This program examines three successful programs for supporting the scholarship of librarians. Creators and administrators of these programs will discuss how the programs were implemented and advise on how they could be replicated by other libraries or groups. Successful participants in each program will discuss how the programs helped them produce publishable scholarship.
The three programs represented are (1) the Boulder Conference, (2) Georgetown Law Library's Scholarly Writing program, and (3) AALL research grants. The Boulder Summer Conference on Legal Information: Teaching and Scholarship allowed librarians to workshop their papers related to legal research pedagogy. Georgetown’s new program of a mini-sabbatical and library support group was established in response to an increasing interest in scholarly writing. AALL research grants provide support to librarians doing a wide range of research.
For many years, the requirement that a law librarian possess a law degree was almost exclusively seen in job postings for academic positions, usually at a supervisory level. However, this requirement is now often associated with even entry-level jobs in all types of law libraries. This program posits two fundamental questions: Do we need law degrees to do our job, and is a law degree a sound financial and professional investment for a law librarian today? A panel of librarians will provide differing viewpoints in answering these and other questions regarding the place of the JD in the profession.
In 2003 at Chicago-Kent, part of the law school’s faculty support staff began reporting to the library director, which created an unusually rich opportunity for collaboration. Now the librarians and faculty support work together to expand library and educational technology services. This program will discuss how the librarians trained and collaborated with the faculty administrative assistants and how both groups have worked together on everything from course websites, to posting articles to SSRN and ExpressO, to creating a Library Virtual Tour (seen here: http://bit.ly/dtclibrarytour), a production that would not have been possible without extensive expertise of both librarians and faculty administrative assistants, and a collaborative attitude from all involved.
Target Audience: Academic law librarians and law firm librarians who support international commercial arbitration practice groups
1. Participants will identify the characteristics of international commercial arbitration that create challenges to effective research and advocacy, and will master strategies and identify resources necessary to overcome these challenges.
2. Participants will learn how to effectively demonstrate the essential print and multimedia resources necessary for international commercial arbitration research and advocacy.
In the past, most international commercial arbitrators and practitioners came from a few international law firms. With the explosion of international commerce, international commercial arbitration (ICA) has become much more prevalent, and more generalists have become involved. In a field that is qualitatively different than other areas of law, more research and practice instruction is necessary. Law librarians have unique qualifications to assist in this instruction. The program will explore the reasons favoring and disfavoring ICA as a dispute resolution tool. The program will also discuss how the characteristics of ICA create challenges to effective research and advocacy. The program will discuss eight sources of law in international commercial arbitration, how to locate these sources, and the use of these sources in ICA advocacy.
Target Audience: Law library educators, students, and directors interested in how to best meet the needs of today's library employers, while preparing LIS students to be leaders in the law library profession
1. Participants will successfully identify the reasons to reform Library Information Science (LIS) curricula.
2. Participants will be able to identify the needs of library employers.
What are the skills and knowledge at the core of law librarianship in our digital global market? The panelists will be asked their views on library school curricula and on best strategies to give voice to faculty, students, and employers' in designing the LIS curricula. The panelists will share their opinions about how to improve law library curricula, while balancing new market demands and digital directions with the profession's core competencies.
Fordham Law Library hired a reference librarian/empirical research specialist and other academic law libraries are including knowledge of empirical research methods into their reference librarian job descriptions. At the Harvard Law School Library, there are two empirical research positions: empirical research fellow and empirical research consultant. Duke University School of Law has an empirical research associate position, as well as a reference librarian who coordinates the library’s Empirical Legal Research Program. These are a few examples of how law libraries are responding to faculty’s increasing demand for empirical legal research support. While other sessions have focused on resources for doing empirical work, this program focuses on how academic law libraries are meeting the needs of faculty members by creating empirical positions within or in conjunction with the library. It will address the factors that led these institutions to create the empirical legal research programs and the structures of these programs. Panelists will discuss how the programs were implemented, and will evaluate the programs’ strengths and weaknesses.
