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HEARSAY News from KU’s Wheat Law Library | Fall 2013


ISSUE Collections spotlight Wheat Law Library welcomes new faculty services senior researcher Two law librarians earn tenure Fall 2013 student employees

Visit Us Green Hall 1535 W. 15th St. Lawrence, KS 66045

DIRECTOR’S CORNER E very year, the beginning of the fall semester comes out of nowhere. Around the first of August, I tell myself I will be ready. I will be prepared to meet a new 1L class and the return of seasoned law students. I have read too many books and seen too many movies that come to a crashing end when the author or screenwriter runs out of material or funds. The fall semester is just the same, or maybe the opposite, depending on how you view it. The hallways, library and classrooms suddenly fill up with students and it feels as though their annual arrival and return crashes in on us. During the summer, the tables outside my office are often empty. I spread my things out and actually “work” in the library where there is plenty of space for organizing and purging files, sifting through and agonizing over returning books and materials I was sure I would have read by now as I “clean” my office. I quickly adjust to the new students and welcome them to Green Hall. Now I have moved back into the confines of my office, and as I pass through the library, I enjoy overhearing — I promise you I am not eavesdropping — the conversations and queries in the reference room and at the service desk about class schedules, how to sign up for a carrel, print a memo or assignment, or how to get to a professor’s office. The library provides all types of information, from directional to complex research on case law and statutes governing stream flow measurements and, more specifically, the ordinary high water mark/line vs. the bankfull determination of a river or stream in Kansas and the United States. Our experienced staff is adept at answering all types of questions. They nailed responses to all of the questions above.

“Some are whispering softly, and others not so much, about what they learned in class or what they are doing after class.”


Wheat Law Library | Hearsay

As we speak, students outside my office have found their favorite spot to plug in their laptop and spread out their books. Some are whispering softly, others not so much, about what they learned in class or what they are doing after class. While working on the legal research questions for Lawyering, many discovered that the answers can be found in a book — one that you physically touch, with a spine, cover, and hundreds of pages — and that print encyclopedias existed before Wikipedia. They are back, and I am ecstatic. By the way, I just helped a student save a few dollars on a print job by showing him how to turn off the color option. I saw an advertisement for a remodeling company that said, “There’s no job too big or too small – we handle them all.” That saying goes for the library, too. Fall semester also adds new staff and students. As student workers and research assistants graduate, a new group joins us. We recently welcomed a new faculty services senior researcher to the staff. Turn the pages to meet new staff and students, and to learn about the latest in the library. See you in the library… Joyce McCray Pearson Library Director

Yeah, we’ve got reporters, treatises and … BY ALLISON REEVE …so much more. You may be a new student reeling from information overload, a returning patron headed to your tried-and-true resources or an old friend of Wheat Law Library who knows his nook of the stacks, but we can show you something new no matter how acquainted you may be. The library at KU Law enhances the educational experience of our students and supports the rich and diverse research of our faculty. We also delve a little deeper in our special collections to highlight specific subject areas, display special interests and have a little fun. Stop by, pull up a chair and ask a librarian to tell you more.

International Corridor

If you are interested in international and comparative law, take a stroll through the library’s fourth floor. This floor holds a rich collection of international law, trade and relations materials. In addition, two special collections exist in what is fondly referred to as the International Corridor (on the opposite side of the stacks on the fourth floor). Here you will find a display of faculty publications dating back to the late 19th century, showcasing KU Law’s tradition in international law. Also there is the John Head collection of materials dealing with international and comparative law.

Reserve & Reference Collections

You’ve probably already visited the reference and reserve collections, because your professor has a book on reserve and you read it, right? And you are probably familiar with the Reference Room because you study there before every class, right? Right?! Ask the circulation attendant to show you the list of what’s on reserve: study aids, secondary materials, even movies!

