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LRL Newsline | Winter 2021: Member News

December 6, 2021

Alabama Legislative Reference Service

After 39 years with the Legislative Reference Service/Legislative Services Agency, Helen Hanby will be retiring at the end of the year.

Alaska State Library

We started a Virtual Alaska Story Hour for Adults. One hour a week, we read 1-2 chapters of an Alaskan book out loud over Zoom. Folks can connect by phone or computer. While inspired by the Talking Book community (folks with visual, physical, or reading disabilities that keep them from reading traditional books), this is open to all Alaskans.

California Office of Legislative Council

One of Our OTs (office technicians), Karen Benoit, retired on Sept. 29. She had 27 years of state service. Our Capitol office is being torn down in the Capitol renovation, and over the summer we weeded and moved the library collection that was housed within our Capitol.

California Research Bureau

A couple of new staff joined us: Pixie Pearl as project manager, the California Homeless Youth Project; and, Dana Nothnagel, program coordinator, California Grants Portal. CRB staff is involved in a variety of staff-driven initiatives shaping bureau’s programs, services and direction as well as in cross-bureau initiatives of the same for the State Library.

Louisiana Poynter Library, House Chamber

Librarian Michael Smith resigned. Our new librarian is Christopher Melancon. He worked previously as a reference librarian for the Lafayette Public Library and as an attorney.

Maine State Law & Legislative Reference Library

We are in the process of launching our collection of digitized Maine AG opinions; we are also in the development stages of a new platform for the Legislator Biographical Database.

Maryland Library And Information Services

We have a lot of staffing and other news to share this time around.

Johanne Greer, longtime Maryland Department of Legislative Services Library Coordinator, retired on Oct. 29 after more than 30 years of service to the department. Johanne has been active in LRL during her career and has made numerous important contributions to the department over her career as both the library’s Coordinator and as a reference librarian. She has also served for many years as a proceedings clerk in the Maryland Senate. We thank Johanne for her dedicated service to the library, the department, and to the Maryland Senate and wish her well in retirement!

In light of Johanne’s retirement, Annette Haldeman has been promoted to the position of DLS Library Coordinator. Sandy Mueller has been promoted to Annette’s current position as the Manager of Reference Services in the library. Both stepped into their new roles on Nov. 1.

Various librarians in the library’s cataloging/indexing department welcomed new family members recently! Cataloging and Indexing Librarian Liz Kupke, her husband John, and son Nathan welcomed baby boy Otto Theodore Cade Kupke; Otto was born on Aug 1. Cataloging and Indexing Librarian Beth Coale welcomed a new grandson, Ellington Owen Coale, on Aug. 21.

As well, happy birthday wishes go to reference librarian Rich Sigwald’s son Finn, who recently turned 1 in October.

Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Library staff continue to work remotely and despite limited access to some print materials, librarians have been particularly successful in providing legislative history research assistance to patrons while working from home. And we continue to make additions and improvements to our historical resources online (e.g. legislative retirements, capital investment and bonding bills, Legislative Manuals, redistricting 2020 guide).

Several Minnesota Legislative Reference Library staff members are participating in a legislatively mandated working group to develop a plan to move the Legislature toward full digital accessibility by 2024.

Mississippi Legislative Reference Bureau

In February of this year our office was also relocated to another building. We are now located in the Woolfolk Office Building located at 501 Northwest Street, Suite 209A, Jackson, MS 39201 instead of the New Capital Building located at 100 High Street. Our office hours and phone numbers are still the same.

Montana Legislative Reference Center

  1. As stated in the Library Question section of this Newsline, Montana’s Legislative Reference Center has worked with Montana State Library, the Historical Society, and the Law Library to get as many materials as possible available online. Many resources that were only previously available in the Legislative Reference Center are now online. Please see the links and article below for one example. Other items now available include Senate and House Journals as listed below:

    House Journals 1864-1997 are now available here.

    Senate Journals 1891-1997 are now available here.

    Council Journals 1866-1889 are now available here.

Montana State Law Library

Sarah McClain has left the law library for a new position within the Montana Judicial Branch. Christine Mandiloff is the new state law librarian.

Staff changes:

  • Deb Lund, electronic services technician, is retiring in December after almost two decades with the library.
  • Shane Cashin, a recent law school graduate and new attorney licensed in MT, was hired in September as the reference librarian.
  • Cheyanne Hafer, the administrative assistant for two years, left in August for law school in Delaware.
  • Sonya Amman, coming from work at a large health care provider, is the new administrative assistant.;
  • Christine Mandiloff was hired as the law librarian/director in June of this year, having previously worked for two years as the reference librarian.

The Law Library continues to house the Helena Self Help Law Center (SHLC). The SHLC, part of the Montana Court Help Program (a free service provided by the Montana Supreme Court to assist people with civil, non-criminal legal problems), is staffed by an AmeriCorps Member who typically volunteers for approximately one year. Also, effective this month, the law library will house the coordinator for the Court Help Program and the coordinator for the new Simplified Family Law Resolution Project (which will provide, in appropriate cases, online mediation and informal family law trials). The law library hopes the centralization of the coordinators for those projects, the SHLC, and references services will support more collaboration and grow more effective services for the public and pro se litigants.

Nebraska Research Office

Our office and library were relocated for 18 months while our space was renovated. This is part of a 12-year project to replace the entire HVAC system in the State Capitol. Needless to say it was a major task to move the library (twice). We returned to our old space in August and are enjoying fresh paint, new carpet, and a fully functioning HVAC system.

Our librarian, Travis Moore, left the Legislature to pursue other career opportunities. Elice Hubbert now serves as the librarian.

New Mexico Legislative Library

Research Assistant Moya Melody retired in June, and Emily Thomas was hired as assistant librarian that same month.

South Dakota State Library

State Librarian Daria Bossman retired in June 2021. Brenda Hemmelman, access & development services manager, is serving as interim until a new state librarian is hired.

The digitization department at the state library digitized the 41-volume set of SD Historical Collections,a series published biennially by the Department of History from 1902 to 1982 to "collect and make available historical information and encourage the study of the state’s history".This department has also digitized and placed online the entire collection of House and Senate Journals, as well as session laws. All can be accessed online.

Oklahoma Office Of Library Resources

We have had several retirements this year and several new staff joined our library.

Tennessee Legislative Library

Tennessee is in its third Extraordinary Session of 2012; this is the first year in history with three EOS in one year.

  • Contact NCSL

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