Michael on Finding Love at the 2008 AALL Annual Meeting in Portland
Michael McHenry is the Director of Research and Knowledge Services at Vinson & Elkins LLP in Houston, TX.
Why did you join AALL?
I’m actually in my second stint as a member! I originally joined just as I was finishing my MLS to network and for the professional development opportunities. I took a few years off from law libraries and then re-joined when I returned. To me, AALL membership is a given for a professional in our industry.
Why do you stay a member?
Membership provides connections with very smart and dedicated people throughout the year in the form of webinars and listservs and then culminates at the Annual Meeting. I am also a frequent visitor to the AALL website, particularly the Membership Directory and the Career Center, as I continue my personal research into the most innovative position descriptions and job titles.
What one membership benefit is most valuable to you?
I used to consider attendance at the Annual Meeting to be optional, but between the change of the profession itself and the quality of the programs and people who attend, it’s now become mandatory. I have gotten a wealth of actionable information from the last two meetings in particular.
What is your favorite memory associated with AALL?
Well, this one is easy. I met my wife at the 2008 Annual Meeting in Portland at the Gen X/Gen Y Caucus event. At the time, she was an academic law librarian in Rhode Island, and I worked at a law firm in Atlanta. But we overcame those vast differences, and here we are today living in Houston with two crazy kids.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I actually like doing chores. Probably because they don’t require sitting in front of a computer which I do Monday-Friday. And I like fixing things with varying degrees of success. And football.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
The Road Taken by one of my favorite writers, Henry Petroski. It’s the history of our country’s infrastructure and how we got the roads and bridges that we use every day. Oh, and I’m also reading the latest Batman.
What’s your favorite travel/vacation destination?
With two small kids, we have purposely avoided traveling and long family vacations. But since they are now 6 and almost 4, we’re probably getting to the point that it’s not as horrible as we’ve made it out to be. There’s a trip to the Grand Canyon in the works, and parental survival will be the goal.