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

Update from the Government Relations Committee

Due to the pandemic, which prevented most state legislatures in our region from holding sessions, the LLNE Government Relations Committee does not have any legislative activity or policy initiatives of interest to law librarians to report. Our bit of good news: Catherine Biondo, Research Librarian at Harvard Law School and former LLNE President, is the LLNE GRC’s newest member and is serving as the LLNE GRC’s Massachusetts State Representative. As detailed in our September 2020 blog post, Catherine was recently appointed to the AALL Government Relations Committee and also serves as AALL’s liaison to LLNE.

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

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

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.

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.

LLNE Technology Committee Report (October 2020)

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.

Catherine Biondo appointed to AALL’s Government Relations 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

Volunteer! Please!

Hi, LLNE members,

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.

Thank you,

Nicole