Category Archives: Libraries & Librarians

Law Librarians Adding Value to the Practice of Law

Yesterday, I had a visit from fellow blogger,’s Nerino Petro. Nerino is now the Practice Management Advisor for the Law Office Management Assistance program of the State Bar of Wisconsin. You might recognize him from the cover of the Feb. 2006 Wisconsin Lawyer.
We talked about ways that law librarians can add value to the practice of law. We brainstormed how Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin members can advise legal practitioners about research, technology, and other useful things that live in our brains. In return, law librarians will be awarded with a higher profile among the legal community. We can use all the help that we can get.
Marketing our selves and our services has always been a challenge for librarians. When asked, most people say that librarians are great. But, how many actually seek out our assistance when confronted with a difficult research or technology problem?
Nerino gets it. “Librarians are unrecognized and often over looked resources for lawyers and the community as a whole, ” he writes in his blog. I wonder if that has anything to do with his wife being a librarian?

Publication Opportunities for Law Librarians

Law librarians have a lot to say and a lot to teach about legal research…
By writing articles for… law-related publications, librarians can reach out beyond our own organizations and offer research guidance to a much wider audience…
Just as importantly, writing articles for legal journals and publications helps law librarians build a higher profile among the legal community, both as individual authors and as a profession.

That is a selection from an article I co-wrote with LLAW member, Carol Bannen. (Write and Reach Out: AALL Chapters Tout the Value of Law Librarians through Journal Submissions, AALL Spectrum, March 2004)
Carol and I are both active in the AALL Publishing Initiatives Caucus, whose charge is to inspire and motivate law librarians to write articles for legal publications. To that end, Carol has just created a very useful guide to Publication Resources for Law Librarians.
The guide compiles information about legal publications, such as target audience, editorial contact information, and sample articles written by law librarians (when applicable). I suspect that there are a number of law librarians who could write some really killer articles, but, unfortunately, they don’t know where to submit them. This guide should help.
A word of advice for those new to writing: start locally. There are probably a handful of small, local associations or publications who are looking for content. Once you have successfully published an article there, writing for a national publication may not seem so daunting.

AALL Annual Meeting Blog

The blog for this summer’s American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting in St. Louis is already up. The AALL Gateway will feature news, announcements and informational pieces about the upcoming meeting (and birthday celebration), as well as stories, tips and other items of interest for conference attendees.
AALL is recruiting “Gateway Bloggers” to report on the meeting or post an occasional article or picture. Contact James Duggan or Diane Murley for more information.
Source: Law-lib

Dane County Legal Resource Center Grand Opening

On Monday April 3 at 2:00 p.m., the Dane County Legal Resource Center is celebrating its move into a larger space in the new courthouse with a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony and reception.
DCLRC’s grand opening corresponds with National Library Week, April 2-8, and features week long events, classes, and door prizes. For more information on the grand opening, see the press release on the DCLRC Blawg.

Madison Alder Gets Libraries

Madison District 15 Alder, Larry Palm writes in his blog about plans for several Madison Public Libraries. He rounds out his post with the following:

When I walked doors in late 2004 through my central eastside neighborhoods, I did hear from a high percentage of households that taxes were too high. However, when I suggested that the library levy is roughly $40 per household (or about eleven cents a day), residents were amazed! For a year’s worth of services this seems like an incredible bargain. And it is.

What to Do When the Network Goes Down

There were a lot of lost souls wandering around the UW Law Library in the last 24 hours. Horror of horrors – the Law School’s computer network was completely down thanks to an accidentally severed fiber optic cable.
It’s truly amazing how reliant we are on technology. Students were forced to use print resources without the Lexis and Westlaw. Reference librarians could only rely on their memories of where things were shelved without access to our online catalog. Many a library staff member cleaned out her desk and caught up on his professional reading.
So if you wondered why you couldn’t access WisBlawg or the UW Law Library or Law School Web sites yesterday, now you know. The workers are out on Bascom Hill right now with their little white van finishing up their repairs, bless their hearts.

Bookmobile Delivery by Camel

When I worked at the Eau Claire Public Library, I was the backup driver for their Bookmobile service to area nursing homes and senior centers. We had a van. But in Kenya, “ships of the desert are the best way to travel.”
From the BBC News comes a photo journal of the Camel Mobile Library.

“A static library would be of no use to nomads and so instead we follow them, wherever they go. . . . We travel within a radius of 11km on a given day. As the camels arrive, the children are actually waiting for us. The day we come is fixed and they are expecting us.”

Thanks to my colleague, Lisa Pfaff for the tip.