Category Archives: Spring 2020

CALL Executive Board Meeting Minutes – March 2020

March 10, 2020 – Conference Call

Board Members Present: Jessie LeMar, Jesse Bowman, Lindsey Carpino, Joe Mitzenmacher, Julie Swanson, Megan Butman, and Philip Johnson

Board Members Absent: None

Significant Actions: None

Guests: None

Treasurer’s Report (Section IV):

  • Harris Bank Balance as of March 9, 2020: $13,961.93
  • Net income as of March 9, 2020: $632.02
  • Membership numbers to date – 212

From the Editors

This issue has been quite a doozy to get off the ground.  Like everyone else, it seems that COVID 19 has brought many extracurricular activities to a screeching halt while we navigate our new realities.  But thanks to the hard work of our fellow CALL Members and the CALL Bulletin staff we happily present the much delayed Spring issue of the Bulletin (Issue 255)!

In this issue we bid farewell to Jessie LeMar as she writes her last message as President of CALL.  Debbie Ginsberg gives advice for staying data safe in a time where we are all working from home. Carrie Port summarizes the Meting Committee’s Zoom happy hours, and invites you to join one in August.  We send a preliminary congratulations to the 2020 CALL Award winners (before formally congratulating them when we next have a business meeting in person). Finally, we congratulate Susane Yesnick on a wonderful career as we interview her after her recent retirement.

We hope you are all staying safe, active, and engaged with CALL.   We wish a healthful and fun remainder of your summer as we look toward the Fall, and we hope to (non-digitally) see you all as soon as possible.  Take care and enjoy!

CALL Executive Board Meeting Minutes – January 2020

January 14, 2020 – AALL Headquarters – 9:00am

Board Members Present: Jessie LeMar, Jesse Bowman, Lindsey Carpino, Joe Mitzenmacher, Julie Swanson, Megan Butman, and Philip Johnson

Board Members Absent: None

Significant Actions: None

Guests: Sarah Sherman

Treasurer’s Report (Section IV):

  • Harris Bank Balance as of January 13, 2020: $10,622.44
  • Net income as of January 13, 2020: $511.34
  • Membership numbers to date – 212

Congratulations to Our Award Winners!

In May, the Grants and Chapter Awards Committee announced the recipients of the 2019-2020 CALL Chapter Awards:

Agnes and Harvey Reid Award for Outstanding Contribution to Law Librarianship: Clare Gaynor Willis and Diana Koppang

 

Clare Gaynor Willis
Diana Koppang

Lifetime Achievement in Law Librarianship Award:

Kathleen Powers Goodridge

 

Kathy Goodridge Retirement
Kathleen Powers Goodridge

Award for Outstanding In-House Publication:

Jesse Bowman

 

Jesse Bowman at the November 2018 CALL Business meeting

Please join me in congratulating the honorees!

Since there was no May business meeting, we will instead be presenting the awards during the next CALL business meeting in September (if possible). I hope you’ll be there as we formally recognize the recipients.

Thank you to Sally Baker, Shari Berkowitz Duff, Debra Denslaw, Lyonette Louis-Jacques, and Leslie Strauss for serving on this year’s Grants and Chapter Awards Committee.

Committee Roundup: Zoom Happy Hours!

When the rise of the coronavirus sent us home, the CALL Meetings Committee decided to host online happy hours. It has become a great way to raise a glass to discuss with working from home, fears and concerns about Covid, and chat about our favorite movie soundtrack.

Zoom Happy Hour
April Zoom Happy Hour (taken by Mandy Lee)

As librarians, we are skilled in learning new technologies so everyone has caught onto Zoom quickly. It has also been great to include CALL members who are living out of state (California, Indiana, Wisconsin).

After the success of the first online happy hour, we have been holding them every three weeks on Zoom.  We will be having our final summer happy hours on July 29 at 5:30 and August 20 at 12:30pm.

April Zoom Happy Hour (taken by Mandy Lee)
April Zoom Happy Hour (taken by Mandy Lee)

If you have suggestions for the fall please reach out to Eugene Guidice, Mike McMillan or Carrie Port, and stay tuned for the new schedule.

CALL Executive Board Meeting Minutes – February 2020

February 18, 2020 – Conference Call

Board Members Present: Jessie LeMar, Jesse Bowman, Lindsey Carpino, Joe Mitzenmacher, Julie Swanson, Megan Butman, and Philip Johnson

Board Members Absent: None

Significant Actions: None

Guests: Lucy Robbins

Treasurer’s Report (Section IV):

  • Harris Bank Balance as of February 17, 2020: $13,329.91
  • Net income as of February 17, 2020: $2,707.47
  • Membership numbers to date – 212

Staying (Digitally) Safe During Covid

I’ve been giving a few talks lately about ransomware and other security threats.  I presented one for PLLIP-SIS which should appear here soon, as well as one for the 2020 AALL Virtual Annual Meeting. 

During COVID, it’s been particularly challenging for us to keep our information and equipment safe while working at home.  Here are some tips to help

What can you do?

