Hi AALL Members,
I hope that you and your families remain healthy and safe in what is proving to be a trying year. While we remain physically apart, I am comforted in knowing we are together in this shared experience.
As we continue to grapple with the changing times, the 2020-2021 AALL Executive Board has hit the ground running since our virtual conference in July. I wanted to provide an update on some of our recently completed and ongoing tasks.
I have appointed three special committees, whose charges are outlined below:
- Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Awareness (IDEA) – Reviews diversity, inclusion & equity efforts and opportunities within AALL and law librarianship and reports findings to the AALL Executive Board.
- Law Librarianship as a Career Guidance Review – Researches the current status of the career of law librarianship and report findings to the AALL Executive Board. This is a continuation of last year’s committee, with an updated charge.
- State of the Profession – Reviews, updates, and makes improvements to the existing State of the Profession Survey, first launched in 2019. The second report will be published in 2021. A task force assisted with the 2019 survey and this recently appointed special committee will address the 2021 report.
To further support our caucuses and improve communication with the Board, I have appointed a board liaison to caucuses. This will allow caucuses to easily bring and share issues to the Executive Board. Karen Selden will serve in this role and she also serves as board liaison to special interest sections (SISs).
As you may recall, members who attended the AALL business meeting approved two resolutions on diversity, inclusion, and equity. These resolutions have been reviewed by AALL counsel. Diane Rodriguez, AALL president-elect, Vani Ungapen, AALL executive director, and I are working with the submitters to incorporate those recommendations and those from the Board Executive Committee. AALL is committed to continuing this conversation and ensuring that we are doing as much as we can as an Association to support our members.
We recognize that we can do more to address diversity, equity, and inclusion. Please continue to send your comments and suggestions about this topic or anything else you think we should know. You can contact me directly at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am sure many of you are already wondering about the 2021 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference scheduled to take place in Cleveland, Ohio. We continue to monitor the situation and are in touch with our contacts in Cleveland and are following the guidance of the CDC and other organizations. However, it is still too early to make a decision about canceling the in-person conference at this time. Even though we do not know what our 2021 conference will look like, we remain committed to offering exemplary educational opportunities. Stay tuned for the 2021 call for proposals in early October. A question will be added asking proposers for their availability to present in person, virtually, or both.
Later in the fall, the Executive Board will meet for the virtual board meeting November 6-7, 2020. Following the Board meeting, we are pleased to offer our next AALL Connection on Monday, November 16. Registration is now open.
We have heard from some of you that you would like more transparency and easier access to the Board. One step in that direction is our upcoming Coffee Chat on Tuesday, October 6 “Learn More About Your Association,” where Diane and I (and other Board members and staff, as needed) will address some common questions and also answer anything else that you are wondering about, whether it is how committees are appointed or how people get nominated to run for the Board. We hope you can join us—register now!
Please remember to vote for the 2021 AALL Executive Board candidates when our election opens this Thursday, October 1.
Thank you for your time and the opportunity to serve as your president this year.
Emily R. Florio