National Library Week is one of our favorite weeks here at HeinOnline. Hosted by the American Library Association, National Library Week 2023 is being celebrated April 23-29, with the theme “There’s More to the Story”—referring not only to the vast variety of stories held within libraries, but also to all of the perhaps not as well-known services and resources that libraries provide to the community.
This year, we thought what better way to celebrate than to ask librarians themselves about what they do and what they love about their library? We want to give a big thank you to the librarians who provided us with their insight for this post. Keep reading to learn more about them and about the purpose of the library through their eyes!
Meet the Librarians
Edward Hart, UNT Dallas College of Law
Librarian for 23 years
Caroline Walters, Harvard Law School Library
Librarian for 27 years
Doug Denne, University of the Ozarks
Librarian for 30 years
Krista Higham, Millersville University
Librarian for 15 years
What made you want to become a librarian?
Ed: “I was offered a job in a law library out of the blue. My alternative was writing opinion letters for a state revenue department.”
Caroline: “I started in Acquisitions and Serials and enjoyed the collection development and collection’s maintenance process. When I started, I typed card catalogs on a typewriter, checked in periodicals on a Kardex, and wrote accession numbers in each volume. It’s an incredibly different landscape from when I first entered the profession. It’s been exciting to be a part of such growth and change.”
Doug: “I love to learn and I love to help people.”
Krista: “I worked in academic libraries as a student assistant and a staff member prior to getting my master’s in library science. Many people over the years encouraged me to go back to school and become a librarian. I loved working in libraries and wanted a new challenge and a new way to work with students.”
What do you think is the most important aspect of your job?
Ed: “Introducing law students to the legal information world.”
Caroline: “First, finding the right balance to maintain our collecting mandate as a legal research institution in the face of the many challenges libraries face today (i.e., space, staffing, budget, etc.). Secondly, or as importantly—and indeed because of some of these challenges—advocating for the preservation of legal publications, addressing the threat to the First Sale Doctrine, and helping break down increasing legal information barriers. The movement from print to electronic publishing poses a grave danger to legal history, legal citation, and access to justice. Collaboration and discussions about these challenges between librarians and publishers are critically important.”
Doug: “On the surface, it’s connecting students to the resources they need for their studies. Ideally, it’s helping students to open their minds to life beyond the assignment before them.”
Krista: “Assisting students and faculty in accessing relevant research, though my contribution tends to be more behind the scenes. I set circulation policies for physical materials, make sure interlibrary loan systems and workflows provide the most efficient response time for filling requests, and provide assistance to faculty in locating ‘free to the student’ course materials.”
What is something your library offers that people might not know about?
Caroline: “I think you could arguably say that Harvard Law Library has one of the deepest collections of legal materials from around the world. It is a privilege and a dream to work here.”
Doug: “Puzzles, games, and brain-break materials like mandalas. Students love those.”
Krista: “Of course I hope that Millersville students and faculty know about all of our services and resources but they may not be aware that they can make an appointment with a librarian to assist with their research.”
Continue the Celebration with HeinOnline
We are so grateful for the essential services that librarians offer to their communities each and every day. Libraries are a vital resource that provide education, services, networks, and more, and they truly have something to offer for everybody.
Continue the National Library Week 2023 celebration by checking out our post from 2022 where we explored HeinOnline’s digital library and the most popular books in our databases. And be sure to stop by your local library this week to show your love and support!