Introducing…Tove Klovning as the August 2017 FCIL Librarian of the Month

ToveKlovning

1.Where did you grow up?

I grew up in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Norway. I am Norwegian, but spent my childhood years in Asia due to my father’s work in the United Nations. I am thankful for having been given an opportunity at a young age to discover new countries and languages, while also learning to accept various cultures and differences.

2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?

Good question. I did not. It chose me! I am going to blame this career choice on my mentor, Paul D. Callister, who encouraged me to pursue a career in FCIL law librarianship.

Thanks to my mentor I ended up applying to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s M.S. degree in library and information science after graduating with an LL.M. degree from the University of Illinois College of Law in 2001. I was awarded a full merit scholarship which contributed to my interested in learning more about this profession.

I love all aspects of my job and have never had a boring day at work since I started working at Washington University. I am a research facilitator, lecturer in law, a mentor, a speaker, supervisor and colleague. I feel fortunate that my job includes both administrative duties as well as teaching duties.

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

I developed an interest at a very young age because of my father’s professional career with the United Nations.

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

My current employer is Washington University School of Law. I have worked here since June of 2002. I was first I hired as Access Services/Government Documents Librarian & Lecturer in Law. In 2009, I transitioned into the position as the law school’s FCIL Law Librarian & Lecturer in Law.

5. Do you speak any foreign languages?

Give me a couple of days in any country in the world and I can guarantee that I will be able to have a meaningful conversation with the people around me! I have always loved learning languages and love traveling.  In my early twenties I was a solo globetrotter. I am bilingual in English and Norwegian, fluent in Swedish and Danish and have limited proficiency in Icelandic. However written Icelandic is easier to understand than spoken Icelandic. Having lived in the US for many years I will need a couple of days in France and Germany to brush-up both my French and German language skills. I can understand and use familiar everyday expressions in Turkish and Arabic. When I was a little girl I was able to communicate in Hindi, Malay and Urdu.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement?

My ability to multi-task and take on new responsibilities when called for!

As the law school’s foreign, comparative, and international law subject specialist, I oversee collection development, purchases and library services for these collections. However, I also oversee two separate Federal and State Government Depository Collections as the both their coordinator and subject specialist. (I recently assumed responsibility as the university wide Federal and State Depository coordination in addition to my recent responsibilities as the law school’s Federal and State Depository collection coordinator and specialist).

Over the years I have published several legal research guides on both American, international, and foreign legal research methodology and had speaker opportunities both in the US and abroad. I have a law degree and a post specialization in American law from the University of Bergen in Norway and a Master of Law and Master of Science from University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.

My job also includes teaching responsibilities. I am a lecturer in law at the law school and in this capacity I teach a one year American Legal Research Methodology class to first year law students and offer an eight hour legal workshop to JSD students (doctoral students) and visiting scholars. I also give legal research talks in law school seminar classes and recently started supervising Ph.D. dissertations.

7. What is your biggest food weakness?

I cannot live without fruits! At home we always have multiple types of fruits available for anyone to grab. Sometimes you will find me turn some of these goodies into delicious a jam, juice, snack or dessert.

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

Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like

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

I would love to be able to play a musical instrument and compose songs. Fortunately, my daughter has this ability. She currently has 4 songs on iTunes and on Spotify, and has released 2 music videos on YouTube thanks to a music producer in Texas who encouraged her to pursue this field as singer, songwriter and composer Sema Elin.

I am currently reading many books on artist management and the music industry.  I must admit that I have enjoyed learning about the music industry from a potential music management perspective. A new song and music video is in the works.

10. Aside from the basic necessities, what is one thing you can’t go a day without?

Getting up early in the morning! I am totally a morning person.

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

The ASIL Midyear Meeting will be at Washington University School of Law October 26- 28 (2017). Make sure to save the date and swing by my neck of the woods!

 

 

Introducing…Michael McArthur as the July 2017 FCIL Librarian of the Month

1. Where did you grow up? 

I spent my childhood among the beautiful vistas of Southern Utah, not far from Zion National Park.

2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career? 

I didn’t know it was an actual job until I had started at law school. My career path was set the instant I realized I could work in a library and teach.

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

I have always been interested in all things foreign. It often feels like each reference question related to FCIL rekindles that curiosity.

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

I began my career at the University of Michigan Law Library and have been in Ann Arbor for 4 1/2 years.

5. Do you speak any foreign languages? 

Japanese. I was an exchange student to Japan in high school but came back feeling like I couldn’t speak a word. I promised myself I wouldn’t be satisfied with mediocre language skills so I took every opportunity available to go back and learn it properly. I ended up spending over 4 years living there and ultimately graduated with a major in Japanese.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement? 

I really feel like I am still just starting out and haven’t done anything noteworthy. That being the case, I have really enjoyed working on the IFLP Advisory Board under Marci Hoffman. Presenting at AALL last year in Chicago on Japanese primary law in English was also something to remember.

7. What is your biggest food weakness? 

Tex-Mex.

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

Oddly enough, in college I was in a show choir, so some of the songs we performed hold a soft spot for me. The reality is I enjoy singing along with just about anything that ends up on the radio.

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

I know it has been mentioned before, but the ability to travel anywhere instantaneously. Maybe not so much to explore as to live somewhere fascinating and be able to commute to work effortlessly.

10. Aside from the basic necessities, what is one thing you do not go a day without? 

I don’t really have any daily routines, so now I am wondering what it would be if I could choose. I will defer to the obvious I guess. I have a wonderful little family I adore and wouldn’t be able to function without them.

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

Thank you for including me in the FCIL spotlight. I really appreciate the profession we share. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything.

Introducing…Amy Flick as the June 2017 FCIL Librarian of the Month

1. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Macon, Georgia. My father was a professor at Mercer University, so I grew up in the faculty housing at Mercer, just up the hill from the library.

2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?

Like a lot of law librarians, I was an unhappy and not particularly successful lawyer. I started thinking about what I could do to keep the research part of the job without the parts I didn’t like, and I went back to library school.

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

I’ve been at Emory University since 1994, as a student intern, a part-time reference librarian, full-time reference librarian, government documents librarian, and bibliographic instruction librarian; I’ve only been the foreign and international law librarian since 2013.

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

I developed an interest in it over time. I took a lot of the international law questions when I was in government documents, and I taught some basic foreign and international law research in Advanced Legal Research and in the class visits to seminars and the international law journal. After a while, I liked getting those research questions and classes, because they were more challenging and I used a wider array of resources.

5. Do you speak any foreign languages?

I wish I did. I manage to read some materials in French, but I mostly get by with Google Translate and finding translated materials. One of these days I’m going to do some remedial work on my college French.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement?

That’s a tough one – my resume is more doggedly working my way through things than a series of achievements. I guess it’s that I’ve become a fairly competent foreign and international law librarian and instructor in spite of both that lack of language skills and an incredible discomfort with public speaking.

7. What is your biggest food weakness?

So many things that are terrible for me, but especially ice cream.

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

I’ll sing – in private – anything that I can remember most of the words to, so it’s all really old stuff like Love Shack (the B52s), a bunch of Beatles songs, and then there’s I Am    Woman (Helen Reddy), which I sang to my daughter when she was a baby, because who knows the words to lullabyes?

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

Besides the foreign language ability I’ve already mentioned, Atlanta traffic makes me       wish that I could fly. Or get a Tardis.

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

Like the millennial group that I am not part of, I can’t do without my cell phone.

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

I have very genre-specific reading interests. See the photo above.

All the DipLawMatic Dialogue readers should register for the IALL Annual Course this year! It’s in Atlanta this year, which makes it easier to get to for the U.S. librarians, and we’ve got a lot of great lectures and excursions lined up. My personal favorite on the program is the movie tour on the optional day, where we will be visiting sites from the Civil Rights Movement and from movies filmed around Atlanta.

 

Introducing…Yemisi Dina as the May 2017 FCIL Librarian of the Month

Yemisi1. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Ibadan, a city in Nigeria, West Africa.

2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?

My alma mater was looking to fill the position of Law Librarian at the time I was looking for a job. As part of the accreditation requirements the candidate for the position has to have a dual degree in Law and Librarianship. It was always very difficult to find a qualified candidate. So when I expressed interest, as I didn’t have my MLIS which was one of the conditions to fill the position, I had to go to Library School. I have not looked back since as I am enjoying my career.

