Holly Riccio! Effective February 8th, she will be the the Director of Knowledge Management at Nossaman LLP in their San Francisco office.
Lucy Curci-Gonzalez, who is the New York Law Institute's new Executive Director. Read the announcement
It's PLL nominations time again! We're accepting nominations for 3 open positions:
Chair-elect Secretary Member-at-Large (a.k.a. Board Member)
You can find position descriptions in the PLL Bylaws. The Committee also retains a description of each position with a summary of the duties and the time commitment required, which can be sent upon request.
If you have questions, the Committee will be happy to provide you with more information about running for the Board. The members of the Nominating Committee are:
Please consider nominating yourself or someone else and send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Please send us your news and ideas!
Kurt R. Mattson, JD, LLM
Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals
Sharpen your cataloging skills and register for this upcoming February 25
free webinar that was planned and will be moderated by PLLIP member Sarah Lin.
The webinar is geared toward librarians who are not dedicated technical services staff, those who blanch at the sight of a MARC tag, or who really care about the quality of their catalog search results (or want to know why it is their catalog data can't talk to any other piece of firm software!).
Our speaker, Emily Nimsakont will describe the latest standards and explain why you, the searcher, should care about the data quality in your online catalogs.
Often colleagues mention to technical services librarians that the work they seems inaccessible and mystifying, and even a bit intimidating at times. This webinar is designed as an antidote to that. If you want to know what RDA, Bibframe & Linked Data mean and their net impact on searchers, this webinar is for you!
Please join Emily and Sarah for this webinar next month and register today by clicking
Welcome New Members!
Harris Crooks, Head of Corporate Research Services, Stroock & Stroock
Library Manager, Keker & Van Nest
, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
Sarah Lewis, Student/Contract Lawyer/Archivist
Morgan Grimes, Technical Services Librarian, Cleary Gottlieb
Angela Krulc, Reference Librarian, Cleary Gottlieb
Melanie Farrell, Library Research Assistant, Taft, Stettinius & Hollister
James Gulvas, Library & Information Specialist, Butzel Long
Sandra Sivinski, Student
Catherine Christensen, Director of Library Services, Budd Larner
Jaz'min Quary, Paralegal, Sanders Roberts & Jewett
Mark Your Calendar for the 2016 PLLIP Summit
Denise Pagh & Jeremy Sullivan, 2016 Summit Co-chairs
This year's Summit theme is Strategic Impact. In response to a legal marketplace that never ceases to morph and adjust, the PLLIP Summit continues to arm law firm librarians with invigorating and empowering professional development. This year, the focus is on how legal information professionals can move their departments forward and contribute to their firm's success in deliberate and critical ways.
The Keynote for the 2016 Summit: Strategic Impact will address current realities in the legal industry as a whole, touching upon the interplay between strategic actions and success or failure. This sets the stage for an interactive session on strategic thinking and strategic planning that merges theory and practice in engaging and practical ways. Breakout electives in the afternoon offer participants the opportunity to assess their current service levels and pinpoint next level opportunities, along with practical ways to identify and overcome barriers. As in Summits past, we will feature a roster of high-caliber and dynamic speakers well-acquainted with the legal marketplace and with strategy formulation.
Take your game to the next level by attending the 2016 PLLIP Summit, scheduled for Saturday, July 16, 8:30 am - 5 pm in Chicago!
2016 Summit blog
for more details.
| Many hands make light the work! Please consider giving of your time to AALL and volunteer for a Committee or Jury.
Click here for more information and to find the link to the volunteer form.
Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals Newsletter
Welcome to the New Year and a new look for your PLL-IP eNewsletter!
From the Chair
Information Overload: Epidemic or Storm of the Century?
- excessive enthusiasm for acquiring knowledge.
- The fear of being out of the loop, not in the know, fuels infomania, especially among teens.
- She attributes her increasingly poor "life management skills" to infomania.
- an obsessive need to constantly check emails, social-media websites, online news, etc.
- the effects of this obsession, especially a decline in the ability to concentrate.
Ah, the elusive satisfaction of learning about something to a natural conclusion, answering a question completely. Learning about a finite topic and being done with it. Seems like a fulfilling and relaxing prospect, but is it realistic even half the time? Are we chasing unicorns every day? Is relevancy easier said than done? Is it more impossible for information professionals who have hundreds or thousands of customers with varying objectives to manage information and provide a valuable service? How do we consume and process information differently than laypeople? Panic! Job security? When do we stop?
[interruption here as librarians chasing unicorns are searched for on the internet to obtain image for possible insert here, decide against it]
As an undergrad, I remember being asked for the first time to pull together a number of resources with hypertextual, conceptual linkage on a computer for the English department. I would like to say that this changed my life "epiphany-style" and that things have been smooth sailing ever since I discovered this exciting way to work, but something frightening happened too. The potential inclusiveness and open-endedness of the project exploded. When to stop when it is so easy to make links? How do we contain an open-ended research project as new analysis and contributions were available every day, every hour? How would we ever keep up? You may have heard this anxiety labeled FOMO or Fear of Missing Out. As librarians, we take this on for our organizations and can be subject to an even more formidable institutional version, perhaps leading to FOLJ, Fear of Losing Job. Time management and mindfulness play into this, knowing what you are looking for and having a clear outcome in mind as well as using the appropriately efficient resources and tools.
