I am Anne Rajotte, the chair of the Access to Justice Committee. I am joined this year by three members: Dana Lucisano, Misty Peltz-Steele, and Sara McMahon. The Committee is actively seeking opportunities for outreach to public libraries and the community generally. Some possible initiatives this year include creating additional informational resources through Legal Link and submitting proposals to present at regional library conferences on topics related to assisting public library patrons with locating reliable legal information.
This fall’s virtual meeting, which focuses on technology and access to justice, should provide some inspiration and ideas for how law librarians can use their skills and resources to begin to bridge the justice gap. As our profession combines information seeking, legal knowledge, and technological innovation, we are natural participants in the movement to increase access to justice.
The Access to Justice Committee welcomes new members! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining us.
We are excited to announce, the LLNE Fall Conference, will be held November 12th online.
Entitled, [In}accessible Justice: Innovation, Technology, and Solutions, it will focus on the intersection of technology and access to justice and explore ways that technology can help to bridge the justice gap. The day will begin with speakers from the National Center for State Courts defining the justice gap and discussing existing approaches to address it. The following panels will explore ways technology can improve access to legal assistance, information, and institutions. Speakers from technology firms, nonprofits, law firms, law schools, courts, and bar associations will discuss their initiatives and how they have used technology to address an identified need.
A lot of research and location scouting was done to find a COVID safe location for the Fall 2021 meeting. Sadly, after monitoring health recommendations and local and regional COVID-19 developments, it was decided to not hold an in person meeting.
We have another event coming your way this week! After the 2021 LLNE Virtual Spring Meeting, join us THIS Friday June 11 at 7pm EST for a screening and discussion of the documentary Coded Bias. See below for more information and to register.
Coded Bias Screening and Discussion Friday, June 11th at 7pm ET/ 6pm CT/ 5pm MT/ 4pm PT
CODED BIAS explores the fallout of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s discovery that facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces accurately, and her journey to push for the first-ever legislation in the U.S. to govern against bias in the algorithms that impact us all. Join us for a screening of this acclaimed documentary followed by a discussion featuring:
Nicole Dyszlewski (moderator), Head of Reference, Instruction, & Engagement, Roger Williams University School of Law
Sarah Lamdan, Professor of Law, CUNY School of Law
Susan Nevelow Mart, Professor and Director of the Law Library, University of Colorado Law School
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
With the SNELLA Service Committee, we undertook two projects in conjunction with the Fall Meeting. First, is a transcription project hosted on the Library of Congress website. Members are encouraged to go to any of the following sites and transcribe historical documents to make them more accessible to the public.
The committees are also asking members to donate to the RE∙Center, an organization that works to promote racial equality in education. For more information on the RE∙Center, visit https://re-center.org/. To make a donation, go to https://bit.ly/LLNE_RECenter, select “I would like to dedicate this donation”, and type in LLNE Service Project. As part of our donation drive, LLNE will be hosting a Trivia Night on October 28th at 7:30 pm EST via Zoom. The event will be hosted by TTodd and prizes will be sponsored by Lexis. Registration information will be sent out soon.
The technology committee continues to maintain the website and listserv. Recent activities include, reverting website to previous version when updating a plug-in caused a crash, working with membership committee & treasurer to get memberships renewed, llne.org accounts updated, & mail-list updated.
Hold onto your receipt! Soon, we will be announcing a great virtual event to raise funds for Re-Center and we want you to be part of it. More information to come…
The committees are also promoting a number of transcription projects through the Library of Congress. The transcription process is easy and just a few pages can make a huge difference in discovery and education. Check out the following transcription projects: