RIPS Programs 2000

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Greeting Them at the Gateway: Exactly Who are our Lay Patrons, What do They Expect from Us, and How Can We Help Them? 
Proposed by Kelly Browne. RIPS is the primary sponsor of this program. LISP SIS and Government Documents SIS are cosponsors.

Join three librarians from busy public law library reference desks -- academic, court, and county -- and the "Ready for the Reference Desk Players" as they discuss and perform skits illustrating how our libraries deal with lay patrons. Lay patrons are a fact of life in any public law library. Although they are not our "primary patrons," they often need substantial reference assistance and want law librarians to tell them "what the law is" relevant to their situation. Also, their questions can be very time consuming. The three panelists and the "Ready for the Reference Desk Players" will discuss and use skits to illustrate the different types of lay patrons, the types of information that they typically are searching for, what services law libraries have performed traditionally for lay patrons, the limitations placed on law librarians by unauthorized practice of law statutes in most states and the positive duty to assist them imposed upon depository librarians, and how technology has changed the ways in which law librarians can assist lay patrons.

A New Look to an Old Subject: Electronic Resources in English Legal Research
Proposed by Steve Young. RIPS is the primary sponsor of this program. Foreign, Comparative and International Law SIS is a cosponsor.

Many law librarians are familiar with the traditional tools of English Legal Research, however the last five years has seen an enormous change in the way ELR is performed. Although the law librarian in the United States has an awareness of the impact the World Wide Web and other electronic resources has made on the domestic scene, there is currently little discussion of how this has impacted research in foreign jurisdictions. The speakers will help address this by identifying new resources in English law, evaluating their usefulness, and providing examples of how they can be best used in performing reference and research. A comparison of traditional and electronic resources will enable participants to evaluate which format suits their needs. Note: this is a follow up to the very popular program "English Legal Research from an American Perspective" presented at Baltimore in 1997.

Sexual Harassment After Faragher and Burlington: Is Your Library Practicing Safe Policy?
Proposed by Felise Thorpe Moll

In Faragher v. City of Boca Raton and Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, the United States Supreme Court fundamentally altered sexual harassment law. Significantly the Court held that where the employee who claims to have been harassed has not suffered tangible employment action, the employer may avoid liability by showing that the employer took reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct the harassment, and that the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of the employer's preventative and corrective actions. Subsequent lower federal court decisions and recently issued Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines suggest employers need to reevaluate all of their harassment policies, not just their sexual harassment policies, in light of Faragher and Burlington. In particular these decisions and guidelines suggest that employers must give careful consideration to policy implementation, including how they distribute policies, train employees and comply with procedures specified in policies. This program's speakers will discuss how Faragher and Burlington have affected harassment law. Then they will suggest key elements of a strong policy and strategies for successful implementation.

Developing Legal Research Problems and Assignments that Work
Proposed by Kristin Gerdy

From short in-class assignments to semester-long projects, effective legal research instruction must be active. In order for students to truly understand the concepts taught in class, they must put apply their theoretical knowledge in a "real world" context. Most legal research instructors agree that the days of "treasure hunt" assignments are past. However, creating interesting and thought-provoking problems that also work well can be an overwhelming task. What criteria govern successful research problems? Are there some subject areas or jurisdictions that lend themselves to better legal research problems? What strategies aid in developing such problems? What is the most effective way to keep problems up-to-date? Is it possible to create semester-long assignments that satisfactorily meet legal research as well as legal writing and analytical goals? Law librarians who teach legal research will discuss these and other related issues and lead the audience through the creation of sample legal research problems.

Revealing the Gateway: Service Marketing and Library Services
Proposed by Kristin Gerdy

Service marketing is often mistaken for public relations marketing. While it uses many tools common in public relations, service marketing focuses on the overall purpose of the institution providing the service, uses quantitative methods to attempt to determine appropriate standards for service delivery, including an examination of the physical plant that is designed to deliver the services, and ultimately attempts to harmonize the purpose of the institution with the services provided. Service marketing tools and strategies have helped hotels and other service industries maximize profits. Because of their heavy emphasis on providing services to patrons, whether attorneys, students, faculty, or pro se litigants, service marketing is particularly well suited to law libraries. In this program an expert will teach participants the fundamentals of service marketing. The panel and audience will analyze a case study of a successful service marketing campaign with emphasis on its adaptability to any library environment and any service.