Ariel Scotese is the Associate Director for User Services at the D’Angelo Law Library at the University of Chicago. She became a member of CALL in September. Ariel graciously answered the following questions from the CALL Bulletin.
Tell us a little about your position at the D’Angelo Law Library
In my role as Associate Director for User Services, I manage Access Services (circulation, document delivery, course reserves, etc), Reference services, programming for faculty and students, instruction and outreach. In addition to these managerial responsibilities, I also provide law reference and research support for the Law School and University communities.
Where did you grow up, and where else have you lived before coming to Chicago?
I was born in Hyde Park actually! My family is from the area. My family moved to Evanston when I was in about second grade. I lived in Evanston until I finished library school. After I finished my Masters in Library and Information Science, my husband and I moved to Ithaca, New York because I was offered a position at Cornell Law Library. After staying there for about 2.5 years, we moved back to Evanston for this position. So, really I have not strayed far from home. Evanston and Chicago are my favorite places hands down, but I do miss the natural beauty of Ithaca.
What has been your most rewarding experience as a law librarian?
My most rewarding experience as a law librarian was teaching the Legal Research Clinic at Cornell Law School. In the Legal Research Clinic, we worked with a variety of clients and legal topics, and the students (under my supervision) would research legal questions for the client. We did not represent the client in court or file documents on their behalf, but the service we did provide was highly valued. We did a lot of community outreach, including to our local soup kitchen. I enjoyed working with the students in this capacity, and I enjoyed connecting with the community.
How have you handled getting up to speed in your new position during the pandemic?
When the University of Chicago went fully remote, I had been in my position for about a month which was not a lot of time. There is always an adjustment period when starting a new job, but starting a new job while figuring out how to continue to conduct business in a virtual environment was a challenge. What really helped was communicating with my colleagues and with my supervisor. We use Slack and Microsoft Teams, and having those channels for quick communication has been very helpful.
Where’s your favorite place to travel? Where have you not visited that you want to visit the most?
My favorite place that I’ve been to thus far is either Paris, France or Johannesburg, South Africa. I desperately want to go back to both places. The place that I have not visited that I really want to go to is Tokyo, Japan. I studied Japanese for years, and I have always wanted to visit.