As you may have already noticed, the second floor of the Law Library underwent some significant changes over the summer. Library improvements included relocating the Document Delivery Center (DDC) to increase accessibility; renovating the Circulation Desk and staff workstations to enhance service; creating a fully enclosed Reserve area to address security of materials; repositioning the Circulation and DDC service centers to improve sight lines and ability to monitor the entrance; centralizing reference librarian offices to improve visibility and facilitate collaborative research and reference services; and increasing student study rooms and seating.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of this was accomplished in less than three months and with very little disruption to library services. To see how each department, whether Circulation, Reference, or Technical Services, was directly impacted by and addressed the various challenges associated with this project, read on.




Law Library Remodeling

Circulation

Planning for the relocation of Circulation Services, including the Reserve collection and the DDC, began in early April. The challenge was to dismantle, box, and relocate the second floor during the final days of exam week. Demolition was scheduled to begin on May 13. Our goal was to accomplish this monumental task during an intense study period without disrupting essential services. In addition to moving the Open and Closed Reserve book collections (7,500 books) to the Court Level, arrangements were made to relocate/store five DDC printers, twelve student computer workstations, six public computer terminals, two photocopy machines, three sets of 3M security gates, circulation desk equipment and staff offices. Staff members Charity Braceros and Michael Zubitis were instrumental in organizing the book shift to the Court Level compact shelving.

A third floor classroom was designated as the temporary DDC and Circulation staff office. In less than one week, a functional DDC was up and running, providing printing and computer access capabilities to patrons. Students and alumni patrons were delighted with the prompt resumption of computer services. The library retained uninterrupted interlibrary loan and Summit borrowing functions.

 



Access to the library stacks and reestablishment of circulation and reference services resumed on May 31 after a short, two-week closure. Students beginning summer classes were able to take full advantage of library resources. The library did not curtail service hours, remaining open until midnight, seven days a week. A working collection of hornbooks, nutshells, and study aids for summer courses was placed near the circulation desk on the third floor for easy access. Circulation staff trained new student employees and additional training was required when materials were moved to their permanent locations.

 

 


Patrons experienced initial confusion about the summer reconfiguration, but the library distributed informational handouts and increased signage to facilitate the transition. Essential services were maintained and access to material remained available despite the unfamiliar layout.


 

 

 

Library usage does not significantly decrease during the summer. Classes are in session, graduates use the library to study for the bar exam, students are researching for summer employers, faculty are writing and utilizing their research assistants to gather information and material. Under extraordinary and sometimes frustrating conditions, the library continued to provide study space and research assistance to our users.

The remodeled Circulation, Reserve, and DDC areas were reopened on August 9th.




Reference

During the library renovation, the reference desk found a temporary home on the third floor in room 306. Thanks to the time and effort that went into planning and preparation, there was very little interruption in reference services. Our ready reference collection was housed on temporary book trucks and the reference phone and law.reference.seattleu.edu e-mail account were up and running when the library reopened for business on May 31st.

Most patrons were able to find the new home of the reference desk with no problem and we maintained a steady flow of service during the construction. The majority of our collection was still available for circulation and our membership in the Summit consortium came in handy for the items that were unavailable either because they were in off-site storage or in shrink wrap.

The library set up a dedicated webpage for the library renovation information which contained construction news and announcements.

Technical Services

The remodeling of the second floor of the library necessitated large-scale modifications in coding in the library catalog as well as shifting of books. Because the Open Reserve and classified Reference collections were moved to the Court Level, notes were added to each title’s record (3,300 records) in the catalog, indicating that the books were in an interim location for the summer. In response to changes in the configuration of the second floor, the classified Reference, Open Reserve, and Closed Reserve collections are now in a new location called Reserve and this change is indicated in each catalog record for the titles in this new location. A crew of students and staff relabeled and reprocessed the Reserve collection (10,275 volumes).


New Faculty Research Assistant FAQ

The library has created a new FAQ which answers some of the most commonly asked questions by faculty RAs including: How do I obtain material from the University of Washington Libraries? Where do I make photocopies? How do I borrow books on interlibrary loan (ILL)? The FAQ was distributed to summer faculty RAs via e-mail. The librarians worked with the RAs throughout the summer on a variety of faculty research projects. The library encourages RAs to set up an appointment with their faculty member’s librarian liaison to go over library services and discuss research strategies.



New Westlaw Representative

Anna Guerra, our Westlaw representative, returned to her native New Orleans at the end of June. Her replacement is Randy Widdison. Randy is a 2006 graduate of Creighton Law School where he was a member of the Law Review and the Moot Court Board. He was also a Westlaw student representative at Creighton. His e-mail address is: randy.widdison@thomson.com.


Indian Law Exhibit

The Indian law exhibit is an introduction to the specialty field of Indian law. Indian law is a body of law about the status of Indian tribes and their special relationship with the government, and how the law has evolved over time. Some topics covered include the Cherokee cases, the relocation policies of the 19th century, and self determination in the 20th century. Indian law will be bar tested in Washington State starting in 2007.

The Indian law exhibit is on display starting August 2006 in the Dolliver Reading Room on the 4th floor of the library. It was created by Library Interns Jessica de Perio (Class of 2006) and Jane Griffin (2L) in consultation with Librarian Kelly Kunsch.


11th Annual Bridge the Gap a Success

This year marked the 11th annual Bridge the Legal Research Gap program. The half-day session is a joint effort of the Gallagher Law Library (University of Washington) and the Seattle University Law Library. Bridge the Gap is a free program open to summer associates from all law schools. Subjects covered included Administrative Law Research, Advanced Internet Research and Lawyers’ Practice Materials. As in previous years, the program was presented twice in order to best accommodate the various law school schedules. This year had almost 200 attendees from law schools across the country. Kerry Fitz-Gerald, Barbara Swatt-Engstrom and Stephanie Wilson presented.


Conferences and Workshops

AALL

From July 8-13, Kristin Cheney, Kara Phillips, Kelly Kunsch, Kent Milunovich and Stephanie Wilson attended the annual meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), which was held in St. Louis. The majority of conference time was devoted to interviewing candidates for our new reference librarian position. During the conference, we reviewed numerous resumes, and interviewed several candidates.

In addition to interviewing, several of us attended business meetings. Kristin attended the ALL-SIS directors’ meeting, the ALL-SIS business meeting, and the director’s lunch hosted by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). She also received an award from AALL for our entry in the “Day in the Life of a Law Library” photograph contest.

Kara and Kent also attended a meeting for middle managers hosted by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, which featured a speech by Father Frank Reale on Jesuit history. Stephanie attended the business meeting of the Western Pacific Association of Law Libraries (WestPac), and the business meeting of the Special Interest Section Standing Committee on Lesbian and Gay Issues.

International Canadian Studies Institute

Librarian Kerry Fitz-Gerald spent the last two weeks of July participating in the 2006 International Canadian Studies Institute sponsored by Foreign Affairs Canada, the Canadian Consulate General Seattle, and the Pacific Northwest Canadian Studies Consortium. The Institute opened with a briefing and presentation on the Canada Border Services as the group crossed the border into British Columbia. Once in Canada, the group met with a variety of governmental and private groups, ranging from the Royal Canadian Navy to the Lions Gate Film studios. The entire trip was fascinating; of particular interest were the presentations in Whitehorse, Yukon, including one by Ian Burnett, the Territorial Archivist at the Yukon Archives and another by the Northern Climate Exchange Group addressing global warming. Overall, the group attended 90 presentations in 12 days.

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Newsletter written by law library staff.
Questions? Comments? Please contact Editor Kent Milunovich
Web Administrator Greg Soejima