Law Library Newsletter

In This Issue

April 2008

New & Notable




New Acquisitions

Previous Issues






National Library Week

The law library celebrated the 50th Anniversary of National Library Week (April 13-19) promoting awareness of the contributions that libraries and library staff make to their communities. This year’s celebration featured the fourth annual READ poster display spotlighting Professor Laurel Oates and Associate Dean Tayyab Mahmud. Each professor posed with one of their favorite books and wrote about its special significance. Previous READ selections were displayed in a case on the main floor of the library and the posters in the 4th floor exhibit area. For further information on the books selected by this year's celebrities, click on this issue's New and Notable link on the left. Complimentary candy, bookmarks and READ tattoos were distributed. In addition, Westlaw provided free office supplies. Lexis provided copies of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Federal Rules of Evidence to give away.

Clean Sweep

The library would appreciate your assistance in either returning or checking out library materials in your offices. We are currently working on reviewing and replacing missing books in the collection, so we need our records to accurately reflect our inventory. If you have a number of items that you would like to have retrieved or renewed, please call the circulation desk (ext. 4220).

Asynchronous Legal Research Methods to be Offered Again

Kerry Fitz-Gerald and Barbara Swatt Engstrom will offer Asynchronous Legal Research Methods again during the summer session. The class was taught last summer for the first time and was very well received. Students who took the class were surprised by the amount of work that the class entailed but in the words of one student “It’s hard to complain that you learned too much.” The class is substantively similar to the Legal Research Methods class that is taught by the reference librarians each spring, but stylistically quite different. Barbara and Kerry use the Angel course management platform offered through SU’s Instructional Design department for a couple of reasons. Because this is a legal research class, it was deemed important to be vendor neutral. In addition, the Angel platform provides much more functionality for student interactivity and course administration applications. The class also incorporates legal research “movies” created with Captivate software where research techniques were demonstrated to students. The Captivate movies are stand alone resources that the students could turn back to at anytime for a refresher. Barbara and Kerry will also be having the students contribute to a class Wiki this year in part to satisfy the ABA requirements for student to student interactivity and in part for the students to have a resource they created that they can take with them when the class is done.

The course is self-paced with mandatory weekly benchmarks. This format worked very well for the evening students who took it last year, most of whom work and have family obligations. The students appreciated the flexibility of the self-paced format which allowed them to integrate the course work into their extremely busy schedules. In addition to the weekly benchmarks the students will be required to complete a midterm mastery evaluation and a final mastery evaluation. The mastery evaluations are open-ended, real world scenarios to which the students must apply what they have learned during the course of the semester. The feedback from last year’s class was very positive. Kerry and Barbara are looking forward to teaching again this summer and hope to make the class a regular summer offering.

Five Questions with...
Charity Braceros

Would you ever have predicted you would have a career in libraries?

No, I would never have predicted it, but I’ve only ever worked in libraries. I had to get a job in college, and there was an opening in government documents at University of Puget Sound. Somehow I really enjoyed it. When I graduated, I tried to get jobs using my psychology degree but realized that wasn’t going to happen. After I looked around for six months, I went back to UPS, this time doing interlibrary loans. About a year later, a friend in Seattle called and said she needed a roommate. I moved up here, and it just seemed natural that I would find another job in a library.

What do you do here?

I’d say that I do a little bit of everything. My job title is Circulation Assistant Supervisor (Evening), and my major responsibilities are supervising Circulation in the evening and maintaining the micromedia collection. However, I also do random things like take photos for the newsletter, maintain the faculty display cases and check-in items to be sent to the bindery. I’m often given special projects to work on.

On any given day, how many books do you handle?

Between filing, reshelving and shifting, I’d guess about a book truck worth—around a hundred or so. When we were doing the library remodel, I shifted thousands of books. Recently though, I was shifting some huge dictionaries and the shelf collapsed on my hand. I’m hoping we’re done with shifting for a while.

Why do you keep nunchuks hanging above your desk?

These got left in the library sometime around Halloween. A student who works here in the evenings left them on my desk, and I hung them up hoping someone would claim them. No one has yet. I don’t actually know how to use nunchuks. Besides, they’re plastic and held together with paperclips.

What are your favorite things to do outside the library?

