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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Congratulations to Nicole Dyszlewski for winning the Volunteer Service Award and Teresa Miguel-Stearns for winning the Innovations in Technology Award from AALL!
On behalf of the Nominating Committee, we would like to
present the slate of LLNE officers for 2019-2020:
President/President Elect: Nicole Dyszlewski, Head of Reference,
Instruction, and Engagement, Roger Williams University School of Law Library
Schauder, Digital Solutions Coordinator, WilmerHale
Weiss, Research Librarian Nixon, Peabody LLP
Education Director: Maureen
Quinlan, Reference/Government Documents Law Librarian, Garbrecht Law Library,
University of Maine School of Law
2019 LLNE Nominating Committee:
Nuchine Nobari, Chair