President’s Message, Dec 21, 2018

Greetings VALL members,

I hope this message finds you well and looking forward to a festive (or quiet, depending on your preference) holiday season!

It is hard to believe that two months have passed since our fall meeting at the Libbie Mill Library in Richmond.  The meeting was a great success and featured educational sessions focusing on the theme of innovation.  
We heard from Lance Odegard, National Director of Technology at Thomson Reuters, on innovation in the legal industry.  A panel including Alexis Sharp of Hunton Andrews Kurth, Amy Wharton of the University of Virginia Law Library, and Chris Lange, an attorney at LeClairRyan, described innovation stories at their organizations.  Caryn Foster Durham of Durham Strategy + Consulting led a workshop on how to articulate and build a personal brand.  
We also received a tour of Libbie Mill Library, a true 21st century library with a spacious, daylit interior, individual and interactive areas, and a 3-D printer.
I wanted to update you on a few things.  (If you attended the Fall Meeting, you will have already heard about some of them.)
Spring Meeting:  As you have hopefully seen from Chris Vassey’s “save the date” message, our Spring Meeting will be held on Friday, May 3, 2019, at the offices of Hunton Andrews Kurth in Richmond.  The Programs Committee is developing a slate of educational sessions for the meeting, and based on the Fall Meeting, I expect that it will be “must see” programming—highly relevant, informative, and timely.  Please plan to attend, I am looking forward to seeing you there!
Member Spotlight:  The Communications/Public Relations Committee has published the first of its new quarterly member spotlights on the VALL Talk blog.  The first highlighted member was Suzanne Corriell, circuit librarian of the Fourth Circuit Library.  Anticipated future publication months are January, April, August, and November.  If you have a recommendation for a member to highlight, please reach out to Alexis Sharp, chair of the committee.
Website:  Our expanded website committee, chaired by Stella Naulo, has been researching and evaluating options for creating a new site for VALL.  The committee has done a lot of work on this already and I am looking forward to updating you more about this.
Chapter Leadership Handbook:  Suzanne Corriell has been reviewing the chapter leadership handbook with an eye toward possible revisions to bring the handbook up-to-date and ensure its ongoing value as a resource for the effective operation of VALL, and further updates on this will be forthcoming.

Law Libraries Column in Virginia Lawyer:  The Law Libraries column in Virginia Lawyer magazine is a mainstay of our association and an excellent way to display our expertise to one of our primary patron groups:  attorneys in Virginia.  VALL members have continued to contribute articles to this column, and that is greatly appreciated.  If you have not yet written for the Law Libraries column, I encourage you to consider it.  It is a great way to highlight the value of our profession to Virginia attorneys and to get experience with writing and publishing professionally.  If you are interested in writing for Virginia Lawyer, please contact one of the co-chairs of the Publications Committee, Marie Summerlin Hamm and Greg Stoner.

Grants:  Patricia Petroccione (Walter T. McCarthy Law Library) was awarded a grant to attend the AALL 2018 Annual Meeting.  There is an opportunity for one or more additional members on the Grants Committee; if you are interested in serving, please contact the chair, Joyce Janto.
Membership:  Doris Morgan has taken over as membership chair, replacing Chris Vassey, who is the vice president/president-elect.  Please continue to be on the lookout for potential new members, such as law librarians who are new to Virginia and library students or law students with an interest in the profession.  It would be wonderful to grow our ranks from the next generation of law librarians.
Legislative Awareness:  At the Fall Meeting, David Knight, chair of the Legislative Awareness Committee, reported on several new Virginia and federal statutes of interest to law librarians.  A hard copy summary of that report is available; for a copy, please contact David or me.
If you have an interest in getting involved in one of the initiatives or committees mentioned above, please let me or the appropriate committee chair know.  There are many ways to make a contribution to VALL, and your involvement is what makes VALL a vital professional organization!
Also, as a reminder, the AALL 2019 Annual Meeting will be held July 13-16, 2019 in Washington, D.C.  This will be a rare opportunity to attend an AALL meeting that is relatively close by for many of our members.  Among other things, it will include sessions presented by some of my Law Library of Congress colleagues, and we are planning at least one event at the Law Library, so I hope I will see you there. 
I hope you all have happy holidays and a wonderful year to come.
Andrew Winston


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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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