Invitation to Renew Your LLAM Membership / LLAM Membership Interest Survey

Dear Friends,

I invite you to renew your LLAM membership and to also complete the 2018-2019 LLAM Membership Interest Survey. Your continued support of LLAM makes it possible for LLAM to continue providing benefits for our members. Completing the LLAM Membership Interest Survey helps us plan programs for the upcoming year.

Benefits of LLAM membership include:

  • Educational and networking events
  • Access to the LLAM Law Library Directory
  • Scholarships and grants
  • Job placement notifications

Membership dues may be paid online or by check. If paying by check, send a check made payable to “LLAM” to Patricia Behles, University of Baltimore Law Library, 1401 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21201. Regardless of payment method, please complete the LLAM membership form and mail the form with your check or email the completed form (scans are also acceptable) to our membership co-chair, Pat Behles.

I look forward to seeing you this year.


Jason Hawkins
LLAM President 2018-2019

President’s Message – Fall 2012

By Mary Jo Lazun, Maryland State Law Library

I hope that everyone had an enjoyable summer and found time for a vacation or at least a bit of time to relax. Although I think most of us thoroughly enjoy our work and are devoted to the profession, finding a bit of time away from email, phone calls, and meetings is well deserved and important.

This year marks the 30th Birthday of the Law Library Association of Maryland and LLAM has a number of special events scheduled. First, please be sure to mark your calendar for December 14 of our Birthday and Holiday Party.  This will be an extra special event at the National Electronic Museum.  Tonya Baroudi has found us a fabulous venue that will include tours of the museum and a LLAM retrospective. We will formally toast Steve Anderson, incoming AALL president, and Chief Judge Bell, who will be retiring in 2013.

We are starting  our birthday year in style with a with a AALL Presidential Visit on October 16th with Jean Wenger, who has graciously agreed to participate in our first fall program a Slice of Full Disclosure on October 16th the University of Maryland Carey School of Law.  Although Jean’s plans are still tentative, we expect her to visit local law libraries and chat with LLAM members. On November 15 at University of Baltimore School of Law, Bloomberg BNA will show us the latest additions to BLaw. Maybe the Tax and Accounting model will finally be available J

The LLAM Board and Committee Chairs are going to be very busy this year. The Board decided in August to review and possibly revise the LLAM committee structure and update LLAM’s strategic plan. LLAM may also be having a serious discussion regarding allowing “vendors” to be full LLAM members. The Board decided that if in October AALL membership votes to allow vendors to be full members of AALL than LLAM would formally consider the issue as well.  If the vote is in favor of membership, I envision a series of discussions for members to explore this important issue.

President’s Message-Summer 2012

by Mary Jo Lazun, Maryland State Law Library

For many of us, turning 30 was (or will be) a major milestone. So too for the Law Library Association of Maryland. LLAM turned 30 this month.

What is it about LLAM that has kept it going for thirty years? As a relative newcomer, for me it was the intimateness of the group, and the ability to get to know members, that drew me to LLAM and why I am smitten with our organization.  Take a moment to look at our list of our past presidents and committee chairs. They have brought us a long  way. If you encounter one of these LLAM Leadership Alumni,  pass along a  “thank you” for all the work they have done for our organization.

This year I hope to continue to keep LLAM responsive to members and our new web site is a big first step.  We have moved to a WordPress platform and even have our own URL: Kirstin Nelson got many of us hooked on WordPress when she moved LLAM eNews to that platform and Jenny Rensler got comfortable using the WordPress platform when she did the website for the spring conference. In fact, we are actually using the same site for  the “new” LLAM online. A very special thanks goes to Jenny Rensler, who ported the content from the old site to this one to give us a better communications tool. Be sure to check out the “receive updates by email” option on the home page. As we learn more about what WordPress can do, we hope to expand its outreach to LLAM members.

As you poke around the web site you will probably notice that some items need a bit of updating. This is the year to do a new strategic plan, and I will be working closely with board members and committee chairs to rewrite the plan this fall. This spring, we will set up short-term objectives and based on those objectives revisit our committee structure and procedures to see if changes are needed.

