David Whelan

Latest from David Whelan - Page 2

Our law library received a financial donation. It was larger than normal but not so large as to involve naming rights or anything. The donating law firm asked that I write a letter recognizing the gift, to the lawyer who asked that it be made. They are retiring after decades and they valued the law library’s role in their professional
Continue Reading The Modest Voice

The latest management challenge is “I can’t see you work, therefore you must not be working.” It’s unfair and reflects weak management, weak leadership, and a failure of trust. Law libraries that are going to successfully adapt to hybrid work are going to need leaders to adapt to ambiguity of oversight. So are law libraries that are not going hybrid.
Continue Reading The Tyranny of the Hour

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