Blog

Interview with Spring Meeting Panelist Yasmin Sokkar Harker

We have one more panelist to feature before the Spring Meeting tomorrow. Yasmin Sokkar Harker is Student Liaison Librarian and Law Library Professor at CUNY Law. Her research interests include legal research pedagogy, critical information literacy, legal research and social justice, and information access issues. Read below for a more about Yasmin:

1.       Tell us a fun fact about yourself! I participate I am in a book club that focuses on post apocalyptic science fiction. 

2.       Do you have any pets?
Two cats.

3.       What is your favorite hobby? Reading fantasy and science fiction, trying and failing to become fluent in a second language.

4. What do you think is one of the most important aspects of critical law librarianship? How much you can broaden your own critical perspective on legal information by learning from others and having intellectual humility.

For more information about speakers, take a look at this Libguide for the Critical Law Librarianship-LLNE / SNELLA Spring 2022 Meeting!

Interview with LLNE Spring Meeting Panelist Ronald Wheeler

As we continue to get ready for the LLNE Spring Meeting, we want to share this interview with Ron Wheeler, the plenary panel moderator:

  1. Tell us a fun fact about yourself!  
Ronald E. Wheeler, Jr.
Director of Fineman & Pappas Law Libraries

I once attended a Madonna concert dressed as Madonna. 

  1. What is your favorite New England spot and why?  

Downtown Providence because it is urban and foody and cultured and full of life. 

  1. Do you have any pets?  

No, but I still hope to one day own a very large dog. 

  1. What is your favorite hobby?  

Dancing, reading, traveling 

  1. What do you enjoy most about being a law librarian?  

The people I work with. 

  1. How did you end up where you are, doing what you’re doing? How did you end up in your specialty?  

A combination of hard work, dumb luck, serendipity, and remembering to always be my true and authentic self. 

  1. What do you think is one of the most important aspects of critical law librarianship?  

The need for us to always question what is presented to us as truth. 

Interview with LLNE Spring Meeting Panelist Nicholas Mignanelli

We are so excited for the LLNE/SNELLA Spring 2022 Meeting! In anticipation of our day at Yale Law School discussing Critical Law Librarianship, we hope you enjoy this interview with one of the panelists.

Picture of Rufus looking like a good boy!
  1. Tell us a fun fact about yourself! I have always loved folklore (not the Taylor Swift album). I am especially fond of urban legends, ghost stories, and local cryptids. New England, being America’s creepy attic, is full of them.
  2. What is your favorite New England spot and why? There are so many to choose from, so I’ll highlight two spots found in our host city of New Haven. First, Center Church on the Green – The First Church of Christ in New Haven, a  church completed in 1814 that serves as the meetinghouse for a congregation that was organized in 1639. It contains a Tiffany window depicting Puritan minister John Davenport preaching his first sermon in New Haven, a Fisk organ, box pews, a crypt with 137 well-preserved headstones dating from 1687, and a friendly and welcoming congregation. Second, Lighthouse Point Park, a city park that features the iconic Five Mile Point Light, a turn-of-the-century carousel, a beach, nature trails, and magnificent views of the Long Island Sound and the New Haven skyline.
  3. Do you have any pets? No, but my parents have a German Shepard named Rufus who I adore. He is intelligent, funny, and a good boy (although I still haven’t forgiven him for the time he ate my HeinOnline facemask).
  4. What is your favorite hobby? I collect rare law books. I recently acquired a first edition of Tapping Reeve’s The Law of Baron and Femme, an early American legal treatise on “domestic relations” (family law) published here in New Haven in 1816.
  5. What do you enjoy most about being a law librarian? As Alfred, Lord Tennyson put it, “[m]astering the lawless science of our law, / That codeless myriad of precedent, / That wilderness of single instances, / Thro’ which a few, by wit or fortune led, / May beat a pathway out to wealth and fame.” I have a romantic view of legal information, and this is what brings me joy as a law librarian and legal research professor.  
  6. How did you end up where you are, doing what you’re doing? How did you end up in your specialty? I fell in love with legal research instruction as a student at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law, where I worked as a teaching assistant in legal research. I had wonderful mentors who encouraged me to go to the University of Arizona Law Library Fellows Program, the first law library program to offer an entire graduate seminar on teaching legal research. After Arizona, I served as the reference & instructional services librarian and a lecturer in law at the University of Miami School of Law, where I first discovered Critical Legal Research and began to think about how I could integrate critical perspectives on legal information into the legal research classroom. About a year and a half ago, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to return to New England as the research & instructional services librarian and a lecturer in legal research at Yale Law School. 
  7. What do you think is one of the most important aspects of critical law librarianship? I think the heart of critical law librarianship is the theory that power structures in our society shape the organization of legal information and embed biases in legal research tools. Accordingly, we need to find ways to contend with this phenomenon, whether through the methods and strategies of Critical Legal Research or the pedagogical techniques of critical legal information literacy. 

