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.
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.
As I end my year of service as President of this organization, I want to express my gratitude to all of the members who served in some way. Whether you volunteered to be on a committee, or chair a task force, or be an officer, or give money to a worthy cause, or attend an event, or speak at a panel, or decorate a bag for Meals on Wheels, your work was important and I am grateful. I am especially grateful to those who are ending their terms as officers or committee chairs or committee members. Thank you for your service to our organization. You will be missed, but the opportunities for volunteerism are always here if you wish to re-engage with the work.
This has been a difficult year personally and professionally for many. Many of us have suffered losses and tremendous change. But through it all, LLNE members continued to give and serve. Beyond work on diversity initiatives, we have had online meetings, a large online successful LRIP class, service projects, increased engagement on our blog and listserv, interviews with our pets, maintenance on our website, continued work on UELMA advocacy, the creation of a new archives policy, and monthly activities organized by our Fun Ambassador. LLNE is more active now than ever. We are a community working together, in spite of the demands on our time, our burnout, and fatigue.
In closing, a note about grace. We might not have gotten done all the things we wanted to in our jobs or house projects or committee service this year. And that is ok. At the same leadership training on Monday, I heard Jenny Silbiger and Taryn Marks both speak about giving yourself grace in the moments when you haven’t gotten everything done you set out to get done. And so that is the message I want to close with. Working intentionally toward the mission of this organization and giving grace to ourselves and those around us has been critical in this last year. And it needs to be critical going forward, as well. I have learned not just from what I have gotten done, but what I have failed to get done this year. I hope that I am able to finish out my term as Immediate Past President with this same grace.
Join us on Thursday, July 15 at 7pm for another LLNE sponsored event! We’ll be taking a Trip to Chernobyl, where our guide Olena will take us on an interactive virtual tour of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Registration is *free*, just visit [tinyurl.com/kyfufd3m]tinyurl.com/kyfufd3m.
This Spring, the committee organized three projects to coincide with the LLNE FUNtivities and Spring Virtual Meeting.
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.
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 email@example.com.
This position is designated as a union position and is covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement with O.P.E.I.U., Local 6.
MISSION STATEMENT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS TRIAL COURT
The Trial Court is committed to:
• fair and impartial administration of justice;
• protection of constitutional and statutory rights and liberties;
• equal access to justice for all in a safe and dignified environment with policies and practices that strengthen and support diversity, equity, and inclusion;
• efficient, effective, and accountable resolution of disputes;
• prompt and courteous service to the public by committed and dedicated professionals utilizing best practices in a manner that inspires public trust and confidence.
DEPARTMENTAL MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the Support Services Department is to provide support for theadministration of justice and public access to court services through the operation of the Judicial Response System, the Trial Court Law Libraries, the Record Management operation, the Office of Court Interpreters Services, and the Office of Transcription Services.
MISSION STATEMENT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS TRIAL COURT LAW LIBRARIES:
The Trial Court Law Library System provides timely, efficient access to current and historical law-related information in an impartial and respectful manner to anyone in need of legal information.
Working within the Trial Court Law Libraries of Department of Support Services, the Head Law Librarian administers all activities of a public law library within the Trial Court; is responsible for the planning and management of a Trial Court library collection; performs professional library duties including: acquisition, cataloging and reference; ensures that the legal information needs of the library users are met, including the judiciary, court staff, members of the bar, self-represented litigants and the public; supervises Law Librarians and Law Library Assistant(s), participates in system-wide activities such as long range planning, electronic library services, special projects and other library and court services related work as required.
