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 Calling
by 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.