, over the last couple of years, Artie and Alex have implemented Memberpress, which is an automated membership tracking and payment tool, improved search engine optimization so that LLNE.org shows up higher in search engine result, and brought the website back online after a serious hack. We also reviewed several options and selected a new listserv platform, Mail-List, after AALL’s listserv became unfeasible as well as reviewing several video platforms and selecting Vimeo for LLNE’s hosted videos.

After the website was hacked, Artie and Alex took several steps to increase security, including changing a plethora of passwords, purging unused website plugins and updating out of date ones, and ensuring continuous backups of the entire site.

We work with many of the other LLNE committees to support their goals and Artie and Alex are always happy to help with anything relating to the website or listserv. Help can include training committee members on using the WordPress system, updating web pages on their behalf, or aiding them in finding technological solutions, such as Memberpress.

Join us for LLNE Trivia Night

In association with our Fall 2020 meeting, we are having a trivia night fundraiser on 10/28 at 7:30 pm to benefit RE·Center Race & Equity in Education.

You can bring your own team or just show up and be placed on a team with spooky strangers.

We want this to be a fun way to build community and raise money.

All you need to do to play is to make a donation in any amount to the charity and register at this link:

https://rwu.zoom.us/j/92622842334?pwd=WGZ6Q25xZUpOVE5xaGVadGxqNnE0UT09

Information on how to donate can be found on the flyer, below:

If you have any questions, please email me!

Thank you,

Nicole P. Dyszlewski, LLNE President

LLNE Scholarship News

  • LLNE members who are enrolled in an accredited degree program in Library Science or in an ABA accredited law school are eligible for one of our academic scholarships. We encourage you to apply!
  • LLNE  members who wish to access to continuing education and training opportunities by providing for programming beyond the biannual LLNE meetings and the annual AALL meetings may apply for one of our continuing education scholarships.
  • We anticipate opening applications for our meeting scholarships when LLNE imposes registration fees and meetings necessitate travel.
  • Please contact the Scholarship Committee for more information.

This October, we awarded one of our academic scholarships to student member Brian Quigley. So, we’d like to take this opportunity to let the LLNE community hear from Brian, and we wish him well in his studies.

Hello all- I am a recipient of the LLNE Academic Scholarship. I would like to thank the LLNE for your generous support of my education. I graduated from UConn with an English degree and attended Washington & Lee for law school. After that, I spent a year at a firm specializing in Workers’ Comp defense

During law school, I was interested in a career as a law librarian. Research has always been my interest and strength, but I was hesitant to commit to more schooling. I’ve been enjoying my MLIS program, and am looking forward to taking a different path while still using my law degree.

While studying, I have been working part time doing real estate closings. I enjoy rock climbing, archery, and hiking in my spare time.

The LLNE Academic Scholarship has helped me to get closer to my goal of becoming a law librarian. Thank you again for your generous support.