I’m going to school right now, getting my masters in library science, so there’s not much time for other things. But I bake a lot. I’m trying to get into bread baking. My recent attempt at brioche wasn’t so good, but I did make these delicious green tea muffins with white chocolate chips. It sounded like a weird combo, but I thought maybe it was something you had to try to appreciate. And it was good.

Library Publications

Associate Dean Kristin Cheney's recently published article, "Marketing the Law Library: Strategies and Techniques in the Digital Age," has been co-published simultaneously as, 26 Legal Reference Services Quarterly 493 (2007), and as a chapter in Public Services in Law Libraries: Evolution and Innovation in the 21st Century.

Tina Ching has recently published two articles in a special edition of Legal Reference Services Quarterly. "Alaska Initiatives and Referenda" (26 Leg. Ref. Servs. Q. 15) and "Arizona Initiatives and Referenda" (26 Leg. Ref. Servs. Q. 21) were published simultaneously in Exploring Initiative and Referendum Law (Mary Elizabeth Williams ed., Haworth Press 2008). Each chapter contains a brief history of initiative and referendum in the state, an introduction to the process, a description of how to locate materials and an annotated resource list.

Charity Braceros and Tina Ching co-authored the article “Hiring (or not) the Distance Grad,” published in AALL Spectrum. 12 AALL Spectrum 24 (Mar. 2008) (with Charity Braceros). The article discusses the perception the law library community has about distance education graduates and its potential impact on one’s career.

Librarian Appointments

Kristin Cheney, Associate Dean for Library and Educational Technology, visited the University of San Francisco School of Law (March 9-12) as an ABA site evaluation team member. Kristin indicated that although this was her fifth time serving as an ABA evaluator, she always enjoys the opportunity to review another institution in-depth, as well as visit with faculty, staff, students and alumni. Kristin’s ABA responsibilities included a review of the law library, technology and the law school facility.

Kent Milunovich, Systems/Technical Services Librarian, has been appointed as the representative of the Seattle University Lemieux Library and Law Library to the Orbis Cascade Alliance Summit Catalog Committee. This committee identifies emerging issues and creates recommendations that aid the development and use of the Summit Consortial Catalog.

Kara Phillips, Collection Development Librarian/Associate Director, has been appointed to the steering committee of the China–United States Conference on Legal Information and Law Libraries. The conference will be held in Beijing in May 2009 and will provide a forum for exchange of information on the legal, library and publishing systems of both countries. Kara has also been appointed as co-chair of the Committee on Communication and Publication in charge of matters relating to interpretation and translation as well as compiling and editing the conference proceedings.

Reference Librarian Stephanie Wilson has been promoted to Head of Reference. Stephanie’s new responsibilities include managing our faculty library liaison program, setting policies and service initiatives for faculty, students and alumni, and facilitating professional development and scholarship opportunities for our librarians. Stephanie will also coordinate library tours and orientations. If you have any questions or concerns about our liaison program, or need to schedule a library tour, please contact Stephanie at ext. 4222 or

Conferences & Presentations

Tina Ching is coordinating and moderating the program "Exploring Initiative and Referendum Law: Origins of the Oregon System, Political Realities and Research Tips" at the 2008 American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon. The panel includes the Honorable David Schuman of the Oregon Court of Appeals, John Lindback the Elections Division Director for the Oregon Secretary of State and Beth Williams a reference librarian at Columbia Law School's Arthur W. Diamond Law Library.

Kerry Fitz-Gerald moderated a panel on harmonizing United States and Canadian gun control legislation at the “Crossing Borders—Issues and Resolutions” conference held at the University of Washington on March 8.

Nancy Minton attended the 2008 Oregon Library Association / Washington Library Association (OLA/WLA) Joint Conference in Vancouver, WA (April 17-18). Prior to the conference, she helped write two accepted program proposals: "¡Salud se puede! - Good Health Is Possible! Reaching Out To The Latino/Hispanic Community With Health Information" and "A Curandera (Traditional Healer) Presents Traditional Latino Health Practices And Beliefs." The sessions were co-sponsored by NW REFORMA (Northwest chapter of the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking) and SRRT (Social Responsibilities Round Table) chapters of Oregon and Washington.

Newsletter written by law library staff.
Questions? Comments? Please contact Editor Kent Milunovich
Web Administrator Greg Soejima Photographer Charity Braceros

Copyright © 2008 Seattle University Law Library
Seattle, Wash. All rights reserved






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