Dear CALL colleagues,
One of the most commonly observed phenomena about professional work in the 21st century is the increasing specialization of different jobs, and that is certainly something we have seen in our law librarian community, even within individual law libraries and organizations. However, despite this increasing specialization, there are still things we share that bind us together as law librarians. One of the challenges of the recent AALL rebranding effort was identifying those traits that define all of our work and figuring out how to communicate our value to others outside the profession. AALL’s new tagline, “Your Legal Knowledge Network,” manages to capture a lot in four simple words, and it applies just as well to AALL chapters like CALL as it does to the national organization.
First of all, the organization is indeed yours. CALL is what it is because of the input and the participation of all of our members. One of the great things about being active in a local chapter is that the smaller scale allows individuals to make a more noticeable impact and have their voices heard more immediately. Any CALL members who want to share some knowledge or opinions or have something they want to learn more about from others are encouraged to propose a continuing education program, a CALL Bulletin article, or another type of CALL initiative. If you want to learn more about CALL and get more involved in the organization, you can volunteer for a CALL committee or participate in one of our community service projects.
Anyone who just has suggestions or questions for CALL should please feel free to contact me or any of the Executive Board members about any issues. Later in 2017, we will be reaching out to CALL members to hear your thoughts and goals as we put together a strategic plan for CALL for the next three years. We want to hear from everyone about the directions you want CALL to take so that we continue to confidently say that we are “your” organization.
Next, I’d like to skip ahead to focus on the last of the four words in AALL’s new tagline: network. The word “network” denotes a sense of interconnectedness and a common purpose. CALL includes a great variety of law librarians and legal information professionals all with ties to the Chicago area. In my view, this diversity is one of the great strengths of CALL because we have so much to learn from each other.
Much, but not all, of what we have to share and learn is related to the final two words of the tagline: legal knowledge. In our current environment, those two words encompass a wide spectrum. CALL committees are working hard to offer education programs and other learning opportunities that address different types of knowledge that should help members enhance their skills and expertise. Watch out for announcements about upcoming programs from the Continuing Education and Mentorship and Leadership Development committees in early 2017. CALL will also soon be offering some educational content online through webinars and other means, so that members who do not work in downtown Chicago or may have a difficult time leaving the office will have the chance to attend some of these programs.
In addition to these great programs, we have a lot more to look forward to in 2017. Most importantly, it will mark 70 years since CALL’s formation in 1947. We’ll have a special anniversary issue of the CALL Bulletin, as well as a celebration at our May business meeting. I hope to see many of you there.