President’s Message — December 2011

Sara Jane WitmanBy Sara Witman
Research Librarian
Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander

One of the nicest benefits of law librarianship here in Maryland is how much our fellow professionals support each other. Just take a quick look at the LLAM listserv and you’ll see librarians asking and receiving help with finding resources, borrowing materials, and researching issues. I’m sure we can all remember a time when we learned something from each other. Librarianship is clearly not a field where you’re “in it alone.”

This collegiality was part of the inspiration for the upcoming Legal Research Institute, Full Disclosure: Librarians Sharing Best Practices that will take place on March 20, 2012. I’m genuinely excited about this one. The basic idea is that presenters will have at most 15 minutes to share their expertise in a “micro-presentation.” Several tracks in which attendees can participate will take place simultaneously, and we’re opening up the conference to all types of librarians.

For more information, check out the great web page that Mary Jo Lazun and Jenny Rensler put together for the program at

And start thinking about what you’d like to present. Maybe you’ve started to do chat-based reference, or maybe you would like to describe your experience implementing a new cataloging system.  Have you recently finished weeding your collection and want to show off how you made it work? Want to explain how you put out your library newsletter? If you need ideas, there is a list of suggested themes at The presenter application form should be available early next year.

We’ve already had two great programs this year – one on administrative law and another on appellate practice. Both were packed with attendees! If you missed either of them, reports from these are available in this issue of eNews.

There are a number of other great programs coming up, as well. On January 10, Claire Twose and Blair Alton from the Welsh Medical Library will talk about their experience as “embedded librarians” there. Losing physical collections is something many of us may have to think about, and it will be interesting to hear from them about that.  Then, on February 7, Scott Meiser from Lexis will talk about eBooks and their possible future in the world of law libraries.

Also, consider attending the Maryland Library Legislative Day in Annapolis, which is being held on February 23. The Anne Arundel County Law Library, thanks to the wonderful efforts of Joanie Bellistri, will offer breakfast for the attendees. This annual event allows LLAM members to join with other library associations in the state to promote awareness of the benefits of libraries to our delegates and senators.

Annapolis was also the location of this year’s Holiday Party, and you can see from the pictures in this eNews issue that it was well-attended and in a delightfully cute location. We could not have asked for better food, drink, and atmosphere than what we got at bb bistro. So much fun! We raised more than $500 through our Silent Auction, half of which will be donated to the Maryland Food Bank.  It was another smashing success.  Special thanks to Mary Jo Lazun for all of her work in organizing such a fantastic party.

I would also like to send my congratulations to Steve Anderson Director of the Maryland State Law Library, who will be the next AALL Vice President/President-Elect.  This feat is a first for a LLAM member, and is certainly well-deserved.