Law Librarians Practicing Gratitude
Warning: Personal Post Alert
This blog started in 2013. I was 3 years into my career as a law librarian. Throughout that time, the public has been privy to an evolution. As with any career, the things I struggled with at year 3 are much different than the things I struggle with at year 7.
At year 3, I was mastering the practical side of law librarianship: sound legal research instruction and pedagogy, performing quality faculty research, mastering the effective reference interview, doing Michigan legislative history research in the books, recalling helpful resources, best practices for organizing and delivering content, curating a law library collection, etc...
While I continue to hone many of these skills, the practical side of law librarianship is much easier now. This comports, I suppose, with Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule of mastery.
My current focus is on learning the administrative side of law libraries, as well as forwarding the profession as a whole, particularly on the academic side where we've seen the law library fall from grace. All while doing enough of the basics to continuously practice and hone my skills.
For the administrative side, here's a few recommended resources:
I've also created a small administrative collection in my office for easy access:
As I ponder the administrative side and profession as a whole, my more recent questions include:
- How do we retain talent? And not burnout?
- How do we get stakeholders to understand our contributions? (here, here, and here)
- How do we define our role in legal research instruction? (here, here, here, and here)
- What's the role of the law library and our profession in the Digital Age? (here and here)
After reviewing these recent posts, which mostly focus on the challenges of law librarianship, I can't help but remember a comment by Ben Keele, an admirable member of this profession, who reminded me how good it is to be a law librarian. When I get too far in the weeds focusing on the challenges, I try to remember Ben's wise words and take a moment of gratitude. After all, we're a profession made up of highly intelligent, hardworking, dedicated people who have so much to offer that it's easy to shout it from the rooftops (or blogosphere, as it were).
Question: Has anyone done a gratitude jar program in the law library? If so, please share your experiences in the comments.