Submitted by Ellen Frentzen, LLNE President 2017-2018
Officers and Committee Chairs
The LLNE officers and committee chairs for 2017-2018 were Ellen Frentzen, President; Catherine Biondo, Vice President/President-Elect; Nicole Dyszlewski, Secretary; Richard (Rick) Buckingham, Treasurer; Elaine Apostola, Immediate Past President; Elliott Hibbler and Ellen Phillips, Education Directors; Michael VanderHeijden, Access to Justice chair; Ron Oppenheim, Archives & History chair; Diane D’Angelo and Michelle Pearse, Communications & Technology chairs; Emilie Benoit and Anne McDonald, Government Relations chairs; Robert (Bob) DeFabrizio and Raquel Ortiz, Membership Development chairs; Liza Rosenof, Scholarship chair; Jessica Almeida, Service chair.
Access to Justice Committee
In November 2017, the LLNE membership approved the formation of a new committee on Access to Justice. Members were recruited in early 2018 and held a retreat in April, together with the LLNE Service Committee, to discuss and reach consensus on the committees’ goals for the remainder of calendar year 2018. In the process we generated ideas for discrete projects to pursue. We agreed that the Access to Justice Committee can most effectively serve as a means to support and highlight A2J initiatives already underway. To this end, in June we launched the LLNE Legal Link Twitter page during the LLNE Spring Meeting. Our chair, Mike VanderHeijden, spoke with representatives of the Connecticut Workgroup on Libraries and Access to Justice who are looking forward to having another outlet for advertising their projects and related services. In May, members of the Access to Justice Committee presented a panel discussion at the Massachusetts Library Association’s Annual Meeting in Framingham. The topic was A2J, legal research, and assisting self-represented public library patrons. It was well-received with approximately 50-60 people in attendance. Finally, the A2J committee submitted a proposal to the New England Library Association to present at its annual meeting in October, 2018.
Archives and History Committee
It has been a quiet year for the Archives committee as we undergo a review of the role this committee can play in the future of LLNE.
Communications & Technology
Our Webmasters have been working with Membership Development to implement a new system for managing membership activities, which would include access to retrospective issues of the chapter’s newsletters for members. They have also been trouble-shooting listerv issues and helping with the decision of the executive board to go with a new listserv platform. The committee is also thinking of better ways to streamline communication and technology tasks and responsibilities. At a recent Executive Board retreat, the possibility of moving web/technology into its own committee (as it has been in the past) or as an individual position was suggested, but the idea is still being discussed. The Communications Committee has also been re-evaluating and streamlining the way info is shared with our members.
The Fall Meeting was in Salem, Massachusetts. The theme was “Hysteria, Hyperbole, and Witch Hunts: 1697 & 2017.” We had 79 attendees. The meeting was hosted in conjunction with SNELLA, and both groups helped to plan the meeting without an official host. There was an open call for members to suggest sessions, and 9 members presented.
The Spring Meeting was at the Social Law Library. The theme was “Location: Knowing Where We Are.” We had 63 registrants. The speakers included a professor of journalism, a city archivist, a Geographic Information Systems specialist, and the Head of Reference at the Social Law Library.
Brian Flaherty once again led the Legal Research in Practice course this spring. Over 6 weeks, various LLNE members taught 10 students introductory legal research. The course was hosted by the John Joseph Moakley Law Library at Suffolk Law School.
Government Relations Committee
There was little legislative action related to law libraries in the New England states during the past legislative session, but the future looks promising.
LLNE GRC UELMA in Massachusetts Subcommittee Member Marnie Warner reported that the Massachusetts UELMA bill did not move forward this session. One of the reasons was that the Joint Committee on the Judiciary was focused on Criminal Justice Reform which did pass the Legislature.
The UELMA in Massachusetts Subcommittee will look at re-filing in the next session.
LLNE GRC Vermont Representative Jane Woldrow reported that Emily Feltren, Director of AALL’s Government Relations Office, recently contacted her about the status of UELMA in Vermont. The AALL Government Relations Office is identifying and supporting states seeking to adopt UELMA. As a result, Jane reached out to Uniform Law Commissioner Stephanie Willbanks, who is the ULC Vermont contact for UELMA. Commissioner Willbanks reported that UELMA is not likely to gain traction in Vermont in the near future, largely due to cost concerns. The discussion concluded by agreeing to keep UELMA on our radar, until the legislative climate is more receptive.
AALL’s Digital Access to Legal Information Committee (DALIC) has completed its final update of the State Online Legal Information (SOLI) website. The website includes state-by-state information about the official status, authentication, preservation, permanent public access, and copyright of state administrative codes, administrative registers, statutes, session laws, high court opinions, and appellate court opinions. The site also includes information about universal citation. The site helps support advocacy for the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA.)
Logo Redesign Strike Team: Rebecca Bearden, Emma Wood, Ana Isabel Delgado Valentin
The logo redesign strike team ran a successful logo submission contest that received several wonderful submissions. The submissions have been presented to the Executive Board for review.
LLNE welcomed 27 new members in 2017-18, for a total of 252 members. Members come from all six New England states, as well as Arizona, D.C., and New York.
Upon her retirement as the director at the New England Law | Boston Law Library, Anne Acton was awarded LLNE’s highest honor, the Edgar Award, along with a lifetime membership to LLNE in recognition of her 43 years of service and dedication to the profession of law librarianship.
The Scholarship Committee awarded the following scholarships:
- Jason Eiseman, Contiuing Education Scholarship to attend the 2017 Digital Library Forum
- Shay Elbaum, Meeting Scholarship to attend the LLNE Fall Meeting
- Shira Megerman, Continuing Education Scholarship to attend the 2018 AALL Leadership Academy
This was a very busy year for the Service Committee. For the fall meeting, we partnered with SNELLA to donate $7,700 to the New England Innocence Project. In April, the Service Committee awarded two scholarships to the Legal Research Instruction Program. The recipients, Alvin Ealy from Kingston Public Library and Heather Diaz from Forbes Public Library, wrote posts describing their experiences for the LLNE blog. For our Spring service project, the committee collected $555 in gift cards for Veterans Inc., an organization that aids homeless veterans in the New England area.