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Mary Ann Wacker

Mary Ann Wacker is a Reference Librarian at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP in Houston, Texas.

Why did you join AALL?
I joined to keep up with library trends and developments in law firms.

Why do you stay a member?
I am inspired daily by amazing thought leaders in our organization like Greg Lambert, Steve Lastres, Jean O’Grady, Linda-Jean Schneider, and Nina Platt. Our profession is filled with so many smart, savvy, and wonderful people!

What one membership benefit is most valuable to you?
I like knowing what librarians in other firms are doing.

What is your favorite memory associated with AALL?
A couple of years ago at the AALL annual meeting I met up with my first boss, June Berger. We talked, laughed and reminisced about the antics of the attorneys we worked for so long ago. June was a wonderful mentor and friend.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Reading (I am in three book clubs), gardening and growing flowers, visiting Houston art museums, and buying shoes!

What book(s) are you currently reading?
I just finished Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, which I loved. I’m also reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, I Stopped Time by Jane Davis, and 11/22/63 by Stephen King.

What’s your favorite travel/vacation destination?
Paris!

Lizette López Gracia

Lizette López Gracia is an Acquisitions Librarian at the University of Puerto Rico Law Library.

Why did you join AALL?
I joined AALL when I started working in the academic setting of the University of Puerto Rico Law Library. My membership was sponsored by the Library and my Director at the time, Michael Whipple, encouraged our active participation in professional associations and their committees.  I was very happy to be able to actively participate in AALL and its annual meetings. This was a first for me, because in my previous job we did not have this benefit.

Why do you stay a member?
My membership is still sponsored by the Library, but more than that, staying on as a member of AALL is important to me because it is our main source of continued education, networking, and keeping up with the many changes affecting our profession and our libraries. Living and working in Puerto Rico sometimes makes me feel far away and isolated.  AALL provides me with the tools needed to shorten the distance.

What one membership benefit is most valuable to you?
I think AALL publications, AALLNET and the Special Interest Sections are very valuable to me, but I would have to say that the most valuable membership benefit to me is being able to attend the Annual Meetings.  Although I am not always able to attend (for economic reasons), I still believe it is a fantastic experience.

What is your favorite memory associated with AALL?
My favorite memory with AALL was my participation in the group effort that resulted in the creation of the AALL Latino Caucus. It was exciting to meet and work with so many AALL members that had an interest in joining this caucus.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Outside of work, I enjoy the most being with my family. My husband, sons, daughters and grandchildren are the salt of my life. Spending time with them at the beach or pool and having them all come home for dinner are my favorite pastimes.

What book(s) are you currently reading?
I am currently reading two books: Life: Selected Quotations by Paolo Coelho and 10th Anniversary by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

What’s your favorite travel/vacation destination?
I haven’t done much vacation travelling in my life, except perhaps Disney family vacations. But I do love vacationing in the beach (of which we have plenty in Puerto Rico) and I would love to visit Italy and Greece sometime.

Catherine Whitney

Catherine Whitney is a Research Librarian with Greenberg Traurig LLP in Houston, Texas.

Why did you join AALL?
I joined AALL 20+ years ago when I was given responsibility for the extensive library in the maritime law firm where I worked as a legal assistant.  I needed to learn library management skills quickly and gain access to a network of local and national colleagues who could act as mentors and guides.  AALL (and its excellent local chapter, Houston Area Law Librarians) ably filled those needs.  I’ve been a member ever since.  Although I subsequently completed my MLS degree from North Texas State University, AALL has been a prime resource throughout my career.

Why do you stay a member?
Like most members, I rely on AALL for continuing education and networking opportunities.  The educational programming and the willingness of law librarians to share their wisdom and resources have proven invaluable.

What one membership benefit is most valuable to you?
AALL provides both the deepest and broadest continuing education opportunities available outside of a university program.  I rely on sessions and workshops at the annual meeting, webinars, AALLnet, and SIS listservs to keep me current about trends and competencies in law librarianship.

What is your favorite memory associated with AALL?
My favorite memory is from an annual meeting session on “Innovation” held sometime around 1994.  The speaker walked into the room carrying a 2 foot high stack of computer equipment, external modems, etc., all of which needed to be plugged into data ports to work.  He turned to the group and said, “The future is … Wireless.”  If only I’d invested accordingly.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
My bachelor’s degree is in voice, and I sing in an outstanding cathedral choir and an early music ensemble.  I serve on the board of Houston Early Music and am learning to play the harp.  I enjoy gardening, hiking, and travel, although these activities have taken a back seat to planning my daughter’s wedding this spring.

What book(s) are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Donna Tartt’s novel, The Goldfinch.  Next in the queue are The Cuckoo’s Callingby J.K. Rowling (writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith) and The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer.

What’s your favorite travel/vacation destination?
Currently it’s the UK.  My cathedral choir was in residence at St. Paul’s Cathedral and York Minster, England, this past summer, which was thrilling.  I was so enchanted by Yorkshire that I’m planning to hike the England Coast to Coast trail in 2 years.