Here are some of the wonderful accomplishments, contributions, and activities that our fellow CALL members have been up to:
Heidi Kuehl, Director of the Northern Illinois University David C. Shapiro Law Library, received the Daniel L. Wade Outstanding Service Award from the AALL Foreign, Comparative, and International Law (FCIL) SIS.
This year has been tremendously difficult for everyone, both personally and professionally. The uncertainty and severity of the pandemic led many libraries to make drastic decisions to cut services, hours, or close their doors altogether. The trajectory of the spikes in the outbreak made the factors in these decisions change day to day, sometimes hour to hour.
Yet from this all, the profession demonstrated the skills and flexibility that has become our trademark by continuing to provide services and assistance to our patrons, in conditions that were brand new. In this section of the CALL Bulletin we hear from several members and institutions about the types of experiences they had with adjusting to the new reality.
Last March, a few days before the lockdown ordered were issued, the Chicago office of Chapman found itself suddenly working from home. We had someone in our building test positive and out of an abundance of caution, we were all instructed to work from home. That was the last time many people have been in the office. Our IT department has been wonderful and we already had many remote access services in place, which was helpful. Over the course of the next few weeks all of our other offices went to a remote work environment as well. Currently all offices are still under a work at home policy until the end of March, 2021. People can go into the office as needed, but most people are still working from home. Continue reading Chapman Cutler LLP Law Library→
At the Pritzker Legal Research Center (PLRC), we currently maintain a frontline onsite presence of two circulation staff per weekday. Bibliographic staff observe a similar rotating onsite schedule, and librarians provide instruction and reference support remotely. This evolved from a limited onsite circulation schedule that began in mid-June and ran through July, during which one staff member went onsite once per week to facilitate curbside loan pickup and document delivery service. We have operated at our current schedule since early August. Continue reading Pritzker Legal Research Center→
After moving to remote operations in March, one of our immediate concerns was providing a simulacrum of access to our most popular print collections, Academic Success, which consists of our study aids. We had been exploring providing access to the Lexis Nexis Digital Library and the Wolters Kluwer Online Study Aid Library (WKOSAL), so we started trial access to each. Since then, we’ve moved past trial access to provide ongoing access to the Lexis Digital Library, and we are finalizing ongoing access to the WKOSAL. Early on, we were also able to get electronic Bluebook keys for students that didn’t have a chance to retrieve their copies from campus before we shut down. More generally, we have since taken the opportunity to give our print collection a serious look and consider what we may discontinue in favor of digital access. Continue reading UIC Louis L. Biro Law Library Response to COVID-19→
Pandemic. A word which immediately brings to mind, at least for me, pandemonium. Yet out of this pandemonium, we as law librarians have been given a golden opportunity to help bring order to chaos and continue to prove how invaluable we are to our institutions and our communities. Continue reading Kane County Law Library→
The Research & Knowledge staff of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom have been working from home since the beginning of the pandemic in March. We are a global firm with locations around the world. Because of this, the transition has not been as stressful as it could have been. We are well positioned from a contingency planning perspective, with library staff based in 8 locations in the United States and Europe, available to support research inquiries for all Skadden employees firm-wide. Continue reading Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom Law Library→
As we welcomed 2020, my chief concern as the Library Manager at Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP was to determine the ultimate fate of a good chunk of our print collection. Our firm had recently renewed the lease on our office space and with that came an initiative for tenant improvements. Plans had been finalized for firm-wide renovations and as I am sure you have already guessed, the call for “improvements” to library space mostly included that one charge we all dread: a reduction in our footprint. Continue reading Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP Law Library→
The response of the NIU College of Law Library to the COVID-19 pandemic has changed over time, as we have learned more about the virus and as the needs of our patrons has changed. While we have had to make significant adjustments to our modes of service, we are providing access to information to our patrons in increasingly efficient ways. Continue reading NIU David C. Shapiro Memorial Law Library→
There was no precise reopening date for the Illinois Supreme Court Library because we never fully shut down. Our Springfield branch maintained daily operations, including serving the public by appointment, from the start of the pandemic. Here in Chicago, where we serve three Supreme Court justices and the judges of the First District Appellate Court, I have gone into the office at least once a week since mid-March. Each judge made their own decision about how to work, so I still communicate with some judges and clerks in person when they are in the building, others only via email. Continue reading The Illinois Supreme Court Library (Chicago Branch)→
Newsletter of the Chicago Association of Law Libraries