JOHN SHARES HOW HE GOT INTO LAW LIBRARIANSHIP & THE MEMBER BENEFIT HE FINDS MOST VALUABLE
John Moreland is a Master’s of Library Science Candidate at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO LAW LIBRARIANSHIP?
I knew going into law school that I wanted to pursue a career in academia, specifically as a legal historian. However, I did not anticipate falling in love with legal research as much as I had with historical research. After the law librarians picked me out of the crowd during my first semester, they brought me into the fold and showed me the wonderful world of law librarianship. I quickly learned that as a law librarian I could combine my passion for legal history and legal research, while at the same time meeting the information needs of law students, faculty, and public patrons.
WHY DID YOU JOIN AALL?
As I indicated above, I was extremely fortunate to have a couple of law librarians during law school that saw something in me and helped cultivate that potential. As I entered my 3L year, they encouraged me to join AALL so that I could start building my professional connections through the Annual Meeting and committees.
WHY DO YOU STAY A MEMBER?
Due to the pandemic, Denver was my first in-person Annual Meeting and because I was heavily entrenched in library school for the past two years, I didn’t have any previous experience with AALL. Prospectively, however, I look forward to building on my professional connections through the organization, especially with the Legal History & Rare Books Special Interest Section (LHRB-SIS) and Research Instruction & Patron Services (RIPS-SIS). I’m very excited about Boston!
WHAT ONE MEMBER BENEFIT IS MOST VALUABLE TO YOU?
Family. I think most members would use the word community or network, but after Denver and hearing many of my colleagues talk about their long-time law librarian friends halfway across the country, I think the word family is appropriate. The small, close-knit aspect of the profession and AALL is definitely the most valuable benefit to me.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY ASSOCIATED WITH AALL?
Again, I’m working with a short deck, but my favorite memory so far is having dinner with my fellow Legal History & Rare Books SIS members in Denver. Individuals like Heather Kushnerick and Fred Dingledy made me feel very welcome and included.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING OUTSIDE OF WORK?
I enjoy reading, hiking, playing golf, and binge-watching episodes of The West Wing. I’m a political junkie at heart.
WHAT BOOK(S) ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
I try to read one scholarly book and one recreational book. Currently, I’m reading Bourbon Justice: How Whiskey Law Shaped America and Brave New World. Bourbon Justice explores how bourbon has contributed to the development of trademark, breach of contract, fraud, governmental regulation and taxation, and consumer protection law from early colonial America to Prohibition to current day regulations on what legally constitutes bourbon. Brave New World is a highly acclaimed English novel set in a dystopian society. Modern Library ranked it number five on its 100 best novels of the 20th century and the book has made the American Library Association’s list of top 100 banned and challenged books of the decade.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL/VACATION DESTINATION?
My wife and I went on a cruise to the Caribbean (Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamacia) for our honeymoon this past July. After that, I definitely became a huge fan of tropical climates for some R&R. Give me a beach, a clear blue ocean, palm trees, and a tiki drink any day! With that said, I am very content with traveling just about anywhere new.
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