Interview with LLNE Spring Meeting Speaker Justin Simard, Michigan State University College of Law

We are so excited for the LLNE / SNELLA Spring 2022 Meeting! In anticipation of our day at Yale Law School discussing Critical Law Librarianship, we hope you enjoy this interview with the keynote speaker:

Justin Simard is an Assistant Professor of Law at the MSU College of Law where he teaches Professional Responsibility, Commercial Law, and Legal History and directs the Citing Slavery Project. Justin has a B.A. in History from Rice University, a J.D. and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Pennsylvania.
  1. Tell us a fun fact about yourself! I’m a host for a breeding mom for Leader Dogs for the Blind. That means that I help whelp and raise future guide dogs. Here’s a link that describes our work: Voices of the Leader Dog Community: Lauren Eckberg and Justin Simard – Leader Dogs for the Blind
  2. What is your favorite Michigan spot and why? I’ve only been in Michigan for a couple of years, so I haven’t had the chance to explore as much as I’d like. Bath, a town near East Lansing, has some great dirt roads for running and trails for cross country skiing. That might be my favorite spot so far.
  3. Do you have any pets? Yes. In addition to the breeding mom, Java, who is a black lab, I have two cats: Ella and Mäusel.
  4. What is your favorite hobby? I enjoy distance running.
  5. What do you enjoy most about being a law librarian? My favorite thing about being a professor is exploring ideas that are important to me and sharing them with my students and others. I love talking with law librarians because of our shared interests in legal research and citation.
  6. How did you end up where you are, doing what you’re doing? How did you end up in your specialty? I developed an interest in American intellectual history in college thanks to Professor Thomas Haskell, whose class I took in my first semester at Rice University. I had also been interested in the law, and Professor Haskell encouraged me to pursue a J.D. in addition to a Ph.D. In graduate school, my advisor, Professor Sarah Barringer Gordon, introduced me to the graduates of the Litchfield Law School. Using them as a starting point, I ended up studying how the legal profession’s work drafting agreements, performing due diligence, securing notes, and giving advice shaped the American economy. This commercial role brought lawyers into direct contact with the law of slavery. When I found out that some of the opinions they wrote were still being cited today, I began to study that influence and catalog it at www.citingslavery.org
  7. What do you think is one of the most important aspects of critical law librarianship? It is important to examine what is often unexamined. Critical law librarianship can encourage the legal profession to reflect on what it often takes for granted.

Position Open – Trial Court Law Libraries, Law Library Assistant I – Woburn, MA

TRIAL COURT MISSION 

The Trial Court is committed to: 

  • Fair and impartial administration of justice;
  • Protection of constitutional and statutory rights and liberties;
  • Equal access to justice for all in a safe and dignified environment with policies and practices that strengthen and support diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Efficient, effective, and accountable resolution of disputes;
  • Prompt and courteous service to the public by committed and dedicated professionals utilizing best practices in a manner that inspires public trust and confidence.

The Massachusetts Trial Court is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and provides equal opportunity in state employment to all persons. No person shall be denied equal access because of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, pregnancy, military or veteran status, physical/mental disability; or genetic information. If you need a reasonable accommodation, or have any questions or concerns about being afforded fair and equal treatment, please contact the HR Benefits Team at reasonableaccommodation@jud.state.ma.us.

