President’s Message – June 2011

By Susan Herrick
Research Librarian
University of Maryland School of Law

By the time you read this, my year as LLAM President will have drawn to a close, and I will have passed the ceremonial lamb to Sara Witman, our President for 2011-2012. It’s been a great experience serving as President of our small but mighty chapter.

Thanks to Sara, LLAM has enjoyed a year of excellent programs and social events. LLAM has also supported several public service efforts, with our members serving dinner at the Ronald McDonald House on two occasions (coordinated by Jean Hessenauer); our donation of half of our Holiday Party Silent Auction proceeds to the Maryland Food Bank; and our sponsorship of LLAMbert the Jacob sheep at the Maryland Zoo. I’d like to thank everyone who planned and participated in these activities, and especially to Sara for all her hard work.  The position of Vice President/Program Chair requires energy and dedication, and we are very fortunate to have Mary Jo Lazun taking on this role for the upcoming year. We also welcome Tonya Baroudi as a new Board member.

Also related to the LLAM Board, I’d like to recognize Stacey Digan, whose two-year term as a board member has ended. Also, kudos to Joanne Dugan Colvin, who has “graduated” from the board position of immediate past president– thanks, Joanne, for your help and advice. And thank you to all the other recent past presidents of LLAM as well for serving as a valuable resource to our chapter.

Thea Warner and Dave Matchen will be returning to the LLAM board next year, as Secretary and Board member respectively. Also, thanks for both past and future service go out to Bijal Shah, who will again serve a term as LLAM Treasurer.

I’m also very pleased that LLAM has been able, again this year, to award a grant to one of our members to help with the costs of attending the AALL Annual Meeting. This year the grant has been paired with a Chapter Grant from AALL, and the recipient is Thea Warner. Many thanks to our Grants and Awards Committee, consisting of Jim Gernert (chair), Jean Hessenauer, and Mark Desierto.

Although I can’t enumerate every accomplishment of our organization and its members this year, a notable development has been our re-vamping of the LLAM Newsletter into the LLAM eNews, which is now being produced using the WordPress platform. The Special Committee for Communication and Technology, chaired by Kirstin Nelson, has worked hard to streamline the production process and to modernize the appearance of our news publication, and the results have been just great! This “experiment” will continue next year as the committee continues to refine the format and process of producing the newsletter in this way. Thanks to Kirstin particularly, and to all the committee members, and to those who wrote for the eNews. New members for this committee are being sought, and are warmly welcomed. Please contact Kirstin at if you would like to volunteer.

It’s also been a great year for individual LLAM members and institutions, whose accomplishments we are so pleased to recognize. Joanie Bellistri has been the recipient of two awards this year: the 2011 American Association of Law Libraries Robert L. Oakley Advocacy Award, and the Judicial Branch Excellence award from the Maryland Access to Justice Commission. I’m also happy to report that Janet Camillo received the Bethany J. Ochal Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession, as well as the Service to LLAM Award. And last but certainly not least, congratulations to the Maryland State Law Library for receiving the 2011 AALL Innovations in Technology Award for The People’s Law Library. We are so very proud of our members for receiving these awards! See the article by Mary Rice in this issue for further information.

As we look back on the accomplishments of this past year, it is gratifying to realize that LLAM and its members have (again) had an impact disproportionate to the comparatively modest size of our chapter. That is a perfect opportunity for me to remind you that as a small chapter, we need the involvement of all our members – especially our newer and/or younger members. Because of our choices and careful stewardship over recent years, LLAM has a pretty healthy bank account; but it takes more than funds to ensure an organization’s vitality and to make it a valuable resource for its members. I strongly urge you to volunteer and to get more involved in LLAM. Volunteer for a committee…. run for a board position next year….write a piece for the LLAM eNews…or suggest a program or a public service activity. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved!

In closing, I’ve had a wonderful year serving as LLAM President, and I would like to thank everyone who helped me and who contributed to LLAM this year: that includes all the board members, and all the committee chairs and members. Again, I’d especially like to thank the past presidents who were unfailingly generous with their time and sage advice.  I hope I can continue to serve LLAM and our profession as energetically and steadfastly as they have!

Enjoy your summer! I hope you all have some time to explore new projects at work, take time off to relax, and simply recharge for another year. Also, I hope to see many of our members at AALL in Philadelphia (see the notice in this issue about the LLAM Dine Around!) Thanks again for the opportunity to serve as President of LLAM.