Hello and Welcome from the New LLNE President!

Good morning! 

As the new LLNE president I wanted to take a moment and welcome everyone to this new membership year. In many ways, this year seems dishearteningly similar to last year, with all the uncertainty, anxiety, and apprehension about how the pandemic might affect our personal and professional lives. Our immediate past president, Nicole Dyszlewski, along with LLNE volunteers on and off the Executive Board, dedicated enormous quantities of time and energy to provide opportunities for us to continue to learn, engage with each other, and enjoy each other’s company — even without the luxury of face-to-face gatherings. Special thanks to all of you as well as to the following outgoing members of the Executive Board:

  • Bob de Fabrizio, outgoing past president, Manager of Law Libraries, MA Trial Courts
  • Ellen Frenzen, outgoing co-chair of the Communications Committee, Assistant Dean for Administration at Boston University Law School         
  • Anne McDonald, outgoing co-chair of the Government Relations Committee, Law Library Coordinator, Rhode Island Dept. of the Attorney General
  • AnnaKatherine Wherren: outgoing chair of Scholarships Committee, Legal Research Librarian, Suffolk University Law School

I’d also like to welcome the incoming board members:

  • Catherine Biondo, co-chair of the Government Relations Committee, Research Librarian, Harvard Law Library
  • Kaitlin Connolly, co-chair of the Service Committee, Reference Librarian, State Library of Massachusetts
  • Josh LaPorte, vice president, president-elect, Head of Access Services, Boston University Law Library
  • Anne Rajotte, chair of the Access to Justice Committee, Head of Reference Services, University of Connecticut Law Library
  • Dawn Smith, chair of the Scholarships Committee, Head of Acquisitions, Yale Law School

LLNE means different things to each of us. For the 2012 version of me, membership simply meant seasonal meetings and the potential for engaging more with the LLNE community – once my infant and toddler daughters got a little older. In 2021, it means working with and learning from a group of awesome people from across New England. It’s also meant drawing cartoon llamas with other LLNE families and getting a glimpse of what executive board members’ canine companions think of them. Whatever this year brings, I hope we are able to find ways to continue to connect with each other. 

Take care.


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.

LRIP Public Librarian Scholarships

For the third year in a row the LLNE Service Committee, with the support of the LLNE Executive Board, is administering a scholarship for New England non-law public librarians to attend our chapter’s award-winning Legal Research Instruction Program. ( https://llne.org/legalresearchinstruction/intro_course/)

The LLNE Service Committee wishes to encourage and support access to legal information and education for New England-based librarians working in non-law public libraries. As part of its ongoing service initiative of outreach and service to local non-law public libraries, the Service Committee has elected to offer up to two scholarships for public librarians to attend LLNE’s annual Legal Research Instruction Program (LRIP).

Information about the scholarship can be found on the LLNE website (https://llne.org/committees/service/#publiclibrarianscholarships)

The application is also available online. (https://llne.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/LLNE_Intro_Scholarship_2016.docx)

The deadline for submission is Monday, February 29, 2016.

Completed applications should be sent to Nicole Dyszlewski at ndyszlewski@rwu.edu.

We are advertising this scholarship on various listservs throughout our region. We are asking all members to share this announcement widely and to recommend this scholarship for those public librarians who may be interested in a law-related professional development opportunity.

If you have any questions, please email one of our committee co-chairs, Jessica Jones (jjones@socialaw.com) or Joshua LaPorte (joshua.laporte@uconn.edu)

Business skills clinic: the business of running a library

By Anna Lawless-Collins

I was fortunate to attend the first AALL Business Skills clinic in Chicago this past October thanks to a grant from the LLNE Scholarship Committee.  The curriculum promised programs on managerial finances, human resources, marketing and communication, performance measures, negotiation, and strategic planning.  As a librarian working in collection development and technical services, these all seemed like useful areas to develop.  While the human resources and strategic planning sessions were helpful, I’m going to focus on the other sessions, as I came away from those sessions with so much excitement.




