People

Introducing Scott Vanderlin, new Student Services Librarian

Scott Vanderlin joined the D’Angelo Law Library on September 5 as our new Student Services Librarian. Prior to coming to the University of Chicago, Scott worked at the Chicago-Kent College of Law Library and also served as a Reference Associate and taught first year legal research for three years at the Pritzker Legal Research Center at Northwestern University School of Law.

Todd Ito, Head of Instruction and Outreach, interviewed Scott to find out how he plans to work with faculty and students, how he became a law librarian, and about his love for craft beer, indiepop, and artisanal candles.Photo of Scott Vanderlin

What were you doing before you came to the University of Chicago?

For the past 6 years, I worked at Chicago-Kent College of Law as a reference librarian and then briefly as the Associate Director for Research and Instructional Services. Pretty much just hanging out.

What’s your favorite thing about being a law librarian?

I’d be lying if I said that the glory wasn’t nice, but honestly I just really like being able to help students out with an aspect of law school that is not always the easiest or most exciting. And, every day I get to learn about new areas of the law and interesting research that is being done by scholars all around me. So, law librarianship is both intellectually and personally satisfying for me.

What originally got you interested in law libraries?

Most of the things that led me to this career probably happened subconsciously, and over a number of years. When I did make the decision to actually pursue law librarianship, however, it was towards the beginning of my 3L year, and I was slowly realizing that while everyone else couldn’t wait to graduate, all I wanted to do was keep reading, learning, researching, writing, etc. Basically, my favorite things about law school were the things that a lot of my classmates couldn’t wait to be done with. At the same time, I went to law school with the conscious, if vague, idea that I wanted to use my education to help people. I assumed that the “where” and “how” of helping people would become clearer as I learned more about the law, and I guess that while I was slowly backing away from the idea of traditional legal practice, I bumped into the thing I was supposed to be doing all along.

tl;dr: I like law school, doing research, and helping people.

Do you have any advice for law students from when you were a law school student?

I mean, yeah. Tons. Fiercely protect the things about you that make you unique–being different is the best possible thing you can be. BUT, also learn to adapt to the people around you when the situation calls for it–a lot of life is a game, so learn to enjoy it and figure out how to play it well. Look at your professors’ past exams. Don’t take your health for granted–you’re not invincible. Call your parents–they miss you. Nurture your closest friendships–you’ll need them, and neglect can be a tough thing to undo. Learn how to handle criticism. Figure out a study routine that works for you and don’t be intimidated if it’s not the same as someone else’s. Read books for pleasure. Make use of CALI lessons. Travel as often as you get a chance. Learn how to be completely fine on your own–then find somebody who makes you not want to be. Ask librarians for help.

What are some of your interests outside of law libraries?

Craft beer, fantasy football, candle making, reading, indiepop, personal finance, listening to podcasts, sleeping.

What’s the best thing you read, watched, or listened to recently?

Read

Listened to

Duh.

 

Deadline extended to apply for the Library Student Advisory Group

Student studying in Mansueto Library

Mansueto Library (Photo by Tom Rossiter)

The University of Chicago Library is looking for student representatives from the following schools and divisions to serve on the Library Student Advisory Group:

  • College (Class of 2021 Only)
  • Biological Sciences Division
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Harris School of Public Policy Studies
  • Institute for Molecular Engineering
  • Physical Sciences Division
  • Pritzker School of Medicine
  • School of Social Service Administration
  • Social Sciences Division

The Library Student Advisory Group (LSAG) serves as a formal channel of communication between students and the Library administration. The LSAG discusses matters related to all six campus libraries, including its collections, spaces, and services, along with the present and future needs of the student community. The Library Student Advisory Group meets two times a quarter and representatives serve two-year terms.

Interested students should complete the online application by Friday, October 20.

