Archives for posts with tag: pics or it didn’t happen

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?



A Christmas present from my parents a few years ago, this charming edition is always in my purse–and has been transferred to more than one clutch for special occasions.

Also a Christmas present, this one is much thinner, and tends to live on a shelf at home for ready reference. It has a snazzy red and white striped verso, quite stylish.

I have two of these, actually. They’re from Colonial Williamsburg, and include both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I personally think the Articles of Confederation would have been appropriate for a CW reproduction, but I still love this edition. It used to live in my backpack at school.

I was a librarian before I was a law student, and was very wary of taking vendor swag while I was at school. I took this pocket edition from Lexis (with a handy guide to legislative history…using Lexis in the front), and used it throughout law school. Want to know what doesn’t impress law professors one bit? Having a pocket Constitution.

This is my most recent acquisition from donating to the ACLU. I love this one because it’s absolutely to the point: no intro, just the Constitution. It’s a pleasing size, and it includes the signers’ names and states.





I’ve written about my past life as an eBay consignment cataloger before. Every now and then, I embrace an Antiques Roadshow mentality and go searching for hidden treasure. I might be at a yard sale, digging through the box of silverware looking for stamps. Or, I might be trolling vintage luxury brand listings on eBay: vintage YSL, vintage Celine, vintage Ferragamo

vintage Bally.

Meet my new work sandals. I’m not going to link to the listing that brought us together, but here is the item description:

Lots of exceptions and rules up front, very little description of the actual item, and certainly not a description tailored to buyers of designer wares. “Looks like they were purchased in Italy?” A close up of the tag:

It’s printed in French, suggesting they were purchased in France, or perhaps Switzerland where Bally is based.

The other most important piece of information from a price tag? The price. These shoes originally sold for 550,00. I’m assuming that price is in Euros, because that would have been nothing in Francs (French or Swiss). Of course, that also means that these are not vintage, since the Eurozone was created in 1999. In any case, in today’s U.S. dollars, these shoes were $684.

I bought them for less than $20, including shipping. That’s better than I can do at Payless for work shoes.


The take away from my Ballys for library resource guides, course descriptions, and the like?

  • Know your audience. Every program is not designed for every patron. Flyers for genealogy class will look different from flyers for story time, pro se help, or your 50 Shades of Grey reading hour. Clearly the content will be different, but so will the wording, font size, contact method, etc.
  • Not sure who your audience is? Do a little research. People watching (much like price tag reading) is a totally free investment that could bring big returns for your programs. Notice that all the moms with toddlers hang out by the door? That’s so they can take fussy ones outside in a hurry–try putting your story time fliers there. Or better yet, put them just outside the door. Idle time bouncing baby might be an advertising moment.
  • Tailor, tailor, tailor. If you have a diverse patron group, maybe you need different info guides for the same subject. Yes, it’s more work, but it might save explanation and on-the-spot editing later. I’m thinking of making a database guide for my pro se patrons so they can get right to what they need for the cases, and skip over our wonderful (but useless to them) comparative international law resources.
  • Put the most important stuff up front. I know I’m not reading to the end of your training flyer to find the date and time. Know what’s important to your intended audience and put that up front. Story time? Parents need times: kids are scheduled down to the last minute of their tiny existences.
  • Don’t be afraid to advertise with the obvious. Joe DiMaggio said, “There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first time, or the last time. I owe him my best.” It may be someone’s first time at your library. You’re there every day, and the magic might have worn off. Not so to the first time user who had no idea that you had wi-fi, or ebooks, or whatever else. People are always amazed that you can request as many books as you want at one time in library. We advertise that fact exactly nowhere.

Your library shouldn’t be full of hidden treasures. Much like the Bally shoe seller, you could be getting a lot more money if you show value by reaching the right people.

Check out the beautiful dome and weather vane (!!!) on the Library of Parliament in Ottawa, ON at In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress.

We had a great time in Ottawa, I totally want to live and work in Canada, and yes, I am sitting on an ice chair with iPads frozen into it.

At the ice sculpture competition, part of Winterlude, in the Rogers tent

Nice to know that lawn darts are holding their own in the U.S. Code Index for 2011.

In the shadow of Occupy Wall Street/DC/Oakland/wherever lies the the fledgling Occupy Knowledge movement, also known by it’s more common name, “Librarians Don’t Get On With Vendors.” A simple Google for “librarians and vendor relations” yields a list of hits that could have resulted from “difficult mother” or “I think my boyfriend is cheating on me.”

I don’t speak of it directly very often, but I work at the Library of Congress. It’s a pretty big, pretty nice library–lots of good stuff happening here. Arguably, one of the best things happening here is copyright deposit. In case you are unfamiliar with the law, check out Circular 1, and this handy dandy excerpt:

Yay, books! All for free, all for us, two copies of everything published here in the U.S. for our use, or disposition.

On Use: Collection policies vary from division to division, based on the importance of the title. But in my division, we tend to keep two copies of most law journals. We collect issues as they’re deposited, and we bind them ourselves. Sometimes, publishers will send us a nicely bound copy of an entire volume, even though they already sent us the loose issues.

On Disposition: Sometimes, more than two copies are deposited. Sometimes, we actually buy a copy, and still have two deposited. Sometimes we get extras from gift & exchange. Acquisitions happens. What do we do with the extras, beyond our keep decision? We pulp them.

Yay, recycling! But wait, you say: isn’t that terribly wasteful? Aren’t librarians fighting a war against high prices from unreasonable vendors? I mean, yeah. I hear they are. But none of them have approached me, or the Library lately to ask about cooperating, getting the knowledge out there. Plus the fight doesn’t directly apply to me; I lack standing.

There’s nothing more free law than dumpster diving, people. Gift and exchange doesn’t cover this, and neither does the surplus program. Who wants to figure out a way to make a new program?

While the rest of us schmoes slave away at the reference desk, there’s a guy with a cat on leash attending the THOMAS tutorial, generally causing a fuss at the National Book Festival. Memes were called for.

What do you mean, you’re not a constitutional law scholar? I find this shocking.

For the rest of us, so that we may also celebrate Constitution Day, here are my favorite explainers of the top law of our land:

  • Side by side explanation of changes to the Constitution since 1789 from the U.S. Senate website
  • The gigantor U.S. Constitution Analysis and Interpretation, a hefty volume and a hefty PDF, that covers absolutely everything you’ll ever need to know with exhaustive citations (here’s my print copy)

Isn’t today just the day to look for secret symbols on the underside of the Constitution? Oh, I think it is. Here’s a lovely scan at the World Digital Library:

Follow the link to get there, not the picture…

For those originalists among us (I say that like Antonin reads my blog… or uses a computer), they also have the Articles of Confederation:

Happy Constitution Day!







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