By Raquel M. Ortiz
LLNE Membership Development Committee chair
What does it take to become an LLNE life member? The LLNE Bylaws tell us generally what life member status requires: a person retired from full time law library employment and who has served as an active member of LLNE for at least 10 years.
Recently, the LLNE Executive Board discussed in detail what we thought active membership means. That discussion and research into other AALL chapters, has led us to solidify three major categories of “Active” LLNE members that seem apropos for this honor.
First, former members of the Executive Committee, who all serve for two or more years, are automatically eligible for life membership. Serving as the President, Secretary, Treasurer or Education Director carries significant responsibilities within LLNE and ensures that the organization runs smoothly and our financial, educational, and reporting obligations are met. Those who volunteer their time in those roles are generally members who have volunteered their time to LLNE in other ways so as to make an impression upon the Nominating Committee that requests their service.
A second category of active members are those members who served 5 or more years as committee chair, assistant clerk, resident agent, or committee member. These roles are equally important to the vibrancy of LLNE as a chapter. While the Executive Committee carries the heavy load of running LLNE, most of LLNE’s initiatives begin and are maintained at the committee level. LLNE’s committees are responsible for our award-winning Legal Research Instruction Program and blog, our fantastic scholarships, coordinating LLNE meetings, our newsletter and social media, advocacy at the local and national level, and our extensive service to the community. The tireless efforts of these volunteers move LLNE forward and bring it to the national spotlight.
Finally, we recognize those members who have made extraordinary contributions to LLNE, AALL, or the profession of law librarianship. This category recognizes cumulative contributions rather than extended service in an LLNE leadership role. Contributions are in areas of interest to LLNE: advocacy, leadership, mentoring, promoting public access to government information, publications, service, scholarship, teaching, or any combination of these contributions.
Of course, these categories of active membership simply bring up a member for consideration for Life Membership. You, our members, are ultimately the ones who bestow this honor to your colleagues when you vote at our business meetings. Our members make LLNE a chapter that is all about “communication, collaboration, networking and fun”. Those of us on the Executive Board serve because you inspire us to give more to this organization and as members of our wonderful profession.