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.
11/14/2014 4:52:39 PM



The AALL Leadership Development Committee calls for nominations for the 2015 Emerging Leader Award. The award recognizes newer members in their first 10 years of law library experience who have already made significant contributions to the Association and/or to the profession and have demonstrated the potential for leadership and continuing service. The Emerging Leader Award is presented to the recipient at AALL Annual Meeting. It is given in the name of the Association and carries with it a $500 cash prize.

Full descriptions of the award, the selection criteria, application information and past recipients are available at: http://www.aallnet.org/mm/Member-Resources/AALLawards/award-ela.html.   Nominations must be received by February 1, 2015, and the selection process will be completed by March 21, 2015.  If you have any questions, please contact Michele Finerty, chair of the Leadership Development Committee, at mfinerty3782@gmail.com.

Posted By Michele Finerty at 11/14/2014 4:52:39 PM  0 Comments
11/14/2014 11:29:58 AM

A Librarian or An Island?

I’ve been working as a law librarian in some capacity or another for the past four years.  In my previous positions I’ve always had other librarians and/or staff that I worked with directly on a daily basis.  This year I transitioned to a position where I am a solo law librarian in a private firm.  I’ve found so far that this type of position has its advantages and disadvantages. 

By far the biggest upside is the autonomy I’m afforded by my firm.  Decisions regarding the library are left entirely up to me.  I can add materials and cancel subscriptions to my heart’s content, within my budget, of course.  I recently made the decision to go entirely digital on a good chunk of our regularly updated material.  The process was very simple.  I made the decision, discussed it briefly with our Chief Operating Officer and then rang up my vendor to get the best deal.  Of course, the immediate downside to that is the library buck stops with me.  When there’s an attorney who’s cranky about having a print title switched to digital that goes to me too. 

Being a solo law librarian also means I get an enormous variety of research requests.  My firm’s practice areas cover a lot of different topics.  That means one day I’m looking up municipal codes for a property sale and that same day I’m also researching multi-state sales and use tax issues.  I personally enjoy the variety, but I can see how that would be easily stressful.  I also had to adjust from having immediate access to just about any material I could think of to having to operate within a much smaller access plan and find creative ways to get the information I am looking for.

I also wear more than just the standard law librarian hat.  I’m the marketing coordinator, webmaster, data room architect, digitization maven, event planner, photographer and, if you can frame a task that has anything to do with ‘information’, it could easily be assigned to me. 

I enjoy the work while I do miss having a workplace full of librarians to enjoy it with.  In short, probably not an island.  

© Jennifer Waite Haas. 2014. Law Librarian, Weiss Berzowski Brady LLP, Milwaukee, WI.

Posted By Jennifer Waite Haas at 11/14/2014 11:29:58 AM  0 Comments
11/13/2014 5:18:01 PM

Enjoy the November 2014 Issue of Spectrum, Available on AALLNET!

The November 2014 issue of Spectrum is now available on AALLNET. We encourage you to post your feedback in the comments section below!

Posted By Ashley St. John at 11/13/2014 5:18:01 PM  0 Comments
TOPICS: spectrum