Target Audience: Academic law librarians, firm librarians, and public law librarians
1. Participants will learn the theory, terminology, and importance of assessment.
2. Participants will become familiar with current examples of assessment in law schools and law firms.
The topic of assessment in legal education continues to gather steam and is now at the forefront with the implications of Proposed ABA Standards on Student Learning Outcomes and talk of a legal research component on the bar exam. Additionally, as law firms implement new associate training models, law librarians must be able to assess the learning that occurs, as well as evaluate the training program itself. This program will feature law librarians actively involved in assessment in law schools and in law firms. David Armond, Senior Law Librarian at the BYU Law Library, will address the use of pre-teaching feedback, such as using the results of TWEN quizzes before lectures to shape in-class instruction, and using practicums as effective assessment tools in a first-year legal research course. Molly Brownfield, until recently Head of Reference Services at Duke Law Library, will address assessment in the context of a specialized upper-level research course, including concrete examples of research assignments and corresponding grading sheets. Linda-Jean Schneider, Director of Libraries & Research at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, will discuss assessment activities she has undertaken in connection with her firm’s associate training program, including the assessment of associates’ legal research skills and the evaluation of the training program itself. Don MacLeod, Manager of Knowledge Management at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, heads his firm’s mandatory three-hour research orientation for first-year and summer associates, and will discuss assessing attorneys’ legal research skills in connection with that orientation. He will also discuss his use of Research Monitor to evaluate the use of electronic subscriptions within his firm.
Target Audience: Librarians who want to focus their library services to best meet the needs of their patrons
1. Participants will be able to identify and assess the issues to be addressed in a patron satisfaction survey.
2. Participants will be able to create and distribute a satisfaction survey and analyze the results to identify the best services and delivery methods for their patrons.
Librarians provide a multitude of services for patrons, but it’s not always easy to know how—or if—these services are being used, or whether they’re even of value to patrons. Do patrons consult the web pages you create? Do the handouts and pathfinders help patrons, or do they even know these are available? What resources—including those beyond your library’s—are patrons consulting? Is most of their current awareness via social media? What do you do with this information? These issues directly affect what to deliver and how to deliver it using methods most beneficial to patrons. But how do you determine the “what” and the “how”? To learn how to better survey library patrons, the Student Services Committee of ALL-SIS is undertaking a project to collect and compile student satisfaction surveys from member libraries. The result will be a compilation of the contributed surveys and a sample “best” survey culled from the responses, which can be used as a blueprint for your library surveys. This program will examine the benefits of a satisfaction survey, how to determine what information you want to ascertain, the best way to ask the questions to get those answers, the sample “best” survey, and what to do with the results. Although based on information from ALL-SIS members, the results will be of value to those in all library settings.
Target Audience: Law librarians who want a step-by-step plan for conducting medical legal research in medical databases
1. Participants will learn the strategies and skills necessary to perform comprehensive medical searches in specialized medical databases, including MEDLINE.
2. Participants will become familiar with the different levels of medical proof found in the medical literature.
Most law librarians will have to locate and find appropriate medical or health-related research during the course of their careers. However, many are intimidated by medical or scientific information and do not know how to start. This program will provide an introduction for law librarians to locating and evaluating medical information. Topics include: defining evidence-based medicine, applying the methods of evidence-based medicine to the process of medical research, and evaluating retrieved information. Effective searching of MEDLINE, using the controlled vocabulary MeSH (the National Library of Medicine's Medical Subject Headings), will also be covered.
Target Audience: Librarians serving rural areas
1. Participants will be able to identify at least five specific instances wherein services to the legal community of a predominantly rural audience are significantly different from those provided to more populous regions.
2. Participants will be able to analyze data documenting these differences and use them to improve library services for their own communities.
Law schools and legal institutions in rural settings have a unique perspective on access to legal resources and instruction of legal professionals. Some vendors no longer support institution-specific representatives for smaller schools. Primary legal resources in low-population states are limited, and secondary sources may be nonexistent. New attorneys going into rural law offices will have neither the resources of large firms nor the benefits of additional training by firm librarians. Given these realities, three central questions need to be addressed: 1) What differences are legal institutions with significant rural populations noticing, and can these differences be documented? 2) What is being done to accommodate for them? 3) Where is it possible to affect change? Many law librarians in rural states are finding ways to benefit from this environment and making resources available to a grateful audience of legal professionals. This program will illuminate the weaknesses of supply and raise awareness among librarians and vendors who service rural areas with a goal toward improvement.