For more information about the Library Student Advisory Group, or the application process, please contact:

Rebecca Starkey
Librarian for College Instruction & Outreach
Gender Studies and Library Science
rstarkey@uchicago.edu

Lyonette Louis-Jacques among award-winning authors

Lyonette Louis-Jacques (photo)Lyonette Louis-Jacques, Foreign and International Law Librarian at the D’Angelo Law Library, was among the authors who were recently awarded the Reynolds and Flores Publication Award for their “Mexican Law and Legal Research” guide. The award, named after the authors of the Foreign Law Guide, a core foreign law research source, recognizes members of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Foreign, Comparative & International Law Special Interest Section (FCIL-SIS) who have created a publication that “enhances the professional knowledge and capabilities of law librarians.” Louis-Jacques shares this award with her co-authors Bianca T. Anderson, Marisol Floren-Romero, Julienne E. Grant, Jootaek Lee, Teresa M. Miguel-Stearns, Jonathan Pratter, and Sergio Stone.

The guide was recently published in March 2016 in Volume 35, Issue 1, of the Legal Reference Services Quarterly. It covers all types of primary sources of law and secondary legal literature, including international agreements, state gazettes, law journals, textbooks, and monographs. Additionally, it filled a gap in the literature: it contains an extensive bibliography of secondary literature in English on Mexican law and legal research, which is not found in other research guides or treatises on Mexican law and legal research. Since its publication, it has received approximately 500 views and over 200 SSRN downloads.

Diane Dallis joins UChicago as Associate University Librarian for Research and Learning

Diane Dallis joined the University of Chicago Library on May 10 as Associate University Librarian for Research and Learning.  Diane was most recently the Associate Dean for Library Academic Services at Indiana University and will bring to Chicago extensive experience in transforming reference services, building new programs and spaces that support research and learning, and creative use of assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of operations and to understand the role the library plays in faculty and student success.

Diane Dallis

Diane Dallis, Associate University Librarian for Research and Learning

At Indiana University Ms. Dallis worked closely with the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, the University Information Technology Services, the Associate Vice Provost for Research in Arts & Humanities, and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education to collaboratively develop new programs including support for new research technologies, scholarly publishing, and research and learning skills.  Ms. Dallis oversaw the development of a Learning Commons that provided students a more learner-centered environment with access to the tools, systems, and support needed to turn information into knowledge. Ms. Dallis also led the creation of a Scholars’ Commons that supports cutting edge research by providing easy access to experts and technology for every stage of a researcher’s scholarship from curiosity to discovery to publication, including consultation services in areas such as GIS, text mining, visualization, intellectual property, data management, digitization, metadata, and project management.

At the University of Chicago Library, Ms. Dallis oversees Humanities, Social Sciences, Area Studies, Special Collections, East Asia, and the Sciences, ensuring a coherent and responsive information and service environment for the highly interdisciplinary research and teaching needs of the campus.  Ms. Dallis will bring to the position both her experience at Indiana University, and her strong record of national leadership in the field, including serving as chair of the Public Services Big Heads group and the Big Ten Academic Alliance Public Services Discussion Group.

Library residency program expands

The University of Chicago Library’s residency program has expanded in its second year to include two new librarians with expertise in user experience assessment and geographic information systems. The residency program builds Library staff expertise in new and rapidly developing areas of librarianship by bringing top recent graduates to Chicago for two-year residencies. These two new positions were made possible in part by special supporters Howard Zar and Library Visiting Committee members, as well as donors to the Library Annual Fund.

Emma Boettcher

Emma Boettcher, User Experience Library Resident

Emma Boettcher has joined the Library as User Experience Library Resident. Boettcher will be coordinating user research to support the improvement of the Library’s public website, intranet, and discovery tools. She joins us from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, where she earned her MS in Information Science. During her graduate studies, Boettcher completed an Assessment and User Experience Internship at Duke University and brings experience with usability testing methods and web analytics to the Library.

Taylor Hixson

Taylor Hixson, GIS Library Resident

Taylor Hixson is the new GIS Library Resident.  Hixson will assess the GIS needs of UChicago faculty, students, and staff, develop geospatial technology training, assist users with information discovery and data curation, and provide related research support. She recently completed her MS in Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee–Knoxville, where she specialized in geographic information.  As a graduate student, Taylor worked as a Virtual Foreign Service Intern on a humanitarian aid mapping project and completed a practicum for the Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information assisting with data curation projects.

