New CALL member, Kara Dunn, is a graduate student in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and a member of the CALL Bulletin Committee.
Fellow Bulletin Committee member, Lindsey, recently chatted with her so we could all get to know her a little better.
LC: How do you like library school so far?
KD: I am really enjoying library school. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time, so it’s exciting to finally be working towards the degree. I like that the classes are more interactive than law school, and focus more on hands-on learning through projects and exercises.
LC: What made you want to become a law librarian?
KD: I loved my advanced legal research class and the interactions I had with law librarians in law school. The work they did seemed so interesting, and they seemed to be happier in their careers than any of the practicing lawyers that I met.
Working as a judicial law clerk also helped me realize that I really enjoy the legal research and writing process, but have no interest in practicing law.
LC: Why did you join CALL?
KD: While researching MLIS programs, I was looking for more information about law librarianship in Chicago and came across CALL. I reached out to several CALL members and they were more than willing to offer help and advice, and to introduce me to other law librarians in the community.
I decided to join CALL because it seemed like a very friendly and welcoming organization where I could become an active participant, and not just another name on an email list.
LC: What is one surprising thing about library school?
KD: There are so many more aspects to library and information science than I imagined, which is exciting. It is a much more diverse field than most people realize. As a student in the LEEP program at the University of Illinois, I’ve also been surprised by how well the distance learning technology simulates an in-class experience.
LC: What classes are you looking forward to taking?
KD: I am especially looking forward to taking some classes on librarianship and technology. I don’t have any background in technology, and it seems like such an important and growing part of the field.
I’m also looking forward to taking classes on instruction and reference services, because I hope to eventually work in an academic law library and those classes seem like they will be directly applicable to that type of work.
LC: What do you do outside of class?
KD: I like to travel as much as possible (my husband and I recently took a fantastic trip through Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia), cook, and read detective novels. Now that I’m a fulltime student, I also hope to spend more time exploring the museums and libraries in Chicago.