AALL Spectrum Blog

  • Bookmark and Share

The AALL Spectrum® blog is published by the American Association of Law Libraries. Submissions from AALL members and other members of the legal community are highly encouraged. Opinions and editorial views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of AALL. AALL does not assume any responsibility for statements advanced by contributors. Previously, the AALL Spectrum Blog was located at aallspectrum.wordpress.com.

The AALL Spectrum blog is no longer published. Previous posts are archived on this page.
1/22/2014 2:04:23 PM

Chapter Newsletter Highlights: SEAALL and LLAW

This post describes some articles in AALL chapter newsletters that are likely to be interesting to librarians outside those chapters.

The Fall 2013 issue of the Southeastern Law Librarian, publication of the Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries, has a thoughtful essay on the advantages and costs of law librarians with JDs taking the bar exam. The piece would help librarians and those thinking of becoming law librarians think about whether the bar exam makes sense for them. The issue also has an author index for the past volume. The Election issue was also recently published and contains biographies of the candidates.

The Fall 2013 issue of LLAW Briefs, publication of the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin, holds reports on sessions at the most recent AALL and SLA annual meetings. The Winter 2013 issue has a short article on alternatives to the discontinued Google Reader (Feedly appears to be the most popular option).

Posted By Benjamin Keele at 1/22/2014 2:04:23 PM  0 Comments
1/22/2014 12:53:08 PM

Chapter Newsletter Highlights: SEAALL, MAALL, and CALL

This post describes some articles in AALL chapter newsletters that are likely to be interesting to librarians outside those chapters.

The Summer 2013 issue of the Southeastern Law Librarian, publication of the Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries, has an essay by a library school student arguing that the MLS is important for preparing to be a law librarian. The essay is in the same vein as Lindsey Ann Carpino's recent AALL Spectrum Blog post.

The September 2013 issue of MAALL Markings, publication of the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries, contains a couple stories on interesting ways libraries interact with their constituencies. First, Rachel Zill, a library assistant at a Nebraska law firm, discusses how the firm library celebrates throughout National Library Week. The library adopted a county fair theme and ran with it, decorating the library space, holding a technology fair, and awarding prizes. The entire week appears to have been fun and cost-efficient. Second, Jennifer Prilliman of Oklahoma City University School of Law describes how her law library began using Pinterest boards to promote events and new acquisitions. Prilliman emphasizes their Pinterest activity is aligned with established goals and guidelines.

The Fall 2013 issue of the CALL Bulletin, publication of the Chicago Association of Law Libraries, includes an update on the progress of the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act in Illinois, and a report by Scott Vanderlin on how he assembled an impressive display for CALL's table at the AALL Annual Meeting.

Posted By Benjamin Keele at 1/22/2014 12:53:08 PM  0 Comments
1/16/2014 4:18:00 PM

Law School v. Library School

This post describes some of the differences of law school versus library school as viewed by a current library school student.

As soon as I began my Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science, I could not help but start comparing my recent library school experience to my previous law school experience. Initially I struggled between thinking like a lawyer and thinking like a librarian. Law schools’ pride themselves on teaching their students through the Socratic method and developing legally trained minds. On the other hand, while library school does offer a practical approach, it does so through a more theoretical way of calling upon student group discussion in developing an ideal.

In law school, students develop a concise way of writing, which uses IRAC (a Issue, Analysis, Rule and Conclusion) format. However, in library school, students are encouraged to explain their thoughts and ideas in a less structured, but wordier manner. In library school, the Bluebook method of legal citation is reverted back to the ALA or MLA citation formation. In addition, you will no longer have to worry about getting called on in class, as library school provides a much more relaxed environment for higher learning.

Library students seem to go above and beyond to help one another out. Maybe it’s our commitment to service or interest in reference. Nonetheless, library students are willing to discuss homework assignments and even post links and resources on the collaborative online Moodle space when they find something that might be helpful to the rest of the class. Therefore, library students are extremely resourceful and quick to respond.

While law school students do help one another out, I found they were not as forthcoming. That was most likely because, there is this ever-present competitiveness in law school. You are competing with your classmates for grades, summer associate positions, internships, jobs, moot court, journal and everything else. In library school, while we are all competing for similar positions, we all have differing concentrations.

Library students are very passionate and well versed on worldly issues. They seem to look at the bigger picture and world at large. On the other hand, law school students seem to be inundated with the law, creating this self-contained law school world. However, law schools are developing more cultivated students by encouraging outside activities such as study aboard programs, community service and a variety of athletic activities.

In the end, although law school and library school have many differences, there are some commonalities among the diverse fields. Both librarians and lawyers are very passionate, analytical, hard working and provide a service that helps others. Both library school and law school create dedicated professionals to their craft. I look forward to putting both my legal and library training together towards a rewarding career. 

By: Lindsey Ann Carpino, J.D.

Posted By Lindsey Carpino at 1/16/2014 4:18:00 PM  0 Comments