Apply for the Library Student Advisory Group

Mansueto Library at sunset

Mansueto Library (Photo by Tom Rossiter)

Applications due October 23, 2016.

The Library Student Advisory Group serves as a formal channel of communication between students and the Library administration. The group assists in making specific recommendations to improve the Library and considers proposals for future changes in services. The Library Student Advisory Group meets two times a quarter and representatives serve two-year terms.

We are looking for student representatives from the College (Class of 2020) and from each of the Graduate Divisions and Professional Schools.

Please complete our online application by October 23, 2016.

For more information about the Library Student Advisory Group, or the application process, please contact:

Rebecca Starkey
Librarian for College Instruction & Outreach
773-702-4484
rstarkey@uchicago.edu

 

Meet new Geographic Information Systems Librarian Taylor Hixson

taylor-hixson2Taylor Hixson has joined the University of Chicago Library as the new Resident Librarian for Geographic Information Systems.

Taylor has an M.S. degree in Information Sciences from the University of Tennessee and B.S. in Mass Communications from Middle Tennessee State University.

Barbara Kern interviewed Taylor about her experiences and plans for her work at UChicago.

Q: Taylor, what originally got you interested in GIS?

When I was an undergraduate studying journalism I took a data journalism class, and I remember a class assignment where I had to use Google Fusion tables to map addresses. I was really impressed with how creating a simple, interactive map could add another level to the news and storytelling.

Q:  How have you worked with researchers at the University of Tennessee–Knoxville or elsewhere with GIS?

When I was at UT I was always trying to incorporate more GIS or spatial information into projects I worked on. For example, when I worked on an ecology database project there I ensured all records I worked on were accurately georeferenced in the metadata, and when I was doing a practicum with Department of Energy contractors, I spent a lot of time compiling variations on place names for better database searching.

Additionally, when I was at UT, the university became a partner with the Department of State’s new Diplomacy Lab initiative. Through that I worked on a team with several other students and a faculty member to create a report and an interactive map for State and humanitarian agencies to use.

 Q: You worked for the Department of State as a Virtual Foreign Service Intern on a humanitarian aid mapping project.  Tell us about that.

Working as a VSFS intern was a great experience. I volunteered for a year with other students from across the country on different humanitarian mapping projects for the Officer of the Geographer’s MapGive program. I learned a lot about working collaboratively on geographic information projects and how to help others learn about gateways into GIS through simple citizen mapping projects such as editing OpenStreetMap.

VSFS helped me gain more practical experience and connections without having to spend time abroad or in D.C. I highly recommend that UChicago students in the College or graduate and professional programs consider  participating in VSFS–especially in one of the many mapping and GIS internships.

 Q: How will you work with faculty and students in your role?

I intend to collaborate with students and faculty across the divisions at UChicago. It is my goal to host workshops for faculty and students or to provide classroom instruction to introduce concepts of GIS and resources UChicago has available, whether that is access to online tools, databases, or research centers.

Overall, I want to be a central resource for anyone on campus needing a launch pad for GIS, from those getting started with GIS, who want to find books or learn some introductory tools, to more advanced researchers, who want to create geospatial metadata or have questions about publishing scholarly literature in the top GIS journals.

Q: What are the key challenges or trends in GIS for researchers and librarians?

For librarians, I think a key challenge is always the findability of data. Findability has gotten better with the federal government’s efforts through geoplatform.gov and metadata standards, but the novice GIS user who starts at Google may be overwhelmed with how to search for data, what data formats to find, and where to find them.

For both researchers and librarians, usability and accessibility of interactive maps on the web is a big challenge. For example, not everyone is making their maps compliant for users with screen readers and other adaptive technology even if the option to incorporate web accessibility is readily available through the mapping application.

I also think that understanding the value and reliability of data collected is another challenge for researchers and librarians to continue to consider.

