All posts by Philip Johnson

Looking Back on the CALL Website

It may be hard to believe, but CALL has had a website for over 20 years. In honor of CALL’s 70th anniversary here are a few notable events in the evolution of CALL’s web presence, drawn from the CALL Bulletin and minutes of the CALL executive board.  Thanks to the Internet Archive, we even have a few screenshots of what earlier pages looked like. I hope you will enjoy this look back at how the CALL website evolved. Continue reading Looking Back on the CALL Website

Three Proposals for Academic Law Libraries

Over the last 70 years, CALL and the Chicago legal academic libraries have been integral in adapting library services to changing legal environments so that a law student today will be a successful lawyer tomorrow. There is no doubt that CALL will continue to be a valuable and innovative presence in the Chicago legal community through the collaborative efforts of all the member institutions. It is this spirit of collaboration, and after interactions with fellow librarians, faculty, and students, that I describe three library services that would be valuable additions to all academic libraries in their missions to produce successful lawyers. Whether these proposals are tentatively practiced, formally adopted, or ignored completely, I present them here for consideration. Continue reading Three Proposals for Academic Law Libraries

The Law Library on the Cusp of the Digital Age

Ed. note: This story originally ran on the University of Chicago Library website. Special thanks to the author for allowing us to reprint it here.

There’s a hand drawn map of the law library’s second floor Reading Room that harkens back to a barely digital age—a time when card catalogs and bound volumes of Shepard’s Citations took center stage and the latest technology included a dedicated Lexis machine with a dial-up modem and a clunky comcat (computerized catalog) terminal that couldn’t even search whole words. It appears to have been created some eight or nine years before the library was expanded, renovated, and renamed in honor of Dino D’Angelo, ’44, in 1987.

Hand drawn map of the D'Angelo reading room Continue reading The Law Library on the Cusp of the Digital Age

President’s Letter

The year 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chicago Association of Law Libraries. Anniversaries such as this allow us the opportunity to reflect on the history of this organization and its accomplishments and where we are today. One transformational change that has occurred since 1947 is the rise of the internet, which radically changed the way we do research. Indeed, in thinking about CALL’s 70th anniversary, I was greatly aided by the recent addition of digital versions of back issues of the CALL Bulletin to the online resource HeinOnline. Unfortunately, we have not been able to locate the first eight issues of the Bulletin, so I could not examine the very first issue, but there are mentions of CALL’s founding in contemporaneous issues of Law Library Journal, which are also available in HeinOnline. The Law Library Journal articles and later issues of the Bulletin show that despite all the changes that have occurred in our profession in the last 70 years, the mission of the organization has remained largely the same. Continue reading President’s Letter

CALL Executive Board Meeting Minutes – November 2016

Complete, up-to-date CALL Board meeting minutes are available on the CALL website.

AALL Headquarters, 105 W. Adams St., Suite 3300 (enter on Clark St.)

  • November 8, 2016, 9:00 a.m.

Board Members Present

  • Todd Ito
  • Clare Willis
  • Julie Pabarja (via phone)
  • Konya Lafferty Moss (via phone)
  • Tom Gaylord
  • Lindsey Carpino

Continue reading CALL Executive Board Meeting Minutes – November 2016

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