Service Committee Spring 2021 Project Wrap-Up

This Spring, the committee organized three projects to coincide with the LLNE FUNtivities and Spring Virtual Meeting. 

NEADS Prison Pups posing for a picture.

Our first project was raising money for NEADS Prison Pup Program.  NEADS is an organization that provides service dogs to veterans, people with physical disabilities, individuals with autism, and even assistance dogs that work in hospitals and courthouses.  90-95% of NEADS puppies are trained in correctional institutions in New England through their Prison Pup Program.  Through the generosity of our members, we have raised over $1,300.  If you would like to give to this wonderful organization, please visit  https://support.neads.org/llne.

Child posing with a card made for Meals on Wheels.

Our second project was creating cards and decorated lunch bags for Meals on Wheels locations throughout New England.  The committee is happy to report that members have pledged to create over 300 cards and bags.  Please remember to take a photo of your creations and use the #LLNEFuntivities on Twitter.  The sign-up form is now closed, but if you are interested in contributing to this project, please email Jessica at jessica.almeida@umassd.edu

Coded Bias Activist Toolkit poster.

Our last project highlighted an informational resource to compliment the Coded Bias screening and panel on Friday, June 11th.  The committee showcased the filmmaker’s activist toolkit, containing ways to get involved in the algorithmic justice movement.  The committee is encouraging members to sign the Universal Declaration of Data Rights as Human Rights, which was developed by the Coded Bias team, if you are interested in further supporting this cause. Upon signature, your name and zip code are sent to US elected officials.  For more information, go to https://llne.org/interested-in-algorithmic-justice-here-are-ways-llne-members-can-help/.

If you are interested in joining the Service Committee or have an idea for a project, please contact Jessica Almeida at jessica.almeida@umassd.edu.

Interested in algorithmic justice? Here are ways LLNE members can help!

Don’t forget to register for the June 11th (this Friday!) screening and discussion of the acclaimed documentary Coded Bias. The event starts at 7pm EST: tinyurl.com/xr5dm9wf. The filmmaker, Shalini Kantayya, has also compiled an activist toolkit for those interested in becoming advocates for “algorithmic justice.” If any LLNE members would like to get involved, page 24 of the toolkit lists recommended organizations to which you can subscribe and make donations.

Another way to get involved is by signing the Universal Declaration of Data Rights as Human Rights, which was developed by the Coded Bias team. Upon signature, your name and zip code are sent to US elected officials. The committee is encouraging members to sign the declaration if they are interested in further supporting this cause.

We hope to see you on Friday!

LLNE Service Committee

VOTE NOW! For the 2021-2022 LLNE officer candidates

The 2021-2022 slate of LLNE officer candidates has been announced and now is your opportunity to vote. Please go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PHZYW9Zto cast your anonymous vote. The poll will close on Friday, June 4th at 5:00 pm.

VP/President-Elect: Josh LaPorte, Head of Circulation, Boston University, Fineman & Pappas Law Libraries
Treasurer: Rachel Weiss, Research Librarian, Nixon Peabody
Education Director: Maureen Quinlan, Reference & Gov Doc Law Librarian, University of Maine School of Law

Service Committee Project: The Prison PUP Program

In conjunction with the Law Librarians of New England (LLNE) FUNtivities , the Service Committee is raising funds for NEADS, an organization that provides service dogs to veterans, people with physical disabilities, individuals with autism, and even assistance dogs that work in hospitals and courthouses. 

The money we raise will go to the Prison PUP Program.  According to NEADS “90-95% of NEADS puppies are trained in 7 correctional facilities throughout New England. Our statistics show that, under the guidance of NEADS staff, inmates are able to provide consistent training at a high level simply because of the amount of time they are able to devote to the dogs. This enables us to place dogs faster with people in need.”  

For more information, please visit https://neads.org/training-placement/prison-pup-program/.

For a first person post about the program, please visit https://neads.org/prison-pup-program-a-win-win/.

Due to the generosity of our members, we have increased our goal!  To donate, go to https://support.neads.org/llne.  

The Service Committee

From the Education Committee

As my 2019-2021 term, as one of the Educational Directors draws nearer to the end I wanted to reflect on this time.   Like everyone else I thought this commitment would be the usual experiences of some in-person conferences and some telephone meetings.

