Susan David deMaine is a Research and Instruction Librarian for the Ruth Lilly Law Library at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
Why did you join AALL?
AALL gives me the opportunity to develop a network of professional contacts with whom I can share ideas, undertake projects, and seek advice. I also knew I had much to learn. I had been away from the profession for a few years, and AALL gives me the chance to learn - through meetings, publications, eGroups, committees, etc. - from many people with a wide variety of skills and knowledge. AALL also gives me the opportunity to take an active role in the future of law librarianship. By getting involved with committees and special interest sections, I can have a voice. I can contribute my own ideas and skills to the community of law librarians.
Why do you stay a member?
In part, participating in an organization like AALL is simply part of being a professional librarian; it should be in everyone's job description. Beyond that, involvement in AALL keeps my outlook fresh and prompts me to think beyond these four walls. Learning from librarians at other institutions help invigorate my own work, supplies me with new ideas and inspires me to give back.
As we all know, "change" is the buzzword in legal education and the practice of law. Changes in the economy and in technology are having fundamental effects on the legal profession. This is the time to have my finger on the pulse. I remain a member of AALL and even want to increase my involvement with AALL so that I can stay in sync with all that is happening in our libraries, law schools, firms, and courts.
What one membership benefit is most valuable to you?
It's difficult to pinpoint a single membership benefit as most valuable. I read Law Library Journal
. I get emails from my special interest sections every day. I read the blogs at the AALL website. Perhaps the benefit that is most valuable is the one that is most ephemeral: simply knowing that I have a community to reach out to and resources to use when I need them.
What is your favorite memory associated with AALL?
My favorite memory so far is the 2012 annual meeting in Boston. I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful new people, attend great sessions, and share good conversations. And I had never been to Boston before. I must admit that just walking the streets to the public gardens was a highlight. I am really looking forward to Seattle!
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Like many people, I'm busy with family. My house holds five children between the ages of 6 and 13. This doesn't leave time for much of anything else at the moment. I enjoy running, baking bread, reading a good book, and slipping out to Starbucks
What book(s) are you currently reading?
Most of what I read these days is work-related. I've been reading a number of books and articles about slavery and the Supreme Court. Pamela Brandwein's Reconstructing Reconstruction
was excellent. I've also been reading a not-yet-published book on the role of the legal system in creating more prosperity and stability in Haiti. The other topic I've been interested in lately is e-discovery, but that makes for some pretty dry reading.
What’s your favorite travel/vacation destination?
Right now, we're under a winter weather advisory with 3-5 inches of snow predicted by morning. I'll take anywhere warm and sunny with a beach.