Archives for posts with tag: ch ch ch changes

I’ve been a month and a week at my new place of employ, and I couldn’t be any happier about it. Even if you discount the free coffee, free breakfast on Fridays, swanky cubicle…

Could that be a picture of Jo and I at Medieval Times? I think it is!


My new ZZ Plant is thriving–IKEA’s finest


… charming coworkers, and exceptional boss, the actual work is fantastic. As much as I love making up yet another answer to “how many laws are there” on a Saturday afternoon, there is a certain jolt of energy that comes with answering an urgent matter from a partner, then seeing the results of your work in an important brief, or as part of a big pitch. The relevance is very rewarding. (This is, of course, not to say that the volume of laws is an irrelevant metric, but it certainly lacks immediate relevancy–and I’m shallow enough to prefer instant gratification.) I also love how often, and on what a high level, I’m able to use what I spent 3 years and boatloads of cash learning in law school. Everything’s coming together.

Why didn’t I do this sooner? I have no idea. I’ve had this conversation with another LC expat who has since moved into PLL, and we both agree that this is amazing, and we should never have been resistant to the idea of BigLaw.

Now what I need to do is work on balancing professional development, participating in association stuff, and writing with being a BigLaw librarian. My days are unpredictable, and therefore hard to schedule around. Still, I think I’m getting a better feel for the patterns of work. I feel like I’ll be able to carve out more personal professional time once I have a better understanding of the right time to make for all of that.

Other PLLs–how are you balancing this somewhat unpredictable work flow with your professional development?



I started at the Law Library of Congress in January of 2006. On my first day, I sorted through a massive stack of items from the UN Library, organizing the books by language.

by Meg, the fruits of my first day of labor at the Law Library

They’re still there.

I worked my way up from being a contract shelving clerk, to technician, to collection services librarian, and eventually to my last position as a federal reference librarian. I completed both library and law school working at the Library of Congress. However, my position was temporary, and has expired.

Practically everything I know about being a librarian, I learned at the Library of Congress. I truly enjoyed my time there, and am enormously grateful to everyone I’ve worked with over the years. Thanks to you, I move on a better Lulu.

I’m not sure what lies ahead for me, but The Beatles said it best: “I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello.

Law librarians, rejoice! AALL annual meeting is upon us!

This week, I’ll be talking about meeting people, saying goodbye, and staying in touch–in all kinds of situations.

by Meg, A Quad, Law Library of Congress

I can’t wait to meet some of you this weekend in Boston! Follow me on Twitter, then connect your Twitter account to the conference scheduler to see where I’ll be. If we’re in a session together, come say hi!

Before a conference, it’s hard not to ask yourself whether you should be looking for a new position.

by Meg, at N.C. & D Sts. SE

For newer librarians:

  • Is there opportunity for advancement, either in position, or in responsibility, in your current work environment?
  • Do your colleagues encourage growth, share institutional knowledge, offer to collaborate?

For experienced librarians:

  • Have your responsibilities increased at an appropriate rate?
  • Is your work creating a lasting impact on your institution?

For everyone, of all time, ever:

  • Are you happy?

Maybe you’re not ready to seek change, but you should always be ready to accept the possibility of change.

In the spirit of Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and all of the other brilliant, three-named female legal minds that have gone before me, this Saturday I am getting married and will become Megan Lulofs Kuhagen. We’ve covered all of the important family law bases:

I think we’re ready!

The text of an email waiting for me this morning:

“To UB Faculty and Staff:

As part of the ongoing effort to build the University of Baltimore and the UB School of Law, we have articulated a five-year budget commitment to support the law school’s future development.

This commitment targets a $5 million increase in the School of Law’s base operating budget over the next five years and includes the following principles:

  • The University will work to keep future law school tuition increases as small as possible.
  • The current operating budgets of UB’s other colleges, school and administrative units will not be reduced as a result of the law school budget understanding.
  • The University remains committed to implementing a multiyear faculty hiring plan and to investing in all of its colleges, schools and administrative units.

We would like to recognize the School of Law’s faculty budget committee, chaired by Professor Michael Meyerson, for its partnership in crafting the law school budget understanding. In addition, law student representative Paul Snyder assisted the process by sharing student input with the committee. The collaboration among the committee, students and senior leadership was rooted in an appreciation of the goals of both the School of Law and the University.

The UB School of Law is entering a transformative period–one marked by new leadership, a new home and a renewed dedication to meeting the challenges of 21st-century legal education. The school is well-positioned to build upon the considerable progress of the past decade, which has included faculty growth, increased student scholarships, and enhanced distinction in legal education.

We hope this work can inform the University’s ongoing budget discussions and lead to similar collaborations across the institution.

