LLOPS Members Chair Local Arrangements for 2013 AALL Annual Meeting

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By , August 16, 2011 9:01 am

I am very excited to report that Tina Ching, Seattle University School of Law Library, and Rita Dermody, Public Law Library of King County, have agreed to co-chair the Local Arrangements Committee for the 2013 AALL Annual Meeting in Seattle. Their talent and enthusiasm are the perfect formula for a successful conference. Seattle will be a great location to host an annual meeting with new programming initiatives and exciting social, cultural, and local events. I encourage you to join the Local Arrangements Committee and share your talents and knowledge of your beautiful city with AALL members from across the United States and around the globe. See you in 2013!

– Jean M. Wenger, AALL Vice President/President-Elect

What’s On Your Desk?

By , August 12, 2011 8:43 am

by Sue Mecklem
Reference Librarian at Davis Wright Tremaine, Portland

I’ve always enjoyed having interesting, hands-on toys on my desk or on a bookcase at work. I think it’s a great conversation starter, a fun way to relax, and a good way to chill out when work is stressful. I also think it creates an inviting atmosphere for very educated people who may not feel comfortable having to ask for assistance.

Years ago, I had a pile of colorful dice on my desk within easy reach of whoever was sitting across from me. Some people organized them by color, or turned them until the numbers were all the same. Some people stacked them, some people rolled them, and a few ignored them. One attorney brusquely shoved them out of the way. It was an interesting little snapshot of how people think. Roll the dice – playful. Organize the dice by color – librarianish. Shove the dice – aggressive.

My desk now faces a wall so I don’t display my dice but I have created a diorama on part of a bookcase just inside my office.  My Nancy Pearl action figure is standing at the reference desk assisting a yellow rabbit, with a squirrel and a porcupine nearby. I also have a few books for browsing:  Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust, the NYPL’s Books of The Century, a young adult novel Ginny Gordon and the Lending Library, and Dear Justice: A Book for the Just, the Unjust, and Those Who Just Like to Laugh. People enjoy thumbing through them for a few minutes if I have to finish an email or a phone call. It doesn’t work as well as chocolate for luring people into my office but it does bring a smile to those who venture in. I like to think it helps people feel more comfortable asking me questions, and making the reference interview more pleasant.

Do you have toys or chocolate in your office or at your reference desk? What would you do if you encountered a pile of dice at someone’s desk?

Networking: Just Do It

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By , August 10, 2011 8:52 am

by Sue Mecklem
Reference Librarian at Davis Wright Tremaine, Portland

Networking. n. An informal system whereby persons having common interests assist each other.  (The American Heritage Dictionary, 1993)

The concept of networking brings a shudder to many an introvert’s soul but it’s an important part of our professional life, and not just when searching for a new position. I see three main benefits of networking:

  1. A bigger pool of brainpower from which to find resources and idea
  2. The possibility of knowing someone who might have a say in hiring you someday
  3. Personal satisfaction

One of the best things about being a librarian is the collaborative nature of the field; librarians are generally willing and happy to help others because that’s what we’re good at. We connect not just our patrons but each other with quality information, from the best resource for a particular project to the best person to ask about hard-to-find information in an unfamiliar field.

Though my demeanor is quiet and I consider myself an introvert, I enjoy meeting new people and have benefited tremendously from networking with colleagues. The first inkling I had that being a law librarian was a career possibility was when I worked as a temporary paralegal and had a desk in the firm’s library. I was intrigued by the librarian’s job and she answered my questions about library school and what being a law firm librarian was like, and unknowingly spurred my interest in the field. Networking can be as simple as being friendly and open to connecting with others. Continue reading 'Networking: Just Do It'»

2010-2011 Program Committee Report

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By , August 9, 2011 8:54 am

2010-2011 Program Committee Report

We held 9 meetings this year with a focus on management issues.  Thank you to the members who hosted meetings, shared their expertise, suggested session topics, and of course, attended our LLOPS meetings.  The committee is looking forward to another successful year.

