Patricia on the relevance of AALL Spectrum
Patricia Petroccione is the librarian at the Walter T. McCarthy Law Library in Virginia. The library is located in the Arlington County Courthouse and is open to the public.
Why did you join AALL?
I joined AALL in 1981, when I started as D.C. librarian for Sidley & Austin. The Association provided great professional support and knowledge. I was away from the profession during the 1990s. However, after a few years in my current position I knew it was important to reconnect with AALL. I rejoined in 2005.
Why do you stay a member?
It’s the people! As I tell others who are not members of our profession, librarians are among the best people in the world. They are knowledgeable, helpful, resourceful and very interesting. I am able to experience all this through my AALL and VALL chapter memberships.
What one membership benefit is most valuable to you?
Other than the benefit of interacting with librarians from all types of law libraries, I appreciate the convenience of receiving AALL Spectrum at my office. For example, the April 2015 issue had an article on adapting services to promote access to justice, a topic relevant to the public patrons or clients my library serves (“What we call our users” – an interesting article from the September/October 2013 issue). I also enjoy reading the “member to member” section. As a solo librarian, it helps me feel like I am engaged in water cooler talk with my “fellow workers.” Recently, I find the webinars another valuable resource that I can experience without leaving the office.
What is your favorite memory associated with AALL?
Although not a single memory, I appreciate the time I spend with colleagues when I am able to attend the Annual Meeting and Conferences. Learning, collaborating and socializing at the conference is invaluable. One, of many past highlights, was the preconference program on Legislative Advocacy. This year I look forward to attending Leadership Training for SISs and Chapters.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Reading and yoga are two of my favorite relaxing pastimes. I also enjoy wine-tasting with my husband and watching the Food Network. Summer gardening is both fun and frustrating. Digging in the dirt, planting herbs and vegetables is satisfying. Watching the squirrels enjoy the fruits (literally) of my labor is infuriating!
What book(s) are you currently reading?
I just finished reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which I highly recommend. I am, with some apprehension, about to tackle Middlemarch by George Elliot.
What’s your favorite travel/vacation destination?
Several years ago, I enjoyed exploring Sicily with my family. I look forward to returning and particularly revisiting Taormina, a small town on a hillside overlooking the Ionian Sea. Closer to home, Dewey Beach Delaware is a relaxing summer destination.