Managerial Finance

Speaker: Angela Hickey, Levenfeld Pearlstein

Shift your perspective

The managerial finance session, while targeted at law firm librarians, was helpful in a general way for me as an academic librarian.  While we don’t share the exact pressures and issues as firm librarians, we face many similar issues; and while deans and faculty are not speaking in terms of profit and loss, we do need to show our value as a library and an investment the school is making.  The best part of this talk was learning to shift my thinking when communicating value.  The speaker suggested that instead of presenting value in terms of what it does for the library, but in terms of what it does for the stakeholder you are presenting to.  This is a hard shift to make, and I still find myself thinking in terms of how the library’s workflows would improve, but a helpful exercise is to present the issue without discussing how the library would benefit at all.  Frame it entirely around how the stakeholder would benefit.

The speaker also discussed how to build an effective business case.  Some suggestions included: 1) define the problem, 2) explain how it negatively affects the stakeholder, 3) provide a few solutions and recommend one, 4) include the resources you’ll need, how much it will cost, and the timeline you expect, 5) quantify the benefit to the stakeholder, and 6) be brief.  She introduced us to the Brief Lab, which has resources to help you build your case.  I’m looking forward to sitting down with these worksheets the next time I want to persuade stakeholders to my point of view.

Marketing and Communications

Speaker: Alycia Sutor, Akina

Selling your why

The Marketing and Communications session focused on selling yourself and communicating with those around you.  The speaker provided tools and activities for us to help us think about how we market ourselves.  One thing she discussed that struck home for me was “connecting what you do with your Great Big Why.”  It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of just trying to stay on top of everything that we can forget why we’re here.  When we remember why we’re doing what we do, it’s energizing and exciting, and it can make those around us feel that energy.  My Great Big Why, on a very basic level, is helping people.  That relates to my work in that if I help build and manage a really useful collection, I help patrons and library stakeholders and can help train really excellent lawyers.  They, in turn, might make the world a better place.  When I remember that’s why I’m here, I get excited about my job and trying to find new ways to bring value.  The speaker also helped us come up with communication plans and a messaging toolkit to have more strategic communications.  I’m looking forward to honing my own plan and having more effective communications as we go forward.

Some other quick takeaways from this session included thinking about your quick pitch and your answer to the “what’s new” question.  When someone asks what you do, we often just name our titles, but that doesn’t actually tell many people anything useful.  Instead, the speaker suggested the following framework: “I [verb] [this target market] to [solve this problem].”  So, as the Collection Development Librarian, I might say, “I manage a dynamic collection for library patrons to ensure they have access to the best resources available.”  She also suggested always having something exciting you can say when someone asks “what’s new.”  I can usually talk about a database or service we recently added, or a new tool I’m really excited about. We also discussed communication and social styles and how to modify your own style to best communicate with those around you.  This workshop provided some very interesting projects for me to work on in thinking about the best ways to communicate and lead within my organization – I was able to see what I do well, and the areas I need to work on in daily life.  We concluded by thinking about those takeaways we need to work on, creating action items, and setting deadlines for ourselves.  The challenge will be setting aside time to work on these important goals as we move back into the routines of our jobs.

Performance Measures

Speaker: Bob Oaks, Latham & Watkins

Numbers plus narrative

The performance measures session was very interesting.  We began by correcting a commonly misquoted quote.  “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” is often attributed to W. Edward Deming; what he really said, though, was “It is wrong to suppose that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – a costly myth.” This was a jumping off point to discuss what we currently measure, what we should be measuring, why we measure, and how we measure.  When thinking about measurement, begin with why you are measuring something.  Are you measuring defensively, to protect yourself?  Or are you measuring offensively, to prove something?  Then, think about the micro measures you are probably already handling.  These include tangibles, like books and databases; finances; and services, like research services and outreach.  Next, think about the macro measures you should be measuring, like how you are benefiting the organization, how you are adding value, and how you are making your stakeholder happy.  Think about who you are measuring for – yourself, your stakeholder, and influencers on your stakeholder.  This discussion brought home for me the shift in perspective that had been discussed in the finance and marketing sessions – present the information from the point of view of your stakeholder and your organization, not from the library’s perspective, and you may have a better time communicating it.  The speaker suggested asking four basic questions: 1) what is important to your organizations mission? 2) who is your stakeholder? 3) what is important to your stakeholder? And 4) who are the “influencers” on your stakeholder? That will help you determine the information they need to see and the best format to present it in.  The speaker suggested using impact of services as a measure – for example, measuring how much time and money the library saves the organization with efficient and cost-effective research.