Use your tools: passwords, VPN, backups, and antivirus software are all vital tools for protecting your data.  Your skills and relationships are also important – stay vigilant, keep in touch with your IT, and train your staff and others in your organization.

In your toolbox

Passwords

Do we change them every 6 months?  Make them long and difficult to hack?  There’s a great deal of debate about the best approach, but whatever your path, a password manager can help you stay on top of all of your passwords.  I use LastPass because it works on all of my devices.  When I change my password, LastPass can generate a random password that meets the criteria set by that service’s site (e.g. requires a special character or needs to be 8 characters long).  LastPass will then use that new password on all of my devices, including my iPhone and iPad.  I use 2-factor authentication- it would be difficult to break into my password list.  The other solutions offer similar features – pick the one that best suits your needs.

LastPass: https://www.lastpass.com/
1Password: https://1password.com/ 
KeePass: https://keepass.info/ 
Dashlane: https://www.dashlane.com/ 

VPN – Virtual Private Networks

VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, protect you when you access networks and the internet.  It keeps your information away from prying eyes.  During COVID, it also lets us access resources – and even computers- on our work networks.  Our home internet connections are not likely to be as secure as our work connections, so it’s important to use a VPN when you are working with sensitive data.  VPNs can help prevent virus and malware attacks but are not full-proof.  

Your organization likely has its own VPN already (Chicago-Kent uses CISCO).  If they don’t, here are some suggestions – Best VPNs for lawyers: https://lawyerist.com/blog/best-vpns-lawyers/

Backups

If you are using your own device for work – phone, tablet, or computer –  you should back it up every once in a while.  You can back up your mobile devices to your computer, but what about the computer itself?  You can buy a 1 TB drive for about $50 and use it for backups.  Do not keep it connected to your computer at all times – just when you back up (this will help avoid infected backups).

If you can, swap out 2 or 3 drives to help keep your data safe from malware (you can’t restore from an infected back up).  To be really safe, keep one back up off-site.  

Antivirus

Antivirus software can’t protect you from all bad actors- they can create new variants of viruses faster than the protection can keep up.  But they are an important shield to keep your equipment and data safe.  Even Macs should be using antivirus software.  

PC Mag picks for best antivirus: https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-mac-antivirus-protection

Beyond Tools

While it’s important to use any tools available to you to keep your work safe, the tools alone are not enough. 

Be vigilant!  

One of the most common ways that bad actors infect computers today is through email that looks legitimate but is really a gateway to install bad software.  When using your email, look for clues that something might be off.  For example, I received a copy of the email mentioned in this warning not too long ago:

I thought it might be real at first (at the beginning of COVID, it felt like I was getting emails from everyone).  But there were a few clues that let me know this was spam:

  1.  Kirkpatrick was spelled wrong in the email address.
  2. This sender wouldn’t spell “favor” with a “u.”
  3. The message wasn’t very specific.  What would the Provost want from me?
  4. The Provost wouldn’t contact me without cc’ing my boss.

Our school also now has a tool that marks external email “EXT” so that would have been an additional warning, but it wasn’t in place at that time.

But what really let me know that this email was not legitimate?  I asked IT, who knew this email wasn’t real.  

Talk to IT

Know your IT’s policies, especially those in regards to working from home.  Some of us may have a lot of leeway, while others have to follow strict protocols.  

Educate – yourself and others

If you supervise any direct reports, make sure they know what security measures they are expected to take both in the office and when working from home.  Depending on your organization, you may be providing security training for other staff in your office.  But even if IT provides this training, you can emphasize security issues when hosting your own training.  Talking about Westlaw?  Mention password security.  Demonstrating something on a local network?  Bring up VPNs.  

 

Librarians also make a great set of second eyes for others we work with.  Encourage people you work with to ask you if they think something doesn’t work right (they can send you a screenshot, for example).  And you, also, can reach out to others if you aren’t sure about something you’re seeing – a strange email, a website that doesn’t quite look right, or something different about your computer.  

COVID has given us enough to worry about without having to deal with an infected computer, too.  Use your security tools and skills to keep you and your organization safe both now and when we return. 

President’s Letter

Dear CALL members,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as your President.  It has been an honor to work with our devoted Board, committee chairs, and members this past year. While it takes a lot of hard work to steer this ship, and while we’re certainly in uncharted waters, this ride hasn’t been all work – there have been plenty of laughs along the way. The 2019-2020 CALL year has certainly been one for the memory books!

I think we can all agree it’s been quite a year, and the last couple months have been unlike anything our profession or city has experienced.  I appreciate the patience and flexibility you’ve shown as we’ve faced changes and uncertainty. First, we transitioned to new membership software that caused some hiccups and had a small learning curve (this was mostly for me!). You rolled with the punches at our first speaker-free meeting in February. When we couldn’t host a May meeting, our members found ways to connect, share ideas, and commiserate through our first CALL Zoom Happy Hours. I have witnessed the many ways that the struggles of our new virtual world have highlighted the strong spirit of collaboration at CALL.

