VALLkyrie Gail Zwirner, VALL Past President

by Sally Wambold
Kent Olson has dubbed Gail a VALLKyrie.  I was so delighted by this designation that I thought all VALL members should know who their VALLkyrie is!
Gail remembers becoming VALL president in 1999 after she began working at University of Richmond.  She also served as secretary and newsletter editor during her time at Hunton & Williams.
One of the most meaningful projects Gail has shepherded is the collaboration with the Virginia State Bar on the “Law Libraries” column in the Virginia Lawyer.  This project won VALL an AALL Excellence in Marketing award.  AALL wants to copy this project on the national level, a real VALLidation of VALL.  VALL authors have contributed almost 100 articles.
Gail believes the strength of VALL is its size which results in a smaller, tighter network and enables better communication.  VALL members can and do share information really well.  An example of great information sharing for Gail was the help VALL gave her that enabled her to use OCLC in the early days of online work in technical services.
 A fond memory for Gail was the fun she had when she attended the first official VALL annual meeting at the Norfolk Public Law Library when Gail Warren was VALL President and Jean Holcomb was the librarian at NPLL.  The meeting was held after VALL gained chapter status.
 Gail's first meeting as VALL President was at UVA.  Gail remembers learning the value of focus and limiting the scope of discussion at that town meeting, the theme of Gail's first meeting.
Another fine memory Gail shared is the work VALL did to get Lexis & Westlaw to include comprehensive access to all Virginia opinions.  As a result of VALL's work, other states followed.  What a contribution Gail made!
Jim Heller and Gail worked tirelessly to secure an Administrative Code for Virginia.
Gail also worked on the project to secure a preservation copy of the Virginia Reports.  This set is housed at the Virginia Historical Society.
Gail believes VALL has made these contributions because of outstanding leadership.
Gail's memories and insights made me think of the Peter Principle, which includes the concept of smaller groups doing better work.
I have to express gratitude to Gail for presenting these memories.  I hope others will find them as motivating as I do.

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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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