Faculty Publications

What better way to impress your new professor than by citing his or her most recent publications? In the Reference Room, you’ll find a display case showcasing the latest scholarly activity of KU Law faculty. Also, browse through the Faculty Publications bookcases and find a range of subjects published throughout the years.

Popular Reading Collection

We’ve got one more secret in the reference room … sometimes we read for fun, and we encourage you to do the same! Come check out a detective or mystery novel, a memoir or biography or even a famous drama. Most books have been donated by KU Law professors and librarians. Feel free to add yours to the collection as well! The list of special collections doesn’t end here. There’s the Casad Collection of International Law sources donated by Professor Robert C. Casad. The Heller Collection of Judicial Biographies consists of items donated by late Professor Francis Heller. We are continually developing our Legal History Collection, holding many donations from Professor Michael H. Hoeflich. A librarian would be happy to show you what we have.

Students study on the Wheat Law Library’s fourth floor, which houses KU’s international and comparative law collection.

Wheat Law Library | Hearsay


Faculty services senior researcher explores limitless possibilities BY MICHAEL OBERMEIER “So what is it that you do for the university, Mike?” I’ve come to dread that question — not because I hate to describe the nature of my work at the law school, but because of the inevitable followup inquiry: “Ah. But what exactly do you do there?” When you tell an acquaintance that you’re an attorney, they usually accept it at face value. They are perfectly content to take broad answers like “family law” or “business law” or “civil law” without further argument. Everyone has seen enough legal soap operas to understand (or at least think they understand) being a lawyer. When you tell someone you’re the faculty services senior researcher, you’ve got a lot more explaining to do. As the first two words indicate, my primary role is to serve as support for the law school faculty. The third word, “senior,” is largely honorific, while the final word actually gets to the heart of the matter: research! When a faculty member has questions, it’s my job

to find answers. There is little to no consistency in the subject matter I tackle: In the few short months I’ve been on the job, I’ve researched everything from bankruptcy law to Kansas constitutional principles to the transcripts of the early 20th century United Kingdom House of Commons. The possibilities are limited only by the imagination of the faculty—which is to say, the possibilities are limitless. Some people might dread that. The job of a researcher requires a jackof-all-trades mentality. Clients don’t pay the big bucks for a partner’s eclecticism; when they sign that retention letter, they’re looking for a specialist with a depth of knowledge and skills suited to the needs of their case. The fundamental task of a researcher is to be curious. Intellectual objectivity is the key to success as a researcher. To find the answers to those questions, a researcher needs to employ creativity. While a trial attorney generally confines his analysis to the realm of the law, a researcher needs to employ an

unusual brand of multidisciplinary problem solving to tackle the hardest questions. A researcher must look at a problem not merely “inside the box” and “outside the box,” but also in such a way as to ignore that the box was ever there in the first place. And it’s fun. When you finally come across a case that answers every question, when you find the perfect resource after hours of digging through obscure databases and massaging Boolean terminology, when you finish updating an obscure 50-state survey, every day is a lot like summiting a mountain. That’s the real joy of research. “That sounds nice,” new acquaintances allow. “I hope you enjoy that.” “I don’t,” I tell them. “I love it!”



Regular Hours (Aug. 28 - Nov. 25) Mon-Thur 7:30 am - 11 pm Friday 7:30 am - 5 pm Saturday 9 am - 5 pm Sunday 10 am - 11 pm

Thanksgiving Recess Tue, Nov. 26 Wed, Nov. 27 Thur- Fri, Nov. 28-29 Sat, Nov. 30

Fall Recess Sun, Oct. 13 10 am - 6 pm Mon, Oct. 14 8 am - 5 pm

Questions? 785-864-3025

Wheat Law Library | Hearsay

7:30 am - 5 pm 8 am - 5 pm CLOSED Noon - 5 pm

Exam Hours (Dec. 4 - Dec. 20) Mon-Thur 7:30 am - 1 am Friday 7:30 am - 10 pm Sat, Dec. 7 9 am - 7 pm Sat, Dec. 14 8 am - 7 pm Sunday 10 am - 1 am Exception: Friday, Dec. 20

