I am serving my second consecutive term as one of the Education Directors for LLNE. A large part of the position is requesting Law Libraries to host the semi-annual LLNE Meeting and Conference.
My first LLNE meeting was after moving from New York to Maine in 1994. I agreed to drive to a meeting in Boston. I was arrogant and thought driving in Boston would not be an issue. That is when I first found out that Boston is not organized in a grid. I decided to stop for coffee on the way back to the parking garage at the end of the day. Everywhere I went people said, ‘You’re welcome, Maureen’, ‘Have a nice day, Maureen’. A person held the door and said, ‘have a good evening, Maureen’. I was busy thinking of how to easily get north and it would be on the drive that I realized I was still wearing my name tag. I have an appreciation now for the bus and train. I have since learned that Boston is a very nice city to walk around and I still prefer walking to driving.
LLNE meetings are a place to spend some time meeting other Law Librarians. When I attend a meeting, I always learn something new, talk to someone I did not know and, thoroughly enjoy myself. When Maine Law hosts the meetings, I enjoy being able to share my fondness for Maine and our little city, Portland. New England is a large geographic space. I suggest talking yourself into traveling and seeing more of New England’s wonderful cities and neighborhoods. How often are you getting the opportunity to visit a part of New England you do not live in? There is a good chance that an old friend will also be in attendance. Meet some new Librarians and see a Law Library you have not visited before.
Thank you to all the Law Libraries who have hosted meetings. We know there are many hours of work and planning that go into each meeting. The Education Directors and everyone at LLNE are aware that it is no easy task to host a meeting.
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 my 2019-2021 term, as one of the Educational Directors draws nearer to the end I wanted to reflect on this time. Like everyone else I thought this commitment would be the usual experiences of some in-person conferences and some telephone meetings.
LLNE has two Educational Directors. Each serves two years with the terms ending on different years. My term started in July 2019. I did not attend the annual AALL meeting in 2019 in Washington, D.C. as I was at a family reunion. I was without a care and thought I would attend the meeting in July of 2020 in Cincinnati.
One strange thing about being one of the co-Educational Directors is attending meetings and thanking hosts for work done by previous Educational Directors. My first LLNE Conference as Educational Director was hosted by the Harvard Law Library and was on Artificial Intelligence and Algorithms in Law Libraries and Legal Practice. Little did we know this was the last in-person conference that would be planned for a long time.
One of the many wonderful experiences working with LLNE has been meeting so many dynamic and creative law librarians. There was a resilience and a commitment to moving forward during challenging times. LLNE leadership stepped up as COVID-19 protocols were put in place and planned a virtual spring 2020 conference. Summer gave way to fall and COVID-19 would not allow an in person conference. So, the University of Connecticut Law Library planned a virtual Fall Conference. Suffolk will host a virtual conference in the late spring of this year.
We will meet virtually for the AALL Annual Meeting this summer. When the new academic year starts and the leaves fall again LLNE will again plan and host the meeting. The traditions will continue.