But now, it’s summer — time for vacations and the AALL Annual Meeting. Tonya Baroudi and I will be attending the chapter leadership training on Saturday and are looking forward to seeing LLAM members at the conference. David Machen has found us a super location to relax and enjoy each others’ company on Sunday. Be sure to drop by the LLAM table and be sure to visit the Exhibit Hall to see LLAM’s poster session on Full Disclosure: Librarians Sharing Best Practices.  LLAM’s own Joanie Bellistri, AALL candidate for Treasurer, will be at the “Meet the Candidates” on Monday morning in the Convention Hall.

I hope everyone has a safe and fun summer.

Mary Jo Lazun

President’s Message — March 2012

Sara Jane WitmanBy Sara Witman
Research Librarian
Gordon Feinblatt, LLC


If I had to put how I felt after the LLAM conference on March 20 into one word, it would be “recharged.”

The Full Disclosure conference was successful, not just because there were more than 100 attendees, but because of that invigorating feeling at the end of the day. “Five hour energy” has got nothing on the recent LLAM program.

You would think seeing ten or more presentations in one day might be exhausting, but it was just the opposite.  Apparently, fifteen or twenty minutes is just the right amount of time to learn something new without feeling overwhelmed.

If you didn’t have a chance to attend the conference, or if you’d like to read about presentations you missed, this issue of e-News contains short reviews of most of them.  You’ll see that the presenters (who took a real chance on this one) hit it out of the park.  The keynote speakers – ALA president-elect Maureen Sullivan, AALL president-elect Steve Anderson, and MLA president Lucy Holman – also deftly tackled some pretty heavy topics (eBooks and publishers, anyone?).

The conference committee should be very proud of themselves!  Conference chair Mary Jo Lazun and the rest of the gang — Katherine Baer, Pat Behles, Joanne Colvin, Susan Herrick, Kate Martin, Kirstin Nelson, Jenny Rensler, and Bijal Shah – are all conference planning pros!

It’s a good thing we’re charged up, because the year is certainly not over.  There are two programs in April alone.  On April 11, Scott Meiser will talk about how they are tackling eBooks at Lexis. Scott has promised some exciting news from Lexis on the eBook front, so I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next there.  That program will be held at the University of Maryland Law Library.

Also at the University of Maryland Law Library, Kathy Bayer and Ashley Dahlen from GPO will give an in-depth training session on FDSys on April 19.  If the reaction from the class Kathy and Ashley gave in Annapolis at the Maryland State Law Library in February is any indication, you won’t want to miss this one. And given that GPOAccess is gone for good now, the timing couldn’t be any better!

On the afternoon of May 10, Jane McWilliams, the author of Annapolis, City on the Severn: A History will speak about the research that went into her book and about Annapolis history at the Maryland State Law Library.  Jane is a captivating speaker, so this one should be a lot of fun.

And – yes there’s more – you’ll want to save the date for the Spring Fling, of course!  My personal favorite LLAM event of the year will be held on Friday May 4 at Nick’s Fish House in Baltimore.

I’d also like to thank Joan Bellistri for spearheading LLAM’s testimony in opposition to HB998, a bill that would allow counties to publish their codes online and just notify institutions of the update rather than send a print copy of the code.  The bill had many problems with respect to authentication and permanent public access, and, thanks at least in part to our efforts (we hope!), it was withdrawn earlier this month after an unfavorable report from the House Environmental Committee.

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.

President’s Message — September 2011

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

I think it’s a safe bet that I’m not exaggerating when I say that LLAM has the greatest membership of any association ever.

I know I don’t have to prove it to you, but let me explain anyway.

First, our Board members, including the newly-appointed Tonya Baroudi who is just off a long stint as the fantastic chair of the Placement Committee, recently passed new policies for our website — specifically, a Web Copyright Statement and Release as well as Rules and Conditions for our listserv users. These policies are available on the LLAM website. Both are fairly basic and uncontroversial, but I encourage you to read them over — particularly the listserv rules — and give me any opinions or issues you may have about them.

Many thanks to Harvey Morrell for his help with the listserv and to our new webmaster Jenny Rensler. Jenny has cleaned up the site recently, changing some colors and redesigning the navigation bar. It looks fantastic, and we are lucky to have her!