GIS in the digital humanities is another trend, and one that I do not see going away. It is enabling researchers in the humanities to carve their niche by performing a type of analysis that may have never been done before and changing, challenging, or reinforcing previous research findings.

Q: Are you ready to face a Chicago winter?

I already bought a parka and snow boots, so in some ways, yes, but mentally, I’ll probably never be ready.

Judith Wright wins AALL’s highest award

Judith rectangular

Judith Wright, former Associate Dean of Library and Information Services at the D’Angelo Law Library, received the Marion Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award at the American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting in Chicago this week. The award recognizes extended and sustained service to law librarianship and exemplary service to the Association. During her 40-year career, Judith worked tirelessly to advance collaborative work and leadership in the law librarian community, while directing the D’Angelo Law Library with grace and formidable administrative skills. D’Angelo Law Library’s status as one of the premier law research libraries in the United States is a testament to her dedicated stewardship.

HeinOnline blog spotlights Law Library Director Sheri Lewis

A recent HeinOnline blog post features D’Angelo Law Library Director, Sheri H. Lewis. She was selected to be interviewed as part of Hein’s “An Oral History of Law Librarianship” series. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Sheri H. Lewis is currently the Director of the D’Angelo Law Library at the University of Chicago in Chicago, IL. She received her B.A. from Northwestern University and is a graduate of New York University School of Law. After graduating from Law School, Lewis served as a clerk to the Hon. Robert L. Miller Jr., Northern District of Indiana, and then practiced with the firm of Lord, Bissell and Brook in Chicago. She became the director of the D’Angelo Law Library in 2013. Previously she served for 12 years as an Associate Law Librarian for Public Services. Lewis is also a member of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and the Chicago Association of Law Libraries (CALL). Check out her full video below!

Milton Watkins, Regenstein Entry Attendant, 1925–2016

A dedicated member of the University of Chicago Library staff for nearly two decades, Milton Watkins warmly greeted students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors at the Regenstein entry desk between 1992 and 2012. He died of multiple myeloma on April 13 at the age of 90.

Milton Watkins

Milton Watkins in front of Regenstein Library (Photo by Kiku Hibino)

Often referred to as the “Face of the Place,” Milton was the first person most people saw when entering the Joseph Regenstein Library.  He was able to make everyone who entered the Library feel welcome—students, faculty, and staff (some of whom came at exactly the same time each day), alumni, prospective students and their families, visiting scholars, and the occasional tourist who wanted to see Regenstein or Mansueto. He provided expert assistance when requested to both first-time visitors and long-time library users.

Milton began working at the University after a very full life.  He grew up at 38th and Federal on the South Side, attending Edward Hardigan Grammar School and Wendell Phillips High School.  Following graduation, he served in the U.S. Army as a radar technician and troop instructor between 1944 and 1952. After returning to Chicago, Milton wed his fiancée Mary, who survives him.  Milton worked for the American Maize Products Company for 30 years; he also worked for the United States Post Office for 27 years as a postal clerk.  It was only after these retirements that he came to the Library.

Outside of the Library, much of Milton’s time was spent sharing in the ministries of St. John Church-Baptist at 48th and Michigan, where he served for many years as a deacon.  Milton’s dedication to the service of others as a church deacon carried over to his work at the Library.  He was a wonderful listener and helpful counselor whose smile and laugh could cheer up almost anyone.

For those entering Regenstein who Milton saw every day, his cheery “How are you doing?” made the day special.  For Library staff, his big smile and his reminder that “there’s a lot to do in a big place like this” also helped to make the work day special.  His friendly presence created a welcoming environment throughout the entire Library.

In addition to his wife, Mary, Milton is survived by his son-in-law Daniel Adams, his grandchildren (Danny Adams, Sheena Adams, Quintin Adams), and his great grandchildren (Devon Adams, Jordan Davis, Danyel Adams).  Milton’s daughter and Daniel’s wife, Anita Watkins-Adams, died in 2012.

A memorial visitation will be held on Saturday, April 23 at St. John Church-Baptist, 4821 S. Michigan beginning at 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. funeral service.