Showing posts from October, 2017

Preventing Law Librarian Burnout

More recently, there's been a consistent pattern to my conversations with law librarians where the law librarians have mentioned, often through exhausted tone, that they are doing more with less in the face of shrinking budgets and ever-changing expectations. I find this to be true, as well, but it's also led me to examine societal changes regarding productivity and the extension of work into all areas of our lives. Lately, it's felt more acutely like everything is work. A recent NYTimes article discussing the death of leisure  provided some insight about why more things feel like work. In analyzing the recent purchase of the Lord & Taylor retail space in NYC by a company called WeWork, the article stated, Today, of course, shopping is something else entirely, not a diversion but just an extension of our working or “productive” lives. At our desks and laptops we buy our avocados, face creams, bathing suits, boxer shorts, coffee tables, routers, sport coats, ski clot

Facilitating Law Library Sponsors

After another session in a longstanding conversation with my wonderful colleague, Alyson Drake, about the state of the profession, she made the brilliant connection that law libraries need sponsors. In the past 5 or so years, there's been quite a bit of discussion surrounding sponsorship for career advancement. You'll find relevant articles here , here , here , here , and here . While many of the articles discuss sponsorship in terms of individuals, the notion, as well as the need, is similar for law libraries. So what is a sponsor?  A sponsor is someone who will use his or her internal political and social capital to move you . . . forward within an organization. Behind closed doors, he or she will argue your case. A sponsor has been described as “an influential spokesperson for what you are capable of doing. And what’s the difference between a mentor and a sponsor?  Mentoring is a gift. A sponsor, on the other hand, is more transactional. . . . A senior person is n

Teaching Legal Research in the Books: Necessary or Not?

Over the course of the last week or so, there's been a lively discussion on the LRW-PROF listerv about teaching legal research using books. The discussion started from this post: At SCU, we have traditionally held one or two class sessions in which students conduct legal research in the library in books.   Some of us are considering modifying, shrinking, or even eliminating these exercises to make more time for additional electronic research practice. We identified some theoretical pros and cons to this approach. We are curious to hear about practical effects from anyone who has gone through this process of shrinking or eliminating book research. What effects, good and bad, have you seen in your students' ability to research? Any flak from librarians or employers? I appreciate any ideas.  Here is a sampling of the responses: Sample Response 1: I have always taught a modicum of book research each year, and, at the very least, I introduce my students to the e

Librarians Guiding the Use of Classroom Technology

As librarians, we are often the go-to institutional source for teaching technologies. In law, the faculty often look to us to help train on and maintain these technologies for the benefit of the law school community. And with a 21st Century library's focus on service , we are happy to help. To that end, The Teacher's Guide to Tech 2017 is an invaluable resource. It’s a 265-page digital binder you’ll use all year: Keep it on your desktop, laptop, tablet — even your phone — to help you navigate the tech world with confidence. Like having a tech-savvy friend on call to explain things in plain language, the guide will give you a sense of control over all the options. The guide explains over 150 tools in clear, simple language. All tools are grouped into categories based on what they do. Each section starts with a discussion of classroom applications. Then it takes one tool at a time, explaining what it does, how you can use it in the classroom, what it costs, and what pla

The Continued Evolution of WEXIS Graduate Access

In a continued effort to attract longterm users, both Westlaw & Lexis have modified graduate access to offer generous extended access. As to Westlaw, currently, if you are a "Practice Ready" school, meaning that you  subscribe  to the Practice Ready suite , Westlaw sends the following message to impending graduates: Don’t miss out! Enable your extended access now: ·           Sign in at ·           If you have not already enabled your access, you should see a prompt asking you to extend. Click on “I agree” and you are all set.  Not seeing the prompt? ·           Use this link - What do I get with my extended access? ·           Know How - Access to helpful sample documents and checklists with  Practical Law  &  Practice Point ·           Research -  Westlaw  access to understand the law and find authority  ·           Drafting Tools - Access to contract