Robert Truman

Robert on Leaving and Returning to AALL

AALL member Robert Truman

Robert Truman is the Interim Director at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, OR.

Why did you join AALL?

There was never any question of joining AALL. As soon as I started as a full-time law librarian my mentor, who was also my boss, signed me up. She felt membership was a prerequisite for continued growth in this profession. Now here I am having just received my 20-year AALL pin and I’ve come to appreciate just how right she was.

Why do you stay a member?

Technically, I didn’t. In 2013 I left librarianship for a stint running the school’s continuing legal education department. One of my first and best decisions in that role was joining the Association for Continuing Legal Education. ACLEA reminds me of AALL. Both are professionally run service associations providing education, vision, representation, and opportunities for professional sharing. When I returned to librarianship last year—the very first week—I promptly rejoined AALL for all of those reasons.

What one membership benefit is most valuable to you?

I can’t say enough about the Special Interest Sections and Chapters. Whatever I am as a librarian, I would be half as much without my many interactions with the wonderful people of WestPac, CS-SIS, and RIPS-SIS. I’ll add in KnowItAALL as well, which has become an every morning “must read.”

What is your favorite memory associated with AALL?

There are many, but the highlight was seeing the incredible Marcia Ball play at the 1999 Annual Meeting closing reception in Washington, D.C. Even my then one-year old daughter joined the crowd dancing for the best private concert either of us may ever hear.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Hiking and traveling, especially when combined. This summer my now college-age daughter and I kicked off her break with a hiking trip in Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, and Zion National Parks. And being in the Pacific Northwest we have endless day trip opportunities nearby (fires allowing).

What book(s) are you currently reading?

I’m finally reading, and quite enjoying, Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. My current professional reading is Meetings Suck by Cameron Herold. I seem to be attracted to books with provocative titles.

What’s your favorite travel/vacation destination?

Turkey is at the top of my list, though I’m not certain that now is a good time to visit that great country. Fortunately, turns out that we west coasters have relatively convenient access to Hawaii. A strangely recent discovery on my part, and an oversight that I am diligently trying to make up for at every opportunity.