THERESE DISCUSSES HOW SHE GOT INTO LAW LIBRARIANSHIP & HERT FAVORITE AALL BENEFIT
Therese A. Arado is the deputy director/professor of the David C. Shapiro Memorial Law Library at Northern Illinois University College of Law in DeKalb, Illinois.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO LAW LIBRARIANSHIP?
While in law school I worked part-time in the library at my institution. It was a way to earn money and not have to travel elsewhere to work. I was able to work in between classes. When I finished and took the bar I was still working there and was offered a full-time position as there was an upcoming opening. I initially said no as I had just gotten my JD and thought I should go into practice. As I interviewed for positions I decided I enjoyed my work at the library and was not excited about the practice of law. I realized that the path I was on and thought was the right one, was not. I went back to the director who offered me the position and asked if it was still available. Thankfully it was, and I accepted it and have been in the profession for nearly 30 years. I tell my student’s every year the story of how I fell into this profession. I use it as an example of exploring and embracing opportunities that may be outside your plan or comfort zone.
WHY DID YOU JOIN AALL?
Honestly, at the time, that is what you did in the profession. Once I started the full-time position it was an automatic benefit of the job. I was unaware of what a great benefit it actually was until I had the fortune of membership.
WHY DO YOU STAY A MEMBER?
The organization provides a way to collaborate and communicate with other professionals. The connections I have been able to make both professionally and personally have been wonderful. To know that there is a group of people around the country and world that have similar backgrounds and professional goals, expertise in a vast number of legal fields, and who understand your challenges I face every day makes things seem doable and provides for incredible learning opportunities.
WHAT ONE MEMBER BENEFIT IS MOST VALUABLE TO YOU?
Virtual education opportunities. I know that may go against the norm of people wanting to be in person with everything again, but unfortunately traveling—even a short distance—can be too time-consuming, costly, or inconvenient, and the opportunity to attend educational programs remotely and/or watch a recording at a later time is great.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY ASSOCIATED WITH AALL?
I do not have just one, but a general appreciation of the willingness of AALL members to step-up and help. Whether it is for colleagues in need of support because of a disaster and emergency, task forces, or even research help. There have been so many examples of members of the organization coming together to help each other through difficult times. On the other end, the stories of good times had and the impact members have had on each other are just as plentiful. The genuine happiness shown for retirements, new positions, and other life changes is wonderful.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING OUTSIDE OF WORK?
It seems a bit cliché, but reading. My guilty pleasure is cozy mysteries. I can forget for a few minutes about the rest of the world and get lost in the incredibly fictitious idyllic world of these stories. I also enjoy being outdoors, weather permitting, doing minimal gardening. Tomatoes from the backyard really do taste better than from the store.
WHAT BOOK(S) ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, The Vicious Vet by M.C. Beaton, and Meera E. Deo’s Unequal Profession, Race and Gender in Legal Academia.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL/VACATION DESTINATION?
Anywhere with mountains or large bodies of water. Both is even better!