The semester has wrapped up, and the students are off to think about something other than law school. Our faculty are busy grading, and their library needs are not as frequent. Therefore, it sounds like a perfect time to reflect on the past year and make those soon-to-be broken resolutions for 2014. Yes, I want to lose a few pounds, exercise, and spend more quality time away from work and with the family. But what are my new year’s resolutions as a law librarian? While you think about what you want to do in the upcoming year, here are a few of my thoughts:
Bring new ideas into instructional sessions. This may be in the form of a new class proposal, a different one-off lunch session, or even a new pedagogical idea. Something new can be beneficial for not only the students but also for you as you recharge with a new approach. At my library, we have several things we will be working on in the upcoming year. We are working on a new course, becoming more embedded in the law school’s seminar offerings, and we are discussing some flipped classroom experiences for the summer RAs. Why not try something different? It may turn out to be a success. In this article, Capital University Law School professor Angela Upchurch writes about “Optimizing the Law School Classroom through the ‘Flipped’ Classroom Model.”
Mentor, mentor and mentor. Even if you are new to the law librarian profession, there is someone out there that can learn from your experience. Everyone has had a boss or a co-worker that has provided fabulous career or job-related feedback. The law librarian profession is full of people willing to help another librarian to achieve their goals. Now is the time for you to be that person. The next time a law student asks what it takes to be a librarian or a co-worker asks about their career, take the time to listen, reflect and then give great advice. You can also explore the American Association of Law Libraries’ Mentor Match program.
Learn about an area outside your comfort zone. I was in a conversation recently and was described as a life-long learner. I don’t think of myself in those terms, but I guess they are appropriate. But why wouldn’t I want to learn about new things that are, at least somewhat, relevant to my career? So as you plan your upcoming list of things to do, why not go ahead and take that course you have been thinking about or take advantage of an opportunity that you don’t think you have time for within our busy lives. It will add more to your perspective as a librarian and may even come in handy in your daily tasks.
So those are a few of the things I will be thinking about for 2014. How about everyone else? Do you have any good suggestions for things to work on in the upcoming year?