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Helen Hanby’s retirement from the Alabama Legislative Services Agency after 38 years makes her one of the longest continuously serving employees in the agency’s history.

Two Longtime Legislative Librarians Retire

By Megan McClure | Feb. 8, 2022 | State Legislatures News | Print

NCSL salutes two longtime legislative research librarians who have retired with a combined total of nearly 75 years of experience.

Johanne Greer

Maryland Department of Legislative Services Library

Johanne Greer, director of the Maryland Department of Legislative Services Library, retired in October 2021 after 36 years. She  joined the department in 1986 as a reference librarian; she added  the role of a desk officer in the Maryland Senate, recording parliamentary proceedings in 1998.

Greer was appointed director of the library in 2004. In addition to her leadership role in Maryland, she also served in several roles for the Legislative Research Librarians, one of NCSL’s nine professional staff associations, eventually serving as chair from 2000-01. She also organized and coordinated activities for the group’s orientation program for new legislators.

Early in Greer’s career, she was selected by the U.S State Department to visit Botswana to set up a parliamentary library for the National Assembly. She lived and worked in Botswana for two months, an experience she looks back on as both exciting and rewarding.

As the library’s director, Greer took on several initiatives to modernize library operations by bringing it more up to date with technology and current library practices. These initiatives included:

  • Digitizing the budget by creating a computer program to suit the library’s needs.
  • Beginning the process of scanning legislative history files to make them available electronically.
  • Making the news clipping service available electronically and searchable.
  • Creating the content for the library and information services webpage for the Maryland General Assembly, the webpage for the department’s intranet and the library’s research database.
  • Planning several library renovations, including in the main reference area.

Helen Hanby

Alabama Legislative Services Agency

Office Manager Helen Hanby retired from the Alabama Legislative Services Agency after over 38 years of legislative service. Her tenure makes her one of the longest continuously serving employees in the agency’s history.

An excerpt from a resolution honoring Hanby showcases her wide-ranging skills:

“WHEREAS, as we recount these skills and talents, we wonder how her office will function without this petite lady who talks fast and reads faster, and who either possesses, or could rapidly find, the right answer to any inquiry; who is never shy about telling her boss what was really needed; and who ensured this agency did the right thing and looked good while doing it; the value of her service to her contemporaries, the Legislative Services Agency, and this legislative body is incalculable, and she will be woefully missed.”

Read the full resolution.

“Helen’s dedication to the Alabama Legislature, NCSL and LRL are greatly appreciated, and we (wish) her all the best in her retirement,” said Othni Lathram, Hanby’s longtime colleague and director of the Legislative Service Agency.

Megan McClure is a policy analyst in NCSL’s Legislative Staff Services Program and the NCSL liaison to the Legislative Research Librarians.

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