LLNE has two Educational Directors.   Each serves two years with the terms ending on different years.   My term started in July 2019.    I did not attend the annual AALL meeting in 2019 in Washington, D.C. as I was at a family reunion.   I was without a care and thought I would attend the meeting in July of 2020 in Cincinnati.  

One strange thing about being one of the co-Educational Directors is attending meetings and thanking hosts for work done by previous Educational Directors.    My first LLNE Conference as Educational Director was hosted by the Harvard Law Library and was on Artificial Intelligence and Algorithms in Law Libraries and Legal Practice.   Little did we know this was the last in-person conference that would be planned for a long time.

One of the many wonderful experiences working with LLNE has been meeting so many dynamic and creative law librarians.  There was a resilience and a commitment to moving forward during challenging times.  LLNE leadership stepped up as COVID-19 protocols were put in place and planned a virtual spring 2020 conference.    Summer gave way to fall and COVID-19 would not allow an in person conference.  So, the University of Connecticut Law Library planned a virtual Fall Conference.  Suffolk will host a virtual conference in the late spring of this year.   

We will meet virtually for the AALL Annual Meeting this summer.   When the new academic year starts and the leaves fall again LLNE will again plan and host the meeting.  The traditions will continue.  

– Maureen

Update from the Archives Committee

Like most things during the pandemic, being responsible for the LLNE Archives has been challenging since the committee can’t visit the Archives in person.  So your Archives committee is trying to see what we can do to create a digital archive and come up with policies to use going forward.  The committee is currently made up of Dana Lusciano, a reference librarian at Silas Bronson Library in Waterbury Connecticut, Andrew Roache, the Associate Law Librarian at the Maine State Law and Legislative Library in Augusta Maine, Olga Umansky, the librarian and archivist for the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute in Newton Massachusetts, and Stefanie Weigmann, the Associate Director for Research and Instruction at Boston University School of Law in Boston Massachusetts.  Andrew has been reaching out to past presidents to see what digital materials they might have in their files, Dana has been looking at how other regional organizations organize their archives, and Olga has been drafting a collection document.  Our main goal is to grow and organize our Archives.

So while we are still in COVID we would like to reach out to you.  Do you have any pictures or other interesting digital materials from events or committees you served on during your time with LLNE?  Please send it to Andrew.Roache@legislature.maine.gov.

From The Education Committee

One of the LLNE Education Committee’s tasks includes finding institutions to host the LLNE semi-annual Meetings.    Each spring and fall LLNE holds an educational conference and chapter business meeting.  This tradition goes back to 1948.  

During Covid-19 LLNE has continued this tradition.  In spring of 2020 LLNE hosted a virtual meeting and in the fall of 2020 University of Connecticut School of Law Library hosted a webinar and meeting on Dismantling Bias

Another tradition is providing an annual Legal Research Instruction Program. The 2021 program will start on March 17th.  Suffolk University School of Law Library will round out the programing by hosting the meeting for spring 2021.  The Education Committee is soliciting ideas from members for topics or suggestions on ways to improve the format or delivery of these LLNE’s educational programs. Please reach to the Co-Directors Maureen Quinlan and Jessica Panella.

Information from the LLNE Nominating Committee

Hi Everyone, 

LLNE members will be voting to fill three open positions this spring: Vice-President/President-Elect, Treasurer, and 1 Education Director position.  If you know someone who would be great in one of these roles, please reach out to one of us by March 16th with your nominations.

LLNE Nominating Commitee, 2021

Amy King — Regional Library & Research Manager, Nixon Peabody (aking@nixonpeabody.com)

Alex Burnett — Senior Law Librarian, Maine State Legislature & Co-chair, LLNE Technology Committee (alex.burnett@legislature.maine.gov))

Diane D’Angelo, Chair — Assistant Director for Public Services, Suffolk University Law Library

Be well, 

Diane

A Day in the Life of a LLNE.org co-webmaster (Technology Committee)

Morning:

I log into my work email for the first time today and am greeted by several emails from familiar LLNE names. With an ever expanding subject line that includes as least 4 “RE: [EXT]s,” my eyes scan the email in the hopes of seeing a resolution from my co-webmaster. Absent any such resolution, I start from the beginning and identify that this is not a crisis email like the ones that we’ve gotten for our hacked website or after I broke the website while trying to update plugins. This time, it’s just a request to help build a form for facilitating registration and payment for the upcoming Legal Research Instruction Program. Since I have a busy morning reference shift ahead of me, I email the concerned parties that we will work on this request later in the day.

