Newsline is the newsletter of the Legislative Research Librarians Professional Staff Association.
“You mean there are other librarians out there who do what I do for the legislature, and you all meet once a year?”
—Comment received during the LRL Directory Update Project.
Have no fear—no librarian is an island!
Your colleagues at LRL know exactly what you’re going through and we want to support you. LRL offers many opportunities to support and connect with fellow legislative research librarians nationwide. These include sharing information via our listserv, viewing professional development webinars, and attending the annual NCSL Summit and the LRL Professional Development Seminar. We’re a vital, well respected community of highly specialized legislative librarians. Take advantage of what we offer, reach out and become more involved!
This is an exciting, interesting time to be involved in LRL. Here’s what’s happening now and what’s on the horizon.
The LRL Member Directory Update/Outreach Project is complete! The information you find in the online directory is now current. Enormous thank yous to the regional directors: Christine McCluskey (Connecticut), Annette Haldeman (Maryland), Robin Boatright Stadler (Louisiana), Debbie Tavenner (Ohio), Elizabeth Lincoln (Minnesota), Molly Otto (Colorado) and Eric Glover (Idaho). Also thanks to the LRL Executive Committee members—Betsy Haugen (Minnesota), Teresa Wilt (Nevada), Catherine Wusterhausen (Texas)—all of whom worked very hard to personally reach out to LRL Libraries to promote our staff section and gather updated directory information. Thank you for such a fantastic, thorough job. Help us keep the LRL directory current going forward by sending any new information to our staff section liaison, Megan McClure.
Are you looking for a way to recognize and honor an outstanding LRL member? We are currently seeking candidates for the Legislative Staff Achievement Award, which is presented annually to recognize an exceptional member of LRL. The deadline for LSAA nominations is April 24, 2018. We’re also currently seeking submissions for the Notable Documents Awards that are presented annually to formally recognize excellence in state or legislative documents and publications. The deadline for NDA nominations is May 25, 2018. Read more about both of these awards at the LRL website.
Upcoming Meetings: Put these dates on your calendar! NCSL Legislative Summit in Los Angeles, July 30-Aug. 2, will offer a diverse collection of training and networking opportunities, social events, tours of local libraries, the LRL annual business meeting and more. LRL and RELACS Joint PDS in Harrisburg, Penn., Oct. 4-6, will offer a variety of sessions on topics such as maintaining nonpartisanship, research skills, ethics, civility and harassment, plus tours of local libraries and museums.
Once again, we have a jam packed issue of Newsline for you to enjoy. Highlights include a profile of Anthony Aycock, the new legislative librarian in North Carolina, a profile of the Pennsylvania Senate Library, News from the States and additional information about those upcoming meetings!
Please feel free to contact me if you have any ideas or suggestions about ways LRL can help you improve your skills and knowledge and better serve you. I look forward to hearing from you.
Nomnation Deadline: April 24, 2018
The annual Legislative Staff Achievement Award was created by the Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee to recognize excellence in supporting the work of a state legislature and strengthening the legislative institution. Each staff section associated with NCSL may name up to two recipients—individuals, teams or legislative offices—for recognition each year. Recipients of the awards are presented with a plaque and are recognized by the NCSL staff chair during the legislative staff luncheon at the NCSL Legislative Summit.
Visit the LRL website to see the guidelines for selection and a list of previous winners. Nominations are due Friday, May 25, 2018. Watch for reminders on the NCSL LRL listserv soon.
Contact Elizabeth Lincoln at firstname.lastname@example.org or Megan McClure at email@example.com if you have questions.
The Legislative Research Librarians Staff Section is seeking nominations for candidates to run for secretary of the LRL Staff Section. The deadline for declaring your candidacy is Tuesday, April 24, 2018. Catherine Wusterhausen of Texas serves as the chair of this year’s Nominating Committee, with committee members Betsy Haugen of Minnesota and Pete Gayatinea of Hawaii.
Under the LRL Bylaws, the role of the secretary is as follows: “The secretary shall serve a one year term and shall record minutes of all staff section meetings and perform additional duties as may be assigned by the chair. The secretary shall preside at LRL Executive Committee and staff section meetings in the absence of both the chair and vice chair. The secretary shall succeed the following year to the office of vice chair.”
The secretary serves for one year and then automatically moves up for one-year terms as vice-chair, chair and immediate past chair. As vice-chair and chair, you will serve on the Legislative Staff Coordinating committee, which meets four times a year in various locations. Attending these meetings is not mandatory, but it is worthwhile to attend if you can as you meet the officers from other staff sections and learn about how other states’ legislatures work.
For questions or more information, please contact Nominating Committee chair Catherine Wusterhausen (Catherine.Wusterhausen@lrl.texas.gov) or LRL liaison Megan McClure (303-856-1355 or Megan.McClure@ncsl.org).
The NCSL Legislative Summit will be in Los Angeles, from July 30- Aug. 2. LRL will be co-sponsoring and partici-pating in a wide array of professional development and networking sessions throughout the Summit. For more information visit the Summit website to view the full agenda and see registration and booking information.
The LRL Professional Development Seminar will be held jointly with the Research, Legal and Committee Staff Professional Association (RELACS) in Harrisburg, Penn., Oct. 4-6, 2018.
The LRL Professional Development Seminar brings together legislative librarians and information specialists from around the country. The 2018 seminar features sessions on important legislative issues, soft skills, best practices, opportunities for networking, and tours of the capitol, local libraries, museums and archives.
Registration is open, along with the official agenda, housing and transportation information.