[interruption as colleague calls about lunch, friend sends email about a cat, NPR says interruptions are contagious and we create them ourselves to form a consistent rhythm of inefficiency, ironically NPR can be a distraction, back to the point...]
The Infomagical project caught my ear on NPR the other day as I was thawing out from the megasnow. Pretty sure I was reading something else and multitasking at the time and yet this concept emerged to the fore. Fear of Missing Out could be alleviated from a more mindful approach to the consumption of information on a personal or institutional scale. NPR says we spend over 12 hours a day exposed to information but "use" less than half of it. I would suspect that most librarians "use" a higher percentage of what they review but that "use" might be forwarding most of that to an audience (where the same percentage might apply with little if any follow up as to whether it was used). Taking a personal information inventory focusing on what our objectives are and what specifically we want to achieve is the noble object of Infomagical. Limit interruptions, "single task" with the focus on an "Information Goal" and streamline. All of this begins Feb. 1 as part of a grand experiment to ease our infomania and melt it faster than the accumulated piles of snow here in Washington. I'm thinking I can squeeze it in if I budget at least 25 minutes for the introductory video.
Infomagical promises to explore the focused objectives of being:
- More creative
- More knowledgeable
- More up to date
- More in touch with family and friends (suggestion for the professional context: clients, coworkers?)
- More in tune with yourself
We as information professionals have a role that is ideally infomagical but our own processes should be examined and improved across our work environments to make sure we are making the most of our time and the time of our colleagues and clients. As mindfulness and intention permeate our work, we improve what we deliver to our users and we add value. Hopefully we can convert our FOMO into JOMO, the Joy of Missing Out on infomania. In turn, we can bring more meaning to our lives and the lives of others, cutting a clear, enduring path through the accumulating snow.
Around the Blogosphere
The proposal to change the name of AALL to Association for Legal Information has garnered much discussion and multiple blog posts on the voting currently underway.
Contemplating a Name Change
, Andrea Guldalian provides a historical survey of the "many minds" that have "reflected on how our profession has been defined over the years, and on how we will position ourselves for the future". Greg Lambert, PLLIP member and AALL Chair-elect makes a great case for voting yes on the name change in his 3 Geeks and a Law Blog post
Time to Be the Change - Rebranding AALL to The Association for Legal Information
Voting ends February 8th, so if you haven't already done so - vote!
As it does every so often, the issue of the relevance of libraries and librarians recently reared its ugly head via a recent
Wall Street Journal article titled
In Age of Google, Librarians Get Shelved
which paints the standard dire picture of the future of librarians that albeit off the mark in my view should make us stand up and take notice and even better counter such nonsense by speaking up and tooting our own horns and dispelling the misinformation such articles continue to spout.
Librarians Still Matter In a Self-Serve World
counters the WSJ view of our demise and posits that while in today's world self-service is the right choice for many things, "personalized research services delivered by knowledgeable experts is what librarians can use to promote how what they do is different from self-serve web search." And
Will A Librarian Answer Your Next Copyright Question?
reveals a service that librarians can provide and some indeed have for years by stating "that librarians and information professionals have an important, interesting and hopefully fun role to play in managing copyright issues and licensing digital content in their libraries and enterprises." Clearly, our relevance to our organizations is often in our own hands and it is largely up to us to promote ourselves, however, a new name for our association can go a long way in helping us do just that.
Interview of Kreig Kitts
Research Librarian, Crowell & Moring
by Shamika Dalton, Reference Librarian, University of Florida - Levin College of Law
Please share a little bit about yourself.
I'm from rural Indiana -- I grew up between a small city of just under 40,000 and a town of several hundred. I w as in 4H and king of the county fair one year. The manufacturing jobs have left and the city gradually shrank while I grew up and now has fewer than 30,000 residents. It's been sad to see and the problems that have arisen in so many small towns like mine. I went to college at Indiana University Bloomington.
After graduating, I worked in a bilingual clinic in my hometown doing social services for seasonal farmworkers, taught at a language institute in Guanajuato, Mexico, and completed a year of graduate school in Latin American studies at Tulane before leaving for law school. I'd intended to pursue a dual degree at Tulane, but received a scholarship offer from Emory that was too good to pass up, so I moved to Atlanta and stayed for nine years.
I learned about law librarianship while in law school. Emory was one of the schools that had program to employ recent graduates, so I talked with the careers services offices and we worked with the library to put together a kind of full time paid internship to rotate me through the departments and learn about their work. It only lasted a few weeks, since I got a job that summer in McGuireWoods' then-new Atlanta office. I did my MSLS at Clark Atlanta University evenings and weekends while working.
