Public Good

May 2016 Business Meeting Round-Up

CALL held its May Business Meeting at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse, 25 West Kinzie Avenue, on May 12, 2016. President Julie Pabarja called the meeting to order at noon and welcomed new CALL members–Anita Calderon (Michael Best ­­­& Friedrich) and Sarah Andeen (Chapman & Cutler).

President’s Announcements

President Julie Pabarja reported that we are progressing with the adoption of Wild Apricot for business meeting registrations, the CALL directory, and membership renewals. Credit card usage for payments of registrations and renewals has increased with the use of Wild Apricot in place of payments by check.

Regarding the AALL Annual Meeting, Julie reminded the membership that Early Bird registration ends June 3rd. She encouraged first time attendees to attend the pre-conference event, Conference of Newer Law Librarians (CONELL). Three AALL leaders, who are also CALL members, were present at the meeting to promote attendance at the conference in July–Keith Ann Stiverson (AALL president), June Liebert (chair of the Annual Meeting Program Committee), and Jamie Sommer (co-chair of the Local Arrangements Committee).

Jamie Sommer, on behalf of the hospitality subcommittee of the Local Arrangements Committee (LAC), asked for donations for the hospitality booth raffles at AALL. The hospitality booth is staffed by volunteers who provide a warm welcome to out-of-town attendees at the annual meeting with tips on where to eat, shopping, and local attractions. Carolyn Hersch, co-chair of the volunteer subcommittee of the LAC, followed up on Jamie’s request with a call for volunteers to staff the hospitality booth.

Clare Willis, incoming CALL Vice President, announced CALL’s Trivia Night at AALL. The event will be on Sunday evening of the conference from 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Timothy O’Toole’s. This will be CALL’s chance to prove we have the brightest and best law librarians in the country! Some free drinks and free food will be provided. Clare welcomed all CALL members to attend–whether or not they’re attending the AALL Annual Meeting.

Meeting Sponsor

Vice-president/president-elect Todd Ito introduced Sean Hearon of Wolters Kluwer and thanked them for their generous sponsorship of today’s business meeting.

Meeting Speaker: Jason Kunesh (@jdkunesh)

Jason Kunesh, currently CEO of Public Good Software, has also served as the Director of User Experience (UX) at Obama for America, was a founder of Fuzzy Math, on the founding team of The Point (later evolving into Groupon), an early designer at Orbitz, an adjunct faculty member at DePaul University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. And, possibly a first for a CALL Speaker, Mr. Kunesh worked as a bouncer at the Green Mill.

Mr. Kunesh’s presentation was titled “Politics, Technology, Libraries, & Startups–How to Innovate in Your Workspace”–a lively talk on how he was inspired to innovate in this space.

He was first motivated when a paperwork error at the hospital where his daughter was born prematurely created a whopping incorrect bill of half a million dollars. According to the hospital this error was quite common. He thought, “there must be a better way,” and so was born Fuzzy Math.

He continued to work in the tech industry, but kept an eye out for other inspiring works. He interviewed for the Obama for America campaign (Obama’s 2012 re-election). The campaign’s plan was: Respect. Empower. Include. Win. What they needed? Register. Persuade. Turnout. Volunteer. Donate.

In past campaigns everything was done on paper, such as sign-up lists for volunteers. They built “neighborhood teams” with an octopus-like diagram consisting of various positions at the local level such as phone bank person, data captain, comfort captain (bake cookies), etc. With this structure, the volunteers were like entrepreneurs using social media to reach out to the community in a way that was new. Kunesh’s team created dashboard tools that volunteers could use to self-organize.

Behind the scenes, the data service he led helped create much more dynamic profiles that could be easily utilized by these teams of volunteers. For example, if you donated to the campaign on Monday, the phone bank person would know not to contact you for more on Tuesday (or hopefully at least a few days).

The campaign was successful! Obama won 270 of 538 electoral votes in the 2012 election.

