Submitted by Michael VanderHeijden, LLNE President 2021-2022
Officers and Committee Chairs
The LLNE officers and committee chairs for 2021-2022 were Michael VanderHeijden, President; Nicole Dyszlewski, Immediate Past President; Anna Lawless-Collins, Vice President; Joshua LaPorte Vice President (July 2021-December 2021); Rachel Weiss, Treasurer; Christie Schauder, Secretary; Jessica Panella and Maureen Quinlan, Education co-chairs; Anne Rajotte, Access to Justice chair; Stefanie Wegmann, Archives & History chair; Sara McMahon and Emma Wood Communications co-chairs; Emilie Benoit and Catherine Biondo, Government Relations co-chairs; Raquel Ortiz, Membership Development chair; Dawn Smith, Scholarships Chair; Jessica Almeida and Kaitlin Connolly Service co-chairs, Artie Berns and Debbie Ginsberg, Technology chairs, and Alex Burnett, chair of the ad hoc Nominations Committee.
In addition to the wonderful work of the LLNE committees (see the committee reports, below). I’d like to highlight a few other developments from this year – focusing on the work of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion task force (DEI task force), the Ethics task force, the Bylaws committee, and the Fall and Spring Meeting Planning Committees,
During the summer of 2021 the DEI task force (led by Shira Megerman) which was organized in 2020-2021 to explore ways in which LLNE might address issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism, presented a list of recommendations to the LLNE Executive Board. The task force’s proposed initiatives included: (1) Creation of a Diversity standing committee with a chair on the Executive Board and membership composed of representatives from the other standing committees; (2) DEI programming; (3) Implicit Bias training for new board members; (4) Demographic survey of our membership; and (4) Targeted scholarships.
Shortly thereafter, we formed a bylaws committee comprised of Raquel Ortiz, Tanya Johnson, and me to examine the LLNE bylaws and recommend any necessary changes that would be required to: (1) Create a permanent Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee with members drawn from the ranks of other LLNE committees and a chair on the Executive Committee; (2) Confirm that the language of our formative documents reflects our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and (3) Bring the document up-to-date with LLNE community expectations, practices, values, etc. The Bylaws committee held monthly meetings, drafted its recommendations, and will be presenting its recommendations to the LLNE Executive Board before forwarding the proposed changes to AALL.
The task force on Applied Library Ethics (led by Anna Lawless-Collins and Nicholas Mignanelli) created during 2020-2021, completed its charge and presented its Statement of Ethical Principles on Legal Information Technologies and Platforms to the LLNE Executive Board. The Executive Board met in retreat to discuss librarian ethics generally and discussed the task force’s proposal before putting it to a vote of the Executive Board’s membership. The Executive Board approved the Statement which was consequently presented to members during the LLNE-SNELLA Spring Meeting in June. The approval of the Statement marks the conclusion of the drafting process and the beginning for implementation.
Despite uncertainty presented by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we managed to offer two fantastic substantive educational opportunities for LLNE and AALL members. LLNE’s planning committee organized the fall meeting – [In]accessible Justice: Innovation, Technology and Solutions. Although the planning committee did significant work to host this meeting in-person, the pandemic required us to move it online – a decision which allowed us to reach over 100 registrants from around the country. In the spring, Yale’s Lillian Goldman Law Library hosted the meeting on Critical Law Librarianship. After almost 2.5 years without an in-person event, this was our first foray back into this type of engagement. Although it was relatively light (around 55 attendees), the programming and opportunities to re-engage in this way contributed to the meeting’s success. During the Fall Meeting LLNE’s Edgar Award was bestowed on Michael Hughes. And during the Spring Meeting LLNE presented the award to Ann DeVeaux. During the course of their careers, Ann and Mike demonstrated outstanding service, exemplary commitment to law librarianship, and were wonderful colleagues to many of us in New England. At both award ceremonies, our members’ personal warmth and gratitude demonstrated what’s so extremely valuable about regional organizations like LLNE.
Access to Justice Committee
The Access to Justice Committee has been updating Legal Link over the past year. Members of the committee have reviewed all of the New England states and up to date information is now being added to the website. In addition, we are considering new areas for information useful to the public and public librarians. The Access to Justice Committee also administered the Legal Research Instruction Scholarship, publicizing the scholarship, reviewing applications, and choosing two recipients.
The Communications Committee has been focusing on facilitating better communication with membership by publishing regular blog posts and sending emails with committee updates. Please consider signing up for the LLNE blog to receive these regular posts. Over the next year, Communications will be co-chaired by Emma Wood and Katharine Haldeman, who are going to focus on a new blog series highlighting the different law libraries in New England. If any member has a topic that they would like to write up, we would be happy to post it to the blog for the membership to enjoy. Communications has also been managing the LLNE social media accounts and using the platforms to advertise LLNE events and programs.
The Education Committee played a key role in supporting the hosts of the Fall and Spring meetings. In addition the Committee has secured venues for the next five LLNE meetings:
- The Fall 2022 meeting is being hosted by LLNE in New Bedford, MA.
- Spring 2023: New England Law School, Boston
- Fall 2023: Northeastern University School of Law, Boston
- Spring 2024: Social Law Library, Boston
- Fall 2024: University of Maine School of Law, Portland, ME
Government Relations Committee
There is little to report at this point in the legislative sessions of our New England states, and we are continuing to monitor developments of interest to concerned law librarians. If you become aware of legislative or policy developments of interest to law librarians, please contact Catherine or Emilie, GRC Co-chairs, who monitor Massachusetts and Rhode Island respectively, or your GRC state representatives/committee members: Mary Tartaglia in Connecticut; Maureen Quinlan in Maine; Sue Zago in New Hampshire; and Jane Woldow in Vermont. We will report any relevant information to the membership.
The UELMA in Massachusetts Subcommittee continues to advocate for passage of this legislation, and thanks all Massachusetts LLNE members who reached out to their legislators this past year to request support H.1597 – An Act Relative to the Uniform Electronic Material Act. In the latest report, H.1597 accompanied a study order from the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, and was referred to the Committee on Joint Rules.
In November, 2022, the Service Committee hosted LLNE Trivia Night 2021 with proceeds donated to South Coast Fair Housing, an organization dedicated to eliminating housing discrimination in Rhode Island and Southeasttern Massachusetts. In March, 2022, the Service Committee compiled a short list of organizations to help support the people of Ukraine. You can find the list on the LLNE Blog at https://llne.org/llne-service-project-ukraine/. Finally, for the Spring meeting, the committee partnered with the Yale Law Library’s Books-to-Prison Program. The program provides books to jails and prisons across Connecticut.
Annual Report 2018