Well the weather outside is Winter, but welcome to the Fall Issue of the Call Bulletin. This issue has several great articles from regular contributors, as well as two new authors to the Bulletin.
Dear CALL Colleagues:
The daylight hours are getting shorter, the weather is turning colder, and the tension from looming final exams is starting to creep into the atmosphere within the walls of our law schools. There’s no question that we find ourselves in the middle of the fall/winter holiday season. In this letter, I want to focus on the fall holiday that I feel exemplifies the traits of CALL members: Thanksgiving.
CALL held its September Business Meeting on September 20th at Wildfire. Eighty-six members attended the meeting. We welcomed several new members: Molly Caballero from Locke Lord, Michael Hensler from Kirkland & Ellis, Anne Hudson from DePaul University College of Law, and Mary Ellen Murphy from the American Dental Association.
The sponsor of the meeting was Deal Point Data. Tom Quinn spoke on behalf of the company. Mr. Quinn said that the company’s purpose is to help corporate research. He discussed a tool to search and monitor charters and bylaws. Quinn emphasized that Deal Point Data is a small company and it does all of its research, product development, and customer support in the United States.
Last week one of the Bulletin’s co-editors asked if I’d be interested in writing an article for the upcoming issue. I jokingly responded the only thing I could think of off the top of my head was my ongoing retirement planning (which, if you don’t know me, will hopefully involve lots of travel).
Barring any emergencies, I still have several years to go before I intend to retire. But a recent visit to a financial planner has gotten me thinking a lot about “what comes after work.” And it turns out that my offhand quip contained a nugget that could be worthy an article, namely:
In October, I attended the Knowledge Management (KM) in the Legal Profession presented by Ark in New York. Speakers were from a diverse range of law firms and corporate legal departments – diverse in size, geographic location, and practice focus. Attendees likewise represented a cross-section of the private legal industry. While there were many law librarians in attendance, they were outnumbered by those from I.T. departments, knowledge management attorneys, and others in high level positions within their organizations – law firms, corporations, and consulting firms.
As is the case any time you dive into the world of KM, one finds it to be a frustratingly nebulous concept which intertwines throughout an organization’s departments. With that intertwining comes the question of who should be in charge of it? Law firms and corporate legal departments have answered that question in a variety of ways. Many see this as data work and should therefore fall under I.T. Others see it as needing to be led by attorneys. Still others have housed this responsibility with the library – clearly the right place for it! Self-interest aside, the more I learn of knowledge management, the more certain I am that the responsibility and, more importantly, the strategic direction for this rapidly developing area belongs with the library.
As the temperature drops and cramming for exams commences, the stress of law school often causes students to develop unhealthy behaviors and habits. Law libraries can use their space to help students remain healthy and motivated during this busy and overwhelming time.
Sunlight & Solitude
Natural light improves mood and productivity. The layout of the Northwestern Pritzker Legal Research Center allows for lots of natural light to come in by many study areas. Several large tables and comfortable chairs are positioned next to windows to allow students to soak up some Vitamin D while hard at work. The natural light hopefully counteracts some of the adverse effects of the harsh fluorescent lights throughout the law school. Libraries lacking windows could consider getting a SAD lamp or two to help students get through the long winter months.
Board Members Present: Clare Willis, Todd Ito, Joe Mitzenmacher, Scott Vanderlin, Jesse Bowman, Jessie LeMar, and Julie Swanson.
Board Members Absent: Annie Mentkowski
Treasurer’s Report Section (IV):
- Harris Bank Balance as of May 31, 2018: $20,387.36
- Net Income as of April 30, 2018: $1,584.47
- Membership numbers as of May 7, 2018: 308
Significant action: The Board passed a resolution to amend the CALL Bylaws. This amendment removes the Associate member category and removes the requirement that a retired member was an active member of the Association for at least 10 consecutive years.
From June 7-8, 2018, thanks to the generosity of the CALL Grants and Chapter Awards Committee, I attended CALIcon 18 at American University Washington College of Law, in Washington, D.C.
In addition to attending several excellent sessions presented by librarians, IT professionals, and law professors, I also presented a session of my own, entitled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bot.” In this column, I will highlight a few observations and experiences from my time at the conference. Continue reading Conference Review: CALIcon 2018
This year’s Special Library Association conference was held from 11 – 13 June 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. The theme of this year’s conference was “B’More” and there were ample opportunities for an information professional to gain the tools to truly Be More, from the educational sessions to the products on display in the exhibition hall. Continue reading Special Library Association Conference Report
Thanks to a grant from CALL, I was able to attend the “Law Books: History & Connoisseurship” course at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut from June 10 – 15, 2018. Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian and Lecturer in Legal Research at Yale Law Library, and Ryan Greenwood, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of Minnesota Law Library, co-taught the course. They were assisted by Douglas Lind, Director of the Law Library and Professor of Law at Southern Illinois University School of Law and AALL award-winning author of the two-volume work Lincoln’s Suspension of Habeas Corpus. Continue reading Yale Conference on Rare Books Report