Committee members:

Amy Eaton, Barbara Swatt-Engstrom, co-chairs

Rita Dermody, Kerry Fitz-Gerald, Crystal Norton, Tim Sheehy

 Aug – Patent Law, Colette Napoli

Sept – Mini-Management Series : Project Management, Donna Baker

Oct – Mini-Management Series : Agenda Planning and Running Effective Meetings, Julie Livengood

Nov – Mini-Management Series : Getting Things Done, Michael St. Onge

Dec – No meeting (Holiday party)

Jan – Business Meeting, Website unveiling

Feb – Mini-Management Series : Time Management, Char Coulbert

Mar – No meeting (Spring Professional Development)

April – Tacoma Union Station video

May – Mini-Management Series : Office Politics, Chapter visitor, Susan Lewis & Bridget Dacres

Jun – Business Meeting

 Respectfully submitted,

Amy Eaton and Barbara Swatt-Engstrom, Co-chairs

When Flash Mobs Go Bad

By , August 5, 2011 2:29 pm

For the most part we see the fun and jovial atmosphere surrounding flash mobs. Dancing, choreographed movements, people frozen in time, scenes from movies, or other out-of-place actions are just some of the eccentric arrangements offered by these seemingly impromptu events. However, that isn’t too say they are all harmless. Westlaw’s Headnote of the day reports a case of illegal flash mobbing:

“Arrestee’s conduct of dancing inside Jefferson Memorial along with 17 companions, each listening to music on headphones and dancing in place, constituted demonstration, within meaning of National Park Service Regulation prohibiting demonstrations at Jefferson Memorial, since it stood out as type of performance, creating its own center of attention and distracting from atmosphere of solemn commemoration that regulations were designed to preserve”. Oberwetter v. Hilliard, 639 F.3d 545 (D.C. Cir. 2011)

The Jefferson Memorial flash mob proves that it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Mob on a subway or in a park and you’ll probably be OK; but beware of memorials and other areas where demonstrations are prohibited. Also be wary of police officers ready to stop the illegal demonstration, as YouTube videos of the D.C. Jefferson Memorial flash mob display very physical altercations.

To end on a pleasant Friday note, here is a dance flash mob from our very own Seattle Public Library.

Bookshelves and Bedsores

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By , August 4, 2011 9:04 am

by Kristine Lloyd

Like most librarians, I have a lot of books. I even have a few that at one point belonged to the Birmingham Public Library. I’m quite certain that I am banned for life from checking out books from any Jefferson County library. As an avid book-lover and hoarder extraordinaire, I am always looking for additional nooks and crannies to store my books. Imagine my delight when I found this house made of bookshelves. Osaka would be a tough commute but may be well worth it. You have to hand it to the Japanese; they certainly know how to make the most of their small spaces. Obviously libraries are made up of bookshelves, but not as literally as this library in Japan. Even the outside is made of shelves!

While I’d love to have my very own bookshelf-engulfed abode, I might just have to settle for this chair: the book-lover’s answer to the La-Z-Boy recliner with built-in remote control pouch. I’d never have to move my bedsore ridden buns again.

Government Relations Committee Report

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By , August 2, 2011 11:21 am

The Government Relations Committee was comprised of Holly Gale and Lori Fossum, chair. This year, the committee monitored Washington state legislation affecting the printing and distribution of such primary resources as the Revised Code of Washington and also closely monitored budget legislation affecting the State Law Library.

The Washington Legislature’s 2011 Regular Session began on January 10th and adjourned April 22nd; the first Special Session of 2011 began on April 26th and adjourned May 25th. Several LLOPS members worked prior to the Session with the Statute Law Committee to help craft House Bill 1479, “Revising the publication requirements of the statute law committee.” Yet other members attended legislative committee hearings in support of the bill.

The Committee and other LLOPS members were especially concerned with proposed cuts to the State Law Library’s budget during this Session. Second Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1087 was ultimately passed, restoring the budget to a level at which the library will still be operational. Many LLOPS members and the AALL Government Relations office worked to restore the library’s allocation for the upcoming biennium.

Two LLOPS members, Tina Ching and Kay Newman, chaired the Washington Legal Inventory project: this inventory is our contribution to the development of the national inventory of primary legal resources at every level of government. Several LLOPS members also contributed their time and efforts to completing this inventory of state, county and municipal legal resources.

Respectfully submitted,

Lori Fossum


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