While the CALL executive board has regularly held leadership training meetings to connect with the newest committee chairs, this year the format was designed to encourage cross-committee collaborations.
This article provides a summary of the first steps, as well as some context to help CALL and the committees move forward with more of the collaborations proposed at the meeting.
A New Approach to Leadership Training
In August 2022 at the CALL Executive Board meeting, Jamie Sommers proposed a new approach to the usual leadership training: having all committee chairs to meet together and share plans for the year. Her goal was to promote collaboration through a roundtable event, offering a forum for leaders to share best practices and help all committees be more productive.
After discussion at the September meeting, the board decided the meeting should be virtual and at the October meeting the board decided call this new event the “CALL Committee Chair Summit” and to send a survey to the committee leaders in advance to ask for current goals and ways they were hoping to partner with other committees.
In November, CALL President Scott Vanderlin reached out to leaders with an invitation, noting the goals for this new approach:
After some reflection, the Executive Board felt that it was unfortunate that the Board itself was the only part of CALL actually getting the benefit of those discussions, and that it might help foster new ideas and collaboration across committees if we had those conversations as a wider group made up of all Committee Chairs.
Further strengthening that concept is the fact that so many current committee chairs have served as chairs or committee members of other committees in the past, and have years of ideas and institutional memory that might be shared in a wider group.
At the meeting on December 5, 2022, the members of the CALL Board of Directors included:
- Scott Vanderlin (President)
- Mandy Lee (Vice President/President Elect)
- Todd Hillmer (Treasurer)
- Sarah Andeen (Secretary)
- Carrie Port (Director)
- Jill Meyer (Director)
- Jamie Sommer (Past President)
Twelve CALL Committees had leaders present:
- Archives: Thomas Keefe
- Bulletin: Matt Timko, Emily Barney, Lindsey Carpino
- Bylaws: Heidi Kuehl
- Community Service: Lisa Winkler
- Continuing Education: Joe Mitzenmacher & Shari Berkowitz Duff
- Corporate Memory: Therese Arado
- Diversity & Inclusion: Ariel Scotese & Julie Pabarja
- Grants & Chapter Awards: Jamie Sommer
- Meetings: Clare Willis & Mike McMillan
- MLDC: Brandy Ellis
- Placement & Recruitment: Diana Koppang
- Public Relations: Jesse Bowman
Each committee leader shared some of their current concerns and offered ideas for collaboration across committees, with various leaders chiming in with suggestions or providing other context.
Larger themes included needing to recruit more members and more ways to use the Bulletin newsletter to promote committee participation and projects, which we hope to begin implementing this year!
Tom Keefe noted they are trying to locate some electronic archives for CALL, which may be on a physical hard drive they haven’t located yet in the print archives moved from NIU to Loyola. Matt Timko noted they may have another box or two recently located at NIU.
Clare Willis mentioned there may also be a hard drive passed down through the CALL Secretaries, and I added some event photos I took may be backed up on separate hard drives at Chicago-Kent.
Recruiting content for the Bulletin is an ongoing challenge, as is managing turnover and leadership. Working with committees to highlight recent events or changes is always helpful. Committee leaders noted they’d appreciate seeing examples of the types of content mentioned, so here are a few links to get us started!)
Event Recaps: Shorter examples include illustrated Volunteer Day photos from the Community Service, while longer versions like Grantee Reports are always valuable. Any event hosted by a committee, especially when someone from the committee is already taking notes and/or photos, would be useful content
Events co-sponsored by multiple groups are great opportunities to offer a detailed recap like this one written by Mandy Lee about an event co-sponsored by MLDC, Continuing Education, and Government Relations:
Member Profiles: Interviews with new members or retiring members are always a natural fit for collaboration between the Bulletin and Meetings Committee, while profiles on recent CALL Award honorees are always welcome and a helpful way to share the career context shared as the awards are presented. Other CALL member profile suggestions are always welcome!
For now, the only issue Heidi Kuehl reported is an issue with the link to the bylaws on the CALL website from the CALL Policies & Procedures page. The Bylaws committee is always available to other committees if procedural issues come up
Lisa Winkler reported on their planning schedule to identify organizations to support and plan dates. They need for more participation on volunteer day of service events and would welcome more promotion from call committee chairs and participation from within the committees.
The Community Service leaders like to match an organization to a sponsor to the themes presented by a speakers at business meetings, so getting information about invited speakers early on from the Meetings committee is always helpful for planning and promoting those connections through email, website updates, and bulletin recaps.
Joe noted they’re always open to suggestions from members – two events in 2022 were suggestions from Mandy Lee, for example! It’s becoming easier to bring in remote speakers and reschedule (when necessary) than it was in the past for in-person events.
There was some broader discussion of potential collaborations with Diversity & Inclusion and Mentoring & Leadership Development to provide opportunities for CALL members to practice their presentation skills.
Past events included tips on AMPC Presentation Proposals for the AALL conference or a mini AALL conference for CALL members to share their accepted presentations so they could get feedback and CALL members could see other presentations at the conference.
Members agreed these types of events are helpful, but providing opportunities for shorter local presentations, in a roundtable format on a specific topic or “Lightning Talks” might be useful for CALL members who are just building their presentation skills and thinking of where to apply to speak beyond AALL.
Others asked about promoting events at law schools or local organizations (not hosted by CALL) through the Continuing Education committee in roundup posts or thinking about longer “half day” workshops on topics like legal analytics.
Therese Arado noted it’s helpful to document policy changes within committees and share them with their committee.
Diversity & Inclusion
As a new committee, they’re still working on how to fit into CALL and meet their charge, but they’re looking for opportunities to partner with many other committees, including Continuing Ed (like the ABA event), MLDC, Placement & Recruitment, Bulletin, and more.
More details about their initial meeting were published in the September 2022 Business Meeting notes in our Fall 2022 issue, but they also noted they’re hoping to figure out how to put content into the CALL website too.
Grants & Chapter Awards
There are no current applications in fall, that tends to happen in the spring
There was some discussion about the logistics of how to pick days for in-person meetings based on the days that more people are working in person downtown.
Mentorship & Leadership
MLDC is considering hosting an intro event in-person similar to the New Member Virtual Event hosted in 2022. They would like to partner with Diversity & Inclusion and the Placement committees for their next meetings and work with the Bulletin on an article about picking a committee & how to get involved. They’re also interested in working Continuing Education committee more this year.
Placement & Recruitment
Diana Koppang noted they’re exited for opportunities to work with Diversity & Inclusion.
One regular project is building a contact list of library science programs to reach out to the students about law librarianship (including undergrad programs, not just grad programs). It is a challenge to update that list every year as contacts in it have a lot of turnover.
Jesse Bowman noted they’re looking for opportunities to highlight CALL membership achievements on social media as well as CALL events.
I noted there is an existing CALL LinkedIn group that can be used for some of these goals. It currently has 89 members with Jesse Bowman, Lyo Lousi-Jacques, and Sarah Walangitan serving as owners. Perhaps there’s a collaboration opportunity with Membership to suggest participation there as new members join?
After hearing all the challenges and goals, I asked if it would be helpful to think about how to collect / share upcoming events and recent achievements with multiple committees, especially if there’s anything that could go to both Public Relations for social media and Continuing Education or Membership.
For the Bulletin, I’ve added links in this article to provide examples of past content and we’ll think about more ways to highlight Committee content and recruit new articles, knowing it may help to offer follow-up reminders with details about article content and issue deadlines.
We’re also interested in suggestions about collaborative articles or looking at the RIPS “Questions with Puron” interview series as a helpful example of quick member profiles.