7:30 am - 5 pm

Two KU Law librarians earn tenure Christopher Steadham and William Blake Wilson were recently promoted to the rank of associate librarian. The distinction recognizes their research, scholarship and commitment to the School of Law. Chancellor Bernadette GrayLittle, who ultimately approves promotion and tenure for employees at the University of Kansas, offered her congratulations to this year’s group. “As a major research university, it is important that we create an environment where our faculty and

researchers aspire to new heights and receive recognition for their ongoing achievements in their scholarly fields and teaching,” she said. Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Jeff Vitter chairs the University Committee on Promotion and Tenure. “The committee was impressed by the candidates’ accomplishments and dedication across the broad spectrum of disciplines,” Vitter said. “They are representative of the comprehensive research and educational excellence of KU.”

Christopher Steadham, Associate Director

W. Blake Wilson, Head of Instructional & Research Services

Wheat Law Library Staff Joyce A. McCray Pearson Jeff Montgomery Michael Obermeier Allison Reeve Christopher Steadham Pam Crawford W. Blake Wilson

Director & Associate Professor Circulation/Serials Department Manager Faculty Services Senior Researcher Cataloging & Technical Services Librarian Associate Director Head of Public Services Head of Instructional & Research Services

As the largest and oldest law library in Kansas, the Wheat Law Library is an integral part of the School of Law. It serves the law school and university community in legal and interdisciplinary scholarly pursuits and provides attorneys, judges, and the general public with access to legal information. Key components of this mission include collecting and preserving Kansas, national, and international legal documents, teaching legal information literacy, and serving as a legal information gateway by providing access to sources beyond the scope of the physical collection.

Wheat Law Library | Hearsay







Meet the 2013 library student employees

1 2 3 4 5

Kasey Considine is from Boston, Mass., and has a bachelor’s degree in writing/history from Loyola University - Maryland. She is working on her law degree and master’s, so technically is a 1.5L. Despite the extra workload, she manages to find time for the important things in life, like working at the library and eating lots of ice cream. Jessica Fiegel (3L) grew up in Lawrence and the Chicago suburbs. She attended the University of Notre Dame, where she studied political science. If she is not careful, she’ll speak with a Chicago accent. Jessica is a die-hard Notre Dame football fan, and no amount of fake girlfriends will change that. Tyler Manson is a 2L from Wichita. He received his undergraduate degree in economics from Loyola University - New Orleans. Tyler believes his extensive record of library late fees gives him insight into the mind of a library book hoarder and will be a real asset to the library. Ja’net Miles is a 2L from Richmond, Va. She graduated from Virginia Tech, where she majored in accounting. Ja’net’s favorite food is pizza, so she has been in pizza heaven since arriving at KU Law. Her bucket list includes a trip to Naples, Italy, the birthplace of pizza. Ja’net is a research assistant for Professor Pearson. Andrea Pitt is a graduate student in art history and an intern at the Spencer Museum of Art. She has an M.A. in museum studies from Marist College and dreams of being a museum registrar or collection manager. Originally from Hershey, Pa., Andrea has lived in Italy, Philadelphia and Boston. She enjoys kayaking and ballroom dancing.

upcoming events Barber Emerson Bluebook Relays Oct. 25, 2013 Kansas Supreme Court Research Clinic Presentations at KS Supreme Court Nov. 22, 2013 Wheat Law Library Inservice Day Jan. 9, 2014 National Library Week Apr. 13-19, 2014


Wheat Law Library | Hearsay

Profile for University of Kansas School of Law

Hearsay | Fall 2013  

News from the Wheat Law Library at the University of Kansas School of Law

Hearsay | Fall 2013  

News from the Wheat Law Library at the University of Kansas School of Law

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