Volume 21 Issue 2 (Spring 2002)

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The ALL-SIS Newsletter 

Spring 2002

Inside this issue:



By Rosalie Sanderson, 2001-2002 ALL-SIS Chair
Special Projects
New York Law School
50 Worth St.
New York, N.Y.

Happy New Year to all of you. I am in the throes of greeting a new year and a new library. During the summer I moved with my family from Atlanta to New York. After a wonderful break to explore and enjoy my new city and environs I have returned to work at New York Law School. Many friends have bemoaned my timing arriving in New York City at such a tragic moment in history. In fact, it has been an incredible time to be here. I've had the chance to see "up close and personal" the courage, energy and caring of the people here.

New York Law School, my new employer, is an old and venerable law school set close to Wall Street. It is closer to Ground Zero than any law school in the country. The tragedy greatly affected the school and the students. The school was closed for two weeks immediately following the attack. An unscheduled two-week break early in the semester would challenge any law school. Couple this with attendant network, telephone, power problems, massive transportation and parking problems and you begin to get some idea of the daunting tasks faced by my new colleagues. In addition, this law school is surrounded by lawyers, law firms, federal and state courts and City Hall. The work of many nearby lawyers was disrupted by phone, network and power failures. New York Law School came to their rescue and provided use of library materials and facilities without requiring the normal registration and fees. You may read more about the aftermath of 9-11 at New York Law School by browsing the NYLS 9-11 Archives at http://www.nyls.edu.

What does this mean to you? Well, I do have a point. It is that all academics work to meet the particular needs of our own users. This fall at New York Law School that meant rising to the occasion and providing comfort, phones, materials and services to anxious students and lawyers. It also meant that librarians were busy teaching lawyers and law students how to do research using reliable print products when electronic products were impossible to access throughout the area. Faculty and students have different needs in our different law schools. How can we insure that our libraries provide the information resources, both current and retrospective which support their needs?

Hopefully most of us will never have occasion to replicate the experience of New York Law School. One challenge we face in common, however, is how to keep our law libraries relevant in this electronic age. A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education ("As Students Work Online, Reading Rooms Empty Out -- Leading Some Campuses to Add Starbucks," Nov. 16, 2001) pointed out that "more and more students are entering libraries not through turnstiles but through phone lines and fiber-optic cables." While the article focused on undergraduates, law libraries are not immune to this issue. We all know that the library is more than a warehouse for books or a study hall. We provide information in many formats and students may often access it offsite. But, what specific steps are we taking to make our services relevant?

It is my fervent hope that committee activities this year as well as ALL-SIS programs will lead us to new and interesting ways to make our libraries relevant to today's students and faculties. This newsletter issue includes an article by Tim Coggins, ALL-SIS 2002 Education Committee Chair, describing ALL-SIS programs selected for this year's Annual Meeting. Tim describes some outstanding programs which should help in our quest for relevance. Jim Heller describes the CONALL program for new law librarians which Jim is chairing at this summer's meeting. There are several task forces which I hope are working feverishly to help us all tackle issues of interest. If you have ideas that have worked well at your institution, please share them with us. Drop me an email at rsanderson@nyls.edu and I'll plan to have a column in the next newsletter highlighting your ideas. Will look forward to hearing from you.

Newsletter Editor:
Shaun Esposito
Head of Public Services
The University of Arizona
James E. Rogers College of Law
Law Library
P.O. Box 210176
Tucson AZ 85721-0176
Tel: 520.626.5551
Fax: 520.621.3138
Newsletter Web Editor:
Leah Sandwell-Weiss
Reference Librarian
The University of Arizona
James E. Rogers College of Law
Law Library
P.O. Box 210176
Tucson AZ 85721-0176
Tel: 520.621.3140
Fax: 520.621.3138
Deadline for Next Issue:
April 12, 2002