Category Archives: Spring 2016

Issue 239

If We Build It, Will They Come?

Photo of Juanita Harrell
Juanita Harrell

Spring is in the air and construction has begun in the DuPage County Law Library. We are adding a self-represented litigants center to the law library and will be doing a little reconfiguring. I believe we all know that if we build it, of course, they will come. They have been coming and will continue to come for help and to represent themselves. The real question is how we can serve the pro se patrons in the best way possible. There is a fine line between giving a patron useful information and giving legal advice. So far we do know that we will be open Monday through Friday during regular courthouse hours.

Continue reading If We Build It, Will They Come?

CALL Member Spotlight

The CALL Member Spotlight is a new featured column. We will share when members get a  new job, receive an award or recognition, speak at a conference or any other special news that members would like to share with CALL.

Job Updates

Congratulations to:

  • Carolyn Hersch who is now Senior Research Librarian at Ropes & Gray LLP.
  • Beth Mrkvicka who is now Reference Librarian at Neal Gerber Eisenberg LLP.
  • Benjamin C. Brighoff who is now a Competitive Intelligence Manager at Jenner & Block LLP.

Continue reading CALL Member Spotlight

Meet New CALL Member, Mandy Lee

LC: You are currently a student at University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) living on campus. How long have you been a Graduate Assistant in the Law Library?

ML: I started the assistantship last August. I can’t believe it has been eight months!

LC: What made you decide to become a law librarian?

ML: A few years ago, I debated between applying to law school and library and information science graduate school. Law school was something I had considered since college. On the other hand, I love helping people and finding information, so librarianship seemed like a natural combination of the two. I ended up deciding to apply to law school, but librarianship was still in the back of my mind. The timing was finally right to go to library school, so here I am! Continue reading Meet New CALL Member, Mandy Lee

Federal Court Libraries Preserving Internet Citations in Opinions

It’s a rare Internet user that has not experienced the frustration of a bad web link. Nothing is more frustrating than coming across a link that leads nowhere. This “link rot” occurs over time as information is removed from web sites or moved to another online location. Unfortunately, the original URL remains the same in the referencing document – and the user goes without. The inability to obtain online information referenced in a court opinion, however, goes beyond mere inconvenience as the information cited could be critical to the holding and important to judges and attorneys in considering other cases. Continue reading Federal Court Libraries Preserving Internet Citations in Opinions

The Evolution of Government Information Librarianship

During the fall semester, while working as a Reference Associate at Northwestern Law School, I encountered several challenging reference questions related to government documents and statistics. Based on those questions, I decided to take a class called “Government Information” this semester through the University of Illinois GSLIS LEEP program. The course is designed to provide an overview of government information, and to examine the historical and current publication patterns.

I quickly realized that access to government information has changed significantly in recent years as many government documents have become available electronically, which raises new issues, such as those related to preservation. Additionally, the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) is undergoing many changes as a result of the transition to a digital environment.

Given the recent changes, I started thinking about the future of government documents librarianship. I thought it would be interesting to interview an experienced government information librarian to gain some perspective on recent changes, and the perceived future of government information librarianship.

Continue reading The Evolution of Government Information Librarianship


Stacia Stein
Stacia Stein

I should have known from my choice of Hepburn & Tracy movies that I was destined to be a librarian. Adam’s Rib, where the two played married lawyers on opposite sides of the courtroom, was enjoyable, but Desk Set, which took place in the library of a broadcasting network in New York, was always my favorite. It is a classic story of technology vs. humans—with a little romance and holiday spirit thrown in for good measure! Bunny Watson, as portrayed by Katherine Hepburn, was so knowledgeable. She knew every resource in the library and had ready the answer to every question—even faster than a computer!

Librarianship has come a long way since the Desk Set[1] days, when technology and humans vied for supremacy in a library. Computers and technology are now integral to research. Continue reading ABA TECHSHOW Roundtable

Clouds, Collaboration and Casetext: A Virtual Review of the 2016 ABA TECHSHOW

The ABA TECHSHOW began 30 years ago. As the then Editor/Publisher of Legal Information Alert, I frequently covered this event for the Alert and other sources.

After a hiatus, I was pleased that I was able to secure a press pass for this year’s event which was held here in Chicago, March 16­-19 at the Hilton Chicago.

You’ve heard and read this a thousand times: the only thing that is constant in legal technology is change. And how the legal technology landscape has changed in just a few years! Instead of fax machines and databases, the buzz is all about cloud computing, security and collaboration to name just a few key topics. The schedule is still online. Go see the vast array of programs and click on the titles for more information. Continue reading Clouds, Collaboration and Casetext: A Virtual Review of the 2016 ABA TECHSHOW

Getting Started with FCIL Research in Chicago

Are you looking for a treaty or other international agreement?  A non-U.S. law?  A foreign court decision in English translation?  Comparative commentary on an area of law? A European Union directive?  A UN resolution?  Here are a few sources you can start with for various types of foreign, comparative, and international law (FCIL) research questions. And especially here in Chicago.

Ask a Chicago FCIL Librarian for Help

Several of the 80+ FCIL librarian specialists in the U.S. call Chicago home or are CALL members: me (Lyonette Louis-Jacques), Anne Abramson, Julienne Grant, and Trezlen Drake. Bill Schwesig is the Anglo-American/Common Law Bibliographer at D’Angelo Law Library. Jean Wenger and Heidi Kuehl, now in administrative positions, also have FCIL research expertise. Continue reading Getting Started with FCIL Research in Chicago

Foreign and International Law Databases in CALL Libraries

UNFlagsBesides rich print foreign, comparative, and international law collections, Chicago Association of Law Libraries (CALL) libraries also subscribe to a variety of key general and specialized FCIL databases. The focus of e-resource subscriptions differs from library to library depending on user interests and needs. You can find databases to which a CALL library subscribes by visiting their websites. For example: D’Angelo (University of Chicago); DePaul; Chicago-Kent; John Marshall; Loyola; Northern Illinois University (NIU); Valparaiso.

Below is a list of some of the FCIL-related specialty online databases, research platforms, and websites accessible to users in CALL libraries.

Note that, because of the vagaries of our times, this list might change next week! Budget cuts or changes in user interests may mean that a database might not be renewed or might be added.  Sometimes databases cease to exist. iSinoLaw became Westlaw China, for example. The Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) and the International Digest of Health Legislation (IDHL) are essentially gone.

Continue reading Foreign and International Law Databases in CALL Libraries

The Library of International Relations

The Library of International Relations was established in 1932 on the basis of documents provided by the League of Nations Association. The original LIR was hosted in a room provided by the John Crerar Library and staffed by Miss Eloise G. ReQua, founder and first director of the Library of International Relations. Continue reading The Library of International Relations