Law Library Assistant I(Gr 13-14)

  • 494439
  • Woburn, Massachusetts, United States
  • Law Libraries
  • Administrative
  • Full-time
  • Closing at: Jun 14 2022 at 23:55 EDT

Title: Law Library Assistant I (Gr 13-14)

Pay Grade: Grade 13

Starting Pay: $ 53,522.72

Departmental Mission Statement:   The Court Services and Law Libraries Department is responsible for providing key court services to support the administration of justice and advance access to justice in the Trial Court. These services include the Court Service Centers, the Trial Court Law Libraries, and the Judicial Response System.

 MISSION STATEMENT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS TRIAL COURT LAW LIBRARIES:

 The Trial Court Law Library System provides timely, efficient access to current and historical law-related information in an impartial and respectful manner to anyone in need of legal information.

 ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILE:

Notes: This position is designated as a union position and is covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement with O.P.E.I.U., Local 6.

Position Summary: Major duties are performed under the direction of the Head Law Librarian and include processing incoming library materials, preparing fiscal documents, providing general and legal information, and implementing circulation and interlibrary loan policies.  The Law Library Assistant assists the Head Law Librarian in system-wide activities such as long range planning, electronic library services, and special projects, and may be assigned by the Law Library Department to perform Law Library Assistant duties in other libraries as needed.  In the absence of the Head Law Librarian and other law library staff, maintains the day-to- day operation of the law library.  

ORGANIZATIONAL LEVELS:   Employees are hired at the entry level position titles and are eligible for reclassification to the higher level position titles within this series consistent with the specifications for the higher level positions.  The position title reverts to the entry level when there is a vacancy.   

Law Library Assistant I  This is the entry level position title within the series.  Employees are expected to perform the full range of entry level duties and to train for the higher level (Law Library Assistant II)

Law Library Assistant II – This is the second level position title within this series.  Employees at this second level are expected to perform more advanced duties which require more knowledge of policies and procedures and the exercise of more independent judgment.

Major Duties: Law Library Assistant I Duties:  

  • Processes incoming library materials for supplementation, maintains circulation records including the database of borrowers, and processes overdue notices using an integrated library system;  
  • Files loose-leaf services, advance sheets, periodicals, and supplements; removes appropriate material and arranges disposition according to library policy; shelves materials;  
  • Processes invoices, communicates with vendors about account problems, and maintains accounting records including budgetary spreadsheet  
  • Provides reference and information services to those seeking legal information by responding to questions in person, by telephone or through e-reference; locating and retrieving materials;
  • performing simple bibliographic searches; and filling interlibrary loan requests;   
  • Participates in basic e-reference services;  
  • Maintains and operates library equipment including computer networks, microform machines, copiers, scanners and fax machines;  
  • Prepares current and historical material for binding;  
  • In the absence of the Head Law Librarian or a Law Librarian, maintains the day-to-day operation of the law library;  
  • Performs related duties as required.  

Law Library Assistant II Duties:  

  • Performs advanced legal reference duties including participating in document delivery and filling common e-reference requests;  
  • Trains staff in aspects of library operations;   Performs routine cataloging functions;  
  • Makes recommendations to the Head Law Librarian on the development of the library, collection, and operational procedures;   
  • Develops and maintains databases and troubleshoots the computer network and Internet access;
  • updates and installs new software on computers;  
  • Works with other librarians and staff on system-wide projects and committees;   
  • Maintains the ability to perform Law Library Assistant I duties in at least one other Trial Court Law Library; 
  • Performs related duties as required.  

SUPERVISION RECEIVED:   Reports to and receives work assignments and supervision from the Head Law Librarian.  In the absence of a Head Law Librarian, the Law Library Assistant may receive direction from another Head Law Librarian, Circuit Law Librarian or Manager of Law Libraries in keeping with the librarys local policies and procedures.

Job Competencies: All applicants must be able, through the interview process, to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following areas:    

Ethics and Values: Communicates and demonstrates the ethics and values of the Trial Court and Trial Court Law Libraries as demonstrated in the American Association of Law Libraries Ethical Principals. (http://www.aallnet.org/main-menu/Leadership-Governance/policies/PublicPolicies/policy-ethics.html)

Mission: Understands, upholds, and communicates the missions of the Trial Court, Court Service Centers and Law Libraries Department.

Applied Knowledge: Demonstrates core competencies in the areas of reference and client services, information technology, cataloging and fiscal.  

