LLNE Annual Report Submitted to AALL

Submitted by Anna Lawless-Collins, LLNE President 2022-2023

LLNE had another successful year. Our committees were active, including ad hoc committees on bylaws, strategic planning, and ethics. The bylaws committee revised LLNE’s old bylaws and the new bylaws were approved at the spring meeting. The Executive Board focused on strategic planning at our winter retreat, and the strategic planning committee ran with the work the Executive Board did to create a strategic plan for the next several years. We also planned a successful get-together at AALL and had two excellent meetings – one on the law of whaling, held in New Bedford, and one on the NextGen Bar exam, hosted by New England Law Boston and held at MCLE. Please read below for full reports on what our committees accomplished this year. We look forward to another successful year!


Access to Justice

The Access to Justice committee continued to update Legal Link this year. Connecticut and Massachusetts have been updated with the rest of the states planned for the upcoming year.



The Archives committee was largely dormant this year. It hopes to contribute more in the coming year.



Last year, the LLNE Executive Board formed a Bylaws Committee to review LLNE’s bylaws and to recommend changes. The goal of the project was to ensure that the bylaws conform with current LLNE practices and expectations. The bylaws also need to reflect the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Committee’s members included Tanya Johnson (Univ. of Connecticut School of Law), Raquel Ortiz (Roger Williams Univ. School of Law), and Mike VanderHeijden (Yale Law School).

Over the past few months, the Committee completed a thorough review of LLNE’s current bylaws and, as directed by current bylaws, submitted its proposed amendments to the LLNE Executive Committee.

Significant amendments proposed by the Bylaws Committee include:

Art. 1, sec. 2, Purpose:

The amended language expands our purpose to reach non-librarians, too. Also included in our purpose: to foster … efforts to build a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive profession. We’ve also proposed expanding the scope of who qualifies as a student member.

Art. II, sec. 2, Dues:

We’ve proposed that dues no longer be set at $10 in the bylaws. Instead, dues will be set by the Board of Directors (a.k.a. Executive Committee) and ratified by the voting members.

Art. III, sect. 4, Meetings:

We’ve proposed eliminating reference to Roberts Rules of Order as the method for settling parliamentary disputes. Parliamentary rules need only be followed when necessary (i.e. to resolve disputes in how to conduct a meeting). In these rare cases, we suggest referring instead to the American Institute of Parliamentarians’ Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (also used by AALL).

New Art. V, Sec. 1 & 2, Nominating Committee (formerly Art. VI).

With the goal of ensuring that the Nominating Committee fairly represents the diversity as well as geographical and institutional distribution of our members, we’ve proposed changing the language about how the Nominating Committee is formed. We’ve also proposed eliminating the policy on “nomination by petition”. Instead, the Nominating Committee shall publicly seek nominations, including self-nominations, directly from the membership.

New Articles VI, Officers and Board of Directors, (formerly Art. VII) and VII, Association Leadership (formerly Art. V, Board of Directors):

To clarify the distinction between the Executive Committee and the Executive Board, we propose that the current Executive Committee (consisting of the President, VP, Past President, Treasurer, Secretary, Education Co-chairs, and Equity Director) be known as the “Board of Directors.” The “Executive Board” (consisting of the Executive Committee AND the chairs of standing committees) would be called, “Association Leadership”. We also propose electing an Equity Director, to be included on the Board of Directors. Duties of the Equity Director will be delineated in a subsequent revision of the LLNE Procedures Manual.

New Art. VIII, Committees:

The Association Leadership would be responsible for creating and eliminating committees.

Note (1): We’ve also attempted to clarify the historical notes which follow the bylaws. One remaining action item includes posting the current (soon to be superseded) version of the bylaws on the website.

After being submitted to the LLNE Executive Committee, the bylaws were referred to the LLNE Executive Board for feedback. Finally, the bylaws were submitted to AALL’s Bylaws Committee. The AALL Bylaws Committee approved the amendments for submission to the LLNE members for a vote.



The communications committee has been focusing on finishing up the Law Libraries blog post series, preparing for AALL, and continuing to communicate with members through email and the blog. If any member has a topic they enjoy writing about, we’d be happy to post it to the blog.



