The University of Connecticut School of Law Library is proud to host the LLNE & SNELLA Fall 2020 Virtual Conference on October 16, 2020. The conference is free to attend and registration is now open.
As law libraries continue to develop programs and initiatives relating to equity, diversity, and inclusion, the conference will focus on manifestations of bias within law libraries and the role of libraries in dismantling that bias. Sessions will increase participants’ knowledge of bias, deepen their understanding of different forms of bias, and identify biases within law libraries and collections. Being an election year as well as the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, the conference will also examine biases and barriers to voting, as well as libraries’ role in overcoming those barriers.
Participants of the virtual conference will come away with an increased ability to:
Address their own personal biases
Recognize biases within their communities, law libraries, and collections
Identify potential ways in which libraries can eliminate voter suppression
Discuss potential solutions on how law libraries can continue these conversations at their own institutions
To learn more about the virtual conference, visit our LibGuide.
I’m Josh, the new chair of the Access to Justice committee. I want to take a moment to reintroduce myself. Formerly, I served as a co-chair of the LLNE Service Committee. I am excited to work with this committee to continue LLNE’s outreach and to develop support for access to justice initiatives.
Prior to law libraries, I worked as a community organizer in Hartford, CT. I worked primarily on tenant & housing issues, education, and jobs. So much need exists for legal information, advice, and guidance. Later, I volunteered extensively with the Connecticut Fair Housing Center’s foreclosure clinic. There I assested with intake interviews, forms, and resources. The access to justice need is overwhelming, and I hope that LLNE can make some real impacts in filling that need.
If anyone has ideas or wants to join the committee, please reach out to me or to the membership committee.
We are pleased to announce that Catherine Biondo, a past LLNE President, has been appointed to a three-year term on AALL’s Government Relations Committee (AALL-GRC) . The AALL GRC’s purpose is to advance AALL’s legislative and advocacy efforts, both state and federal. Catherine informs us that some of the issues on which the AALL GRC is currently focusing include: additional COVID-19 related economic relief for law libraries; greater access to court records through PACER; and a modernized Federal Depository Library Program. The AALL GRC liaisons keep SISs and Chapters informed about the Committee’s work and are available to answer policy-and-advocacy-related questions throughout the year.
We asked Catherine what motivated her join the AALL GRC and about her past government-related experience. Here is her response:
I’d say my interest in government issues began in college. I earned my A.B. in Government, with a Concentration in International Relations, from Cornell University. While at Cornell, I was the Editor of a non-partisan political journal called the Cornell Political Forum and a member of Model Congress (we hosted a conference for high school students to act as members of Congress and introduce and debate bills). I also volunteered on a local political campaign. Rather than work in government, though, I went into law. I earned my J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law and became a member of the New York and Connecticut bars. I then worked as a research clerk for the Connecticut Superior Court, and practiced law for a few years, before deciding to become a law librarian. I earned my M.S.L.S. from Simmons.
My interest in government reignited when I had the opportunity to work with members of LLNE’s Government Relations Committee on UELMA when it came before the Massachusetts legislature during my presidential term. [The LLNE GRC and its UELMA in MA Subcommittee]had done such a wonderful job tracking UELMA and preparing materials, and I found it really exciting to be a part of the process of effecting change in government (or at least trying to! ) That’s why I decided to apply to join the AALL GRC; to become more aware of the issues affecting libraries, learn to advocate better for those issues, and connect with librarian colleagues across the country who are active in this area.
We are both former members of the AALL GRC, having each recently served three-year terms (not at the same time), and so we know from experience how much Catherine will enjoy serving on the AALL GRC. We look forward to a very productive time working with Catherine and the AALL GRC. The AALL GRC is fortunate to have someone with Catherine’s skills, talents and enthusiasm!
Anne McDonald, Co-chair, LLNE Government Relations Committee
Emilie Benoit, Co-chair, LLNE Government Relations Committee
This is a great time to volunteer for an LLNE committee or project!
