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LRL Newsline | Spring 2022

April 18, 2022

Chair's Corner

By Ingrid Hernquist, New Jersey Office of Legislative Services Library

The daffodils are blooming, and spring is definitely in the air in New Jersey! After two years, it appears things are returning to post-pandemic status. As of this week people are no longer mandated to wear masks in the New Jersey State House complex. In addition, I hope more LRL members will be able to attend more meetings in person this year.

One such fantastic opportunity will be the 2022 NCSL Summit, which will be held in Denver from Aug. 1-3. Along with training and professional development from experts and state legislative peers, LRL will present the 2022 Legislative Staff Achievement Awards (Nominations for which are currently being sought). We will also hold the LRL Notable Document Award ceremony. These awards are presented annually to formally recognize excellence in state and legislative documents and publications (nominations and more details below).

Another exciting time for professional development and a great opportunity to network with other legislative staff and librarians will be Staff Hub ATL 2022, Oct. 10-12, in Atlanta, which is in the midst of being planned. If you have any suggestions for topics or speakers, please contact me as I am on the planning committee.

This year the LRL business meeting will be held remotely again shortly after the Summit as attendance has increased due to this format. Date and details will be sent out on the LRL listserv.

For the 2022-2023 term, the LRL Nominating Committee is seeking nominations for secretary on the LRL Executive Committee This is the first step in a four-year commitment (secretary, vice-chair, chair, past-chair) to the LRL's executive committee. This is a great way to get more involved in LRL and NCSL, meet dedicated legislative staff from around the country, and to make sure the LRL professional staff association is represented and has a strong voice in NCSL. I often quote one NCSL staff member who told me LRL is “a small but mighty staff association.” My experience serving on the LRL executive committee has been both professionally and personally rewarding. I encourage you to reach out to Eric Glover (Idaho), chair of the nominating committee for additional details.

In February, LRL sponsored an Information Sharing Zoom Call. Legislative librarians discussed how they add value to the research they provide to legislators and legislative staff. Topics included the types of research/reference requests that are made, how often big and time-consuming requests are made, how the responses to these requests are delivered, and any analysis that does not compromise nonpartisanship. We hope to bring more information sharing sessions such as “Evaluating Research” to the LRL members soon. Any topic suggestions are greatly appreciated!

The updated LRL Member Directory will be posted shortly. Thanks again to the regional directors for gathering this information: Christine McCluskey (Connecticut), Annette Haldeman (Maryland), Marva Coward (Florida), Nathan Elwood (Missouri), Elizabeth Lincoln (Minnesota), Joanne Vanderstreek (New Mexico), and Jennifer Fletcher (Alaska).

Additional details on the awards, training and networking opportunities along with a fond farewell to Debbie Tavenner, library administrator with the Ohio Legislative Service Commission and your answers to our Library Questions can be found below in this issue of the LRL Newsline!

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions on upcoming events, or ideas for programming!


Mark Your Calendars

  • Staff Hub ATL 2022: Oct. 10-12, 2022 in Atlanta, Ga.
  • 2022 NCSL Legislative Summit: Aug. 1-3, 2022 in Denver, Colo.

Nominations Open for the 2022 LRL Legislative Staff Achivement Awards

Do you know a legislative staffer who goes above and beyond? Who does the field of legislative librarianship proud?

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. Award recipients are presented with a plaque and are recognized by the NCSL Staff Chair during the staff luncheon at the NCSL Legislative Summit.

All members of LRL and legislative libraries are eligible for this award. Nominations may be submitted by the nominee, a supervisor or by other members of the staff section.

Deadline for nominations is Friday, May 6, 2022.

Seeking Nominations for the LRL Executive Committee

The Legislative Research Librarians (LRL) professional staff association is seeking nominations for candidates to run for secretary. The deadline for declaring your candidacy is Friday, May 6, 2022. This year’s nominating committee is chaired by LRL Immediate Past Chair Eric Glover.

Under LRL Bylaws, the role of the secretary is: “The secretary shall serve a one-year term and shall record minutes of all staff association meetings and perform additional duties as may be assigned by the chair. The secretary shall preside at LRL executive committee and staff association 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. By virtue of serving as vice chair and chair, you will also serve on NCSL's Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee, which meets four times a year in various fabulous locations. Attending these meetings is not mandatory, but it is valuable to LRL and you as it provides the opportunity to meet the officers from other staff associations, learn more about other states’ legislatures, and contribute to work that benefits all legislative staff.

For more information or to submit names of nominees, please contact LRL liaison Megan McClure.

Nominations Open for 2022 Notable Document Awards

By Elizabeth Lincoln, chair, Notable Document Awards Selection Committee

Every year, hundreds of documents are produced through the work of state legislatures or to help support the work of state legislatures.
NCSL and the Legislative Research Librarians (LRL) professional association are looking for documents that go above and beyond and stand out from the pack.
Each year, LRL sponsors the competition for outstanding state and legislative documents. Deadline for submissions is May 20, 2022.
Any state or legislative document published in the last two years is eligible. Submissions are generally made through each state’s legislative librarian, but any legislative staffer may submit documents.