So what do UX designers like Mr. Kunesh do? He described it as mostly exercises in diplomacy and consensus with the “actual work”–creating deliverables–being the smallest part of the job. Kunesh learned throughout this campaign and through his other projects over the years that “the value of community is immeasurable.” He pointed out that CALL has already recognized this value and urged the community to continue those efforts.

Mr. Kunesh’s current company–Public Good Software–places buttons on online article pages about serious matters that range from shootings to wildlife preservation. Those buttons then link to community organizations that are striving to work toward solutions for these problems. Readers can then make donations to those organizations.

Mr. Kunesh provided advice on running and participating on a strong team, especially in the user design field. “Give agency”–do not create a top-down structure. “Be measurable”–be able to measure the impact of your actions and how the efforts align with business or organizational goals. “Encourage dissent”–if everyone is nodding agreement in a meeting, then you shouldn’t be having that meeting. “Be happy!”–life is too short! Being happy is an act of bravery and that act can be hugely impactful for the people around you.

CALL Member Questions

How can these concepts be explained to the public?

Mr. Kunesh noted that it depends if they want to have the details explained or not. For example, you may want to know what’s in your meal at a fancy restaurant, but you probably don’t want to know what’s in your McDonald’s Value Meal. You have to tailor the explanation to the needs of the user and the level of their skill sets.

Any comment on the current Trump and Clinton presidential campaigns?

Only that he is glad he’s not involved!

Are the UX principles he established being used by the Clinton campaign?

Many of the people who served on Obama’s campaign are serving Clinton’s campaign. But most of the innovation in the 2016 campaign is coming from the Bernie Sanders campaign team.

How does Public Good produce revenue?

Public Good charges a 5% fee for introducing a donor to a fund. They also work on corporate sponsorships.

In closing, Mr. Kunesh thanked CALL for the opportunity to be a part of our community.

Committee Announcements

Scott Vanderlin, CALL Bulletin

Scott informed the membership of a little known rule–per bylaws, the Spring edition of the Bulletin may not be published until the weekly temperature averages 65 degrees. The membership were encouraged to keep their fingers crossed for warmer weather to hasten the publication date! Scott thanked Lyonette Louis-Jacques for her long and distinguished service (three years) as co-editor, during which time the Bulletin received a publication award. Co-editor Lindsey Carpino will be stepping down as she has been elected to the Board. New editors have stepped up–Philip Johnson and Juanita Harrell. Scott thanked the outgoing editors and incoming editors and encouraged all CALL members to send the Bulletin committee ideas for articles for future issues.

Julie Swanson, Community Service

The May meeting’s in kind donations will be given to Sit Stay Read. Cash donations will be given to Special Olympics Chicago. CALL will be putting together a team to participate in Race Judicata, a 5k walk/run that raises funds for the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services. The registration fee is $34 but if you join Team CALL you will only pay $20, with the remainder subsidized by CALL for this worthy cause. The deadline to register for the September 15th event is August 25th. More details will be sent to the membership by email in the weeks ahead.

Eugene Giudice, Meetings

Eugene reported another great year for CALL Business Meetings and asked for patience regarding using Wild Apricot as we all learn the new system for event registrations.

Presentation of Grants and Chapter Awards

The Grants and Chapter Awards were presented by CALL Past President Margaret Schilt.

Grant Recipients for 2015-2016

Eugene Giudice – AALL Business Skills Research Clinic (October 2015)

Clare Willis – AALL Leadership Academy (April 2016)

Debra Denslaw – AALL Chapter Grant for AALL Annual Meeting (July 2016)

Heidi Kuehl, Annie Mentkowski, and Matthew Timko – AALL Annual Meeting (July 2016)

Bill Schwesig – Yale Law Library’s Rare Book School (June 2016)

Chapter Awards for 2015-2016

(Thank to you Margaret Schilt for eloquently composing the details of the following award winners).

The Award for Outstanding In-House Publication was given to the William J. Campbell Library of the U.S. Courts, 7th Circuit, for their publication: the Daily Headlines E-Mail. The award was given to the library rather than to any individual librarian, as the Daily Headlines E-Mail is compiled and produced by all the librarians working together. John Klaus accepted the award on behalf of the 7th Circuit Library.