I know it may not seem like a great time because we are all busy and picking up new and unexpected COVID-related duties, but it is!
So much about 2020 has been disconnecting. We may be working outside of our comfort zones, outside of our offices, outside of our routines, or even outside of our job descriptions. One thing that can make us feel more normal is connecting with other library workers and giving back to our profession. We have some exciting projects planned this year to keep us connected and we would really appreciate some volunteers.
In order to volunteer for an LLNE committee or project, go to https://llne.org and click the link at the top of the page to fill out a short form with your preferences. We will be in touch!
Finally, now is the time to renew your memberships. On behalf of myself and the LLNE Executive Board we are so grateful that you choose to be a member and be engaged with the work of our organization.
My name is Nicole and I am the new LLNE president. I would like to start my year thanking those members of the Executive Board who have completed their service on August 1st:
Each of these women have served for multiple years on the Board and several have served in many capacities in LLNE leadership. We are so grateful for their service to this organization. One incredible thing about Kathy, Catherine, Shira, and Michelle is their willingness to pitch in and help out. Even after stepping down from their prior positions on the Executive Board, some of them have already re-enlisted in various volunteer roles. I am so proud to be leading an organization that has a reputation for service and leadership and I only hope that tradition can continue this year with me.
I would also like to thank the new members of the Executive Board, whom I will introduce in a future post. Thank you, new Executive Board!
This year has been disquieting. I intended to make my year as LLNE President flashy and celebratory but that doesn’t seem to fit where we find ourselves right now as a nation and as a profession. Instead, I intend the year to be more reflective as we think about our commitment to justice, equity, our profession, and our membership.
This week our Executive Board had its first meeting of the year and began conversations about several projects aligned with our values as an organization. I hope to share more about these as they become more defined and as we start work on them. For now, this was just a message of gratitude and welcome.
Finally, the budget our board approved for the coming year as well as a budget summary for last fiscal year can be found at https://llne.org/budget-subcommittee/. You must be logged in as a member to view the documents.
In the latest New Voices post, member Ana Delgado shares information on the development of a librarian-led initiative that monitors legal responses to COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Librarians have a pivotal role when it comes to information, especially during a pandemic. Finding relevant and trustworthy information and resources around a specific topic can make the difference between life and death. Access to justice, human rights, and access to information in the time of COVID-19 is now more relevant than ever, and law librarians should be at the forefront of information dissemination. With this in mind, Marcelo Rodríguez, a Research and Training Librarian at the Second Circuit Library in New York, developed a librarian-lead initiative called Monitoring the Legal Response to COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
About AALL New Voices: AALL welcomes members to share their reflections on any aspect of law librarianship. Some examples include: Recommending a resource, professional development interests, a day in the life at your organization, or starting a new role. If you would like to participate, please send your submission of about 100-600 words to Megan Mall, AALL’s director of content strategy, with “AALL New Voices” in the subject line.
The Law Librarians of New England is an organization committed to justice for all. We strive to foster compassion, dignity, inclusion, equity, equality, and respect in our profession and beyond. This includes the strongly held belief that justice matters. Black lives matter.
During this time of racial, political, social, and community unrest, after the killing of so many Black people in our country, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others, it is important for people and organizations to examine and re-examine their values and identity. It is also critical to affirm the importance of action and intention. It is important to live your values loudly. As individual members of the Executive Board we do not pretend to understand the experience of the Black community, and therefore listening and supporting the movement is crucial. Per our bylaws, our purpose is “promoting the profession of law librarianship, and more particularly, to enhance the roles of law librarians in the legal and library professions, to provide for the further professional education of law librarians, to establish a continuing relationship between law librarians and legal entities in New England, and to foster a spirit of cooperation among the members of the profession.”
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.
Law librarianship and the rule of law cannot happen without us supporting and standing with Black lives because they matter. Black Lives Matter. Period.
Nicole P. Dyszlewski, LLNE Vice President, on behalf of the LLNE Executive Board