SNELLA's Obiter Dicta

Vol. 17 no. 6                                                            May 2002 

The Electronic Edition

President's Message | Message from Incoming President | Member News | Spring Leadership Meeting | Legal Research Course

Booth at CLA | SNELLA Web Site | Scholarship | Annual Meeting and Dinner



The Annual Meeting is just around the corner and it’s time to pass the gavel – time flies when you’re having fun! As several Past Presidents have noted, "All the fame and notoriety of being President is not as overwhelming as one would imagine." The job was much easier due to a great executive board, committee chairs and members.

As I join the archive of Past Presidents, I would like to acknowledge and extend my appreciation to Vice-President Chris Roy, Treasurer Theresa Baylock, Secretary Susan Scoville, Immediate Past President Jeff Dowd, Members at Large Caroline Benoit and Sandi Phillips, and Nominating Committee Members Cathy Capuano and Susan Davis. The Committee Chairs Larry Cheeseman, Claudia Jalowka, Dottie McCaughtry, Steve Mirsky, Sandee Molden, Mary Scott, Mary Tartaglia, and Janet Zigadto have all done a superb job. Thank you also to everyone at Quinnipiac for providing a perfect facility for several of our programs.

I have had a wonderful time and gained a lot from serving in this position due to the support and wisdom of experienced members and the enthusiasm and vitality of new members. I hope you have also gained something beneficial from a program or meeting during the past year – from practical suggestions on improving your professional situation to the intangible benefits of making new contacts and friends.

And while we have accomplished a lot this year, we can never get to everything that we wanted to do. Now is the time to think about the kind of organization we want SNELLA to be and volunteer to make it happen. Although we are all busy, we can all find the time to help out in some way. I know we will all support our incoming President, Chris Roy, and the new Board. The Nominating Committee has provided the membership with an outstanding slate of officers for 2002-2003.


My name is Chris Roy. And I’ll be serving as president in June. I've been a law librarian for two years. Over that time I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many SNELLA members. In the next year, I hope to meet many more of you. For those of you who don't know me, I was a news librarian for two years at the Hartford Courant before starting at the Law Library at Rockville. I graduated from SCSU with my MLS in 1998. I earned an English degree from UConn before attending Southern. My wife and I enjoy traveling and have visited six countries and Las Vegas (a city filled with facsimiles of other country’s cities) in the past two years. I don't have a theme for the coming year. If I did I'd probably change it halfway through my tenure. One goal is to continue with the SNELLA tradition of offering stimulating educational programs and fun social activities. I encourage anyone with ideas or suggestions to please contact me. I must add that Linda Mellick did an amazing job as president. She was dedicated and resourceful, and I plan to match her sincere commitment to SNELLA. It will be hard to follow her, but also a welcome challenge. Thanks Linda. And I hope to see you all at the annual dinner in June.


Phyllis Leonardi, PhD, currently a law librarian at Tyler Cooper & Alcorn and formerly at Eastern Connecticut State University, was a co-presenter of a paper at the February 2002 Learning Disabilities Association of America's International Conference in Denver, CO on information literacy: "Simultaneous Processing Skills and the Effective Use of Electronic Databases." Her conference presentation was on information literacy, specifically electronic database searching, and methods of teaching this skill to learning disabled academic students, specifically those with simultaneous processing skills. Her co-presenter was P. A. Pezzullo, PhD., Director of Special Services in the Narragansett RI Education Department.

Phyllis’s part of the presentation used recent research from the journals College and Research Libraries and College and Research Library News. The title was "They Don't Know What They Don't Know," based on studies done at Johns Hopkins University, UCLA Berkeley and Eastern Connecticut State University with juniors and seniors majoring in Political Science, a subject that requires many research papers. Studies showed that most students assume they know everything they need to know about library research, but tests on actual knowledge prove their assumptions wrong. For example, approximately 75-90% of students assume they know how to find materials in a library, but test results show that only 40% can actually find the materials.

She made suggestions on methods librarians can use to teach information literacy to improve such findings. Her colleague then presented the problems for learning disabled students and suggested methods to teach these students to do research using electronic databases. Most of these require a one-on-one session with a trained reference librarian and a great deal of time, as well as completely different ways of teaching.

There was good discussion afterwards, since they had a diverse group of teachers, administrators and parents of learning disabled students.


