AALL 2017 Recap: Yemisi Dina & Thomas Mills win Spirit of the FCIL-SIS Awards!

The Spirit of the FCIL-SIS Award is presented each year to members whose work furthers our mission, serves the entire FCIL-SIS, and inspires other to act. This year during the AALL 2017 Annual Meeting, Yemisi Dina and Thomas Mills received Spirit of the FCIL-SIS Awards.

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Yemisi Dina is an Associate Librarian and Head of Public Services at Osgoode Hall Law School Library in Toronto, Canada.  Yemisi currently serves as Chair of the African Law Interest Group and was responsible for proposing, coordinating, and moderating the FCIL-SIS sponsored program at this year’s Annual Meeting: Global Energy Law: Perspectives from North America and Africa.  Yemisi has published two research guides on the Globalex platform: one on Nigerian law and one on Caribbean law , based on her prior experience as a librarian in both Nigeria and the Bahamas. Additionally, Yemisi developed a project that digitizes and summarizes customary court decisions from Ibadan and Abeokuta, two major cities in South Western Nigeria.  These court decisions are not published in an official record, so Yemisi’s summaries provide one of the few means of access.  As many members may remember, Yemisi shared the results of her project at the jurisdictions IG joint meeting held during last year’s Annual Meeting in Chicago. Thank you, Yemisi!  Congratulations!

millsThomas Mills, now the Director of the University of Notre Dame Law School Library, served with a team of consultants for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in the summer of 2009, providing advice on how to archive materials on the genocide trials.  He has also served as Chair of the FCIL-SIS Strategic Planning Committee; Chair of the FCIL-SIS Pre-Conference Summit Task Force; a member of the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals committee; and a member of the indexing of periodical literature committee.  More recently he has worked as a member of the project team of Global Online Access to Legal Information(GOALI).  Congratulations, Thomas!

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.