My supervisor is attending the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) conference in New Orleans, LA. and is participating in a committee that is tackling the following future librarian questions:
Are there services that would be better offered locally? Or is there a need for national coordination or responsibility? Would a different or revised structure offer a more effective way to serve and involve a new generation of law librarians? How can we attract younger minority librarians?
My answer to these generally has to do with advertising and getting the word out that law libraries are a great place to work, requiring an array of skills and consistent research. Law libraries have a lot to offer, while it isn’t for everyone, there are many LiS students who would be heavily interested in it if they just had more information. Then the question becomes: how do we promote that? Law libraries need to create a bridge into the classroom, offering internships, interviews with staff, lectures, tours of their offices, meetings, and working closely with professors at library schools.
The firm I work with was smart enough to get their application out through various library schools’ e-mails; versus posting it on their website and assuming, since it’s online- people will find it. Additionally, many librarian functions/gatherings involve a set time and place for students to go- a come to us approach. I do my darndest to attend various gatherings and am always surprised by the low student turnout. While I dislike the fact that LiS students don’t go out into the world, talk, work, apply, study, etc. with everyone, anything, and anywhere, that’s just how it is.
Librarians are constantly dealing with the issue of justifying their jobs to their employers because so much is behind the scenes and seamless. Students too do not understand the work that goes into maintaining a law library. I think if law firms are more involved in the education process of students, they would be extremely fascinated and serious in considering a career in this field.