AALL October Announcements

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By , September 28, 2012 9:27 am

Save the Date – AALL Law Library Management Online Course

November 1-December 14 AALL will offer a six-week online course designed to help you achieve higher management performance and advance your career potential. You will have an opportunity to connect and collaborate with peers. Topics will include effective law library management, communication effectiveness, negotiation and making the case for library value, and more. Stay tuned—registration opens in October.

AALL2go Pick of the Month

AALL’s Continuing Professional Education Committee presents the AALL2go pick of the month: What Makes a Librarian Worth a Million Bucks? Valuing Staff, Resources, and Services When Dollars Are Scarce.

At the 2012 AALL Annual Meeting, two law firm librarians gave a detailed presentation on how to prove the true value of law librarians. They demonstrated how hard data and soft skills can be used in a numbers-based evaluation that can be effectively used to show worth. Continue reading 'AALL October Announcements'»

Many Librarians Make Light Work

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By , September 27, 2012 1:46 pm

By Nick Harrell
Reference/Instructional Services Librarian at the University of Miami School of Law
UW Law Librarianship Graduate 2012

Recently I was asked to track down a copy of an unpublished opinion from the 1970s issued by a U.S. District Court located on the other side of the country.  After my best efforts failed to find the case, I did what everyone should do when they’re stuck.  I asked for help.  I reached out to a law librarian who works at a county law library near where the case was argued.  After she took a look around without any luck, that librarian provided me with contact information to a librarian at the court where the case was argued.  The court librarian didn’t have a copy of the opinion either, but he did provide me with more information about the case.  He shared the research notes of another court librarian trying to locate the case for yet another librarian on a different occasion.  He also provided contact information for the folks at the archive where the case file was held.  With that information, I was able to put in a request to the archives that would hopefully have the case.  While waiting for a response from the archives, I contacted an author who had cited to the case.  And, as I should have expected by this point, the author referred me to the librarian at his firm, who was also exceedingly helpful.

Eventually I was able to get my hands on the elusive case, but only with the help of over half a dozen librarians (I had been picking the brains of my co-workers during my quest).  I learned some new things about researching unpublished opinions while working on this project (specifically, that unpublished opinions roam in the wild west of citation land and are anything but uniform, and that if someone offers you a docket sheet, you take it).  But, my real take away was that librarians help each other.  Besides my co-workers, I had no prior connection to the librarians who helped me, but they were all generous with their time and eager to help.  I have added that generosity and eagerness to the list of reasons why I am glad to be a librarian.

Back to Business

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By , September 25, 2012 10:08 am

by Emily Smith

In June, a lot of us rushed to retrieve copies of National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius (better known as the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of “Obamacare”) for our attorneys or professors. It was a highly anticipated decision, so happily for ease of retrieval the text of the opinion was seemingly everywhere upon its release. As fall rolls around, I’m always prompted to think about what significant (or more esoteric) Supreme Court opinions we might be asked to track down for our patrons this year. As always, SCOTUSblog comes to the rescue with a cheat-sheet of the cases scheduled for argument during the October 2012 term. Because the first oral argument is just around the corner (on October 1) I took a quick peek last week. Depending on your interests you might find other cases more noteworthy, but here are some docket items that caught my eye:

  • Lovers of the Fourth Amendment (or dogs): the 2012 term finds the Court hearing argument on two cases involving the use of narcotics detection canines. The first, Florida v. Harris, will address whether a drug dog’s alert can establish probable cause to search a vehicle for contraband. A second case from the Sunshine State, Florida v. Jardines, tackles the question of whether a dog sniff at a suspected grow house is a “search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Continue reading 'Back to Business'»

Monthly Meeting: eFiling in King County Superior Court

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By , September 24, 2012 12:05 pm

Title: Monthly Meeting: eFiling in King County Superior Court
Location: K & L Gates
Description: Our next LLOPS meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 26th from 12:00-1:30 pm at K & L Gates.

Craig Burgess, Public Law Library of King County Circulation Services Specialist, will present a 90 minute class to demystify the process of e-Filing in King County Superior Court. His class description is as follows:

“The Public Law Library of King County’s eFiling class covers all aspects of King County’s eFiling application, from creating an account to operating the advanced features. Learn how to eFile a case, add documents to an already existing case, save your progress for a future date, and navigate the various application features. The advanced features are also covered. You will learn how to create working copies, file Ex Parte requests, serve papers on the parties in a case, and employ the eFiling Application’s new eForm Template feature.”

K & L Gates is located at 925 Fourth Avenue. Please go to the 29th floor and proceed to the reception desk . You will be to be directed to the conference room.

Start Time: 12:00
Date: 2012-09-26
End Time: 13:30

Behind the Curtain

By , September 20, 2012 2:52 pm

by Emily Smith

Being my first blog post for LLOPS, I thought I’d start out on a (somewhat) personal note. In my now seemingly long-past life as a practicing attorney, I spent a year clerking for Judge Block of the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn and Long Island to those of you from NYC). The year was not without its challenges, but I’d do it over again in a heartbeat. From the outside a federal court can seem like something of a black box, and my experience from that year has helped to give me a leg up as a new law librarian, whenever I need to deal with docket questions, or pester court clerks or judges’ secretaries or case managers. So I was particularly interested to hear that Judge Block recently published a book about his experiences on the bench (Disrobed: An Inside Look at the Life and Work of a Federal Trial Judge, Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2012), providing some insight into the inner workings of a federal court and the mind of a federal judge.

