Congratulations to LISP Members Receiving AALL Awards

Congratulations to Nicole Dyszlewski, recipient of the Volunteer Service Award and Sara Pic, recipient of the Emerging Leader Award! 

Nicole Dyszlewski, Head of Reference, Instruction, and Engagement at Roger Williams University School of Law, is the current co-chair of the LISP Education Committee.  Nicole has provided exemplary service to AALL through a variety of roles in committee work, special interest sections, and in her local chapter.  In 2016-2017, she was the chair of LISP-SIS and in 2017-2018 was chair the Council of SIS chairs.  She is currently President of the Law Librarians of New England.  She participated in two panels at AALL Virtual.  She moderated the LISP sponsored live streamed panel, “Law Library Neutrality in a Time of Political Upheaval” and coordinated the pre-recorded session “#Fail: Outreach and Engagement Lessons Learned the Hard Way”.

Sara Pic, Head of Public Services at the Law Library of Louisiana, is the recipient of the 2020 Emerging Leader Award.  Sara is immediate past chair of SR-SIS and Vice Chair of the Excellence in Community Engagement Jury.  She has been a leader in her chapter as Secretary of the New Orleans Association of Law Librarians for a number of years.  Sara coordinated the live streamed AALL Virtual program, “Change the Subject: How a Cataloging Term Became a Flashpoint in the Immigration Debate”.

For a full list of AALL award recipients, see

Are you a LISP member with professional news you would like to share?  Email your news to Jessica at

South Carolina’s 2020 Legal Research Webinars for Public and Academic Librarians: Part 2

By Eve Ross, LISP-SIS

Webinar Invitation, Registration, and Survey

Amie Freeman (UofSC Libraries) of the SCLA Continuing Education Committee communicated the webinar schedule through SCLA channels, including its listserv and events calendar. The committee coordinated the free webinar registrations through the South Carolina State Library’s LibCal registrations module.

The UofSC law librarians wanted to tailor their presentations as much as possible to the attendees’ needs and to update their own knowledge of the public legal information resources across the state, so they created a survey using SurveyMonkey. The SCLA Continuing Education Committee distributed the survey to those who registered for the webinars:

  1. Library Name
  2. Library Type (public library / public academic / private academic / other)
  3. Does your library maintain an up-to-date set of the South Carolina Code Annotated (yes / no / explain if necessary)
  4. Does your library collect books on legal topics? (yes / no / explain if necessary)
  5. Does your library offer access to any of the following online legal databases to all patrons? Check all that apply. (Legal Trac / Gale Legal Forms / Westlaw / Nexis Uni / Hein Online / other – please specify)
  6. Please choose the most common legal topics your patrons ask for help researching in your library (bankruptcy law / business law / consumer law / copyright law / criminal law / education law / employment & labor law / family law / immigration law / landlord & tenant law / neighbor law / personal injury law / property law / traffic law & automobile insurance / veterans resources / wills, trusts & estates / workers compensation law / other – please specify)
  7. What kinds of patron questions do you want the legal research webinars to answer?

Overall, frequently requested topics included family law, landlord & tenant law, and wills, trusts & estates. Another significant interest was in disability law. Librarians provided some specific examples of questions they wanted help answering, most of which fell broadly under the category of patrons needing forms and examples. Librarians also wanted to understand the difference between free and paid-for legal databases. These topics and questions were covered via the Topical Guides (discussed in webinar 2) or by demonstrations and examples in webinars 3, 4, and 5.

Webinar Presentations

Megan Palmer of Clemson University Libraries scheduled some time prior to the first webinar so the law librarians could practice using GoToMeeting. The GoToMeeting platform was used because SCLA already had a subscription to it; if their subscription had been to a different virtual meeting platform, another platform would have worked just as well.

Each webinar involved a member of the SCLA Continuing Education Committee as facilitator and a UofSC law librarian as presenter. The facilitator handled the technical aspects of running the webinar. They made sure attendees received timely reminders of the link to enter the webinar; they checked that attendees were muted but the presenter was not; they responded privately to attendees’ technical questions; and they read out questions posted in the chat so the presenter could answer without having to navigate to the chat and pause to read the questions. Facilitation was extremely helpful because minor technical difficulties could be handled quickly and quietly while each presenter remained focused on presenting.

Webinar Recordings

Importantly, each facilitator was responsible for recording the webinar using the recording feature in GoToMeeting and uploading it to SCLA’s YouTube channel. The law librarians at UofSC Law wanted to edit out pauses from their webinars before the recordings were posted to YouTube. This was not strictly necessary, but it was a skill the law librarians had already developed and applied in their classroom instructional videos, using Camtasia. The facilitator used Dropbox to transfer the recording to the law librarian presenter, then the law librarian edited it in Camtasia and provided the edited recording to the facilitator using OneDrive. The use of a cloud provider was needed because the video files were too large to email as attachments. Dropbox and OneDrive were already in use by the librarians’ respective institutions.