I am particularly lucky to have a fantastic Vice President on board. Mary Jo Lazun has a lot of great programs already planned for us. She will be putting together informal morning “LLAM & Lattes” coffee talks, as well as more substantial educational programs, such as a program on the Appellate Process and one on Administrative Law.

Additionally, this is a Legal Research Institute (LRI) year and Mary Jo has some exciting and novel ideas for the March event. (Spoiler alert:  Think “legal research best practices” + fun.)  If you are interested in getting involved with the LRI planning committee (and you are), contact either me or Mary Jo and we’ll hook you up.

Who could have missed our new Placement Committee chair Mary Rice? The year is just gearing up, and her regular emails have already kept us up-to-date with the law librarian market place this summer. Thank you, Mary!

I can’t possibly mention everyone in one message and I’ll definitely miss some of the super members, but while I’m on a roll, let me thank the tireless work of Membership Committee chair Pat Behles, the detail-oriented assistance of Treasurer Bijal Shah, and the delightful help of our Secretary Thea Warner. I can’t wait for another year of the awesome LLAM eNews. (Kirstin Nelson, you rock!) And, of course, the Past President Susan Herrick continues to be a wonderful source of guidance and mentoring for me.

LLAM is made up of interesting and active members who care about the profession and each other. That is why I got involved and I why I’m genuinely excited about the coming year.

If you want to get more involved, but aren’t sure how, send me an email at

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.

President’s Message – March 2011

By Susan Herrick
Research Librarian
University of Maryland School of Law

Hello LLAM Members,

By the time you read this, March will have come in like either a lion or – dare I say it? ….a lamb. Either way, I’m sure you all join me in welcoming the end of winter and the longer and (I hope!) balmier days.

Spring brings much to anticipate… whether it’s a religious holiday, a spring break, or perhaps making plans for gardening or a summer vacation… and of course some great LLAM programming!

We had a very informative program on bankruptcy law on February 17, thanks to attorney Edie Altice of Saul Ewing (see the article in this issue for a full description.)

LLAM again co-sponsored the annual Maryland Library Association Legislative Day at the General Assembly on February 23, thanks to the efforts of Joan Bellistri, our Government Relations Committee chair. This was my first year attending the Legislative Day, and it won’t be the last. It’s no surprise that this year the major legislative concerns of librarians relate to the ongoing budget constraints they face.  It was an inspiration to hear our colleagues in Maryland public and school libraries speak on this topic at the briefing that begins the Legislative Day, and a reminder that all librarians share a common interest and purpose in protecting our institutions and our services to patrons, no matter what type of library we may represent. An added bonus this year was that while attending the session of the Maryland State Senate, we were able to hear the consideration of amendments on the second reading of the Maryland same sex marriage bill, one of which renamed the bill the “Civil Marriage Protection Act.”  Not only was the debate substantively interesting, it was fun as librarians to hear the references to the Maryland Code, COMAR, and the Maryland Register which were flung about during the discussion of the various amendments.

Our Program Chair/Vice President Sara Witman has other great programs planned for this spring as well. In upcoming weeks we can look forward to our annual “LLAM Reads” author talk. We are pleased to welcome Charles W. Mitchell, author of Maryland Voices of the Civil War. Check out the reviews of his book on! This one is a don’t miss, so please join us on March 21 at University of Maryland School of Law Library. See Sara’s article within this issue for details on this and on a program planned for April at the Maryland Archives. And of course save the date and plan to attend our annual Spring Fling, for which the tentative date is Friday, May 6. Please come out and join us to celebrate spring and a great year for LLAM, and to congratulate our current, outgoing, and new board members.

Speaking of which – spring is also election time for LLAM. Our Nominations Committee, composed of Joanne Colvin, Pat Behles, and Janet Camillo, has worked hard to recruit members for the positions of Vice President/Program Chair and Board member. Our election will be held in early April, with the ballot available electronically via Survey Monkey. Watch for the email announcement. What better time for me to encourage you to step forward and volunteer for a position as committee member or chair? It’s a rewarding experience and a real opportunity to contribute something to your local law library chapter; a local chapter position to enhance your CV; and a chance to work with a really smart, helpful, and nice group of people. LLAM needs your involvement!

