David Whelan

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Reading Time: 6 minutes
I’ve just gotten back from an invigorating experience discussing possible law library futures. Perhaps my senses were a bit heightened, then, as I read about the rootlessness of the Jackson County (MO) law library in Kansas City. While we need to remain vigilant about emerging issues that pose potential existential threats, sometimes we are already suffering
Continue Reading Post-Mortem on a Law Library

Reading Time: 4 minutes
At the turn of the century, I worked at the American Bar Association. We had successfully evaded the Y2K turmoil, dot-com was ascendant, and legal technology was having a bit of a boom. There seemed to be lots of emerging companies (until the dot com bubble burst) and the market was still very fractured. It was
Continue Reading The Productivity Spiral

Reading Time: 7 minutes
I was talking with a group recently and someone asked what media I read to get information. I always find that question hard to answer because “everything” is not helpful but I tend not to read too many publications regularly. I thought I’d try to capture why.

There has been a huge shift in my professional
Continue Reading Where To Start Professional Information Gathering

Reading Time: 8 minutes
I was talking with some folks recently and someone asked why our law library hired part-time staff. Was it for financial reasons? It isn’t and the financial rationale—a part-timer saves costs because you cut out benefits and other perqs full-timers get—is one reason I have avoided creating or keeping part-time roles at other organizations I’ve worked
Continue Reading Mind the Gap

Reading Time: 9 minutes
Email is like the Go space on a Monopoly board. We start there with communications and we travel around the board, sometimes landing in unexpected neighborhoods, sometimes getting detained, but always coming back around to email. We have devised so many other communications tools and yet email remains a foundation when other tools falter. People may
Continue Reading And Back to Email

Reading Time: 10 minutes
I work at a county public law library that has transitioned from having physical branches to working with partner libraries. Soon after I arrived here, we closed our last physical branch law library and moved our resources to a different city within the county. This decision re-emerged recently as our governance Board was discussing our annual
Continue Reading Data, Decisions, and Maps

Reading Time: 8 minutes
I have pretty simple technical needs when it comes to my work computer. I like to think I’m relatively low maintenance for our IT team. I make a couple of minor interface tweaks—I tend to like my taskbar at the top of the screen, for example, something I picked up from Ubuntu—but I don’t really fuss
Continue Reading Adversarial Browsing