One of the most interesting parts of this discussion was the idea of combining narrative with statistics.  Anecdotes and narrative can help you put personal, relatable spins on your statistics.  When used alone, either narrative or numbers may not be enough; when used well together, they can provide a well-rounded picture of what your library is doing to provide value to your organization.  When presenting the information, have a few different lengths ready – the thirty second elevator speech or cover sheet, the five minute executive summary, and the full details in a report.

The talk concluded with some thoughts about what we should be measuring and what we shouldn’t bother measuring.  The speaker suggested only measuring things if it helps you with your budget or your staffing.  I think some of the measurements we do in addition to that help with our internal workflows, which could fall under staffing needs, but improving our efficiency in general is always helpful.


Speaker: Karen Cates, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

“Fair is for Girl Scouts”

I am always happy to get a refresher on negotiation.  As I’m sure is true for many of us, my own preferred style is collaboration over conflict, yet my job requires that I work with vendors regularly to negotiate strong deals for the library.  Being a good steward of the library’s resources while maintaining long-term working relationships with vendors is complex, so these workshops are always good to go through.

We talked about the planning that you should do before coming to the table, like defining your own position, your interest, and your BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement), and trying to think of what these would be for the other side as well.  The bargaining zone, or where the overlap between the parties’ bottom lines, is a useful area to consider as well.  This all was very familiar from other negotiation classes I had taken, but the sitting down and planning it out part often gets lost in daily life.

We also talked about things like leaving the emotion out of negotiation, while remembering that it may help you if used strategically.  Personally, if I’m emotional about a negotiation, using the emotion strategically is beyond me; the emotion starts driving and strategy goes out the window.  It’s much easier if I can just leave it before coming to the table at all.

We also discussed reciprocal concessions over unilateral concessions.  If one side keeps giving while the other side makes no concessions, the side that is giving will feel cheated and may stop cooperating; it is helpful to make reciprocal concessions where you can.

The speaker also reminded us several times that fair is for Girl Scouts, not negotiations.  What you consider fair may not be fair to the other side; focusing on fairness also may decrease your credibility (the other side may think you can do better), shifts your focus away from your target, and indicates you aren’t interested in truly negotiation.  Keeping this in mind while working with the bargaining zone can be difficult, especially when trying to maintain ongoing working relationships with the other side.

Another interesting point the speaker raised included thinking more from the other sides’ point of view, much like the other sessions at the conference.  For example, think about what they are interested in beyond their position – is it power, achievement, a relationship?  Money is part of it, but it often isn’t the entire thing.  She pointed out that our initial impulse is often to hoard information, thinking that if we share information it will weaken our position; however, if we share information it can help us close the gap between the sides’ goals and provide humanity to the situation.  We did two negotiation exercises during the session, which helped drive home the points she was making.

All the speakers helped me shift my perspective in presenting information to achieve my goals for myself and my organization.  Whether it was presenting information about finance, my role in the organization, my library’s role in the organization, how we are helping the organization meet its goals, or negotiating with information, I saw how helpful it is to think from the point of view of those to whom I am presenting.  That basic idea, one we know but so often forget, can be used in conjunction with the specific tools and skills we learned over the course of two jam-packed and productive days.

