Frank Houdek

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HOLY COW! A Parallel History of Law Librarians and the Chicago Cubs

If there was ever a time to celebrate Chicago’s place in the law library and baseball universes, it was 2016.1 In law libraries, AALL held its 109th Annual Meeting in Chicago, and both the president and a new recipient of the Gallagher Distinguished Service Award hailed from the Windy City. And in baseball, well here’s what a die-hard White Sox fan tweeted at 1:03 a.m. on November 3, 2016: “It happened: @Cubs win World Series. That’s change even this South Sider can believe in. Want to come to the White House before I leave?”

Given my research and writing interests in both law libraries and baseball,2 it’s not surprising that Richard Leiter’s invitation to speak on a topic of law library history during the November 2016 episode of his “Law Librarian Conversations” podcast led to an essay that offered a parallel history of Chicago’s place in the law library profession and the city’s favorite team (at least in 2016), the Chicago Cubs. Since it seemed like Chicago law librarians who did not listen to the podcast might enjoy the essay, I offered the slightly edited version which follows to the editors of the CALL Bulletin.

Before beginning, one caveat. Since I only had about ten minutes of air time on the podcast, it was impossible to do justice to either the Cubs or all those who have contributed to the Chicago law library scene in the past century. So I offered only a few highlights of both, apologizing in advance for all the people and events I was forced to omit. Particularly on the library side since so many of them are professional colleagues and dear personal friends. With that proviso in mind and with apologies to the late, great Harry Caray for stealing his catchphrase,3 here is “HOLY COW! A Parallel History of Law Librarians and the Chicago Cubs.” Continue reading HOLY COW! A Parallel History of Law Librarians and the Chicago Cubs