For your reading enjoyment …

Sometimes I star things in Google Reader or Twitter or wherever because I want to be sure to mention them in my Saturday Evening Post, and sometimes I do it to remind myself to read something, and sometimes I do it to save “important” things. Then the starred items are automatically sent to Evernote, where I forget about them until Saturday, when I’m looking for something to post. Point is, I cannot remember which particular bucket these items fall into.

This week, it seems especially heavy on the “save ‘important’ things” bucket, so sorry if legal research isn’t one of your major interests. I don’t actually talk all that much about work on my blog, so this provides you with some insight on a lot of the things I think about all day.

    • Slaw, Reflecting on Legal Research Instruction. This is another librarian’s reaction to a post I drew your attention to a few weeks ago, along with her feelings about being in the middle of teaching a first-year legal research class. This point seemed particularly apt:

      To many students, legal research is sort of the broccoli and spinach of first-year law school courses, and research instruction tutorials come at a time when they’re beginning to feel the weight of their workload. Engagement can be a challenge, as can avoidance of information overload.


    • RIPS Law Librarian Blog, Reference Coaching for the Short Attention Span Patron. Aside from blaming “Sesame Street” as the beginning of the slide into short-attention-span territory, there’s a lot of good stuff here.

      I became concerned because of a reference question I recently received. I had a student working on a research problem. I directed the student to the United States Code and helped her with the index. It was a heavily litigated area and I pointed out the annotations. She looked at them. She looked at me. She asked “How would I know the answer? Would I need to read this?”

      Librarians need to craft reference interviews not to be more entertaining, but to coach the researcher to understand that the answer will not be easy, will not appear on the screen or immediately stand out to them in the book. Students need to be explicitly told that research will take hours, not minutes. That they should embrace this.

      Although this part:

      I told her no one would pay her as an attorney if it was easy to find a legal answer. Her face brightened. I also told her that, depending on the payment model, she would get paid for each hour spent researching.

      Reminded me that I thought I read something that said clients were being more circumspect about research fees. I guess I did not bookmark that in a way that would make me easy to find it again, though …

That’s all for now. Am planning on writing tomorrow about a meeting I had earlier today with a group of students I like to call LSOT, who tell me everything I need to know about kids these days.


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