It was a beautiful day in Glen Allen for the Spring meeting (it didn't rain and there was no snow) and that bright object in the sky was actually the sun!
VALL attendees registering at South University for the meeting
Having a bite and catching up with other Vallers before the conference
Listening intently to Kristen Glover's "Don't Just Do Something, Sit There!"
Thanks to Kristen Glover from the University of Virginia Arthur J. Morris Law Library, I will never look at a raisin in quite the same way again, and I like raisins! One of the exercises that Kristen used in her "mindfulness" presentation was the examination of a raisin. Putting a shriveled up grape in the palm of your hand, bringing it up to your ear, sniffing it, letting it rest on your tongue, gives you a whole new appreciation for that innocous looking dried fruit.
The idea of centering oneself in the moment and being aware of your surroundings and your being is not new to those of us who practice yoga. The fact that it is now being used in law schools, businesses and organizations to improve students' and employees' well being and performance, is certainly new.
Kristen shared some of the things that the University of Virginia's Mindfulness Center is doing -- it offers a six-week course where students can spend two hours a week participating in mindfulness activities. During finals students can come to the library where there is a room designated for half hour meditations, etc. And if you hit it on the right day, rumour has it that you may even get grilled cheese sandwiches served up by Micheal Klepper and Ben Doherty!
John Eller and Andrew Christensen from the Washington & Lee Law Library speaking on "Expanding the Frontiers of Service" from the traditional reference and instructional services provided to students and faculty, to providing "competitive intelligence" to other university departments such as human resources for career placement, recruitment and curriculum development purposes.
Those from firm libraries will notice that these are things that firm librarians have been doing for years. It's good to see that there is now a focus on expanding services beyond the traditional ideas of what libraries do, and this also opens up avenues for a greater partnership between academic and firm librarians.
Andrew Christensen in a breakaway group discussion
Outgoing VALL President, Amy Wharton, conducting her last business meeting
The Executive Board: L-R: Lara Dresser (outgoing Secretary), Andrew Winston (incoming director), Chris Vassey (incoming secretary), Ben Almoite (incoming president), Stephanie Miller (vice president), and Amy Wharton (outgoing president)
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.