Problem Solving: Accurately assesses workplace problems in the Trial Court, the Trial Court Law Libraries and a specific law library and recommends and facilitates appropriate solutions.  

Customer Service: Conducts oneself in a courteous and professional manner towards both Court employees and the public whether in person, on the telephone or in an electronic environment.    

Collaboration: Works with others cooperatively, demonstrating a willingness to be a team player, contributing to a work environment that focuses on shared departmental goals and maintaining effective working relationships.  

Commitment to Diversity: Promotes an environment of diversity through understanding, respect, and positive communication with persons of varied racial, ethnic, economic, and cultural backgrounds. Conducts oneself in a courteous and professional manner towards everyone using the services of the Trial Court Law Libraries.   Continuous Learning Demonstrates a commitment to continuously improving himself or herself through professional development and actively pursues continuing education.

Minimum Requirements: These are the minimum requirements necessary to apply for a position of Law Library Assistant:  

Law Library Assistant I Requirements:   Bachelor degree AND one (1) year of full-time experience as a paid paralegal OR one (1) year of full-time paid clerical experience in a law library OR An equivalent combination of education and experience.  

  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to deal effectively and respectfully with people;  
  • Knowledge of procedures, interlibrary cooperation, and the types of resources and services available to librarians and library users;  
  • Ability to use computer applications, such as MS Office spreadsheets, text editing and publisher programs;  
  • Ability to perform Trial Court fiscal procedures in accordance with MMARS accounting System;  
  • Ability to understand and implement all policies and procedures of the Trial Court Law Libraries;  
  • Ability to gather, analyze and report information;  
  • Ability to reach with hands and arms, bend, crouch, lift materials weighing up to 30 pounds and climb stairs;  
  • Ability to communicate effectively in both oral and written form;  
  • Ability to travel to multiple library locations.  

Law Library Assistant II Requirements:   A minimum of three years of experience as a Law Library Assistant I;  

  • Demonstrated ability to perform advanced legal reference;  
  • Comprehensive knowledge of library policies and procedures;  
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the Trial Court including its organizational structure and administrative policies;  
  • Comprehensive knowledge of software applications and reference techniques including e-reference;  
  • Demonstrated ability to work on system wide projects;  
  • Demonstrated ability to work in more than one Trial Court Law Library.  

To apply: https://trialcourtjobs.mass.gov/jobs/law-library-assistant-i-gr-13-14-woburn-massachusetts-united-states

LLNE Spring Service Project: Yale Law Library’s Books-to-Prison Program

As part of the LLNE Spring Meeting, the Service Committee is partnering with Yale Law Library’s Books-to-Prison Program.  To date, the program has delivered over 2,000 books to jails and prisons across Connecticut.  They have also provided books to domestic violence shelters and are reaching out to the community to provide books for local homeless shelters and food pantries. 

To donate, please bring new or like new paperbacks (fiction or popular non-fiction) as well as recent law books to the Spring Meeting.  You can drop off your donation at the Service Committee table near registration. 

If you are unable to make the meeting, you can still donate by purchasing books from your favorite bookstore and having them shipped to:

Julian Aiken
Yale Law Library
127 Wall Street, New Haven, 06511

Or you can purchase an electronic gift card through RJ Julia Independent Booksellers and send it to julian.aiken@yale.edu

If you have any questions, please contact co-chairs, Jessica Almeida at jessica.almeida@umassd.edu and Kaitlin Connelly at kaitlin.connolly@jud.state.ma.us.

The Service Committee

LLNE Scholarship Application is EXTENDED to May 20th!

Greetings LLNE Members!

The members of the LLNE Scholarship Committee would like to invite you to apply for our open scholarships. We encourage you to apply for any (or all) of the scholarships listed below. LLNE Scholarships are available to attend or access the annual AALL or biannual LLNE meetings; for participation in continuing education/training opportunities; and for those seeking a degree in librarianship. Descriptions of our scholarship opportunities are listed below and on the LLNE website.  

