Kim on the importance of diversity in AALL and running an annual family 8k
Kim Nayyer is an Associate University Librarian and Law Adjunct Associate Professor at University of Victoria Libraries & Faculty of Law in Victoria, British Columbia.
Why did you join AALL?
I attended my first AALL annual conference when my Director was on sabbatical. I was amazed at how much I learned and how many fascinating people I met, and I knew I wanted to join this association. Though I wasn’t exactly new to the legal information field, having practiced in the public and private sectors as a research lawyer and information specialist for years, I was in my first position that had “Librarian” in the title. I could foresee the personal and professional benefit from the range of programming and activities and the diversity of the attendees.
Why do you stay a member?
The key reasons are community and learning. I am so pleased to say many of the colleagues I’ve met through AALL have been variously role models, collaborators, and members of my professional and personal learning networks. (Note: I am always happy to help with a Canadian legal information question!). Several have now become close friends and trusted colleagues. I even had written about one years earlier for an MLIS assignment–I felt I’d met a celebrity, and now she is my friend. The diversity of the membership is important to me. I value the annual conference and various other discussion channels as a means to learn more about colleagues of different backgrounds, orientations, and environments, and how these inform our work.
What one membership benefit is most valuable to you?
This one is a challenge to answer, because I find many of them valuable. I look forward to seeing what’s in each issue of Spectrum and Law Library Journal, including Diversity Dialogues. I keep my eye on the webinars, an excellent one of the newer benefits. Though not strictly a member benefit anymore, KnowItAALL is also a favourite. The range of available Special Interest Sections also appeals. I learn from the online discussions, the programming, and the blogs. At present, I belong to FCIL-SIS, ALL-SIS, RIPS-SIS, and SR-SIS, as well as some caucuses. Though I’m not a member of PLL-SIS, I try to include its programming and events in my conference experience.
What is your favorite memory associated with AALL?
Another hard one. CONELL, at my first AALL annual conference, will always be high on my list; I enjoyed meeting interesting colleagues from across the spectrum of the profession. Some whom I met at that first conference remain friends, collaborators or both. A favourite memory is the extent to which I got to know Boston that summer. By the time I was able to arrange to attend, the affordable downtown hotels were booked solid. I found a place out by Boston College, and I felt like a local, taking the Green Line in every day. I got to know MBTA well.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I enjoy writing and reading, though I don’t make enough time for either. My kids are a big focus for me now, and I love hanging out with them. For quite a few years our family has done an annual 8K run, but I can no longer keep anywhere near pace with the rest of them.
My last airport experience notwithstanding, I’m sure I’ll always love to travel, doing as much as I can on foot. I’m not highly athletic but I cut a brisk pace when I walk, often with a backpack on. Film and theater also feature highly.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
My son and I are both reading The Hate U Give, a young adult novel by Angie Thomas. He has the copy I gave him, and I’m reading my library’s copy. My daughter and I are reading Black Beauty together, along with repeat visits with her Magic Tree House books.
For myself, I have David Chariandy’s Brother, Omar El Akkad’s American War, and Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad on my nightstand. But I just pushed them aside for John Leguizamo’s graphic novel Ghetto Klown, which I picked up when I was lucky enough to catch his show during a recent trip to New York. And always at hand is the large-format book and libretto of the musical Hamilton, aka the hamiltome.
What’s your favorite travel/vacation destination?
All these questions with too many answers! I enjoy big city trips (possibly because I live in a small one) and exploring other countries. During my early years I visited India a few times with my parents; years later, my husband and I took a trip there. Though we have few relatives left in India, we have yet to take our kids to see this interesting country, so it’s high on the list of destinations we’ll strive for. I grew up in Alberta, Canada, and I will always have a soft spot for that side of the Canadian Rocky Mountains: Jasper, Banff, Kananaskis, and some little gems I can’t tell you about, lest they lose their unspoiled beauty.