The SCLA Continuing Education Committee was indispensable in providing the impetus for the webinar series. Their deep connections with librarians throughout the state, and their use of SCLA communications infrastructure, were crucial in making the webinars fit the needs of public and academic librarians.

Much gratitude is owed to Terrye, who initiated the Circuit Riders program in South Carolina and guided it through all its iterations, including this five-part webinar series, until she retired in July 2020. The law librarians at the University of South Carolina School of Law have big shoes to fill when it comes to keeping the Circuit Riders guide updated and continuing to adapt Circuit Riders educational offerings to current and future needs.

Missed Part 1?  Check it out here.

South Carolina’s 2020 Legal Research Webinars for Public and Academic Librarians: Part 1

By Eve Ross, LISP-SIS

Background on Access to Legal Information in South Carolina

Unlike many states, South Carolina does not have a state law library or county law libraries, so other institutions in the state must step up to provide public access to legal information. These include the South Carolina State Library, the county public libraries, and the academic libraries, including the law library at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

There is a history, dating back to 2007, of the law librarians at the UofSC School of Law providing in-person workshops for public and academic librarians in South Carolina, to train them to help their patrons with basic legal research. Time and funds for travel were always a challenge when trying to reach all parts of the state with these “Circuit Riders” workshops. A “Circuit Riders: Basic Legal Research Training” libguide was developed and has been updated over the years, which helps to extend legal research instruction to those who could not be at the workshops. However, navigating an online guide is not the same as receiving live training.

Webinar Idea and Working Group

Terrye Conroy responded to an April 2019 survey sent by the Continuing Education Committee of the South Carolina Library Association (SCLA, a state chapter of ALA). The committee wanted to know what continuing education topics would interest South Carolina public and academic librarians, and they hoped to find out who had the skills to teach which topics via webinars. Terrye responded that she would be willing to teach basic legal research. This was a match with the interests of some public and academic librarians.

An informal working group was formed through SCLA’s Continuing Education Committee. The working group consisted of Tiffany Hayes (South Carolina State Library), Megan Palmer (Clemson University Libraries), Lisa Gieskes (Richland County Public Library), and Terrye Conroy (UofSC School of Law).

Webinar Outline and Schedule

Based on her experience with the in-person Circuit Riders workshops, Terrye knew that attention can wane after an hour or two, and that sufficient coverage of basic legal research topics would require more time than that. Thus, the idea for the five webinar series came about. Terrye invited her law librarian colleagues at UofSC School of Law to collaborate, and a schedule was drawn up in which each one-hour webinar would be presented live by a different law librarian, with at least two weeks in between webinars. All webinars were from 2-3 pm, a time that generally worked well for public and academic librarians, in the experience of the SCLA Continuing Education Committee.

April 9, 2020: The Law & Legal Reference Interview

State & federal constitutions; the three branches of state & federal government and the laws they produce; and the reference interview and how to avoid legal advice.

Presenter: Terrye Conroy, Assistant Director of Legal Research Instruction, University of South Carolina Law Library

April 23, 2020: Secondary Sources & Topical Research Guides

How to use books, articles, and topical guides to research legal issues and find relevant state and federal statutes, regulations and cases.

Presenter: Aaron Glenn, Reference Librarian, University of South Carolina Law Library

May 14, 2020: Researching Local, State & Federal Codes

How to research municipal (city & county) ordinances, state statutes (focusing on SC), and federal statutes.

Presenter: Eve Ross, Reference Librarian, University of South Carolina Law Library

May 28, 2020: State & Federal Regulations

The relationship between state and federal statutes and administrative agency regulations and how to research state (focusing on SC) and federal regulations.

Presenter: Rebekah Maxwell, Associate Director for Library Operations, University of South Carolina Law Library

June 11, 2020: Researching State & Federal Cases, Court Rules & Forms

The concept of legal precedent, hierarchy of authority, and how to research state (focusing on SC) and federal cases, court rules and forms.

Presenter: Dan Brackmann, Reference Librarian, University of South Carolina Law Library

AALL Pre-recorded Programs Featuring LISP Members

If you are attending AALL Virtual, starting Monday, July 20th check out these pre-recorded sessions featuring LISP members!

Heather Simmons (Speaker), Paths to Success: Recruiting the Next Generation of Law Librarians

Short program description: This program will showcase successful instructional, outreach, and mentorship options in a variety of sectors that help advance collaborations and career awareness, build a successful pipeline of future law librarians, and ensure the sustainability of the profession.

Joseph Lawson (Coordinator), Make a Production Out of It: Creating Video Content for Outreach and Instruction

Short program description: The speakers will provide a live demonstration of basic video-editing techniques using Microsoft Video Editor, TechSmith’s Camtasia, and YouTube Studio Editor. Speakers will also discuss accessibility issues that arise in the context of video production.