Robert L. Bogomolny, President

F. Michael Higginbotham, Interim Dean, School of Law”

Greetings, fair readers, from Buffalo Niagara International Airport! I’m coming to you courtesy of Boingo Wifi, or the $7.95 I spent to not lose my mind, or throw myself over the falls in a barrel, during this lengthy layover before my bus to Toronto. In theory, I should be able to get a lot done before I depart at 3pm. If I were at work today, 5.5 hours alone in my office would be totally unheard of. But, I’m more likely to blog here, shop for shoes, answer a few Ask A Librarian questions, and shop for shoes some more. (Public service announcement: extra 20% off sale items at Piperlime until tomorrow, EXTRA20.)

I’m en route to Toronto to attend the ABA annual meeting, inexplicably in Canada, since it’s the American Bar Association’s meeting. This is my last year of student ABA membership, meaning that this is the last year where registration was a pittance and all the CLE classes I can sit through will be free. I can’t imagine that there will be as much networking as there was at AALL, but I’m hoping to absorb a lot more, programming wise. This has been a big summer of getting the word out about myself–starting the blog, conferencing, stepping up the tweets, speaking at classes and such–but this should be the last hurrah for a little while.

Has all of this running around helped? Am I a more developed professional now in August than I was in May? I think the answer is yes. The exposure has been helpful, but I think my biggest take away from this summer-of-hustle is poise. It is no small feat to meet hundreds of people, not offend too many of them, and still have them think highly of you. I’m doing ok. But, for better or for worse, the sheer pace of meeting and greeting, and the whittling down to the core effect that pace has on the mind and body, has really shown me where I need to improve.

L’amelioration de la Lulu:

  • I want to be a better conversationalist. My “how about them Nationals” is fine, but I crave the skill of inserting light but purposeful conversation where small talk is expected. I think it’s partly an empathy thing, but also partly a timing and confidence thing.
  • Speaking of which, I want to be more confident in my professional position. I’ve yucked enough about how crappy it is/was to be a contractor. Time to move on and embrace the now, even if it’s only temporary for 120 days. No one needs to know that up front, and no one has ever asked me that. Why lead with it? I’ll make it my mantra: I am a reference librarian. I am a reference librarian. Ommmm.
  • While we’re making lists, I need to be a little more organized, or at least a little more planned out when it comes to professional development. My sage mentor was just talking to me about this yesterday. If I don’t schedule time for writing, or set out exactly which committees I want to volunteer for, etc., it won’t happen. It’s nice that I’ve gone and done all this, but it can’t be haphazard. I have a lot of baseball games to attend between now and next month–timing is everything.

So, you remember that my old desk was housed in a cubicle, right? May I present what 5 years as a contractor, a library degree, a law degree and dumb luck have gotten me:

Are you in a marching band? Do you need space to practice?

Perhaps you are into livestock futures, and need a place to stow that last trade that happened a little too quickly? I’ve lived in apartments as big as this office. I’m totally blown away.

Possible uses for all this space (non-marching band or livestock related):

  • Afternoon yoga
  • Tea parties for the entire reference staff
  • A new custodial location for law library collections c-LLMO (c-Law Library Meg’s Office)
  • Mid-scale historic battle field dioramas

Suggestions? Omissions? Oh, you really are a livestock futures trader? Amazing.

Highlights of my desk area:

  • World’s slowest printer, and world’s loudest bar code scanner
  • Purple tassel from my law school graduation this May
  • Kate Spade ad
  • Pictures of me  and my dad at Comerica Park in Detroit (Eat ’em up, Tigers), me and my dad at Nationals spring training in Florida, and me and my mom on the beach bundled up in towels because it was so cold
  • Stacks of French monos to be returned to the stacks because they’ve already been KJVed and inventoried
  • Swarovski tipped pencil, because we’re all class in the sub-basement
  • Indispensable red Sharpie
  • Small puddle of tears, shed by me, sad to be leaving my home in the stacks

That’s my big news! Starting on Monday, I’ll be out of the stacks and into the reading room.

How often do stacks workers, dwellers of the sub-basement (literally) move upstairs to work with people? At my library, not often. I’ve been working with the collection off and on for about 5 years, and during that time I completed my MLIS and my JD. Now, degree-d, I’m going to face the public, without the comfort and security of a bar code scanner, a working label machine, and my LC Romanization tables.

I’m just a wee bit nervous.

On the one hand, I absolutely love reference, especially Ask A Librarian, and this is the opportunity I hoped to have when I went out for the professional degrees. On the other hand, I’m having a little separation anxiety. The difference between public and collections services is night and day. There are ample opportunities for cross over, of course. But, to this point, I’ve been of one mind: my kingdom for a complete K schedule, and a full inventory.

Everything is going to be fine: I work with amazing people on all floors of the library, sub-basement to the top, and the differences between the two gigs aren’t so much that one has nothing to do with the other. Night and day was an exaggeration, back there. I’m excited. Come and visit me at my new public position!

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