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