Dear CALL Colleagues:
The daylight hours are getting shorter, the weather is turning colder, and the tension from looming final exams is starting to creep into the atmosphere within the walls of our law schools. There’s no question that we find ourselves in the middle of the fall/winter holiday season. In this letter, I want to focus on the fall holiday that I feel exemplifies the traits of CALL members: Thanksgiving.
Let’s take this in reverse order and start with the “giving” part. Law librarianship in general is a service-oriented profession, which is one of the main reasons I (and I suspect many others) got into this line of work in the first place. At its core, law librarianship is about providing access to information, whether for recipients who are in our own organizations or for the outside world. On a more specific level, CALL is a member-driven, volunteer organization, and as such it is built around generosity. We give to each other through formally structured activities: we serve on or chair CALL committees; we mentor newer members of the profession (side note – check out the new Mentorship and Leadership Development Committee page on the CALL Web site); we give continuing education presentations for our colleagues. CALL members also share of themselves through less-structured activities, such as coming through in a pinch by filling much-needed interlibrary loan requests, or by attending events where networking occurs. And we give to others outside the organization through the work of our Community Service Committee. The spirit of giving touches everything our organization does.
Now let’s move on to the “thanks” part. The flipside of giving to others is to be thankful for what we have been given. For starters, I’m thankful to have discovered this profession and to have become a part of it. I’m thankful to be a member of CALL, which has given me the opportunity to learn from my colleagues on matters of both professional interest and personal interest. For example, by attending the September CALL business meeting, I learned about the history of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and their newly opened Court Museum during Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer’s fascinating presentation. Finally (and I think I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating), I’m thankful that you’ve all chosen to give your time and talents toward making CALL a great organization.
I hope that you remember to pause during this busy time of year to think about what you have to be thankful for as well.
Have a happy holiday season!