Annette L. Demers BA LLB MLIS, General Editor
“I am writing to you today to pitch a small, yet BIG idea!” In 2010, several contributors from around the country received my invitation to contribute to a new book, then tentatively titled "Quest for the Maxim: Build Your Career as a Legal Information Professional." My intention at that time was to provide readers with a realistic, frank, unique, and expert perspective on working in particular law library environments. Contributors were encouraged to provide their perspectives on their working environment, with an eye to assisting others with career-building. “The more unique and the more realistic the better in my opinion; we want this to be a fun read (as well as informative and helpful)”.
Options for legal information specialists are many and diverse. This book explains how to enter this engaging field, the types of opportunities available, and how to make career advancements. Written by a variety of legal information professionals from across Canada, this book describes what it is like to work in different work environments from the court house library to a law firm library, the law society to a legislative library. It also provides advice on how to find a job in these environments, and the rewards and challenges that one might encounter.
Ultimately, the book is much more than just a survey of the profession; it provides hope and insight about our transferability as information professionals, using the diverse range of knowledge, skills and networks that we have naturally developed to adapt to our changing environment. Contents include:
The Legal Information Profession: An Exciting Career Path — Annette Demers, Paul Martin Law Library, University of Windsor, Faculty of Law
Part One: Perspectives On The Legal Information Profession
The Visible Invisible Researcher — Mark Asberg, Canada Revenue Agency
The Role of the Legal Information Professional in Democracy — Annette Demers, Paul Martin Law Library, University of Windsor, Faculty of Law
Part Two: A Variety Of Career Options To Choose From!
Working In A Legislative Library — Caroline Hyslop and Kate Sinnott, Library of Parliament
Working In Law Society or Courthouse Libraries — Michel-Adrien Sheppard, Supreme Court of Canada and Jennifer Walker, County of Carleton Law Association
Working In A University Law Library — Annette Demers, Paul Martin Law Library, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor
Working In A Firm Library — Agathe Bujold, Phyllis Thornton, Joanne Lecky and Lenie Ott, McCarthy Tétrault
Teaching at a Law School: Building Foundational Skills for the Next Generation of Lawyers — Moira McCarney, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor
Working In Knowledge Management — Shaunna Mireau, Field Law
Working in a Bilingual and Bijural Environment — Nathalie Leonard, University of Ottawa and Sonia Poulin, Alberta Law Libraries
Public Legal Education Librarianship: A Non-Traditional Career Choice — Kirsten Wurmann, Legal Resource Centre, Edmonton
Working for Legal Publishing Companies — Danann Hawes, LexisNexis Canada
Working as A Consultant — Connie Crosby, Crosby Group Consulting
Part Three: Career Development Tips For Legal Information Professionals — Sonia Poulin, Alberta Law Libraries, Wendy Reynolds, Ontario Legislative Library and Annette Demers, Paul Martin Library, University of Windsor
Part Four: Helpful Resources
National and International Professional Associations
Jobs Boards And Career Information Tools
Thank you sincerely to the terrific team of contributors to this book!
The book has also become a much-needed call-to-action on behalf of the profession. It helps us to think more broadly about the value that we and our colleagues contribute to society, and it encourages us to use our talents and our networks to ensure that our institutions include access to information as an important consideration in decision-making. Importantly, this book also takes a hard look at leadership in our organizations in the 21st century, providing insightful thoughts and tools for improving our immediate work environments; improving our networks within our organizations and elsewhere; and for introducing innovation into our institutions in a variety of ways. As a result, all information professionals will find this book to be an interesting read.
In March, 2011, this book also received the endorsement of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries, and for that reason, the contributors of the book have decided to donate their royalties earned from the sale of the book, to CALL’s Eunice Beeson Memorial Bursary.