June 08, 2011
Don't Sit on the Fence: Why you should come to the PLL Summit?
Time is running short. So if you are on the fence about attending, jump off and sign up. The day is packed with great programming but I am sure you have seen all the emails publicizing the programming. So, I am going to just mention a few reasons why you should attend:
1. Its Saturday, July 23rd. That's right, it is on a Saturday. You don't have to be at work on Saturday. This is a very good way to spend your Saturday time. You didn't really want to get a sunburn at the beach did you?
2. You get an invitation to the BNA Reception at the Union Club on Friday night. On Saturday you get breakfast, lunch and snacks and while you are eating lunch you get to be entertained by the Three Geeks. You get an invitation to the Westlaw Business (now known as Accelus GRC) reception on Saturday night and I have it on very good authority that this is going to be one heck of a party! Oh, and of course you get to attend a day long series of programs. All for $145. Now that's a deal.
3. This is a great opportunity to network with your peers. We don't really have many opportunities like this. Yes, local chapters do programming but the number of librarians at those programs are usually limited due to space constraints and the librarians are all from the same geographic area. And at AALL proper while there are opportunities to chat we (except for the PLL luncheon) are not usually all in the same place at the same time. And the break-out sessions give you the opportunity to discuss what's happening at your firm or company and hear what is going on at other firms and companies.
There is still time to sign up. Registration is required by June 17th. Don't get left out of participating in this action packed event. Go to http://aall11.sched.org/event/780ffd7742908ef6847af6fc1ed61c0a and click on the link to register. You won't be sorry!
September 10, 2009
Are all law librarians legal positivists?
Or, put another way, should all law librarians acknowledge that their job is to be legal positivists? Legal Positivism is a school of Jurisprudence which holds that the only legitimate source of laws comes from written laws specifically enacted or adopted by a government body. Legal Positivists don't try and answer what the law ought to be, but what it is. As John Austin put it, “The existence of law is one thing; its merit and demerit another. Whether it be or be not is one enquiry; whether it be or be not conformable to an assumed standard, is a different enquiry.”
When someone comes to us as librarians and asks. "What is the law regarding the constitutionality of book burning?" we do not answer, "I find it distasteful and thus it couldn't possibly be the law." On the contrary, if we are doing what we are expected to do, we find the relevant statutes, regulations, caselaw, etc. If it is a gray area, we note it. We may then even seek out treatises and articles from scholars to illustrate the gaping whole of the matter yet unsettled.
Does this topic ever matter? Well, perhaps it may help us become more self-aware. Are we merely passive observers to the workings of the subject which surrounds us? Perhaps it can help us define our roles in the legal community. Perhaps not. All I know is that no one cares what I think about the law, but rather that I know how to find the pieces of the puzzles for them. And I'm fine with that. I may well even prefer it. (DCW)