Miriam Childs (Moderator/Coordinator), Loaves and Fishes: Providing Legal Assistance to SRLs When Resources Are Limited

Short program description: This session will cover how Louisiana law librarians ensure access to justice in a state with far fewer resources than most. A three-part presentation will include law librarians who work directly with SRLs, members of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee, and representatives of the American Bar Association’s Free Legal Answers program to provide information about resources their institutions have developed to assist self-represented litigants.  This program is sponsored by the GLL-SIS.

Nicole Dyszlewski (Coordinator), #Fail: Outreach and Engagement Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Short program description: This session, presented as true-life stories told as cautionary tales, is about outreach and engagement fails. Each presenter will share a story of a vision for an engagement strategy, program, or event and how that vision was implemented and went horribly wrong, but in a funny way. Each speaker will be honest, candid, and share the lessons learned (the hard way.)

Heather Simmons (Speaker), How Intelligent CI Instruction Gives Law Students a Competitive Edge

Short program description: In a discussion moderated by a newer academic librarian who will be teaching competitive intelligence for the first time, a firm librarian will share insights into how competitive intelligence can and should be used, and an academic librarian who regularly teaches competitive intelligence will offer tips on how to construct CI lessons.

Sarah Mauldin (Moderator/Coordinator), Helping Without Hurting: Toward a Trauma-Informed Model for Law Library Service

Short program description: This session explores ways for libraries to incorporate trauma-informed techniques into patron interactions by discussing what it means to be trauma-informed. Learn about the experience of librarians at Athens-Clarke County Library in Georgia as they implement the Trauma Informed Library Transformation Initiative, a collaboration between the public library and the UGA School of Social Work.

For more information or to access the pre-recorded sessions, visit

AALL Virtual Programs Featuring LISP Members

Attending the AALL Virtual Conference?  Check out these programs featuring LISP members!

Lacy Rakestraw (Speaker): Updating Your Emergency Plans: From Pandemics to Acts of Violence to Extreme Weather – July 14th at 12:00pm CDT

Short Program Description: In this session, participants will hear from several law librarians who have pursued these plan updates and some whom have had to endure these emergencies in real life. They will share their emergency plan experiences and lessons learned before, during, and/or after these situations.

Yolanda Jones (Speaker): Library 3.0: Using UX to Create the Library Space of the Future – July 15th at 12:00pm CDT

Short Program Description: Librarians from a law school, a county law library, and a firm library will discuss their various experiences with designing a new library space—and how they lived to tell the tale.

Sarah Pic (Coordinator & Co-moderator): Change the Subject: How a Cataloging Term Became a Flashpoint in the Immigration Debate – July 15th at 3:30pm CDT

Short Program Description: Students at Dartmouth, along with librarians and other activists across the country, began a fight to “change the subject,” as told through a documentary by the same name. In this session, the filmmakers will show clips from the film and speak about this ongoing struggle. AALL’s liaison to the Subject Analysis Committee and a member of the Library of Congress working group on “Illegal Aliens” will also talk about her work and what participants can do to get involved in the fight back home and nationally.

Sue Ludington (Speaker): Bringing Legal Research to Rural Communities – July 16th at 10:30am CDT

Short Program Description: Learn how law libraries and attorneys from states with large rural populations are helping to meet this challenge by bringing better, more reliable legal information to citizens where they live. Then, explore how to build and leverage partnerships between your own law library and other stakeholders, such as public libraries, government agencies, the state bar, and private businesses to help meet this pressing need.

Joe Lawson (Speaker): Mindful Middle Management: A Dialogue on Managing Up, Down, and Within – July 16th at 10:30am CDT

Short Program Description: More than meditation, mindfulness in management involves letting go of assumptions, listening with attention, creating room for empowerment, and delaying reactions so that actions and consequences can be considered with care. The goal of this program is to elevate the dialogue about challenges middle managers experience and how mindfulness concepts and practices can help.

Ronald Wheeler (Speaker): Fear and Loathing in Teaching Legal Research: Addressing Cultural Competence and Managing Implicit Bias – July 16th at 12:00pm CDT

Short Program Description: This session builds on past discussions of cultural competence and implicit bias by deep diving into the classroom management issues that accompany discussion of politically charged topics. After a brief reintroduction to implicit bias and cultural competence, participants will be presented with a series of challenging real life teaching moments related to diversity issues.

Sarah Lamdan (Speaker), Rebecca Sherman (Coordinator), Nicole Dyszlewski (Moderator): Law Library Neutrality in a Time of Political Upheaval – July 16th at 3:30pm CDT

Short Program Description: In the current times, where libraries are contending with issues such as escalating prices, diminished bargaining power, and contentious political upheaval, it may be time to reconsider neutrality as the best way forward for our patrons, our institutions, and ourselves as professionals. This panel will discuss critical librarianship and conflicts of neutrality. (LISP sponsored program)

For more information on the AALL Virtual Conference, visit

Are you a LISP member who has recently presented or published?  Email Jessica at and be featured on the LISP/SR blog!