Continue reading 'Behind the Curtain'»

Washington E-Bulletin

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By , September 14, 2012 10:44 am

AALL Government Relations has published a Washington E-Bulletin for September 2012. This E-Bulletin includes important updates about the status of the Congressional Research Service Electronic Accessibility Resolution on 2012, UELMA in California and other recent state legislation.

And the Seasons Roll on By…

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By , September 11, 2012 9:43 am

Photo Credit: Amit Chattopadhyay

by Anna L. Endter

My apologies if you are not yet ready for the summer to be over but I’m going to go ahead and declare that fall 2012 has arrived. After hearing a set of rain-themed songs on KEXP this morning (yes, our “streak” of dry days just ended) I’m ready to admit that the season is changing: most have returned from summer vacations, the commute is taking a little longer in the morning as kids head off to school, and a barista just informed me that many people have switched to ordering hot drinks.

Noticing the changes around me in my life generally got me thinking about whether there are seasons at work, as well. Last week I came across Raquel Gabriel’s Diversity Dialogues column on “Dealing with Stress” in the Summer 2012 edition of Law Library Journal. In it, Ms. Gabriel discusses the ups and downs and cycles of work in the context of managing stress on the job. Academic law librarians, for example, often experience predictable “seasons” of work/stress/busy-ness that are very much tied to the activities of law students and faculty.

I think that private law librarians also experience seasonal changes and cycles in their work. In my own experience working in law firms, these seasons are intertwined with client demands and needs and are perhaps more subject to fluctuation (Augusts are slow, Decembers are often busy as the end of the year approaches, and so on). Librarians, as service professionals, are among the many who attend to patron/client needs and the accompanying ebbs and flows, all while managing expectations and stress levels.

Just like we’ll all be breaking out our fleece and vests in the weeks to come, will you also be preparing for changing seasons at work? Do tell.

Call for Proposals Now Open: AALL 2013 Annual Meeting and Conference (Seattle)

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By , September 10, 2012 1:09 pm

What are you planning to propose for Seattle that reflects the interests of your chapter?

The Call for Proposals for the 2013 Annual Meeting and Conference in Seattle is now open!  The AMPC invites chapter members to propose programs that engage the learner while addressing members’ issues and offering takeaways that can be applied in our workplace.

Members should look at the survey results for program ideas.  The results also identify similar challenges across library types and may be opportunities for collaboration on developing a program.

The Annual Meeting Program Ideas Community is a venue where all members can discuss program ideas and find other members to collaborate with on a proposal.

The proposal form is short but allows the proposer to really think about what they want to accomplish in their program.  The proposal form asks the following questions:

  • What are the takeaways that attendees will be able to use and apply to perform their jobs better?
  • How would you describe the problem/opportunity/scenario/challenge that reflects the takeaways?
  • Who needs to attend this session?
  • How much time is needed to effectively deliver this content?
  • What methods do you plan to employ to engage attendees and keep the energy level up?
  • Who should deliver this content, and why is he/she qualified to do it? (If this person is not an AALL member, are there anticipated expenses?)

Although the selection process no longer includes chapter sponsorship, proposers are encouraged to work with the chapter’s education committee or leadership.  They can review your proposal and offer suggestions before submission, and it lets them know what programs chapter members are proposing.

Chapter members are encouraged to reach out to Julie Pabarja, AMPC Chair, with any questions.

I Am What I Am

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By , September 7, 2012 9:56 am

by Philippe Cloutier









Most people are impressed/confused when I tell them that I am legal librarian. While it’s kind of funny to look at someone and see the gears moving in their brains as they try to figure out what it is we exactly do, I pretty much know the next few words or questions out of their mouths. Often the issue of digital content comes up and the non-librarian may know many of the situations with which we deal. Others may also understand why librarians are of value in any setting. After the explanations are bridged it is great to hear people respond with, “I wish we had a librarian!”

The Popeye strip above perfectly captures one of the many library issues that the non-librarian can easily understand (not the door-to-door salesmen, though I can think of similar examples where this applies). We deal with paying for the same materials over-and-over in a rent-to-use model of digital access or purchasing an ecopy limited to select users or one user only. Popeye on the other hand, suffering a single charge, can enjoy the purty pictures for the rest of his life and share at will. The next time I talk about our work I just might pull this cartoon out as a point of reference.


The Interview and You

By , September 5, 2012 3:08 pm

by Philippe Cloutier 

One of the top library blogs I follow regularly is Hiring Librarians. The posts are especially useful for managers and those seeking work (obviously). However the general information makes for great professional development reading. Also on display is the intelligence and ability of library managers. For the most part hiring managers hit the nail on the head for job hunting tips. Yet once in awhile a phrase or two will stick out and confuse, as the latest finds:

What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?
“Ever since I was a little girl/boy I’ve wanted to be a librarian.” This is almost always a lie. Librarianship is often a second-choice field. It comes after people spend a couple of years trying to be an artist/ conservator/ writer etc. It’s a practical career for an artistic or literary type. So don’t tell me it was your dream. It’s a great job, but it’s nobody’s dream. Continue reading 'The Interview and You'»

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