Mary Ellen Gallagher

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I am a public law librarian who works for the Dakota County Law Library in Minnesota. One aspect of my job that is special is that I have the unique opportunity to be located in a public library as a branch of the county law library. By being located in the public library, people have access to our legal resources whenever the library is open including evenings and weekends even if I am not present. Not only do I get to help people with legal questions, I get to see all of the children having fun and taking advantage of the library. A definite win-win situation!

Why did you join AALL?
I first joined our local chapter as a student knowing that I wanted to become a law librarian. As a MALL (Minnesota Association of Law Librarians) member I was able to meet others in the field and learn more about the profession. After graduation, I succeeded in becoming a librarian in a nearby county law library that to my delight provided both the local MALL and AALL memberships as a perk, so I have been a member since 2011.

Why do you stay a member?
I continue to be a member so that I can to be part of this premier association for law librarians and take advantage of the opportunities to network and develop friendships with others in the law library community. Membership also enables me to have access to a wealth of information and learn more about ways to provide additional services to the public so that they have better access to the judicial system and legal resources.

What one membership benefit is most valuable to you?
Having access to the plethora of AALL information via its website and Spectrum is definitely a valuable benefit to me.

What is your favorite memory associated with AALL?
My favorite AALL memory would have to be attending the annual convention in Seattle this past summer, and more specifically, the harrowing bus tour of the city during CONELL. I got to know other new librarians better and see a lot of the unique neighborhoods, as our bus driver magically navigated very narrow streets to show us the best views.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
When I am not working, I really enjoy going to the beach, travelling, reading, knitting, being outside and most of all, spending time with my family.

What book(s) are you currently reading?
I recently finished the newest Sandra Brown book Deadline.

What’s your favorite travel/vacation destination?
My favorite place to visit each summer is the Narragansett Beach area of Rhode Island where I spend vacations with my family, relatives and college friends enjoying the beach and eating copious amounts of seafood.