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

I have always had an interest in information about other jurisdictions but once I became a law librarian, the legal aspect became a passion. As an undergraduate while studying for my BA degree in English, I took elective courses in Caribbean and South African literature which exposed me to information about those jurisdictions. Also while studying in law school, I studied and read cases/ jurisprudence from other jurisdictions in many of my courses.

The major tasks and responsibilities in my previous jobs also involved setting up libraries and collection building; no doubt this had a significant influence on my interest in foreign, comparative, and international law.

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

Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. I started working here in June 2006; going to 11 years now!

5. Do you speak any foreign languages?

I am fluent in Yoruba and speak some basic French.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement?

Helping to reorganize and set up academic law libraries at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria and the College of The Bahamas (Now University of The Bahamas)/UWI LL.B Program, Nassau, The Bahamas.

7. What is your biggest food weakness?

Fruits! I cannot do without them.

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

“We are family” by Sister Sledge.

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

Speaking more foreign languages. But Google Translate has made life very easy.

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

Checking my cell phone!

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

Please plan to attend the African Law IG program on Global Energy Law at the AALL Annual Conference this year in Austin!  It will be held on Sunday, July 16 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in ACC-Room 18AB.

Introducing…Gabriela Femenia as the April 2017 FCIL Librarian of the Month

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1. Where did you grow up?

A lot of places, but mostly Silicon Valley. My high school was down the road from Apple, so I still kind of think of it as a local business.

2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?

After leaving practice, I moved into academic administration while looking for a way to combine my law background with my interest in teaching and research. I knew I didn’t have the narrow focus to be an academic, and I also wanted a better work-life balance. After being introduced to some law librarians, it was obvious that’s what I’d been looking for all along.

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

I was fortunate that one of the law librarians I met before library school was an FCIL librarian, Maria Smolka-Day. She convinced me that it would be a great fit for me, assuming there was a job open when I graduated, which she cautioned might not be the case. Ironically enough, it was her job that was open, as she retired that year.

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

The University of Pennsylvania Law School, which I’ve worked for since getting my MLIS in 2009.

5. Do you speak any foreign languages?

I speak Spanish, since I was born in Argentina and grew up bilingual. I can read French, German, and Latin, although I’m badly out of practice speaking the first two, and I never really spoke Latin apart from reciting Winnie Ille Pu in class.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement?

Becoming a reasonably experienced legal research instructor or achieving OCLC immortality as editor of a chapter in Sources of State Practice, although winning the impressively pointy Spirit of the FCIL-SIS award is a close second.

7. What is your biggest food weakness?

I’m with Wallace on this one: Cheese! I have tried going vegan at a couple of points, and it is always cheese that is my downfall. Don’t even try to convince me that nutritional yeast is an acceptable substitute.

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

Peter Gabriel’s Solsbury Hill. It’s what I crank at every moment of victory in my life.

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

Like all FCIL librarians, I would like to be able to download every language directly into my brain on demand, Matrix-style. Stopping and starting time would also be nice.

More realistically, I would like to have more artistic ability and a steadier piping hand so I could decorate cakes better (see below).

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

The obvious answer is probably sarcasm, but I’ll go with fountain pens. I’ve been obsessed with them since buying my first one on a whim in college, so having to use a ballpoint makes me seriously cranky. I have way too many of them, including some treasured ones inherited from relatives, and I buy a new one every few months, especially whenever I’m in Washington DC and can get to Fahrney’s. One of the best birthday presents I’ve ever received is a custom fountain pen holder in the shape of a Ferris wheel, which my husband designed and 3-D printed for me.

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

I bake for fun pretty much every Sunday, and since I don’t want an entire batch of whatever it is in my house all week, it goes into the office on Monday for my coworkers. If it hadn’t been for Kitchen Confidential coming out just as I graduated and having restaurant owners as my first clients, I might have toyed with a career change to pastry chef instead of librarianship. Yes, I am addicted to Great British Bake Off, although I’m going to have to defect to whatever new show the BBC creates for Mary, Sue and Mel, because Paul Hollywood on his own is not going to do it for me.