The Agnes and Harvey Reid Award for Outstanding Contribution to Law Librarianship is awarded to a librarian who has given outstanding service to CALL or who has made an outstanding contribution to law librarianship. The committee has chosen to honor Gretchen Van Dam with the 2016 Agnes and Harvey Reid Award.

Gretchen Van Dam began her career as a law librarian in 1990 in Detroit, Michigan. She moved to Chicago to the Chicago-Kent College of Law library in 1993, serving there until 2000, when she was appointed the Librarian of the Courts for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Gretchen has overseen the operation of the Chicago 7th Circuit Library since then and now oversees all the satellite 7th Circuit Court libraries as well.

Gretchen has an impressive record of service to both AALL and to CALL. She has chaired three AALL Committees. She served as CALL’s President in 2009-2010 and on numerous CALL Committees. She has generously volunteered her time and talents as a speaker for AALL programs and CALL events, sharing her wisdom with the rest of us. She is a tireless advocate for law librarianship generally and a mentor to a generation of law librarians.

The Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Law Librarianship is given to a librarian who has made an outstanding contribution to the Chicago law library community either through provision of outstanding levels of service to the community directly or through CALL during the course of their career. CALL is extremely fortunate to have two librarians richly meeting these criteria: Barry Herbert, who retired early summer 2015, and Sally Holterhoff, who retired at the end of June, 2016.

Barry Herbert has been an active and productive participant in CALL for over 30 years, serving on many committees and as Treasurer of CALL from 2012-2014. He has also been an active member of AALL throughout his career. As Deputy Circuit Librarian at the Library of U.S. Courts of the Seventh Circuit, he has served as an excellent role model to other federal court librarians and was a strong and important voice in representing the value of law librarians to the federal judiciary. CALL is pleased to honor Barry with the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Law Librarianship.

To say that Sally Holterhoff has been an active member of CALL and AALL over her 35 years of law librarianship is an exercise in understatement. Sally is a past AALL president and served two terms as an AALL Executive Board member. She also served two terms as a member of the Depository Library Council to the Public Printer, including a year as secretary; was AALL’s representative to the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) from 2011 to 2014; and is a member of the Standing Committee of the IFLA Section on Law Libraries. In 2014, she received AALL’s Robert L. Oakley Advocacy Award and Valparaiso University School of Law’s Distinguished Faculty Award. In 2015 during the AALL Conference in Philadelphia, Sally received the Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award–AALL’s highest honor. Sally is also a member of the AALL Hall of Fame. CALL is pleased to honor Sally with the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Law Librarianship.

Transition of CALL Board Leadership

President Julie Pabarja noted that she has had a great experience as president of CALL, with the best part being the opportunity to work with so many CALL members. Julie asked for all committee members to stand up and be recognized for their contributions and hard work. She added that she hopes that they will continue to be active and encourage other members to join them in their endeavors for CALL.

Julie thanked the Board members for all their hard work, inspiration and service to CALL. She recognized outgoing board members–Stephanie Crawford (treasurer), Robert Martin (director) and Margaret Schilt (past president)–for their dedication and contributions. Julie then welcomed the incoming board members, the “new kids on the block”–Lindsey Carpino (director), Tom Gaylord (treasurer), and Clare Willis (vice president/president-elect).

Julie warmly noted that all of the CALL community has helped her become the leader she is today and that it’s been an unforgettable experience. But now it’s time to turn it over to a new leader. Julie introduced our new president, Todd Ito, and presented him with the gavel. Todd acknowledged that he is not the most talkative member of CALL but that we’ll all hear plenty from him over the next year! Todd then called Clare Willis to the podium for her first official duty as Vice President–drawing the business meeting raffle prize winners.

Adjournment and Next Business Meeting

Todd thanked the membership for their attendance and adjourned the meeting. The next CALL Business Meeting will be held at Nacional 27 on September 15, 2016.