Join The Electronic Resources IG at #AALL17

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By Jim Hart

We would like to invite you to our annual FCIL-SIS Electronic Resources Interest Group (ERIG) Meeting, which will be held at 7:45 – 8:45 a.m. on Sunday, July 16th, at Austin Convention Center Level 3, Room 8B.

The Electronic Resources IG provides information and support to librarians on online resources of foreign, comparative and international law research. Although most of the group’s work benefits FCIL librarians, this meeting is open to both those who are and those who are not FCIL members. Everyone is welcome! At the meeting, we will review what the group has done in the past year, gather your ideas about interesting projects for the future, and introduce you to the new Chair.

Please join us for a great networking opportunity and to catch up with old friends!

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.

Schedule of FCIL Events in Austin

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Hello FCIL-SIS!  Are you ready for Austin next month?  We certainly are!

As we approach the 2017 AALL Annual Meeting in Austin, we encourage you to keep an eye on the blog and to follow us on Twitter for coverage of FCIL-SIS programming both during and after the conference.  

Also, PLEASE consider volunteering to recap a program (or two).  The recaps are super helpful for readers unable to attend the Conference (and for those of us who rely on recaps posted in the blog archives to refresh our dismal memories!).  If you are interested in volunteering to recap any of the events listed below, please contact Loren Turner (lturner@umn.edu) or Alyson Drake (alyson.drake@ttu.edu).

FCIL-SIS Events

2017 AALL ANNUAL MEETING, AUSTIN

Saturday, July 15

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm: Exhibit Hall Ribbon-Cutting/Opening Reception. Stop by the FCIL-SIS exhibit board!

Sunday, July 16

7:45 am – 8:45 am: FCIL-SIS Electronic Resources Interest Group Meeting (ACC Room 8B)

9:00 am – 10:15 am: Opening General Session (ACC-Grand Ballroom D-G)

11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Global Energy Law: Perspectives from North America and Africa (ACC Room 18AB)

1:00 pm – 2:15 pm: FCIL-SIS Jurisdictions Interest Group Joint Meeting (ACC Room 4C)

5:15 pm – 6:15 pm: FCIL-SIS Foreign Selectors Interest Group Meeting (ACC Room 7)

6:15 pm – 6:45 pm: FCIL-SIS Standing Committees Joint Meeting (Hilton Room 402)

Monday, July 17

7:00 am – 8:30 am: Business Meeting (Hilton Room 400)

9:45 am – 10:45 am: Cuban Law and Legal Research: A Snapshot during the Deshielo (ACC Room 18AB)

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm: FCIL-SIS Teaching Foreign & International Legal Research Interest Group Meeting (ACC Room 5B)

4:45 pm – 5:45 pm: FCIL-SIS Schaffer Grant Presentation: Rosemarie Rogers presents: I am the River and the River is Me  (ACC Room 8C)

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm: International Attendees Joint Reception (Hilton Governor’s Ballroom Salon B)

Tuesday, July 18

7:30 am – 8:15 am: FCIL-SIS Education Committee Meeting (Hilton Room 404)

 

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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

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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.