Introducing…Jonathan Pratter as the March 2017 FCIL Librarian of the Month

jonathan-pratter.jpg

1. Where did you grow up?

Bloomington, Indiana, where I got into more than my fair share of trouble.

2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?

After five years as a public defender, I got tired of seeing my clients go to jail.  I knew it was time for a change.

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

I suggested the possibility to Roy Mersky, the director here at Texas after the retirement of my predecessor, Guido Olivera.  Mersky snapped up the idea and sent me to train with Tom Reynolds at Berkeley.  From then on, I was hooked.

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

The University of Texas, Tarlton Law Library.  I hesitate to say that I have been at my post since 1985.  I’m just now hitting my stride.

5. Do you speak any foreign languages?

I can honestly say that I can speak Spanish and French.  I read German, and with a good grammar reference and a big dictionary, can write it, too.  In light of all the effort I put in to achieve just that much, I’m suspicious of claims sometimes made of fluency in six languages or something absurd like that.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement?

Receiving the recognition of my peers, which in several respects I don’t deserve – FCIL librarianship is quintessentially a collaborative project.

7. What is your biggest food weakness?

Authentic tapas and Valor chocolate, both from Spain, of course.

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

Just about anything by Ray Charles.

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

Musical talent (see 8 above).

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

Reading a good book and NPR (I know, that’s two).

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

I look forward to seeing readers of DipLawMatic Dialogues in Austin for the AALL annual meeting.  FYI, I know where the good BBQ is, and it’s not Franklin’s.

 

Introducing…Sarah Jaramillo as the February 2017 FCIL Librarian of the Month

1.  Wsarah-jaramillohere did you grow up?

I grew up in Southern California and the Dallas area, and have lived in many places since then.

2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?

As fortune would have it, I stumbled upon law librarianship when I found myself living in Bloomington, Indiana in 2002. I recently graduated from college and was looking for a job. I found one at the Indiana University School of Law Library as a serials and bindery clerk. From that point on, I’ve been working in law libraries in various capacities. I saw what the reference librarians did at the law library at IU, and I found what they did very interesting and, more importantly, could see myself doing it in the long term. I applied for the joint law and library science program at IU and became a professional law librarian in 2008 at Rutgers-Newark School of Law Library.

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

I’ve had an interest in foreign, comparative and international law ever since I went to law school. I am one of those people who think all legal subjects could have a FCIL hook at some point. In all honesty, though, I found FCIL legal research intimidating, but I started picking it up over the years. My knowledge of foreign, comparative, and international law became more comprehensive when I because the tax research specialist at Fordham Law Library in 2011. As the tax specialist, I needed to have an in-depth knowledge of how to research international and foreign tax law. In January 2016, I started my position as one of the two reference librarians for international and foreign law at New York University School of Law. I love that I now have an official excuse to completely immerse myself in foreign and international law.

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

My current employer is New York University School of Law. I started there as a reference librarian for international and foreign law in January 2016.

5. Do you speak any foreign languages?

I have basic reading knowledge of Spanish and French. I’m aiming for that knowledge to become more advanced in the course of my employment at NYU.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement?

My most significant professional achievements came during my work with the Social Responsibilities SIS (SR-SIS). In 2010/11 and 2011/12, I ran the SR-SIS’s annual book drive. In 2012/13, I was the vice-chair/chair-elect of the SR-SIS. That year, we worked with Emily Feltren in AALL Government Relations to protest and formally comment on New York state’s gutting of some prison libraries. As chair in 2013/14, the SR-SIS lobbied AALL to formally support the passage of San Antonio’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance and led the charge to amend AALL’s antidiscrimination bylaws provision to include protection on the basis of gender identity.

7. What is your biggest food weakness?

Any baked good really.

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

There are so many. The first one to come to mind is “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce, but I could list so many others from various genres and time periods. I love music!

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

Well, this is certainly an open-ended question. I assume you don’t mean superpowers, so I’ll stay more grounded in my answers. In terms of general skills, I wish I knew how to model risk using Matlab or Python. In terms of law librarian skills, I wish I instantaneously knew the nuts and bolts of the law of international trade.

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

Conversation with friends or family.

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

I’m looking forward to getting to know the FCIL community in AALL better. Cheers!