Anthony Aycock was a writer before he was anything else. At a young age, he impressed his grandmother with the stories and comic books he created. His grandmother, like most grandmothers, was contractually obligated to be impressed by him, but never mind.
Aycock began his working life at McDonald’s, where he clawed his way to restaurant general manager. In 1998, he attended Hamburger University, a real place. After 10 years in Ronald’s service, he deserved a break and became a librarian. Working in a library is exactly like working at McDonald’s, except you don’t have to see adults in hysterics because you offer Happy Meal toy No. 3 instead of No. 4. He got his M.L.I.S. from the University of South Carolina and went to work for Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, a Columbia-based law firm, as a library assistant. Following this were stints at Duke Energy Corporation, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, Charlotte School of Law and the North Carolina Justice Academy. He joined the North Carolina Legislative Library in November 2017.
Through the years, Aycock has indulged his first love, writing. He is an assistant editor for Convention Scene (www.conventionscene.com), a website devoted to comic book, sci-fi, and other fan conventions, and he has written for several magazines, including the Gettysburg Review, the Missouri Review, Ploughshares, Creative Nonfiction, Information Today, the Chronicle of Higher Education and Library Journal. His first book, “The Accidental Law Librarian,” was published in 2013.
Aycock is married and has two daughters, three grandsons and nine cats. That’s 87 lives he is partially responsible for. A North Carolina native, he loves UNC basketball, “The Andy Griffith Show” and fried foods, especially Twinkies.
The Senate Library is the upper chamber's main depository of law books and government documents.
It is located in Room 157 of the Main Capitol Building. The library is primarily used by senators and Senate staff. However, it is also open to the public, on a limited basis.
Senate Rules place the Senate Library under the direction of the secretary-parliamentarian, the day-to-day responsibility for operations is handled by the librarian of the Senate.
The Senate Library is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library remains open after hours when the Senate is in session.
Emphasis: The emphasis of the Senate Library collection is Pennsylvania legislative material, including histories and journals of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, statutes, and other Pennsylvania government documents. Additionally, the library has the case law of federal and state courts, law reviews, regulations, form books, and other support materials.
Senate Library Collection
1. Complete collection of The Laws of Pennsylvania, including the Colonial Laws
2. The Legislative Journals and Histories of both the Senate and House
3. The Manuals of Pennsylvania and the precursor, Smull’s Legislative Handbook
4. Committee reports/transcripts of Senate or House hearings
5. Reports submitted to the Senate by various departments and agencies
6. A reference and directory collection, i.e., atlases, dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.
The Senate Library cooperates with the State Library and other libraries in the Capitol Complex to borrow and lend materials.
Reference questions are answered and research assistance is provided to users in person, by telephone, fax, mail and e-mail. The staff of the Senate Library is available to aid and instruct library users and researchers in all types of research, including LDP, Internet, and use of resources at other libraries. Our online catalog is available at http://library.pasen.gov/public/web.cfm
LRL asked out member libraries the following question about disaster planning:
Here are your responses:
(from Helen Hanby)
The Legislative Services Library doesn’t have any disaster or emergency plans.
(from Chrissy Heider)
914 Capitol Mall
Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building, Third Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
(from Debra Pond, Connecticut State Library)
(from Jennifer Bernier, Connecticut Legislative Library)
(from Marva Coward)
Legislative Research Library
(From Eric Glover)
(from Frances Thomas, House Research Library)
Huey P. Long Memorial Law Library, Senate Library
(from Jane Basnight and Julia Covington.)
Michael Chernick, Office of Vermont Legislative Council:
Colorado: After nearly 18 years serving as the Colorado Joint Legislative Librarian, Molly Otto retired at the end of February 2018. We wish her well and lots of fun in her retirement.
Connecticut: Coming soon…new Connecticut Legislative Library website! (Don’t worry, we’ll announce it through the listserv!)
Missouri: Anne Rottmann, Missouri Legislative Library retired, but is working part-time in the Library. So glad to know she will continue to be a part of LRL.
North Carolina: The NC General Assembly launched a twitter account in March and the Legislative Library is managing it. Check us out! @ncleg
Puerto Rico: It with a heavy heart that we notify you of the passing of Juan Carlos Ortega Cruz, our peer and friend, director of the Legislative Library in Puerto Rico. His willingness to share information along with humor and wit will be sorely missed.
Training new staff can present a myriad of challenges and logistical issues. How do you train someone when you already have your plate full with your daily duties? How do you train staff in the middle of a session? Or on a shoestring or nonexistent budget? Below is a list of NCSL resources to help you train new and old staff without over stretching your time, ability and budget!
As Julia mentioned we have just finished a comprehensive update of the LRL Directory. If you have any staff changes, retirements or updates please email me to let me know.
I also wanted to let you all know that the LRL Portal on the NCSL website is updated regularly at least two or three times a month, with news I think you all may find interesting. Webinars and training opportunities, NCSL documents and reports, research and news along with notices for awards, and the LRL newsletter are all things that have recently been up on the portal. I encourage you to think of the LRL portal as a way to keep up with what’s going on with LRL and your peers as well as happenings at NCSL that you might find useful.
Another great resource is the Legislative Staff Services portal. I also keep this page updated with information, training opportunities, newsletters from other staff sections, and other NCSL research documents and news.
And last, but not least, I am working on collecting staff profiles for NCSL’s State Legislatures Magazine and blogs. The next NCSL Legislative Staff Week is coming up the week of May 14 and we are seeking to highlight legislative staff. Do you have a project you’ve been working on that you are proud of or that your library peers would find interesting? Do you have a colleague who you think is great and want to recognize? Do you have a great legislative story you want to tell? Let me know! NCSL wants to get the word out!