Friday, April 17, 2020
7:45-9:30am-Breakfast and Keynote Speaker
Jerry Mitchell, Investigative Journalist, Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting
From Simon & Schuster:
“For almost two decades, investigative journalist Jerry Mitchell doggedly pursued the Klansmen responsible for some of the most notorious murders of the civil rights movement. This book is his amazing story. Thanks to him, and to courageous prosecutors, witnesses, and FBI agents, justice finally prevailed.” —John Grisham, author of The Guardians
On June 21, 1964, more than twenty Klansmen murdered three civil rights workers. The killings, in what would become known as the “Mississippi Burning” case, were among the most brazen acts of violence during the civil rights movement. And even though the killers’ identities, including the sheriff’s deputy, were an open secret, no one was charged with murder in the months and years that followed.
It took forty-one years before the mastermind was brought to trial and finally convicted for the three innocent lives he took. If there is one man who helped pave the way for justice, it is investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell.
In Race Against Time, Mitchell takes readers on the twisting, pulse-racing road that led to the reopening of four of the most infamous killings from the days of the civil rights movement, decades after the fact. His work played a central role in bringing killers to justice for the assassination of Medgar Evers, the firebombing of Vernon Dahmer, the 16th Street Church bombing in Birmingham, and the Mississippi Burning case. Mitchell reveals how he unearthed secret documents, found long-lost suspects and witnesses, building up evidence strong enough to take on the Klan. He takes us into every harrowing scene along the way, as when Mitchell goes into the lion’s den, meeting one-on-one with the very murderers he is seeking to catch. His efforts have put four leading Klansmen behind bars, years after they thought they had gotten away with murder.
Race Against Time is an astonishing, courageous story capturing a historic race for justice, as the past is uncovered, clue by clue, and long-ignored evils are brought into the light. This is a landmark book and essential reading for all Americans.
Teaching Track: The Science of Material Design
Appropriately designed course materials (i.e., PowerPoints, handouts, etc.) can help boost students’ long-term retention of the material(s) they are learning in legal research courses; conversely, inappropriately designed course materials create an additional burden on students’ cognitive load limits. This program will explain the cognitive science surrounding dual coding—how the brain encodes written versus visual information and how that helps with retrieval—and other science-backed strategies related to graphic design. Panelists will then give examples of effective PowerPoints, visuals, and handouts that follow the science of graphic design.
Service Track: Open Students’ Minds (without Opening their Wallets): Write a D.I.Y. Open-Source Textbook!
This program will present the nuts and bolts of authoring an open-source legal research textbook — everything from platform choice and topic to deciding on the scope of the topic and how often to update. We will also discuss why these textbooks are valuable, the benefits of co-authorship, the challenges of an interactive textbook, as well as what we wish we’d known before undertaking our projects.
Diversity Track: Foundational Legal English for ESL Students
First-year ESL law students face a considerable disadvantage when compared to their native English-speaking peers. Foreign and international students consistently encounter obstacles to their learning due to the language barrier. In order to level the competitive playing field, several universities offer summer English programs for incoming law school students. This panel will discuss key resources and learning materials pivotal to library collections that can assist law librarians in developing similar programs, seminars, or short courses aimed at strengthening ESL students’ English language skills and helping them to further understand and engage with their law school course materials.
Teaching Track: Let’s Go Full TiLT! Transparency in Teaching for Student Success
Research demonstrates that employing transparent design in instruction greatly improves students’ achievement in learning outcomes. This is even more profound for underrepresented and first-generation students. Transparency in Teaching and Learning (TiLT) is an instructional design methodology that focuses on how and why students learn course content, concepts, and skills, and how they will use that learning in their lives beyond school. This presentation will introduce participants to TiLT concepts and provide participants with practice in TiLTing their own instruction.
Service Track: Southern University Law Center--Affordable Learning Initiative
Southern University Law Center (SULC), recognizing the need to make legal education more affordable for our students especially as it relates to textbook cost, embarked on a project to make eTextbooks available for our law students beginning with the Fall 2019 entering class. The main goal of the initiative was to ensure all students had their books for the first day of class. The focus of the presentation is on the implementation process and the lessons that we learned during the process.
Diversity Track: Know the Recognize the Signs, Learn the Actions, Serve as a Lifeline
What we know – one in four people will be affected by mental health disorders at some point in their lives. While treatment is available, nearly two-thirds of people with known mental disorder never seek help. Stigma, discrimination, and neglect prevent people from seeking treatment. We prepare for crisis situations of all stripes (fire, flood, active shooter) but, how are we addressing the greatest threat to our safety? Learn about steps we can take as library professionals to prepare for people affected by mental disorders, recognize the signs of imminent danger, and serve a lifeline for our patrons and our staff.
