David Whelan

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I don’t trust marketing. I use ad blockers and I rarely interact with media (like video) that incorporates a lot of marketing. It’s … woolly. One of the biggest trust issues I have with marketing is whether it actually does anything. At some level, I realize it does impact people’s choices. But I’d prefer a verifiable way to see
Continue Reading Measured Marketing

Law librarians want their seat at the table. And, when we’re overlooked, we raise the issue. We are professionals with a specific expertise. That expertise comes from experience and exposure, some of which overlaps with other professionals. One of the things I’ve been thinking about recently is how to deal with the edges of our expertise and being as mindful
Continue Reading Call a Professional

Our Chief Financial Officer died. It’s a trauma on so many levels. There has been a lot to process. One thing it has highlighted is that there is a lot of our law library’s operation that doesn’t require a library degree. Also, that not a lot of that operation is transparent. Law library directors and those aspiring to lead law
Continue Reading Law Library Continuity

I walk to work. I watch where I walk, because I don’t want to clean off excrement or other accidents that I step in. One thing that seems true: other than humans, the only creatures regularly excreting on the pavement or on buildings are dogs. But you wouldn’t know that from the signage.

Now, I love dogs. And I have
Continue Reading Precise Words

When news breaks in my brother’s case, there is often a deluge of attempted contacts by media. I do my best to manage it. One challenge is that, while communication runs two directions, it may not occur in the same medium. We are experiencing that at work too. As staff at the law library shift to a hybrid model, it
Continue Reading Fragmented Attention

My apartment building got a coffee machine. It’s one of those counter top items and sits in the shared kitchen. It’s one of a number of small improvements that the new property management company has implemented in the last few months. I’m a huge coffee fan so I was thrilled to have an alternative to whatever I make myself. But
Continue Reading Commit to the Bit

It is hard to know what the truth is sometimes. It is less hard to know a fact. But that doesn’t mean that everyone has the same commitment to the facts that you, as a law librarian, might. I’ve run into this a couple of times with sites like the New York Times and Wikipedia, where facts don’t always seem
Continue Reading Fact or Friction

I’m not sure if I’m mad or sad. Okay, those are words I would rarely use. More likely, I’m just irritated because some automagick technology is telling me to simplify my writing. Increasingly, if I’m in a Microsoft product, a little Editor bubble will appear to let me know that there’s something non-conforming with my writing. The thing I’ve noticed
Continue Reading Machined Language

You can look back over years of law library professional development programming and see how often marketing comes up. It’s evergreen. I’ve never been confident that marketing is the issue. Like a technology applied to a bad process, marketing allows us to take action. But it doesn’t solve the problem. In fact, it may miss the problem entirely.

I’m at
Continue Reading Law Library Awareness

We are approaching year-end (June 30) and it’s time to review the budget draft for next year. One thing that I’ve talked over with some staff is revenue. Fundamentally, courthouse law libraries have a single source of revenue. In California, it’s filing fees and, universally, these fees are a limiting factor on service delivery. But how to get more money?
Continue Reading The Cost of Charging for Law Library Services