What does diversity mean to you?
It's often viewed as being more a recruiting issue and something to look for in new hires, but I think a big pa rt is being open to everything people can bring to your organization. Each person has a unique background and point of view and being receptive to those can benefit our workplaces, not just the working environment but its goals. Try to see where diversity already exists in your organization that you haven't noticed before. I also believe there is a diversity challenge as professional services become increasingly elitist in the 21st century. Entry level hiring in the professions is nearly nonexistent now, and getting the experience can be expensive.
Not everybody can spend their summers working for free at nonprofits or in unpaid internships, and those that don't have to take paraprofessional jobs at graduation to gain experience, which not only sets their careers back a few years but also fills places that were once careers in their own right for high school graduates and people with a couple years of college. And so our workplaces become more homogenous.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I've been knitting quite a lot recently. I learned last year and have really taken to it. I've been playing in a community band for several years but took this fall off to take a break from lugging a harp around. I also have started reading novels in their original languages to keep in practice and improve my reading fluency. I finished "House
of Spirits" in Spanish this summer and have started "Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands" in Portuguese. I enjoy languages and it's an area where the personal and the professional intersect for me.
Outreach that Sticks: Tips for Promoting Research Services in Law Firm Libraries
by Michayla Sullivan, Bose McKinney & Evans, LLP, Knowledge & Research Services Specialist
As law firms continue to look for ways to cut budgets, it is important that all employees add value to their firm. Firm librarians can do this most ef
ficiently by leveraging their research experience to assist attorneys on cases and business development. In order to provide this assistance, librarians must first persuade attorneys to send them research requests. In many firms, whether due to lack of awareness of the full scope of library services or forgetfulness of those services' existence, many attorneys do not utilize their libraries' research services as often as they could.
Firm librarians can address this underutilization by conducting library outreach within their firms. There are several methods law firm librarians can use to gain and retain research requests that require little time from the attorney while maximizing the amount of attention gained for the library's r
Bose McKinney & Evans Knowledge & Research Services has successfully utilized 5 key ways to keep research services front and center for the attorneys:
Stickiness of Everyday Promotional Materials
Every single item that passes through the library to an attorney is an opportunity for outreach. Thus, every routed current awareness publication, book delivered to an attorney's office, and document written to an attorney that comes from the library leaves with a sticker containing the library's interoffice contact information. The sticker message directly calls to attorneys to "Save time!" and "Send us your research questions!"
The stickers can be created using Canva, a free online tool for creating graphics, which can then be imported into a Word label template. Thereafter, simply print, peel, and stick the labels on as needed or add a digital image of the sticker to the footer of every email sent out. This provides continuous and consistent library promotion, which may result in immediate research requests when the attorneys see the stickers reminding them of the information services offered. For us the value added from time spent on the research requests generated has more than made up for the initial time spent creating the stickers.
Occasional Promotional Materials
Utilizing promotional materials that require a little more time and attention from attorneys and distributing them on an occasional basis are another great way to promote services. We created a flyer with longer descriptions of the types of research services provided and examples of actual research questions we had already successfully addressed. This helps provide attorneys with a better picture of the types of complex research we handle, as informal discussions had revealed that they were not sure what kind of research requests they could send us. Within minutes of the initial flyer's delivery to attorneys' inboxes, we received multiple research requests.
Getting to Know You
Making yourself more visible will help your attorneys remember to use your services. A personal conversation about your research skills will often be more memorable than a flyer. Utilize interoffice mail delivery as little as possible and instead personally deliver items to the attorneys.
Given the large volume of materials that need to be delivered, it is not likely feasible to hand-deliver everything. Just do what time allows, and if the attorneys seem amenable to a little conversation when you make the deliveries, take the opportunity to talk to them about ways you can assist them with research. This method has proven particularly worthwhile for us, as conversations have often revealed that attorneys are unaware of the variety of information needs that we can help them with.
Remember the Paralegals
It is not just attorneys who can benefit from our research services. When they do not have time to address a research need, attorneys will often push these tasks to their paralegals. Like attorneys, paralegals are often short on time. Librarians can help alleviate this burden by taking on some of their research tasks. Make special efforts to reach out to your paralegals and you will likely find they are pleased to hear how you can assist them. Value added to a paralegal's work is also value added to the firm overall.
Put in the Time Again and Again
The above efforts require both time and repetition, as many attorneys may forget the research services offered even after they have used them. Given this never-ending time commitment, how can an already busy librarian find time for outreach? Just do what you can.
You do not have to deliver everything to every attorney in your office. Perhaps you can deliver only to attorneys you have not seen in a while.You do not have to create new stickers and flyers all the time. Just expend time creating them once and then occasionally refresh the design by making a few changes to the message. Only you can judge how much time to spend on outreach, because you know your law firm and its library best.