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Temple Law Library

Annual Report

The Temple Law Library prepares an annual report to share and assess its work as it moves toward realizing its mission and goals. The report records the Law Library's activities and accomplishments toward its vision of providing patrons reliable and knowledgeable access to legal information and nurturing Temple Law students in becoming information literate, ethical researchers, and technologically adaptive attorneys and legal professionals.

Questions or comments? Contact Temple Law Library at tulawlib@temple.edu.


2020-2021 Report

Introduction

Welcome to the second Annual Report of the Law Library! During the 2020-2021 academic year the Law Library created new communication channels to reach patrons and expanded services to the university community. The Law Library continued to offer remote and in-person assistance and developed services to meet the needs of students and faculty in the hybrid learning environment.

Summer 2020 saw the library staff engaging in fully remote work and services while planning for a safe return to campus. Reduced seating, an online study space booking system, and limiting navigation through study spaces helped the library meet university health guidelines. Plexiglass shields and no-touch ID card readers kept employees and patrons safe at the circulation desk. Regular quarantine of materials, UV treatments, and routine cleaning of shared work surfaces were also implemented. Though the short-term course reserve collection was suspended for the Fall semester for health and safety reasons, the library designed a no-contact pick-up service for long-term checkouts.

The Law Library's research help and instruction activity continued online. Pop-up resource talks became drop-in Zoom sessions and noontime research trainings were presented both live and recorded for later viewing. The Law Library also hosted events, including an online escape room for orientation, trivia time, and game nights to foster a sense of community.

library pandemic measures, screens, sanitizers, remote class screenshotPhotography: Lizzie Yazvac

Services

In 2021, the Law Library launched the Temple Law Library Podcast. The podcast features the law librarians, our faculty, and our students, and provides an audio experience for patrons interested in learning more about the Law Library and the Temple Law community. Initial episodes covered how to use secondary resources in your research, what to think about when receiving a research assignment during a summer placement, and how to know when your research is finished.

In addition to introducing Contactless Checkout, the Law Library and Charles Library collaborated to expand access to the Law Library's collection to the wider Temple University community .

The Law Library continued to build new resource guides, including the publication of "Voting: A How to Guide" for the 2020 election, and one on "Equity, Diversity & Inclusion."

Despite being virtual, librarians gave numerous presentations, including library programming and in-class guest lectures, on topics ranging from patent resources to researching potential employers. The online format allowed select presentations to be recorded and posted to the Law Library Canvas page.

In Spring 2021, the Temple Law Library created a student survey to gain insights about our programming, resources, communication, and more. We received 124 responses from across day and evening students and the entire spectrum of class years.  In response to the survey, the Law Library broadened the venues in which it posts announcements, designed the upcoming podcast schedule to include student-requested topics, and created more engaging library presentations that met the time restraints of students.

Many faculty took advantage of the library liaison program, which allowed librarians to gain more in-depth knowledge of their faculty’s research interests and improved continuity with long-term research projects. To help with these projects, the library coordinated three library Research Assistants, each of whom also worked on library research guides.

Collection

During this time, the Law Library made a concerted effort to improve DEI offerings to patrons. This led to the acquisitions of ProQuest Supreme Court Insight and History Vault NAACP Papers: Major Campaigns. The law library also licensed the Wolters Kluwer Online Study Aid Library, making popular study tools available to law students while they were off campus during COVID and hybrid learning. The Law Library also collaborated with the Office of Career Services to license Leadership Connect and Vault Law to help students research potential employers. Other specialized online resources were licensed to support faculty and student scholarship.

The Law Library also crafted a new Collection Development Policy. This document modernizes the approach the librarians use to acquire and deselect print and electronic material. Additionally, the updated Collection Development Policy expressly states that the law library is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive collection. The policy describes the existing collection and articulates criteria and methods to build and maintain a modern and effective law library collection tailored to the mission of Temple Law. The Law Library also began a subscription to GOBI Library Services to facilitate future collection-building.

By the numbers

Serving the Temple Community
The Law Library filled 95 requests for materials placed by the wider campus community.
Outreach & Reference
Law librarians reached 362 participants with 28 presentations and answered over 800 reference requests.

Librarians & Staff

In August 2020, Keena Hilliard, J.D., M.L.I.S., began as the Law Library's Reference & Metadata Librarian. Keena showed great adaptability, starting at Temple in a hybrid work environment, by jumping in to present orientation trainings and catalog new textbooks. Keena divides time between public services and technical services. Projects this year spanned original cataloging for 19th Century Pennsylvania primary materials and online tutorials.

Lizzie Yazvac, B.A.,  joined the Law Library staff as a Bibliographic Assistant in May 2021. In this newly formed position, Lizzie handles acquisitions, oversees the circulation desk, and manages the Law Library's student workers. In her first weeks, Lizzie learned several of the library and project management systems involved in her role and created an online student worker manual to streamline the training experience for the Law Library’s student assistants.

After 40 years of service to Temple University, Dan Henderson, M.S., retired from the Law Library in June 2021. Dan worked in the Law IT department, managing the computer lab and fielding faculty hardware requests. Dan returned to the Law Library in 2015, where he maintained the federal publication collection, and contributed to both public and technical services.

Continued professional development remained a priority for the Law Library. Law librarians and staff engaged in a professional development series that featured leaders in academic and firm law libraries sharing their knowledge on marketing, government publications, collection development, and technology engagement. This series supplemented the librarians’ attendance at virtual conferences and workshops hosted by organizations like the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), Mid-America Association of Law Libraries, Midwest Collaborative Library Services, and Temple's Center for the Advancement of Teaching. Similarly, the law librarians continued to serve on the University Libraries' working groups for shared discovery and repository systems and Strategy Steering Teams.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Law Library is committed to supporting the Law School and university diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. To further these efforts, the law librarians created an online research guide on equity, diversity, and inclusion that features reading lists and national and local resources. The guide is also featured on the Law School’s DEI page. The law librarians also attended webinars and coffee chats on topics including accessibility and creating inclusive assignments. Noa Kaumeheiwa's service on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion subcommittee of the University Libraries Collection Strategy Steering Team involves gathering tools for subject selectors to build diverse collections.

Looking Ahead

The Law Library plans to continue to build on the innovations created during the 2020-2021 academic year. We will pursue our vision to provide exemplary research, learning services, and resources while supporting the Temple Law School mission to deliver accessible, affordable, and excellent legal education.

Main library reading room, students at desk and scanner

Staff Achievements

  • Michelle Cosby served as Past-President of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and as a member of the Law School’s Graduation Prizes Committee.
  • Keena Hilliard attended metadata trainings hosted by the Government Publishing Office and Midwest Collaborative for Library Services.
  • Noa Kaumeheiwa served on the AALL LexisNexis Research Grant jury and as a member of the Temple University Libraries Collection Strategy Steering Team’s DEI subcommittee.
  • Julie Randolph served as the chair of the AALL Legal Innovation & Technology Special Interest Section Programming Committee, as Member-at-Large for the Greater Philadelphia Law Library Association, and as a jury member for the Temple University Libraries Livingstone Undergraduate Research Awards.
  • Michelle Cosby, Charlie Perkins, and Noa Kaumeheiwa participated in the AALL Management Institute.

Previous Annual Reports