LLNE scholarship news

The LLNE Scholarship Committee is inviting applications for the following awards:

  • LLNE Spring Meeting scholarships are available to support members’ attendance at the fascinating meeting planned for April 24, 2015.  Scholarship forms must be submitted by April 10, 2015.
  •  LLNE is accepting scholarship applications for members seeking financial assistance in attending the 2015 AALL annual meeting in Philadelphia.  Scholarship application forms must be submitted by Friday, May 1, 2015.
  •  LLNE is now offering scholarships to support its members’ continuing education opportunities. Check the LLNE website for more details.

Also, AALL has reached out to LLNE to encourage members to apply for the Koslov Scholarship, the Continuing Education Scholarship, and the George A. Strait Minority Scholarship.

  •  The Marcia J. Koslov Scholarship provides funding for state, court, and county law librarians to attend conferences, seminars, and other live continuing education opportunities beyond the usual law library-related conferences.    The application deadline is April 1, 2015.
  •  AALL also offers a Scholarship for Continuing Education Classes, available for all law librarians (not limited to state, court, and county law librarians) who wish to register for continuing education courses related to their fields. See the application form for details. The application deadline is April 1, 2015.
  •  The George A. Strait Minority Scholarship is offered to degree candidates in law school or library school who belong to minority groups and who intend to have a career in law librarianship.

Academic and Fall Meeting Scholarships: Apply by October 20

Fall Leaves Maine
Kristen Taylor/flickr.com CC BY 2.0

The LLNE Scholarship Committee is accepting applications for the LLNE academic scholarship award.  Applications for academic scholarships must be received by October 20, 2014. The academic scholarship guidelines, as well as the specific application form,  can be found on the LLNE website.

In addition, the LLNE Scholarship Committee  is accepting applications for financial assistance to attend the LLNE/ABLL Fall Meeting.  Boston College Law Library and the Association of Boston Law Librarians  are co-hosting the meeting on October 24, 2014 at the Boston College Connors Center in Dover, Mass. The theme of the meeting is Reinventing the Law Library: Meeting the Challenge. The LLNE scholarship will cover the cost of registration.  The scholarship application form and instructions can be found on the LLNE website. Applications must be received by October 20, 2014.

Recipents of LLNE scholarships are asked to contribute a brief article to the LLNE Newsletter to describe how the award proved beneficial to their professional development.

We look forward to seeing  our LLNE colleagues at the upcoming Fall meeting.

—Mary Ann Neary, Chair, LLNE Scholarship Committee

Scholarship Committee members: Jenna Fegreus, Melanie Cornell, Mary Ann Neary

LLNE scholarship awards for AALL conference

Brian Flaherty and Lusiella Fazzino will be attending the AALL conference in San Antonio this July as the LLNE scholarship recipients.  Brian is a reference librarian at New England Law | Boston; he is also an instructor in the LLNE Introduction to Legal Research course. Lusiella (Lucy) is a long-time law librarian who has relocated to Connecticut; she is a member of the LLNE Communications and Technology Committee.  Congratulations to Brian and Lucy!

—LLNE Scholarship Committee (Mary Ann Neary, Melanie Cornell, Jennifer Finch)


Scholarships for 2014 AALL Conference Attendance

The LLNE Scholarship Committee is accepting applications for financial assistance to attend the 2014 AALL annual conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Alamo PostcardThe scholarship form is available on the LLNE website. Please note that LLNE awards scholarships to current LLNE members only.

The deadline for submitting AALL annual conference scholarship applications is Monday, April 28, 2014.  


Photo courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries

Congratulations Service Committee Scholarship Winners!

This March, as part of this year’s theme of Outreach to Public Libraries, the LLNE Service Committee offered two scholarships for public librarians in the New England area to attend LLNE’s Introduction to Legal Research Program. Stack of Law BooksThe five week program introduces participants to key resources and skills necessary for legal research; it was our hope that public librarians could use this knowledge to serve their diverse patron base.

We are proud to announce that the Committee has awarded the scholarships to Philip Peck, Reference Librarian and Webmaster at the Somerville Public Library in Somerville, Massachusetts, and Jean Slavkovsky, Information Librarian at the Malden Public Library in Malden, Massachusetts.

Congratulations to Philip and Jean!

Photo Credit: Patrick W. Moore