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August 2003

This year's American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) convention in Seattle, July 12-16, was a resounding success. Over that five-day period over 2000 librarians attended a variety of workshops, seminars and special events, many of which either involved individuals from our law school or were hosted at the law school.

The opening day Diversity Symposium provided a rousing debate between our own Professor Hank McGee and Curt Levey, Director of the Center for Individual Rights, on the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court's Grutter decision for continuing racial integration of law school classes. Anyone unsure of what time the symposium started or where within the convention center it was being held, could consult the Seattle University Law School-sponsored plasma screen monitor adjacent to the registration/exhibit area.

Monday morning Stephanie Wilson and Bob Menanteaux provided formal tours of the public and non-public areas of the library, as well as the Sullivan Hall art collection. At the Monday Association Luncheon, and on behalf of the Library, Kerry Fitz-Gerald accepted the 2003 AALL Excellence in Marketing Award for Best Use of Technology for the Seattle University Law Library Virtual Tour. The Law Library tour was featured at the Public Relations Special Interest Section (PR-SIS) table in the Exhibit Hall, and was the topic of a short presentation at the Tuesday morning PR Roundtable. At the ALL-SIS Breakfast, Kristin Cheney received a Recognition of Service certificate for serving as Chair of the ALL-SIS Local Arrangements Committee.


Tuesday afternoon was a busy time at the School of Law as we prepared for the Conference of Newer Academic Law Librarians (CONALL) program in the 1st floor Courtroom. Adjourning at 6:15, CONALL attendees joined their more seasoned colleagues in celebrating the highlight event of the conference--the Academic SIS Awards Reception! Steve Burnett welcomed the attendees.





Scheduled from 6:30-9:00 p.m., librarians arrived early and stayed late to enjoy a sumptuous menu of northwest cuisine, tour the building, see demonstrations of in-house instructional technology, and visit on the patio, all while listening to the incomparable Michael Powers jazz trio.



All in all, it was a great week--lots of work, but lots of fun. Although most of us will readily admit that we're glad that next year's meeting will be held in Boston.





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The Law Library is pleased to announce the New Theo! Our online research portal received a face lift and new organization this summer. These changes give the research portal improved functionality as well as more closely tie the Library web-look with that of the School of Law. Use the research portal to find materials in the Library, conduct online research, access specialized databases, and get research help. Theo is available at or at


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On June 19, the library hosted the 8th Annual Bridge the Legal Research Gap. This free program offered thirteen instructional sessions taught by librarians from our library and the University of Washington Gallagher Law Library. Sessions were designed to reacquaint students with research skills that are useful in summer legal employment. Topics included legal drafting, administrative law research and Washington legislative history.

Students working at Seattle law firms were encouraged to attend this event. Thus, while the majority of attendees were students from Seattle University and the University of Washington, students from twenty other law schools also attended. The roster of attendees included students from Harvard University, Columbia University and Stanford University.


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With the summer closure of the Gallagher Law Library, and the reorganization of King County Law Library, our law library’s patron load increased substantially. UW law students were given free access to our resources (subject to licensing limitations). The number of attorneys and pro se patrons increased, as did the number of requests for services, including Reference. We also loaned more materials to other libraries via interlibrary loan while the UW and King County collections were inaccessible. The library membership program welcomed twelve new alumni members and eleven general attorney members. An Edmonds Community College paralegal class toured the library, received online instruction of the library catalog and Shepard’s, and utilized their new skills to complete an assignment. While these events kept the library staff quite busy, the increased patron traffic in the library did not deter them from providing continued assistance to our current law students and law faculty.

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Visitors always enliven the atmosphere around the law school. This past summer, the librarians were busy serving a number of visiting instructors here to teach for the summer term and enjoy a few weeks soaking up Seattle ambiance. Kelly Kunsch was responsible for Professors Williams and Scales while Stephanie Wilson was assigned to Andrew Schwarz. Professors Holden-Smith and David Langum received assistance from Bob Menanteaux. Each faculty member received a personalized packet of information on library services prepared by Jane Draney.

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Starting this summer, every student taking an independent study course has been assigned a librarian. The assignment is now a requirement for taking such a course. The librarian’s function is to advise the student on research strategies and resources. During the summer, there were 16 independent study students working with the four Reference librarians.

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In mid-June, a new gaggle of 1Ls arrived at the School of Law. Reference Librarians participated in several orientation sessions and library tours. Kelly Kunsch also gave his introduction to the United States legal system to the ARC students.

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Reference Librarian Kerry Fitz-Gerald participated in this summer’s Faculty Seminar on teaching justice issues in the curriculum. The intensive seminar, which met periodically over four weeks, focused on Catholic social teaching, with readings including a number of papal encyclicals and other important documents tracing the Catholic Church’s position on the rights and needs of workers. These documents spurred challenging discussions about social justice and the appropriate roles for faculty, staff and the University as a whole in teaching and living social justice.

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Newsletter written by law library staff.

Questions? Comments? Please contact Helane Davis, editor.

Web Technician: Greg Soejima