Monthly Archives: January 2011

Library vandal to serve time

This is both a legal and a library related piece – in that a library was vandalized and the vandal was caught and will be serving time in jail.  The headline in the Idaho Stateman reads: Boise library vandal sentenced to a month in jail.  A woman vandalized the public library ten times in the course of a year by pouring condiments such as maple syrup, ketchup, and mayonnaise down the book-drop.  After the library set up a surveillance system they were able to catch the culprit and bring her to trial.  The prosecutor did not push for jail, but the judge determined that at least twenty-seven days in jail would be served.  Read the full story here.

Interview with Legal Reference Librarian: Sheila Doherty

 Sheila Doherty currently works as a Reference Librarian at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

What made you decide to specialize in legal librarianship?

I used to be a Social Studies teacher, so I taught about the development of governments throughout the world. While I left that profession after three years, I have always enjoyed learning. I thought working in a law firm would be interesting, so I spent one year at the Palmer School (Long Island University) alternating between their four campuses and one legal class at Queens college to be sure and get the most out of my education. As a reference librarian at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, I do legal and corporate research. I’m glad to say that it is better than I ever imagined.

How do you feel technology has changed the role of the library in your law firm?

Quite honestly, the thought of working with books alone kept me away from librarianship. It is something that just did not appeal to me. With the advent of internet search engines, I learned to love finding facts quickly. As I honed this skill, the field of librarianship became an option that was not there in the past. As a newer librarian, I only hear about the past from more experienced librarians. To sum up their thoughts in a sentence, it was much slower paced. With the incredible advances in technology, there is a “I need this NOW” attitude that did not exist in the past.

What do you like most about your career?

I love always learning. As a reference librarian, I do not have a niche, and this means there is always a new question or challenge to make the day more interesting.

Do you still use books or do you find you do most of your research online? Which books? Which online resources?

It really depends on the question. If people need an overview, print treatises are still best to flip through. If the question is very specific and would require many resources to answer it, online is best.

Do you still use the “reference interview”? Do you find most of your questions come in via email, phone, person?

In a way, yes. Most questions come in e-mail form, and these can get a follow-up e-mail or phone call to ask for more details. However, if a person calls the library, we can perform the reference interview right then. This is much better, especially for newer attorneys, as it allows us to use our experience to shape their questions.

Can you discuss a particularly challenging reference question?

Well, it has been five years, and there have been countless challenging questions. I would have to say that the challenge has very simple origins. The longer I do this, the easier it seems to become. Of course, there are still plenty of questions that require a great deal of thought and effort, but the process by which you answer them becomes easier. Going back to your previous question, I absolutely still use the reference interview. In fact, the more experience I get, the better that interview becomes. Practice really does make perfect!

PLI Listserv

I’d like to invite you to subscribe to PLI’s Library Relations Listserv.  The listserv was created as a result of librarians’ feedback.  This will be a resource for librarians to get the information they need from PLI without having to  check our website.  It is a forum to stay apprised of treatise supplementation—we’ve been trying to find a better way to let you know when our titles are updated.  In addition, we will let you know about any PLI Library Programs, new titles, Ebook Library notifications or anything else that concerns our library customers.

This listserv is moderated so you will only receive messages we send (about 4 per month). 

If you’d like to sign up please email

Mergers & Acquisitions

It was reported in September 2010 that mergers and acquisitions were on the rise.  Now, 2010 is being called The Year That M&A Came Back in the AM Law Daily.  This is all great news.   The numbers still aren’t up as high as they were before the recession, but the growth is encouraging.  Experts don’t expect the numbers to go that high anytime soon but still expect a steady growth.

If your firm or organization is involved in M&A, consider adding PLI’s new treatise to your library: Mergers, Acquisitions and Tender Offers: Law and Strategies

View a sample chapter here

December 2010 Course Handbook Update

Here are the PLI Course Handbooks that were published during the month of December 2010.

  • 28th Annual Institute on Telecommunications Policy & Regulation
  • Adoption Law Institute 2010
  • Banking Law Institute 2010: The Future is Here
  • Electronic Discovery Guidance 2010: What Corporate and Outside Counsel Need to Know
  • Hot Issues in Securities Laws 2010: Disclosure Documents and Trends
  • How to Prepare for the Upcoming Proxy Season 2010
  • New Developments in Securitization 2010
  • PLI Ethics Programs: Winter 2010-2011
  • PLI’s California MCLE Marathon 2010: Current Developments in Legal Ethics — Substance Abuse — Elimination of Bias in the Profession

Please write if you have any questions or would like to order a title.

Bankruptcy Season

Bankruptcy Season is upon us.  I recently learned that the bankruptcy season starts in early January.  Craig D. Robins, Esq. has “observed that the December holidays lead most people who are troubled with serious debt problems to put off getting help. However, the advent of a new year, combined with the added pressure of bills from holiday purchases, causes many consumers with overwhelming debt to make that appointment to see a bankruptcy lawyer.”

PLI publishes on the topic of Bankruptcy.  For example:

Bankruptcy Deskbook, 4th Edition 

ISBN Number: 1-4024-0772-6 

Number of Volumes: 2 

Publication Date: August 2006 

Latest Supplement: November 2010

Item #: 8048

Price: $295.00

Personal Bankruptcy Answer Book, 1st Edition 

ISBN Number: 978-1-4024-1393-3 

Number of Volumes: 1 

Publication Date: June 2010 

Item #: 26277

Price: $195.00