In the meantime, I email my co-webmaster to see if he is able to address this today. He’s too busy with real job duties, so I offer to take this one.

Afternoon:

After reviewing the specific needs of the registration form, I log into Jotform to see if I can recycle a similar form that we’ve used in the past. Luckily, the previous form is still there. I duplicate the old version, tweak some dates, and give it a test drive. Once it passes the test drive, I email the co-webmaster to check my work. Since he created the original form, I want to make sure that the form will link with Paypal correctly. After a brief Zoom meeting, I respond to the original email thread with a direct link to the form. Proud of myself for finishing this task without breaking a sweat, I close my work laptop for the day.

Night:

The latest episode of WandaVision just wrapped up and I check at my work email, hoping to get a jumpstart on weeding out spam email before my busy morning tomorrow. The unusual amount of new “RE: [EXT]” subject lines is alarming. With a swift touch of a button, my work laptop fires up. It appears that I prematurely patted myself on the back for a job well done this afternoon. While I had correctly created a new registration form, the old form was still linked online and causing confusion. I quickly reassure the interested parties, deactivate the old form, and send out the current link again.

Another bullet dodged on LLNE.org.

By: Alex Burnett

Meet LLNE’s Access to Justice Chair: an Exclusive Interview with Phoebe and Rupert about life with Josh

Hi! We are Phoebe and Rupert and Josh LaPorte is our person!

Picture of Phoebe and Rupert on a red carpet with a blue dog bed.

Ellen: Hi, Phoebe and Rupert. Thanks for sitting down with us today.

Sara: Thank you for granting us this exclusive interview.

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

Phoebe: I really don’t understand why you want to talk to me about Josh when you could talk to me about myself, but whatever cranks your tractor.

Rupert: I love Josh, he is my favorite human. What would you like to know?

Sara: What does Josh do for fun?

Phoebe: Josh likes to cook and I always supervise him in the kitchen. He bakes a lot of bread and will never give us any of the dough because he read that it can expand in our stomachs and make us blow up but I think that is an unproven theory and the only way we can prove it is incorrect is if Josh gives me some dough.

Rupert: Josh knows I love vegetable scraps and always gives them to me when Phoebe isn’t looking. If she sees she steals them.

Phoebe: Those two are thick as thieves. Men always sticking up for each other. I should get those scraps!

Ellen: What is your favorite thing about Josh?

Rupert: Josh spends a lot of time on the couch watching 1980s tv; The Golden Girls, Dynasty, Designing Women, Murder She Wrote. He lets me snuggle on the couch with him. I love big hair and shoulder pads and time on the couch.

Phoebe: Josh is very easy for me to boss around. He is such a sucker for cute looks, which means I get more things to eat. And yes, those people in the 1980s lived by my motto (paraphrasing Dolly Parton): The bigger the hair, the closer to God.

Sara: What is your least favorite thing about Josh?

Phoebe: Josh simply refuses to acknowledge that I am a grown dog and can make my own decisions. I have to bark a lot to get through to him. He also fails to see that I need several meals a day; after all, one must keep one’s strength up!

Rupert: Josh spends a lot of time at this place he calls “work.” I really hate when he goes anywhere without me and it’s been nice having him spending more time at home with me because of what he calls “the pandemic,” whatever that is.

Ellen: What is Josh’s favorite guilty pleasure?

Phoebe: Josh is always listening to Céline Dion. If I have to listen to “where does my heart beat now” one more time I will eat Josh’s slippers just to teach him a lesson. Do you know all the lyrics to “Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi?” Unfortunately, I do. I also know that Céline won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1988 with that awful song. Josh even makes us watch the terrible video with Céline wearing a grotesque and horrible white ballerina skirt with a double-breasted blazer and terrible permed hair. Emetic!

Rupert: I don’t mind if Josh listens to Céline Dion, as long as he lets me snuggle on the couch with him while he does it. But his real favorite guilty pleasure is baths. He is always in the tub and it bothers me because I can’t get in with him so I just lie on the bathmat until he gets out.

Sara: This brings us to our final question: If Josh won the lottery what would he do with the money?

Phoebe: Josh is always yammering on about community organizing and collective power. I think he would use the money to fund organizing efforts. This is dumb, he should use the money to buy a house with a big yard I can run free in!

Rupert: I agree with Phoebe. But I also hope that Josh will get a ramp so I can get on the couch by myself, I can’t jump up by myself anymore.