Robert C. Berring, Jr., Interim Dean, Walter Perry Johnson Professor of Law and Law Library Director at Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, is the 2003 recipient of The Frederick Charles Hicks Award for Outstanding Contributions to Academic Law Librarianship.
Bob is truly a renaissance man and the epitome of the academic law librarian. In her nomination letter, Judith Gaskell, Director of DePaul College of Law's Rinn Law Library, indicated that, “[Bob] is one of [her] personal law librarian heroes, and should become an icon in any future law library hall of fame.”
Here are just of few of Bob's outstanding contributions to academic law librarianship:
- His scholarship
- Bob has written several texts on legal research, including How to Find the Law (9th ed., 1989); Finding the Law (11th ed., 1999); and Legal Research Survival Manual (2001). He has also served as editor for Legal Reference Services Quarterly since 1981. Bob has also written extensively on the profession of law librarianship and how print information is making the transformation to the electronic format.
- His teaching
- Bob is known nationwide for both his “Commando Legal Research” and “Legal Research in the 21st Century” video series. Bob won the UC Berkeley “Distinguished Teaching Award” in 1987, and has also taught seminars on law and cognitive studies, and courses on Chinese Law and undergraduate classes in legal studies departments. Bob served as Dean of the School of Information Studies at UC Berkeley from 1986 to1989, and currently holds a joint faculty appointment with the school.
- His service
- Bob has been active at all levels of AALL, including serving as AALL President in 1985–1986. Most recently Bob chaired a special committee for AALL on Law Librarian Compensation.
- His wit and humor
- Known for his entertaining wit and “monumental”sense of humor, Bob is a frequently sought-after speaker and commentator. Writing under the persona “Uncle Zeb”, Bob has counseled hundreds of library patrons and law students on law studies, research, and life.
It is especially fitting that Bob receive this award, named for Frederick Charles Hicks, the first great American law librarian/scholar, as Hicks is a hero of Bob's, and has been championed by Bob in several of his scholarly pieces.
For his exceptional contributions to the field of law librarianship through research, publications, and teaching; his active participation in the advancement of academic law librarianship; and his service to AALL and the profession, the Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries awards the 2003 Frederick Charles Hicks Award for Outstanding Contributions to Academic Law Librarianship is Robert C. Berring, Jr.
The 2003 ALL-SIS Awards committee consisted of Melanie Dunshee, Ed Edmonds, Sally Holterhoff, and James Duggan, Chair.