The Law Library at Northeastern University School of Law will host the fall 2023 LLNE meeting.   The topic is International & Foreign Law.  The working conference title is “Dispelling the Fog of War: Legal Research, Conflict, Money, Politics, and History.”    Further details will be available later in the year.  

LLNE Conference Meetings have been scheduled through spring of 2026.  The Social Law Library will host the spring 2024 meeting. The Garbrecht Law Library at the University of Maine School of Law & the Law and Legislative Reference Library | Maine State Legislature will co-host the fall 2024 meeting.  The spring 2025 meeting will be hosted by the Law Library at Boston College School of Law.   The fall 2025 will be hosted by the Lynne L. Pantalena Law Library at Quinnipiac University School of Law.   The spring of 2026 LLNE meeting will be hosted by the Fineman & Pappas Law Libraries at the Boston University School of Law.

We held two meetings this year: The Law of Whaling in Fall 2022 and the Next Gen Bar Exam in Spring 2023.


Government Relations

Members of the GRC are continuing to track state legislation of interest to law librarians. 

In Massachusetts, Representative Gentile filed H.1522, An Act relative to the Uniform Electronic Material Act, and it has been referred to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. UELMA requires that online state legal material deemed official will be preserved and made permanently available to the public in unaltered form, and has been adopted in 22 states, plus Washington, DC and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Although past iterations of this bill have not been successful in Massachusetts, we will renew our advocacy efforts on this new bill’s behalf.

Additionally, though not specific to the law, GRC members in New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island noted several obscene material bills introduced in those states this session and are tracking their potential impact on libraries.



The 2022-2023 LLNE Scholarship Committee was made up of committee members Dawn Smith (chair) from Yale Law School,  Jocelyn Kennedy at Harvard Law School, and Ana Delgado-Valentin at Suffolk Law School.  This year the committee received scholarship applications for both the Fall and Spring LLNE meetings, and the Legal Research Instruction Program (LRIP), and also participated in the nomination and review of candidates for the LLNE Grant for attendance to the AALL annual meeting.

 We awarded two scholarships to the Fall 2022 meeting to Nicole Dyszlewski, Director of Special Programs, Academic Affairs at Roger Williams University School of Law, and Karen Coghlan, Research and Instruction Librarian at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

No awards were granted for the Spring meeting because we did not find applicants who met all of the criteria in time.



The Service Committee, consisting of Nicole Belbin, Stephanie Farne, and John Nann, identified, publicized, and promoted several opportunities for members to support community organizations in conjunction with our LLNE meetings and trivia night. For the Fall 2022 Service Project, we solicited monetary support for the Whaling Museum and collected 36 books for The United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Women United Wash & Read initiative.

We chose Action For Boston Community Development as the organization to sponsor in conjunction with the Virtual Trivia Night in January.

Finally, for the Spring 2023 Service Project, we solicited donations for three funds that provide scholarships to black bar applicants: Sarita and Clair Wright Lucas Foundation, Black Bar Applicant Fund, and the Blanche E. Braxton Bar Scholarship.


Strategic Planning

Last October, the President initiated LLNE’s strategic planning project with a survey which was distributed to members to gather valuable information about what members consider LLNE’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to be. During the Executive Board’s annual retreat, held virtually in January, the President led a review and discussion of the membership’s survey responses after which the President appointed a Strategic Planning Committee composed of Vice President Sara McMahon (Hampshire Law Library), Nicole Belbin (Western New England Univ. School of Law), Pamela Cartier (Vermont Law & Graduate School), Nicholas Mignanelli (Yale Law School), Anne Rajotte (Univ. of Connecticut School of Law)  and Mike VanderHeijden (Yale Law School).  The committee held its first meeting in March during which it set its agenda for the next few months. Since April, the committee has gathered via Zoom for biweekly meetings during which members’ individual and group drafts were discussed, considered, and adopted. On June 22, the committee submitted a proposed mission statement, supplemented by proposed goals for the LLNE to work on over the next five years.


Technology Committee

We continued to maintain and update the website and listserv. We also created forms for LLNE events, and there now are some general instructions to help others create forms in the future.  Christopher Collins joined Maya Bergamasco and Debbie Ginsberg on the committee.

Annual Report 2021

Annual Report 2019

Annual Report 2018

Annual Report 2017