Basic Scholarship information:

  • Meeting Scholarship: Help with registration fees or travel expenses, for LLNE members who wish to attend the Spring LLNE Meeting being held this June at Yale Law School, or the AALL meeting being held this July in Denver, CO.
  • Academic Scholarship: LLNE members who are enrolled in an accredited degree program in Library Science or in an ABA-accredited law school are eligible for one of our academic scholarships.
  • Continuing Education Scholarship: LLNE  members who wish to access continuing education and training opportunities beyond the programming offered at our biannual LLNE meetings and the annual AALL meetings may apply for one of our continuing education scholarships.

The application criteria and the application form can be found here, (LLNE scholarship guidelines and application process), and the application deadline has been extended to next Friday, May 20th. Please contact Dawn Smith at dawn.smith@yale.edu if you need more information.

Again, we encourage you to apply!

Posted on behalf of the Scholarship Committee

Register today: LLNE-SNELLA Spring Meeting at Yale Law School

Hello,

Registration is now open for the LLNE-SNELLA Spring Meeting at Yale Law School in New Haven on Friday, June 17, 2022. The meeting, on Critical Law Librarianship, will provide an opportunity for attendees to explore the ways in which critical theory and critical legal theory apply to law librarianship and legal information.

Please follow this link to register and for additional information: https://libguides.law.uconn.edu/c.php?g=1235370&p=9039706 

The registration fee is $50. We accept credit cards on the registration form. The deadline for registering is June 9, 2022.

Since this is the first in-person event hosted by our regional chapters in a while, and in light of the continuing pandemic, we have designed the program in an effort to ease the anxieties and health and safety concerns many of us share. The meeting will begin later – and end earlier – than usual to accommodate commuters. Lunches will be boxed so that you can spread out and hopefully enjoy the outdoors (weather permitting). And the day will end with library tours and an outdoor ice cream social. We hope you can join us!

Yale University’s visitors policy, which is subject to change between now and June 17, requires that visitors to campus be fully vaccinated and boosted. Visitors must also carry proof of vaccination and booster documentation, and provide it if asked. In the event that public health recommendations and Yale University policies require us to cancel this in-person event, refunds of registration fees will be issued and the event will be rescheduled and moved to an online format. We appreciate your cooperation as we gather for an informative, fun, and rewarding day together.

All the best,

Mike VanderHeijden

Head of Reference

Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Law Library

michael.vanderheijden@yale.edu

LLNE Access to Justice Update

The Access to Justice Committee has been reviewing and updating the Legal Link section of the LLNE website. Legal Link gathers general resources on legal information and research as well as state-specific resources for all New England states. It focuses on information about free and low-cost legal help, law libraries open to the public, and how to answer legal reference questions, making it a valuable resource for public librarians who have patrons with legal questions. Legal Link also contains information about free sources of legal information, basic legal research information, and guides to each state’s legislative process.

The Committee has reviewed all five New England states and identified a number of updates, which are in the process of being added to the website. Please consider promoting Legal Link in your public library community!

LLNE Scholarship Application is open!

Greetings LLNE Members!

The members of the LLNE Scholarship Committee would like to invite you to apply for our open scholarships. We encourage you to apply for any (or all) of the scholarships listed below. LLNE Scholarships are available to attend or access the annual AALL or biannual LLNE meetings; for participation in continuing education/training opportunities; and for those seeking a degree in librarianship. Descriptions of our scholarship opportunities are listed below and on the LLNE website.  

Basic Scholarship information:

  • Meeting Scholarship: Help with registration fees or travel expenses, for LLNE members who wish to attend the Spring LLNE Meeting being held this June at Yale Law School, or the AALL meeting being held this July in Denver, CO.
  • Academic Scholarship: LLNE members who are enrolled in an accredited degree program in Library Science or in an ABA-accredited law school are eligible for one of our academic scholarships.
  • Continuing Education Scholarship: LLNE  members who wish to access continuing education and training opportunities beyond the programming offered at our biannual LLNE meetings and the annual AALL meetings may apply for one of our continuing education scholarships.

The application criteria and the application form can be found here, (LLNE scholarship guidelines and application process), and all applications are due on May 13th, 2022. Please contact Dawn Smith at dawn.smith@yale.edu if you need more information.

Again, we encourage you to apply!

Sincerely,

The LLNE Scholarship Committee

Dawn Smith, Chair

Ana Delgado Valentin

Jocelyn Kennedy