This year LLAM is in the fortunate position of being able to award both an AALL Chapter Registration Grant (for the amount of the AALL Annual Meeting registration fee) and a grant funded from LLAM Silent Auction proceeds and general funds. This a great opportunity because since the travel expenses  for Philadelphia will be less than they often are, receiving a grant may enable a LLAM member who has not attended AALL, or hasn’t attended recently, to be able to go. So please don’t hesitate to apply!  Our Grants & Awards Committee, chaired this year by Jim Gernert and also including Jean Hessenauer and Mark Desierto, have provided complete information on how to apply (see announcement within this LLAM eNews.)

In closing, on behalf of LLAM, congratulations to Bernice Bernstein on her retirement after 44 years of service at the Maryland State Law Library. The State Law Library sponsored a lovely reception for Bernice on Feb. 23, attended by LLAM members who had participated in the Legislative Day and many other active and retired members of the law library community, in addition to court personnel. It was a great party!

Ah spring, bringing changes and reminding us of both renewal and regeneration… Enjoy, everyone!

President’s Message – December 2010

By Susan Herrick
Research Librarian
Thurgood Marshall Law Library

I recently had dinner with a friend who reported that her husband, an avid winter sportsman, is hoping for a repeat of the weather we experienced last winter. As we face the season of shorter days and chillier temperatures, I suspect that many of you share my own hopes, which are somewhat different from those of my friend’s spouse… but either way, greetings and welcome to the season!

LLAM programming continues at a fast clip this year, thanks to Vice President/Program Chair Sara Witman.

On October 19th, about 15 LLAM members enjoyed a fascinating tour of the NPR facilities and library. The NPR librarian guides were fantastic! Many thanks are due to Sara and to Katherine Baer, formerly a librarian at NPR, for organizing this trip. (See the full story on the trip elsewhere in LLAM eNews.)

Our scheduled program for November 30 on bankruptcy law unfortunately had to be cancelled due to a scheduling conflict of our presenter. We plan to reschedule this program in early 2011.  In the LLAM Member Survey we conducted in the fall of 2009, many respondents were enthusiastic about including more programming on specialized legal research topics – and this program certainly fit the bill. Any suggestions for programs/speakers of this nature are always welcome – so please contact me or Sara if you have ideas.

I was happy to see so many of you at the LLAM Holiday Party – we had about 35 attendees. I hope you enjoyed the event as much as I did! A special thanks to all who contributed to, and bid on items, at the Silent Auction. This year the auction yielded about $550, and the board has voted on the distribution of the proceeds, which have historically been split between our LLAM Grants and Awards program and a charitable organization (last year it was Doctors Without Borders for Haiti relief efforts; in the recent past, the Maryland Food Bank and the Baltimore Reads Foundation have been recipients.) This year the Board voted to send half the proceeds to the Maryland Food Bank.

Last but certainly not least, kudos to Jean Hessenauer for initiating and coordinating the Baltimore Ronald McDonald House dinner project (see the article on this event elsewhere in LLAM eNews.) On two dates this past fall, LLAM members visited RMH and prepared and served dinner for the families of seriously ill children, for whom the House serves as a “home away from home.” Thanks so much to everyone who volunteered to participate. This is a great project, and I would love to see LLAM to do more public service projects of this nature. I’d be happy to hear any ideas any of you might have for such ventures.

In closing, it’s with great happiness for her personally, but with collective regret, that LLAM recognizes the retirement of Janet Camillo from her position as Law Librarian at the Montgomery County Circuit Court Law Library. Janet’s contributions to LLAM can’t be overstated, not only in her official capacity as (former) President, Vice President, Secretary,  and chair of many committees over the years, but also in her always knowledgeable, insightful, and tactful informal guidance on many a topic. Janet has also been active in the court library community, and we know her leadership will be missed there. We look forward to having Janet as one of our active LLAM members in the “Retired” category! Joanie Bellistri has written a lovely tribute to Janet in this issue of LLAm eNews.

I wish you all the happiest of holiday seasons – fun and relaxation with family and friends, and physical and spiritual renewal to launch us through the winter of 2010-2011.