Introducing…Janet Kearney as the August FCIL Librarian of the Month (and Winner of the Newest FCIL Librarian Award)

  1. Where did you grow up?

Although I was born in Texas, I’ve lived in the New Orleans area since I could talk. Even though I’ve traveled around a bit, I feel very lucky that I’ve been able to settle in New Orleans for the long term.

  1. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?
In Paris

In Paris, while studying abroad with Tulane Law School

I like to think that law librarianship selected me. In my last year of law school, I was an extern for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Library. I chose this placement, honestly, because it sounded like a nice break in my schedule, but I discovered that I actually enjoyed it. I never liked the idea of working for a firm (policy nut here!), and I found this career that focused on my favorite part of work: research.

  1. When did you develop an interest in foreign, comparative, and international law?

I’ve always enjoyed traveling, so I think an interest in FCIL issues is a natural extension of that. My undergraduate degree is in International Studies, and I studied abroad in undergrad and law school. I spent a summer as an intern for the U.S. Consulate in Belfast, UK and was able to do some fascinating legal/policy research on issues specific to Northern Ireland.

  1. Who is your current employer?  How long have you worked there?

I am at Loyola University New Orleans Law Library as the Cataloging & Reference Librarian. It’s a small ship with an “all hands on deck” attitude – because of my background and interests, I’m lucky enough to serve as a de-facto FCIL librarian. I’ve been here since September 2015, originally as a reference staffer and now as an Assistant Professor.

  1. Do you speak any foreign languages?

    with RBG

    Meeting Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Paris

I have only elementary proficiency in French – enough to order food and get around on trips. My reading skills are a bit stronger, but I have a copy of the first Harry Potter in French that I use to stretch those muscles.

  1. What is your most significant professional achievement?

Finishing law school and passing the Louisiana bar exam. So much hard work and pain (and money) goes into both accomplishments. Working in a law school and talking to students prepping for the same bar, I consistently tell them it’s a horrible thing, but when you pass, the sense of accomplishment is off the charts.

  1. What is your biggest food weakness?

Ice cream or dessert in general. I believe there is an extra stomach just for dessert.

  1. What song makes you want to get up and sing/dance?

It’s so cheesy I’m almost afraid to admit it, but the song Nobody’s Perfect from Hannah Montana. I used to listen to it over and over to pump myself up for exams in law school.

  1. What ability or skill do you most wish you had (that you don’t have already)?

Number 1 – stronger language skills. Way down the list is the ability to read my cat’s mind.

  1. Aside from the basic necessities, what is one thing you cannot go a day without?

Coffee! Or is it considered a basic necessity? I think this comes up frequently in these surveys!

cat with bluebook

Ruth Bader, Janet’s cat, with the Bluebook

  1. Anything else you would like to share with us?

I have two cats, Ruth Bader and Drew Brees – named after the Justice and the Saints football player, respectively. At AALL in Chicago, I noticed that a lot of librarians also have cats, so perhaps people will find that interesting or at least cute.

 

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