Work is performed under direction of the Director of Support Services or her/his designee;
Responsible for administering the day-to-day operations of the library;
Develops, recommends and implements policies and procedures necessary to operate the library;
Provides reference and information services to those seeking legal information by responding to questions in person, by telephone or through e-reference; locating and retrieving materials; legal research; uses comprehensive knowledge of legal bibliography and general and legal reference sources;
Participates in the selection, design and delivery of electronic reference services;
Utilizes full knowledge of electronic databases and interlibrary sources, both legal and non-legal, to assist library users in retrieving needed information;
Participates in the selection and de-selection of library collection materials in all available formats through monitoring library user research needs and maintaining current awareness of resources available from legal publishers and others that meet those research needs;
Contributes to the development and maintenance of content on the Trial Court Law Libraries= website;
Adapts professional principles of cataloging, classification and indexing to the various components of the library’s collection utilizing a national database;
Manages and oversees local cataloging, classification and maintenance of the integrated library system;
Participates in the annual budget request for the library and for library expenditures;
Interviews, selects and recommends personnel for staff positions;
Trains and supervises staff in all aspects of library operation;
Arranges the physical library, paying attention to ADA guidelines, so that library users can access materials quickly and safely and receive prompt personal assistance from staff;
Provides for the security, protection and preservation of information resources in both paper and electronic formats;
Makes annual visits to assigned courts to respond to questions and information requests as the Court Consolidation Law Book program=s liaison;
Responsible for the library’s computer network(s);
Maintains proficiency in the current state of professional library theory and legal research and practice by attending and participating in meetings, conferences, seminars and training sessions in professional library management and legal reference skills;
Participates with other librarians and staff on system-wide projects, such as grants, collection development and program planning;
Provides workshops and seminars to promote the use and maintenance of library materials, services and databases;
Develops and implements promotional ideas to bring library resources and services to the attention of current and potential library users;
Keeps the Law Library Coordinator informed about recommendations on the renovation of a current library or the construction of a new library;
Implements directives of the Office of Court Management; and
Performs related duties as required.
All applicants must be able, through the interview process, to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following areas:
Ethics and Values
Communicates and demonstrates the ethics and values of the Trial Court and Trial Court Law Libraries as demonstrated in the American Association of Law Libraries.
Understands, upholds, and communicates the missions of the Trial Court and the Trial Court Law Libraries.
Demonstrates the core competencies and specialized competencies in the areas of library management; reference, research and client services; information technology; collection development, cataloging and teaching as outlined in the AALL Competencies of Law Librarianship.
Conducts oneself in a courteous and professional manner towards both Trial Court employees and the public whether in person, on the telephone or in an electronic environment.
Works with others cooperatively, including the courts, library and legal organizations and other agencies, demonstrating a willingness to be a team player, contributing to a work environment that focuses on shared departmental goals and maintaining effective working relationships.
Commitment to Diversity
Promotes an environment of diversity through understanding, respect, and positive communication with persons of varied racial, ethnic, economic, and cultural backgrounds. Conducts oneself in a courteous and professional manner towards everyone using the services of the Trial Court Law Libraries.
Demonstrates a commitment to continuously improving himself or herself through professional development and actively pursues continuing education.
These are the minimum requirements necessary to apply for a position of Head Law Librarian:
Master’s Degree in Library Science from an accredited library school and a minimum of three years full time experience in a professional capacity in a law library;
Juris Doctor degree and four years in a Trial Court Law Library position;
An equivalent combination of completed graduate level education and professional experience;
Knowledge of theory, principles and practices of library science and law library administration, including current methods and procedures in such areas as acquisition, cataloging and reference;
Knowledge of legal bibliography and terminology and the use of complex legal resources and indexes;
Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to deal effectively and respectfully with people;
Knowledge of the Massachusetts court system;
Knowledge of libraries, interlibrary cooperation, government and private organizations and the types of resources and services available to librarians and library users;
Knowledge of space planning, including the physical layout of and the technical and operational requirements for equipment and furniture used in libraries;
Ability to analyze and solve complex problems relating to library practices and procedures;
Ability to gather, analyze and report information;
Ability to use an integrated library system, other online systems and the ability to learn and implement new technologies as they emerge;
Ability to use computer applications such as MS Office spreadsheets, text editing and publisher programs;
Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in both oral and written form;
Ability to supervise subordinate personnel;
Ability to train library staff on the integrated library systems and fiscal procedures in accordance with MMARS accounting system and to train library and court staff in the use of electronic databases;
Ability to reason clearly and make sound judgments;
Ability to work well independently and with groups;
Ability to reach with hands and arms, bend, crouch, lift materials weighing up to 30 pounds, and climb stairs;
Ability to travel within the Commonwealth and to work at other Trial Court Law Libraries when necessary.
