2000 Annual Meeting
Greeting Them at the Gateway: Exactly Who are our Lay Patrons,
What do They Expect from Us, and How Can We Help Them?
Proposed by Kelly Browne. RIPS is the primary sponsor of this
program. LISP SIS and Government Documents SIS are cosponsors.
Join three librarians from busy public law library reference desks
-- academic, court, and county -- and the "Ready for the Reference Desk
Players" as they discuss and perform skits illustrating how our libraries
deal with lay patrons. Lay patrons are a fact of life in any public
law library. Although they are not our "primary patrons," they often
need substantial reference assistance and want law librarians to tell
them "what the law is" relevant to their situation. Also, their questions
can be very time consuming. The three panelists and the "Ready for the
Reference Desk Players" will discuss and use skits to illustrate the
different types of lay patrons, the types of information that they typically
are searching for, what services law libraries have performed traditionally
for lay patrons, the limitations placed on law librarians by unauthorized
practice of law statutes in most states and the positive duty to assist
them imposed upon depository librarians, and how technology has changed
the ways in which law librarians can assist lay patrons.
A New Look to an Old Subject: Electronic Resources in English
Proposed by Steve Young. RIPS is the primary sponsor of this program.
Foreign, Comparative and International Law SIS is a cosponsor.
Many law librarians are familiar with the traditional tools of English
Legal Research, however the last five years has seen an enormous change
in the way ELR is performed. Although the law librarian in the United
States has an awareness of the impact the World Wide Web and other electronic
resources has made on the domestic scene, there is currently little
discussion of how this has impacted research in foreign jurisdictions.
The speakers will help address this by identifying new resources in
English law, evaluating their usefulness, and providing examples of
how they can be best used in performing reference and research. A comparison
of traditional and electronic resources will enable participants to
evaluate which format suits their needs. Note: this is a follow up to
the very popular program "English Legal Research from an American Perspective"
presented at Baltimore in 1997.
Sexual Harassment After Faragher and Burlington: Is Your Library
Practicing Safe Policy?
Proposed by Felise Thorpe Moll
In Faragher v. City of Boca Raton and Burlington Industries,
Inc. v. Ellerth, the United States Supreme Court fundamentally
altered sexual harassment law. Significantly the Court held that where
the employee who claims to have been harassed has not suffered tangible
employment action, the employer may avoid liability by showing that
the employer took reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct the
harassment, and that the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage
of the employer's preventative and corrective actions. Subsequent lower
federal court decisions and recently issued Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission guidelines suggest employers need to reevaluate all of their
harassment policies, not just their sexual harassment policies, in light
of Faragher and Burlington. In particular these decisions and guidelines
suggest that employers must give careful consideration to policy implementation,
including how they distribute policies, train employees and comply with
procedures specified in policies. This program's speakers will discuss
how Faragher and Burlington have affected harassment law. Then they
will suggest key elements of a strong policy and strategies for successful
Developing Legal Research Problems and Assignments that Work
Proposed by Kristin Gerdy
From short in-class assignments to semester-long projects, effective
legal research instruction must be active. In order for students to
truly understand the concepts taught in class, they must put apply their
theoretical knowledge in a "real world" context. Most legal research
instructors agree that the days of "treasure hunt" assignments are past.
However, creating interesting and thought-provoking problems that also
work well can be an overwhelming task. What criteria govern successful
research problems? Are there some subject areas or jurisdictions that
lend themselves to better legal research problems? What strategies aid
in developing such problems? What is the most effective way to keep
problems up-to-date? Is it possible to create semester-long assignments
that satisfactorily meet legal research as well as legal writing and
analytical goals? Law librarians who teach legal research will discuss
these and other related issues and lead the audience through the creation
of sample legal research problems.
Revealing the Gateway: Service Marketing and Library Services
Proposed by Kristin Gerdy
Service marketing is often mistaken for public relations marketing.
While it uses many tools common in public relations, service marketing
focuses on the overall purpose of the institution providing the service,
uses quantitative methods to attempt to determine appropriate standards
for service delivery, including an examination of the physical plant
that is designed to deliver the services, and ultimately attempts to
harmonize the purpose of the institution with the services provided.
Service marketing tools and strategies have helped hotels and other
service industries maximize profits. Because of their heavy emphasis
on providing services to patrons, whether attorneys, students, faculty,
or pro se litigants, service marketing is particularly well suited to
law libraries. In this program an expert will teach participants the
fundamentals of service marketing. The panel and audience will analyze
a case study of a successful service marketing campaign with emphasis
on its adaptability to any library environment and any service.
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