Stacy on Fellowship & Feeling Connected
Stacy Etheredge is the Associate Director of the Law Library & Associate Professor of Law at the University of Idaho–Boise.
Why did you join AALL?
I joined AALL even before I was in library school. I had applied to the University of Washington program and was waiting to (hopefully) hear back that I had been accepted. I lived in Seattle and had stopped by the UW to ask questions about the program, and Penny Hazelton kindly gave me some things to read. One of them was a brochure from AALL, all about pursuing law librarianship as a career and what AALL was all about. It sounds a little corny, but I just got this wonderful feeling of fellowship, that AALL was the place to be if you wanted to belong to a real community of law librarians. So I joined immediately.
Why do you stay a member?
For the same reason of community that I found in that original brochure. We’re a niche profession, pretty small population wise, and spread all across the country. It would be very easy to feel professionally isolated. But belonging to AALL has allowed me to be connected to people who are doing the same things I am and who care about the same things I do, no matter where they live. And I also appreciate the educational opportunities it provides, so I can try to stay abreast of all the changes that are constantly occurring in our profession.
What one membership benefit is most valuable to you?
For me, that would be the smaller communities within AALL that you can join—the SISs, Chapters, caucuses, committees, etc. When you join those smaller groups you have a chance to get involved immediately. Maybe it was because I got into law librarianship a little bit late, having started library school at the age of 41, but when I finally got in the game I wanted to get into it all the way. I wanted to start “doing.” So at the suggestion of my good friend, Ann Hemmens, I joined the SR-SIS, and then I joined the LHRB-SIS, and then, well, I haven’t looked back since!
What is your favorite memory associated with AALL?
The 2013 Annual Meeting in Seattle. My first Annual Meeting was also in Seattle, in 2003. I had been accepted into the UW program but that wasn’t due to start for a few months, and I was still working as a library assistant at a downtown law firm. I couldn’t go to everything, but I was able to go to enough things to really get me excited about what was coming. So flash forward to 2013 and here I was, back in my home area, in the tenth anniversary of my mid-life career change, returning to where it had all started. It was a lovely full circle.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I wish I could claim to be one of those physically active individuals who climb mountains, run marathons, and engage in duels with Voldemort. But the truth is that my favorite things to do are reading, listening to music, and watching old movies from the 1930s and 1940s. However, I do also like to read books about movies, and listen to music from movies, and watch movies about books and music, so I think I have branched out quite nicely.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
I tend to get into phases, like probably lots of people, and I’ve recently reentered the ever-lurking Sherlock Holmes phase. Only this time it’s been a book about Holmes, Sherlock Holmes FAQ: All That’s Left to Know about the World’s Greatest Private Detective, by Dave Thompson, and a book in the Holmesian pastiche genre, Sherlock Holmes in America, a collection of stories written by modern authors. And I’m a Lincoln nut, so I am almost always reading something about him, which currently is The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War, by Daniel Stashower.
What’s your favorite travel/vacation destination?
New York City. I grew up in a small town in the San Juan Islands, which is in the very uppermost northwestern corner of Washington state (I literally could see Canada from my house). So New York City, being so far away and so very prominent in books and music and movies and TV, just had a mystique about it that I’ve never grown up out of. And I hope I never do. Every time I go there, it’s still “look who’s in the big town.” Fills me with a sense of excitement just talking about it now!