The Notable Documents Awards:

  • Formally recognize excellence in state or legislative documents that explore topics of contemporary or historic interest to legislators and staff.
  • Showcase innovative formats and presentations of substantive material.
  • Advertise the extensive range of information available to legislators and staff.
  • Promote the exchange of information with other states.

2022 Legislative Summit: LRL in the Mile High City

Please allow me to extend a personal invite to all LRL members to attend the 2022 NCSL Legislative Summit taking place in my hometown of Denver, Aug. 1-3! I am so excited to host you all and show you around the Mile High City. We’ve got lots planned and so much fun in store, from an evening of music and fireworks at Coors Field, our baseball stadium with the best view of sunset over the Rockies, to in-depth training and learning opportunities with legislative and policy experts, a tour of the Colorado State Capitol (along with a legislative librarian roundtable) and Colorado Supreme Court Library and the LRL dutch treat dinner and the first in person Notable Document Awards Ceremony in two years. We hope you can join us to learn, laugh and celebrate together!

Library Questions

For this issue of Newsline we asked you two questions:

1: How are IT services provided for your library/office. Do you have your own IT staff, is it provided by a central office, chamber specific, etc.?

2: Have there been any measures or procedures that your library/office implemented due to COVID but you’re planning on keeping as you move(d) back into normal operations?

View the responses we received

Staff Hub ATL 2022

LRL is excited to team up with five of the other legislative staff professional staff associations to hold the first ever Staff Hub meeting. Staff Hub ATL 2022 will take place Oct. 10-12 in Atlanta. Seeking to create connections and crosspollinate across the different staff associations and roles in the legislatures, NCSL and a group of designates legislative staff planners are busy creating a meeting that will bring experts and trainers to help you work smarter, not harder and make new friends and connections while you do it. As Ingrid mentioned in her Chair’s Welcome, she is serving on the planning committee and we’d love to hear any ideas for programming that would be valuable to you!

A Fond Farewell

It is with fondness, great appreciation and admiration that LRL extends our thanks and best wishes to Debbie Tavenner in her retirement. Debbie has served the Ohio General Assembly for over 40 years. Her tenure began as a fellow in 1978. She went on to work for the Ohio Senate and Online Computer Library Center before returning to the Legislative Service Commission in 1989 and has served as the library administrator for 25 years starting in 1997. Debbie’s commitment to LRL, NCSL and her colleagues in legislative libraries across the nation is evident in her service as an officer starting in 1992 and culminating in her term as LRL Chairperson in 1994-1995. She was the recipient of the LRL Legislative Staff Achievement Award in 1997. In her time with LRL she has attended and helped to plan many LRL Professional Development Seminars, written for and helped compile the LRL Newsline and is always happy to share information, resources and her years of experience with her peers on the LRL listserv. Most recently, Debbie has served as a regional director for the Great Lakes Region for LRL from 2018-2021. I had the pleasure of meeting Debbie in person at the 2019 LRL PDS in Portland, Maine, where her contributions, conversation and company was much appreciated.

Click here to see the Ohio House of Representatives Resolution in her honor.

Applications Being Accepted for 2022 Legislative Staff Management Institute

By, Angela Andrews, NCSL

Designed for new and emerging staff leaders, this eight-day residency program helps staff develop and enhance their management and leadership skills. Applications are now open and the deadline to apply is May 13.

LRL Information Sharing Call Summary: Adding Value to Research Requests

In March LRL members got together to discuss how to add value to legislative research requests without compromising nonpartisanship in their work. Folks attended from Michigan, Minnesota, Delaware, California and Nevada. Questions that were asked:

1. How do you usually deliver results to your legislative patrons? For example, by email, document(s) attached to email, hard copy, file sharing site, orally/in person?

2. Please share examples of research/reference requests that you get from legislators or from other legislative nonpartisan offices. Do you often get requests that are very big or take a long time?

3. Is there room for analysis without compromising nonpartisanship? Where is the line?

Read a summary of the session and what was discussed

Young and New Professionals Group

Are you new to the legislative environment? The mission of the NCSL Young and New Professionals is to engage, educate, and support the state legislative leaders of tomorrow through targeted professional development, networking opportunities and recognition. Through professional development programming virtually and in person along with the YNP Newsletter, released twice a year. Coming next month, the YNP Time Management Webinar Series, taught by University of Texas Austin faculty with the Center for Professional Education. This year YNP will be at the 2022 NCSL Legislative Summit with two exciting sessions and a networking reception.

Resources for Staff Trainings

Introducing the new NCSL Legislative Video Resources Center!

  • The Video Resource Center is a collection of recorded NCSL webinars accessible for on-demand learning.
  • More than 150 videos are curated by Policy and Professional Development categories.
  • Webinars produced by Professional Staff Associations or the Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee are identified with banners and can be found by category or the site’s search field.
  • Each video includes links to additional resources, such as bill databases, policy reports or the Professional Staff Association pages.
  • The VRC is accessible to all users. NCSL members are asked to log in to their NCSL account. Using the same username and password used to register for NCSL events.

Learn more by visiting

  • Contact NCSL

  • For more information on this topic, use this form to reach NCSL staff.