This program provided an enjoyable opportunity for professional development. Thanks to Claudia Jalowka for arranging everything and thanks to Janet Zigadto for providing a program synopsis.

Our spring workshop, "Leadership: What Lies Within," was held on Friday, March 22nd from 9 am to 1 pm at the Quinnipiac University Law School Library. Approximately 38 people attended. Gail Warren of the Virginia State Law Library was the presenter. She was highly recommended by two Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Library staff members who first saw her presentation at a court law libraries management seminar last year.

Gail started off with some written exercises used to convey some very positive "basic truths." She had us write down our thoughts to questions such as "what services, programs or processes might not exist or run as smoothly had you never worked in your present organization?" and "what is one thing you might do that would have a significant impact on the library/organization where you work?" She also had us rate our importance to our library on a scale from one to five, five representing crucial importance and one representing no importance at all. After sharing some of our responses, Gail concluded the exercise by stressing that each one of us makes a valuable contribution to our workplaces, each person has the capacity to significantly impact our colleagues and workplaces, and that each person determines the quality of that impact.

She then discussed the topic of leadership. Some definitions of leadership include "one that takes the lead or initiative" and "a person in whom resides authority or ruling power." However, Gail's favorite definition of leadership is "the act of influencing another person." The various types of leadership include the classic visionary (our typical image of a leader), the living example (someone who "walks the walk"), the customer advocate and the barrier buster. Gail argued that there is a place for all types of leadership and that a leader is made, not born.

She also had some helpful handouts entitled "Recommended Reading for Library Leaders" and "Leadership Links" which is a list of websites concerning leadership issues.


Once again the legal research course was a great success. Everyone attending felt it was a day well spent. In addition to offering an introduction to Legal Research, it is a source of income that helps fund other SNELLA activities. Thanks to Claudia Jalowka, Cathy Capuano and Larry Cheeseman for their expertise and willingness to devote much time and effort to this program.


The new SNELLA Banner made its debut at the SNELLA booth at Connecticut Library Association Conference in April. It looked great! And thanks to Susan Scoville, Phyllis Leonardi, Claudia Jalowka, Jeff Dowd, Sandi Phillips and Dottie McCaughtry for "manning" the booth.


We all cringe when we hear that "everything is on the web". However, that is becoming a reality for SNELLA information. Watch for the debut of our new web site. Thanks to the Susan Scoville and Mary Scott for getting this underway and to Pepe & Hazard for hosting the site.


Congratulations to scholarship recipients Caroline Benoit and Janet Zigadto. Caroline recently attended National Online in New York and Janet will be attending AALL in Orlando. We look forward to their reviews of these conferences in a future newsletter.



Tuesday, June 18th


on the water

100 South Water St., New Haven


Cash Bar 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Vegetable Crudites served with Ranch and Bleu Cheese Dip

Dinner 7:00 p.m.

Fresh Baked Sage Bread

Mixed Field Green Salad served with Sage’s Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette

Choice of Entrée

Peppered Filet Mignon served with Caramelized Onions and Brandy Sauce

Grilled Santa Fe Chicken Breast

Baked Stuffed Shrimp with a Savory Crab Meat Stuffing

Baked Idaho Potato served with Butter and Sour Cream

Chef’s selection of Fresh Vegetables

Choice of Dessert

Sage’s Mood Pie-layers of Peanut Butter and Butterfinger Crunch Ice Cream in Oreo Cookie Crust topped with Fudge, Belgian Chocolate Sauce, Whipped Cream, Nuts

Warm Cinnamon Apple Crisp topped with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Coffee – Tea


Please return the form below with your dinner choices and a check made out to SNELLA to: Linda Mellick, 28 Valley View Rd., Newtown, CT 06470 by June 12, 2002.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 


_____ Filet Mignon $35.00

_____ Chicken $25.00

_____ Shrimp $30.00

For Dessert: _____ Mood Pie _____ Apple Crisp

Name __________________________________________________________

Address ________________________________________________________

Phone No. (         ) ____________________________

Email address _____________ @ ___________________________



  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 Calendar

June 3, 2002
SNELLA Booth at CBA Convention

June 18, 2002

SNELLA Annual Meeting and Dinner


For information, contact: Linda Mellick or Christopher Roy


SNELLA Legal Research Course

Spring 2003


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