11:45am-12:45pm-Lunch/Update from AALL Representative
Jason Sowards, Law Librarian & Director, Nevada Supreme Court
Teaching Track: Service Learning in the Legal Research Classroom
This program will discuss the pedagogical benefits of incorporating a service-learning component into first-year or upper-level legal research courses, including increased tolerance for and commitment to diversity, empathy for others, commitment to engaged citizenship, and increased cognitive skills. The presenter will present two models of how she incorporated service-learning components into research courses--one first-year skills course and one upper-level skills course--and provide tips for implementing a service-learning component into a legal research course.
Service Track: Student Research Assistants: Bridging the Gaps in Training and Supervision
This program will review three ways law librarians at Vanderbilt University interact with student research assistants: 1) hiring and overseeing library RAs; 2) training student RAs hired by a faculty member, and; 3) directly overseeing and working with student RAs on a particular project for a faculty member. It will highlight some common intergenerational differences between law librarians and law students and review some different strategies for developing good working relationships, no matter the arrangement. Throughout the program, participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and strategies with one another.
Diversity Track: You Can Teach an Older Dog New Tricks; Tips for Intergenerational Engagement in an Academic Setting.
Non-traditional students are enrolling for the first time or returning to start second and third careers. Non-traditional students bring both work and life experience and with them to the academy. However, this may not be enough to overcome the rigors of law school. Law school requires a different set of skills that non-traditional students need help learning. They may need help interacting with younger colleagues, developing study plans, and acquiring technology skills. This program will provide information and tips on the best practices for libraries to develop intergenerational engagement programs, webinars, and outreach activities in the library setting.
Teaching Track: What the Japanese, the Swedes, and the Minimalists Can Teach Us About Instruction
Using the philosophies of a number of popular organizing schemes, the speaker will summarize the lessons to be learned and applied to our instructional efforts. Everyone has heard of KonMari, Swedish Death Cleaning, and New Minimalism. These programs do have lessons to teach us about improving the effectiveness of our instruction. The presenter will discuss the rewards of downsizing, including our 'ideas' files, lesson plans, and exercises. The goal is a form of organization that makes our instructional efforts run more smoothly and allows us to focus on the essentials. There will also be an online guide with tips and suggestions.
Service Track: Leaping and learning: Lessons Learned When Moving Forward with a New System
Library systems support the complex tasks of acquiring, describing, and providing access to materials and services. The decision to move to a new system is often balanced by gains and losses. Panelists will discuss their experiences and lessons learned while migrating to a new library system.
Diversity Track: A Call to Action: The Fineman & Pappas Law Libraries on Community, and Equity & Access
Law libraries have an equity and access problem, and the Fineman & Pappas Law Libraries is no exception. Over the past two years, our community has changed in ways that caused us to reflect on our spaces and services, and we discovered our training and services did not measure up to who we purported to be. This presentation will discuss our initiatives over the past two years as we worked to solve these problems and our strategic goals for the future. It will cover our missteps, costs, and plan of action, and help others identify areas where they can improve and how.
3:00-3:45pm- Session E
Teaching Track: Hindsight is 20/20: Is it all Review in Advanced Legal Research?
Legal research instruction is inconsistent across law schools. Some schools have a rigorous 1L research program. In others, basic legal research is a small component of a legal writing course with librarians teaching 'advanced' research classes that might more accurately be called 'basic.' So what should an Advanced Legal Research class cover? The basics? More specialized research? And what is the purpose of ALR? To give law students the skills needed to work the reference desk? Or to work effectively as a first-year or summer associate?
Cultivating a Culture of Mindfulness in the Law Library and Beyond
How to implement a Mindfulness program at your institution - challenges and rewards.
Re-envisioning Student Research Services
How do we reach students who no longer come to the reference desk or ask questions via an online service? We implemented a new service in 2018 and expanded it in 2019 to work directly with our legal clinics, law journals, and faculty research assistants to expose members to advanced legal research skills. This program will review initial results and ideas for improving and expanding our service in 2020.
Reframing Libguides: An Organism of Agora
LibGuides are an underutilized CMS that has the power to create a virtual agora. This author argues that most LibGuides are static 2D documents, whereas LibGuides can be dynamic, 3D organisms that can exponentially foster knowledge and community (e.g., open-source) beyond the constraints of physical space-only libraries. This can be done by exploiting more technological features (e.g., media, formatting, blogs), and re-framing cataloging/metadata. Creating cataloging/metadata that focuses on effective, efficient retrieval and anticipating patron needs can create a topical blueprint, and a virtual 24/7 librarian for patrons to parse through infoglut and come to librarians with more focused questions.
Diversity Track: What's Rank Got to Do With It?
Are rankings necessary for law libraries? Are we at risk of creating “cookie-cutter” law libraries for the sake of comparison and rankings? Once academic law libraries have met ABA standard 606 on core collections, specifically, along with general standards on library and information resources, any other measure for ranking potentially forces libraries into a narrow definition of success. This program will explore the impact ranking has on a law library’s ability to support projects which enhance diversity and inclusion. Participants will discuss different ways law libraries can meet the needs of its law school population, in support of the ABA standards, without worrying about ranking.