SNELLA's Obiter Dicta

Vol. 17 no. 2                                                                December 2001 

The Electronic Edition

President's Message

The year’s off to a great start. In October Caroline Benoit organized a luncheon for new members. It was a nice way to welcome them to the group and a good time was had by all. Then in November Pat Wagner of Pattern Research presented a program on how to have influence when you don’t have power or authority. Thanks to Mary Tartaglia , Caroline Benoit, Theresa Baylock and Carol Barra for helping to make this program a success.

Next on the calendar is the Holiday Dinner and World Famous Yankee Swap coming up on January 9, 2002. Details appear later in the newsletter. Other programs are in the works and will be announced as soon as there are firm dates.

Besides socializing, support and service for our members, I would like to work on raising our profile. It’s not just SNELLA that doesn’t have any "brand" recognition. I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of being asked, "what do you do?" and then "what?" after we’ve replied "law librarian". I’m not sure what it is about the "law" in front of the "librarian" that confuses people, but it seems like marketing ourselves and our libraries is a priority. Do the partners, professors and judges in our firms, schools and courts really know what we do? Or what we can do? I know for sure that the public is pretty clueless about the purpose of a courthouse law library. And the confusion is not limited to the cub scout troops who wonder why there are no Harry Potter books.

Some ways that we will be working to increase our visibility include developing a SNELLA logo to be used on our brochure and web site. It will also go on a banner and handouts for our booth at CBA and CLA events. Susan Scoville is heading a committee that will be putting together articles for the Connecticut Lawyer and/or other publications. Susan and Mary Scott , Claudia Jalowka and Steve Mirsky will be working on a new and improved web site which will also include a Union catalog. All of these projects will need your help to make them happen. And we need your creativity. What other ideas for public relations do you have? I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

SNELLA Holiday Dinner  

and World Famous Yankee Swap 

Wednesday, January 9, 2002

Baci Grill, 134 Berlin Road (Route 372), Cromwell

5:30 Cash Bar

6:30 Dinner

Entrée Choices:

  • Penne with Chicken & Broccoli Rabe – white beans, tomato, mushrooms, shallots, olive oil and garlic sauce
  • Potato Crusted Salmon – spinach risotto, with sautéed haricot verts, and roasted red peppers
  • Veal Milanese – medallions with proscuitto, portabella mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, demi glace, roasted potatoes
  • Tuscan Pork Medallions – peppercorn encrusted with shiitake mushrooms, baby peas, roasted shallots, Dijon caper sauce over garlic mashed potatoes

World Famous Yankee Swap

Those wishing to participate should bring a wrapped present – (generally in the $10.00 range). Numbers are drawn to determine the order of choosing a present and unwrapping it – however, if you would prefer to help yourself to a previously chosen and unwrapped present, you are encouraged to so.

Send your entrée choice and check before January 4, 2002 to:

Linda Mellick, 28 Valley View Rd., Newtown, CT 06470

The check should be made payable to SNELLA



  2001/2002 Officers and Directors
President: Linda Mellick

Vice-President/President Elect: Christopher Roy

Past President: Jeffrey Dowd

Secretary: Susan Scoville

Treasurer: Theresa Baylock

Members at Large: Sandi Phillips and Caroline Grillo Benoit

Nominating Committee: Cathy Capuano and Susan Davis


 SNELLA Committees 

Education Committee: Claudia Jalowka

Placement Committee: Janet Zigadto

Publications Committee: Lawrence Cheeseman

Public Relations Chair: Steve Mirsky

Scholarship Committee: Sandee Molden

Technology Committee: Mary Scott

Public Relations/ CBA Liaison/ AALL Relations Liaison: Dottie McCaughtry

 SNELLA Past Program 

Herding Kittens

Imagine having the opportunity to influence the people you work for, without having much status or power associated with your position. Now, envision that the changes you make will have a monumental influence on the way you and your work will be regarded. Is it possible that one person could have this much influence over the destiny of their career, when they possess very little clout in the organization for which they work?

Yes, it is possible, according to Pat Wagner, co-founder of Pattern Research, which offers research, consulting and training for innovators in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Before joining Pattern Research, Pat worked in graphic arts and publishing. She has written for a variety of regional and national publications and has a liberal arts degree in performance and written communication. She creates and presents good-humored and practical workplace programs on personnel, management and leadership as well as consulting and writing.

Pat came to speak to members of the Southern New England Law Librarians Association (SNELLA) and impressed upon them that in order to obtain the financial resources and political support that a legal researcher deserves, they must first examine the reality of their current work situation. She also emphasized learning how to apply what the individual has observed in the workplace setting.

There were no sophisticated formulas or complex lessons in human psychology; Pat urged the audience to pay attention to the pictures that clients and co-workers kept on their desk, to notice whether they read printed materials or prefer tapes, or valued person-to-person conversations. She basically explained the principles behind "putting oneself in another persons shoes". As a consulting professional, Pat even admitted that she and her partner Leif, make it a point to socialize and spend time outside of work with people from different generations. By learning what types of things interest a particular age group and reading up on regional topics of interest, it is easier to start a conversation with a new person and relatively simple to gain their confidence and make a good first impression.

Of course, it is not this easy to develop a rapport with all working professionals, but we can all use a bit of diplomacy in order to reach our professional goals. And it is always a pleasant surprise when a seminar can truly motivate its attendees to re-examine their methods of interpersonal communication.

For more information about Pat Wagner, or Pattern research including future seminar dates and locations, please visit

 SNELLA Calendar

Wednesday, January 9th, 2001
SNELLA Holiday Dinner & World Famous Yankee Swap 

For information, contact: Linda Mellick


SNELLA Legal Research Course

Spring 2002

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 Publications Committee 

Article, comments or questions about the publication should be submitted to the Editor:

Lawrence Cheeseman

All materials submitted for publication is subject to editorial review. Electronic submissions are encouraged.

 Scholarship Committee 



1. Name




2. Address (work or home):




Phone Number


FAX Number:


3. Scholarship purpose:


4. Are you a member of SNELLA?


If so, when did you join?


5. Have you received a SNELLA Scholarship before?


Amount & Date


6. Present employment


7. Will your employer pay any of your expenses in attending this meeting?



If so, what portion?


8. Estimated expenses for this meeting (itemized registration, travel, and per diem):













9. If you are applying for a SNELLA sponsored or co-sponsored meeting please tell us how you will benefit from attendance at this meeting?




10. If you are applying for a SNELLA scholarship for the AALL annual meeting or for an institute of continuing legal or library science education please submit a 400-500 word essay describing your interest in law libraries and law librarianship.


If I receive a SNELLA Award, and if for any reason I cannot attend (or my employer decides to pay all or a portion of my expenses), I shall return the award money (or the unused portion thereof) to the Chair of the SNELLA Scholarship Committee.




Applicant's Signature



Please return to: Sandee Molden/ Cohen & Wolf/ 1115 Broad Street/ Bridgeport, CT 06604