President’s Message: Farewell

Hello VALL members,
My term as President seemed to fly by.  I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you some of the highlights from our recent Spring Meeting, and to express some well-deserved VALL gratitude.
Spring Meeting
The meeting was held at the offices of Hunton Andrews Kurth in Richmond on May 3, 2019.  This proved to be an excellent venue for our association to meet, as it allowed us to take advantage of the firm’s conference facilities on the twentieth floor, with its sweeping views of the city and the river.  Doug Granger, the managing partner of Hunton’s Richmond office, opened our day with a warm welcome. 
The first educational session at the meeting was A Leopard CAN Change its Spots, co-presented by Suzanne Corriell and Megan Scanlon.  This was an interactive experience, in which the members in attendance worked together in groups to tackle one of our biggest challenges:  how we can guide users to newer technologies, resources, and work processes.  After working collaboratively on selected issues in our groups, we reconvened, and a spokesperson for each group presented the proposed strategies the group had developed for its assigned topics.  These topics included:
·         “Ol’ Faithful” – How do we help veteran patrons move beyond their familiar resources?
·         “The Paperless Office” – How does the law library help implement a management directive to go paperless by 2025?
·         “Partner in Crime” – How do we leverage vendor relationships to ensure adequate training on library resources?
·         “Better Balance” – How do we encourage newer attorneys to use current versions of codes available in research databases?
·         “The Missing Pieces” – How do we help users get more out of resources that they believe they “already know”?
·         “Win or Lose” – How can we enable users and colleagues who reflexively say no to new ideas to explore more positive approaches?
To capture the knowledge created and shared, Megan and Suzanne compiled a summary of the strategies devised by the small groups on all of these topics, which Chris Vassey circulated afterward.

For our next educational program, Scott Kimpel, a partner in Hunton Andrews Kurth’s Washington, D.C. office, provided a briefing entitled How Blockchain Technology is Revolutionizing Business and the Law.  Scott explained that blockchain is a type of ledger, but a distributed, decentralized one.  He described Bitcoin, one of the most well-known blockchain applications, and provided other examples of how blockchain technology can be used for supply chain management, home equity loans, and tracking insurance policies and claims.  Scott provided an overview of the emerging body of federal and state laws and regulationsregulations on blockchain.  Federal agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, and Federal Trade Commission, as well as state regulators like the New York Department of Financial Services, have all taken an interest in cryptocurrencies that use blockchain.  Some states, such as Wyoming, are modifying their laws to enable the use of blockchain technology for digital business.  He also recommended resources for researching and staying current on blockchain regulation.

Our last educational session was Build Your Brand with Social Media, presented by Sameena Kluck, Vice President of Business Development at Paladin.  She gave an excellent course on personal branding using social media.  She provided a wealth of advice on how to get the most out of LinkedIn.  She recommended, among other things, not writing your LinkedIn bio as if it were a resume.  Instead, think about what elements of your experience you want to highlight and convey to the reader of your LinkedIn page.  Sameena also shared her insights on how to be an effective Twitter user and how to tweet in a way that is professional and also congruent with your personality.
At our business meeting, I was delighted to welcome our new President, Chris Vassey, our new Treasurer, Alexis Sharp, and our new Director, Anna Price.  Continuing in their leadership roles are Secretary Megan Scanlon and Director Liz Schiller.  We also received reports from outgoing Treasurer David Knight and from committee chairs.  Additionally, the members voted to award Terry Long a Lifetime Membership in VALL in light of her retirement after years of dedicated service to VALL and to our profession.
Jane Harrison, Frosty Owen, and Alexis Sharp led tours of The Library, the library space in Hunton’s Richmond office that has been repurposed into a dynamic location for collaborative work, as well as a place for gathering with colleagues.  This was an opportunity that many of those in attendance had been looking forward to since VALL’s 2018 Fall meeting, at which Alexis previewed the renovated space.
Our 2019 Spring Meeting built on the themes of innovation and building a personal brand and offered the usual opportunities to reconnect with VALL members from across the state.  It was a great success, and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at VALL’s 2019 Fall Meeting—and at the AALL Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. in just a few weeks!
Thank You
Now that my term as President has finished, I would like to take a moment to thank the members of VALL for being committed to our chapter.  It was great seeing those who could make it to the Fall and Spring Meetings.  I am grateful for your enthusiasm and participation at our meetings, on committees, and in the countless ways you make VALL a unique organization.
To my fellow Executive Board members – thank you for your diligent work and support over this past year.  I am especially grateful to past Presidents Lara Dresser and Patty Petroccione for their advice and guidance—it was invaluable.

I am excited about the coming year and I know that with Chris’ leadership VALL will continue to shine.  I look forward to seeing what the future holds for us!


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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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