Employment is contingent upon passage of a criminal record check for all new hires.
HOW TO APPLY:
Applicants must apply by completing a Trial Court online application at the following web address and a resume must be included:
Paper, faxed or emailed applications are no longer accepted for any Trial Court position.
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 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
This month, the LLNE Executive Board signed onto the Asian American Law Librarians Caucus Statement on Anti-Asian Incidents. We encourage you to review the statement and refer to the valuable resources it links to. The Caucus is now hosting a series of guest speakers, live music, movie watch parties, and a book discussion throughout the month of June. We hope you find an opportunity to participate in any number of these events. Please see the schedule below.
Wednesday, June 2
12:00-1:00 PM Central
Anti-Asian Violence Amid COVID-19 Pandemic: New Episode in the Long History of Anti-Asian Violence in the United States and Educational Implications. Presentation byProf. Sohyun An
Dr. Sohyun An, Associate Professor at Kennesaw State University, researches social studies education. In the NBC News article, “Illinois House passes bill mandating Asian American history in schools,” Dr. An cautions, “if we don’t teach [Asian-American history] or teach it in a misrepresented way it can lead to violence” (April 15, 2021). Bio/presentation description and article attached.
Donut King Watch Party! (We’ll gather via Zoom, then each watch the film on our own computers, but with Google Jamboard open so that we can watch “together” and post sticky notes to communicate during the screening. Film is free on PBS.)
Film Duration: approx. 1 hour 30 minutes (We will watch the first hour together)
Ted’s story is one of fate, love, survival, hard knocks, and redemption. It’s the rags to riches story of a refugee escaping Cambodia, arriving in America in 1975 and building an unlikely multi-million-dollar empire baking America’s favorite pastry, the donut. Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. By 1979 he was living the American Dream. But, in life, great rise can come with great falls. (https://www.donutkingmovie.com/synopsis/)
Asian American Studies High School Course Curriculum, Presentation by Albert Chan
Niles North (Skokie, Illinois) High School teacher Albert Chan teaches one of the only Asian American studies high school courses in the United States. He will describe his course curriculum. In the article, “TEAACH Act could make Illinois first state to mandate teaching of Asian American history in public schools,” he observes, “the lack of Asian American representation in school courses leads non-Asian students to fall back on stereotypes about their Asian and Asian American peers.” (The Daily Northwestern, April 20, 2021). Article attached.
Simon Tam of The Slants, the world’s first and only all-Asian American dance rock band, will speak about his Journey to the U.S. Supreme Court, in Matal v. Tam. With live music featuring Simon and The Slants’s guitarist, Joe X. Jiang!
Simon Tam is best known as the founder and bassist of The Slants, the world’s first and only all-Asian American dance rock band. He helped expand civil liberties for minorities by winning a unanimous victory at the Supreme Court of the United States for a landmark case, Matal v. Tam, in 2017. He also leads The Slants Foundation, a nonprofit that supports arts and activism projects for underrepresented communities.
Joe X. Jiang is a filmmaker and musician who has called Portland home for nearly ten years. His movies, which range from intimate documentaries to artistic narratives, have been featured at film and art festivals around the world. He plays guitar for The Slants as well as other groups based in Portland, OR.
Film duration: 1 hour 17 minutes (We will watch the first hour together)
KUMU HINA is a powerful film about the struggle to maintain Pacific Islander culture and values within the Westernized society of modern day Hawaiʻi. It is told through the lens of an extraordinary Native Hawaiian who is both a proud and confident māhū, or transgender woman, and an honored and respected kumu, or teacher, cultural practitioner, and community leader.