Message from the President

Greetings, fellow VALLers.

Time has hurtled by at a startling pace as it is wont to do. I hope this message finds you all in good health and high spirits.

Our joint annual meeting with VLA last week was a great success. All of the programs presented by VALL members were very well-attended and well-received.

Congratulations again to the presenters: Tim Coggins, Suzanne Corriell, Fred Dingledy, Ben Keele, Terry Long, Bill Magee, Greg Stoner, Jeanne Ullian and Gail Zwirner. I had the opportunity to attend the programs offered by Tim, Suzanne, Fred and Ben, which were at a perfect level of complexity to be of value to law librarians and non-law librarians alike.

By chatting with other conference attendees, I found that they all had very positive things to say about each VALL program. The venue, activities and personal interactions made the conference a very rewarding experience for me. I had the chance to re-connect with library school classmates and professors, have lunch with some VALL members each day, and celebrate in excellent company at the Thursday night social.

I only wish that VALL member attendance at the conference had been more robust. I’d very much like to know what factored in to your decision to attend or not attend the conference. Cost, distance, programming, or something else entirely? I invite you to share your feedback with me or Suzanne Corriell, VALL Vice President and Programs Committee Chair []; we would very much like to factor membership preferences into future partnership planning.

In my first message as your President, I outlined objectives in three areas: leadership, growth and pride. The following is a status report concerning the first two objectives and other recent developments.


Executive Board Meetings:

The Executive Board met via telephone conference in June and September. Both meetings were productive and well-attended. Outside of meetings, I have also communicated regularly with officers, committee members and VALL members at-large. Thank you all for your initiative and responsiveness. Donna Bausch and Jennifer Sekula, our Grants committee co-chairs, have been especially communicative and responsive. Thank you both! I have seen evidence, time and again, from nearly every committee that they are truly committed to VALL’s continued success.

Leadership Handbook:
Edits are well under way in updating the leadership handbook. I hope to release an updated version in January 2012. Many changes are being made to account for last year’s bylaws amendments. Here are some other changes being incorporated into the Handbook, which were briefly discussed during the October 28 business meeting:

1. Recruitment committee responsibilities and list-serv administration are being placed under the auspices of the Membership committee.

2. Creation of an Audit committee, at the request of current and past Treasurers.

Other updates:

VALL has adopted the “Private” list-serv policy as required by AALL. All members in good standing will be added to the list-serv by the administrator. Others may request to be added to the list-serv, but cannot be added without administrator approval. We consider the list-serv a member benefit; additions outside of VALL will be very rare.

Copyright and discussion forum statements for Wiki and VALLTalk are forthcoming. The draft statements were distributed at the business meeting and will be posted on the Wiki today. Please submit any comments to me by Tuesday, November 15, 2011.



The joint program with VLA was a wonderful experience. I learned a great deal working with Lisa Varga (VLA CEO and Conference Committee Chair), Matthew Todd (VLA President) and the conference committee as they planned the conference. Matthew and Lisa each expressed an interest in partnering again next year. We think a less frequent formal partnership would be best for VALL, but I assured them both that VALL’s partnership did not end at the stroke of 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 28. The VLA conference is an excellent forum for VALL members’ specialized knowledge. We can help improve legal information literacy by sharing our knowledge with librarians across the state. Please plan to submit program proposals for VLA’s next conference.

In the coming months, I will work with the Programs Committee to develop a strategy for maintaining communications with proper contacts at national and local chapters of library associations, such as LLSDC, SLA, VASLA and VLA. A programs page will be added to the VALL Wiki, which will be updated with links and information concerning program/presentation opportunities.


As of today, VALL has 120 members in good standing. Each member has been added to the list-serv and has received or will receive a copy of the directory. The membership committee has done a phenomenal job with outreach, follow up and with the directory itself. I sincerely appreciate Chris Vassey’s initiative and leadership in her role as committee chair. Lisa Reinhard and Cathy Palombi have also actively contributed to the committee; thank you both for all of your contributions.

Thank you again for this opportunity to serve.

Michele Gernhardt

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The Virginia Association of Law Libraries (VALL) supports and serves its members’ professional pursuits by fostering a spirit of leadership and cooperation, providing educational and leadership opportunities, and promoting and enhancing the value of law libraries.

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