While we weren’t able to gather to celebrate the end of our term in May, I would like to recognize our CALL Award winners. The lack of in-person speeches does not in any way take away from their important contributions to our profession and association. A virtual drum roll…. The Agnes and Harvey Reid Award for Outstanding Contribution to Law Librarianship was awarded to Clare Gaynor Willis and Diana Koppang. The LIfetime Achievement in Law Librarianship was given to Kathleen Powers Goodridge.  Finally, the Award for Outstanding In-House Publication goes to Jesse Bowman. Congratulations to our winners and, fear not, your plaques are coming. Even if trophy shops aren’t considered essential, we think our award winners definitely are!

I would also like to thank our Committee Chairs for all their hard work. In addition to the many hours it takes to plan the logistics of our Business Meetings, the Meetings Committee was able to find new ways to bring our members together for happy hours and networking events. Our Continuing Education Committee hosted a number of well-attended virtual and in-person education events, and coordinated with Mentorship and Leadership to reach out to new and prospective members with our programming. Community Service collected funds and in-kind items for the Lawyers’ Assistance Program, Greater Chicago Food Depository, and the Alliance for the Great Lakes. Placement and Recruitment examined issues in developing the new generation of law librarians.  They attended career days and planned initiatives to identify and reach out to new members. The Government Relations Committee attended the Illinois LIbrary Association Legislative Meet-Up in March. Finally, all of our committees worked to find new ways to align their work with our Strategic Plan, which was introduced last Spring. Our PR Committee was tweeting out our accomplishments, news, and, more importantly, pics of the delicious desserts at our meetings!  This is just a small snippet of the work of our committees this past year. I can not understate how lucky we are to have a membership that takes such an active and engaging role in our profession!

Last, I want to personally thank our Board for their hard word and friendship. The times they are a-changing in the legal world, now more than ever, but I am happy to pass the leadership torch to our new President, Lindsey Carpino, and new VP/President-Elect, Jamie Sommer. I know the CALL gavel is in good hands — whenever it is we can actually get together in person to hand it off. See you all in September (hopefully)!

Thank you,

Jessie LeMar

 

Retiring Member Profile: Susane Yesnick

In January, Susane (Sue) Yesnick retired from Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath (previously Drinker Biddle & Reath) after 24 years.  Retiring as a Senior Research Librarian, Sue started her career at Honigman LLP in Detroit, then spending several years in corporate and business libraries, including the Marketing and Strategy Library at Kraft Foods.  The CALL Bulletin interviewed Sue upon her retirement to ask her about her experiences and find out what CALL meant to her.

Why did you decide to choose a career in law librarianship?

Law librarianship was a lucky break – actually, a couple of times.   I wanted to be a newspaper librarian.  My internship during my MSLS was at the Detroit Free Press information center.  But at graduation there were no newspaper or magazine library openings.  I saw a placement opening on the job board of the MSLS program at Wayne State for a beginning law library reference position at Honigman LLP in Detroit.  I had taken several social science and government documents reference classes, so I applied.  I took a Legal Research class after I got the position.

After a few years, I moved cities and positions, and was in Marketing & Strategy business libraries for many years, including at Kraft Foods.   Shortly after the Kraft Foods position ended, one of the Kraft Foods external competitive intelligence researchers knew of a library research position at the-then Gardner Carton & Douglas.  (Gardner Carton & Douglas merged with Drinker Biddle & Reath in 2007).

As we know, law librarianship is not confined to purely “legal” sources and research.  Law librarianship was a great experience to blend my business, government, and legal research skills.   I have had great Directors and colleagues, and appreciate their support and friendship.

What about librarianship changed the most during your career?  Conversely, what about librarianship stayed the same during your career?

The common responses for what changed the most in librarianship are the speed at which information is now available, the ever-growing choices of resources, and the sheer sizes of large firms.

What I think has stayed the same is the importance of the trust relationship between internal and external “clients”.   Whether research took several days to receive in the mail, or within an hour from now-online resource, internal and external clients have to trust that the researcher is knowledgeable and acting faithfully to pursue the research, and the researcher always has to manage expectations.

What made you decide to join CALL and how has CALL helped you throughout your career?

I have consistently belonged to law library or special library organizations throughout my career.  CALL has been a great avenue for education, and for  sharing of the law firm changes many of us encountered.    Years ago I also occasionally presented at CALL panels  or wrote for the CALL Bulletin, and they were also good opportunities for shared experiences.

What will you miss most about being a librarian?

I most miss that now when I see an article on a topic I know one of my attorneys was deeply interested in, not being able to share the information.  Even with the news gathering resources firms have now, sometimes the breaking or significant news gets buried.   I miss being on the cutting-edge of new developments.  I miss the “hunt” for the research, but I do not miss writing memos.

What is one piece of advice you want to share with your fellow CALL members?

Mostly because of events in my life over the past few years, I have been recently been part of a number of conversations about the importance of Gratitude.   Even for small things.  For my career, and for the relationships I have because of that career, I am very grateful.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susane-sue-yesnick-99b326b