Giving Back: Dr. Yvonne Chandler’s Legacy

By Andre Davison

On Tuesday, November 30th, we commemorate the National Day of Giving, aka Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday usually takes place the following Tuesday after the Thanksgiving holiday. Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 and it encourages people to do good. Giving Tuesday is now an independent nonprofit and a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. Growing up, mentors introduced the concept of giving by explaining a biblical parable that explains giving via your time, talent, and treasure. Consequently, I do my best to give my time, talent, and treasure when volunteering or serving in any capacity throughout my personal and professional life. Recently I participated in a meeting to discuss continuing the legacy of Dr. Yvonne Chandler. As I listened to stories about Dr. Chandler, I realized that she had given her time, talent, and treasure to law librarianship. I want to continue her legacy by doing the same. I want to encourage others to give back to the law library profession, as Dr. Chandler encouraged me.

Give your time

Stephen Covey, the author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, said, “The key is in not spending time, but in investing it. ” Dr. Yvonne Chandler gave her time in preparing many students for careers in law libraries and legal information. She not only taught them, but she invested time in mentoring those students and helping them to develop relationships with other professionals in law libraries. She made sure that once you graduated, you became involved in the American Association for Law Libraries. A close friend and mentee of Dr. Chandler introduced us at the AALL conference. She always encouraged me to support AALL, my alma mater, the University of North Texas, and my local chapter. I was excited to be elected by my peers to the AALL executive board. I would not have pursued this opportunity without Dr. Chandler’s encouragement to get involved years ago. The call for volunteers for an AALL 2022-23 committees and award juries recently went out. I encourage you to complete the application and give your time to the profession. 

Give your talent

The great poet, Maya Angelou, said, “Talent is like electricity. We don’t understand electricity. We use it. ” Dr. Yvonne Chandler was a talented professor, but to me, her most extraordinary talent was the ability to connect people. I have heard countless stories on how she introduced young law librarians to people who would eventually hire them. She never met a stranger, and everywhere she went, she knew someone. Her impact was on display during a virtual fund-raising event in remembrance of Dr. Chandler this past February. I heard countless students from all over the country discuss how they remained connected to Dr. Chandler after graduation from library school. She used her talents to help position them for opportunities in their career and professional development. My professional mantra is interaction to connection. Whether in workflows or relationships, my goal is to take my interactions and transform them into lasting connections. Dr. Chandler is the epitome of interaction to connection. Once you interacted with her, she cultivated your relationship into a last connection through mentorship and friendship. Through the AALL leadership academy, I have received incredible mentor that has helped me navigate a difficult transition in my career. The same mentorship that I received; I have reciprocated. What talent can you give to help someone in law librarianship?

Give your treasure

What do I mean by giving your treasure? Giving is a sacrifice. Your treasure could be your time or talent, or it could be financial. Dr. Yvonne Chandler provided financial opportunities to her students in graduate school by helping them get work-study opportunities. She took them to conferences which provided educational and networking opportunities in law librarianship. An old friend would always tell me, “there is no substitution for contribution.” Dr. Chandler left a legacy of contributions to our profession. I want to honor her legacy this year by contributing a donation to AALL. For Giving Tuesday, I plan to donate to the Black Law Librarians Special Interest Section (BLL-SIS) Education Fund in honor of Dr. Yvonne Chandler. The BLL-SIS Education Fund supports BLL-SIS grants for BLL-SIS members and/or paraprofessionals to attend the AALL Annual Meetings, Leadership Academy, or Management Institute, with a preference given to black/ African Americans or other people of color. Dr. Chandler was instrumental in supporting the predecessor to BLL-SIS, the Black Caucus, and an advocate for diversity in the law library profession. 


Notes Between Us (NBU) is a blog about conversations and topics of interest to the writers. The writers are expressing their personal opinions solely. Their essays represent their personal beliefs and not that of their workplaces or any organization they are associated with.