Law School’s First Asynchronous Online Class

Barbara Swatt Engstrom and Kerry Fitz-Gerald taught the law school’s first entirely asynchronous online course during the summer session. The new class, Asynchronous Legal Research, was substantively similar to the Legal Research Methods class that is taught by the librarians each spring, but, because of its online format, stylistically quite different. The course was presented on the Angel course management platform offered through SU’s instructional design department. In addition to being vendor neutral (with respect to Westlaw and Lexis), the platform allowed the inclusion of screen casts demonstrating legal research tools. These screen casts, created using Captivate software, are stand alone resources to which students may return at any time for a refresher.

Although the course had no scheduled meeting times, students were expected to meet mandatory weekly benchmarks. The students (primarily in the evening program) appreciated the flexibility of the self-paced format which allowed them to integrate course work into their busy schedules. In addition to the weekly benchmarks, the students were required to complete a midterm and a final mastery evaluation. The mastery evaluations were open-ended, real world scenarios requiring the students to apply what they had learned during the course. The feedback from the class has been very positive, and Barbara and Kerry hope to make the class a regular summer offering.

CALI Presentation

In June, Kerry Fitz-Gerald co-presented with law school instructional technologist Tyler Fox at the CALI conference in Las Vegas. Their presentation, Pimp My Tutorial, addressed ways in which the library and the technology department are using Captivate software to create Flash based e-learning tools that support faculty, staff and students. The well-received program covered creation of tutorials ranging from simple how-to demonstrations to branching simulations that allow users to master skills through interactivity.

Day in the Life Winning Photos

During the month of February, members of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) were asked to take photographs for A Day in the Life of a Law Library Community Photo Contest. 43 members from 34 different law libraries across the country submitted more than 150 pictures. For the second year in a row, the Seattle University Law Library placed with three different pictures:

The Evening Reference Shift (featuring Reference Librarian Bob Menanteaux and Library Assistant Kristen Fitzpatrick) placed 3rd in the category for Librarians as Expert Researchers.

Learning in the Virtual World (a screenshot from a lecture in Second Life) placed 2nd in the category for Librarians as Trailblazers in New Technology.

Contracts at Night (featuring Reference Librarian Tina Ching and 1L Steven Coppess) won in two categories - 2nd in the category for Librarians as Expert Researchers and 3rd in the category for Overall Best Photo.

AALL featured the contest winners and more photos in the July 2007 issue of AALL Spectrum and will additionally use these photos in future AALL publications and brochures. All photos submitted by the Seattle University Law Library were taken by Charity Braceros (Circulation Assistant Supervisor) and Tina Ching (Reference Librarian).

Welcome, Dominique!

Dominique Bourg recently joined the library as our Administrative Assistant. Dominique is a 2006 Seattle University graduate, summa cum laude, and was on the President’s List for three years. Dominique also earned the LeRoux Award for her leadership and commitment to the University’s mission of service and justice. Before joining the library, Dominique worked at Seattle Pro Musica, where she designed programs and edited publications and press releases. She also worked at Seattle University’s Writing Center, where she served as Writing Center Coordinator. Dominique has already made significant contributions to the work of the library. She redesigned our materials, making them both sophisticated and snappy. She also is the mastermind behind the now infamous library Life Savers.

New Westlaw Representative

Please welcome our new Westlaw representative Zach Gose. Zach earned his B.A. summa cum laude at the University of Buffalo in 2003 and a J.D. at the University of La Verne College of Law in 2006. While he was at La Verne, Zach was on the Dean’s List, a Merit Scholar and was the Vice President of SBA. He did all of this while graduating near the top of his class. He was also a Westlaw Student Representative. His e-mail address is


Library Orientation for Law School Staff

On June 28, the law library hosted an orientation for law school staff in the Courtroom. Kerry Fitz-Gerald gave a brief demonstration on the library catalog, the research portal and library databases. Library personnel were introduced and information packets were handed out. Attendees were divided into groups for library tours. Dessert was served.

Library Participates in National Exchange of Duplicate Serials

In 2001, the law library began participating in the AALL Exchange of Duplicates Program and we have been very successful in replacing our missing law review and journal issues. During the year, we keep a running list of missing issues and also a list of the duplicate issues we have received and don't need. In the spring, we begin to prepare for the exchange. In May, each participating library sends a list of duplicate serial titles to the exchange coordinator at Brigham Young University. The lists are compiled into one master list and made available to the participating libraries approximately two weeks prior to the date of the exchange. On the designated date at exactly 9:00 a.m. Pacific time, libraries can start requesting issues from each other. Most requests are made via e-mail. Libraries are not allowed to request items prior to the designated start time, ensuring all participants a fair chance at getting the titles they need. This year, 42 libraries participated and for us the exchange was very successful; not only did we replace many of our missing issues, but also we had many requests for our duplicates. Charlotte Anderson and Donna Turner coordinate our participation in this worthwhile program.

Library Publications

Kara Phillips has had a number of smaller articles published in the first half of the year. Her article “Crafting Licensing Provisions” was published in 18 Against the Grain at 57 (Dec. 2006-Jan. 2007). Against the Grain is a newsletter linking publishers, vendors and librarians.

Kara and Acquisitions Technician, Charlotte Anderson published “Legal Casebook Publishers” in 29 AALL Crivsheet at 12 (May 2007). Crivsheet is an insert of the monthly publication of the American Association of Law Libraries, AALL Spectrum. The article gives contact information for casebook publishers along with hints for how professors can obtain courtesy copies. In addition, Kara’s article “How to Set Up a Law Library: Solutions for Solos and Small Firms” appeared in 33 ABA Law Practice Magazine at 51 (Jan.-Feb. 2007).

12th Annual Bridge the Gap a Resounding Success

A joint production by law librarians from the Seattle University Law Library and the University of Washington Gallagher Law Library, Bridge the Gap is a program designed to give students a refresher course on key research skills needed for summer legal employment. This year marked the 12th annual Bridge the Legal Research Gap program. As in previous years, the program was presented twice in order to best accommodate the two law school schedules. This year had almost 200 attendees from law schools across the country. Subjects covered included Administrative Law Research, Legal Research in the Real World, Legislative History and Lawyers’ Practice Materials. Tina Ching, Bob Menanteaux, Kerry Fitz-Gerald, and Barbara Swatt Engstrom presented.

Conferences and Workshops

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) annual meeting was held in New Orleans on July 14-18 with Kristin Cheney, Tina Ching, Kelly Kunsch, Kent Milunovich and Stephanie Wilson in attendance.

LLOPS Spring Workshop
The Law Librarians of Puget Sound (LLOPS) held its spring workshop on May 25 with Kristin Cheney, Stephanie Wilson and Barbara Swatt Engstrom in attendance.

Summer In-House Training
The Seattle University Law Library offered its fourth series of "Collaborative Learning Workshops" this summer for library employees. Library personnel with specific areas of expertise and guest speakers gave presentations on a variety of topics including: The Wikipedia Controversy, Copyright Issues in Libraries, Public Libraries in Multicultural Communities, Kara Phillips’ Sabbatical in China, and Washington and County Court Records Online. Attendees found the workshops practical and entertaining while providing an informal, learning environment for all library personnel.

Law Library Seal

August 2007 Newsletter written by law library staff.
Questions? Comments? Please contact Editor
Kent Milunovich
Web Administrator Greg Soejima Photographer Charity Braceros

Copyright © 2007 Seattle University Law Library
Seattle, Wash. All rights reserved.