One of the most frequent questions I am asked by those unfamiliar with academic law library operations is whether the librarians take off the entire summer. No, we do not. Although the College of Law does not hold summer classes and many teaching faculty are away from our building much of the summer, the Marx Law Library remains open Monday through Friday. Our librarians and other staff are here throughout the summer, although most of us will use our annual leave (vacation days) to take some time off.
During the summer librarians are still providing service to faculty, students, and other patrons who need help finding legal information. We’re preparing workshops to present to the faculty and already thinking about the fall research classes for new students. Our I.T. staff are upgrading computers and preparing documentation. And many of us attend professional conferences that let us learn more about providing terrific resources and service to all of you.
The biggest conference that we attend is the annual meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries. This year’s meeting is in San Antonio, Texas, and six of our librarians will be attending. The meeting is the association’s primary education event, and it offers opportunities to learn in formal sessions as well as to network with 1,500 colleagues from the United States and several other countries. Susan Boland, Associate Director for Research and Public Services, is speaking in “Inventing the New Classroom,” which focuses on pedagogy and methods for teaching today’s students. Our members also actively participate and take leadership roles in professional associations. Susan is completing her term as chair of the AALL Grants Committee. Shannon Kemen, Reference Librarian, is the incoming president of the Ohio Regional Association of Law Libraries (ORALL). Akram Sadeghi Pari, Catalog Librarian, serves on the AALL Indexing of Periodical Literature Committee. And I’m honored to be starting my second year as a member of the AALL Executive Board.
In short, law librarians at the College of Law keep busy year round so that we can better provide you with the service and resources that enable you to be a successful student, professor, administrator, or attorney.
——–Kenneth J. Hirsh, Director of the Law Library and I.T.