David Whelan

Explorations with information and technology.

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One of the perqs of being around in a profession for awhile is that people you’ve met come back around. I had a chance to chat with a colleague who is mid-career and thinking about law librarianship. We had connected over a decade ago on some other information management topics. I ended up recommending that, given their current skill set,
Continue Reading Your Mileage May Vary

I’ve lost my lunch. No, not that kind of lost my lunch. As the pandemic has gone on and our lockdowns were extended, I found my meals disappearing. Our family has always started the day raggedly, each person eating then leaving as their schedule demanded. Lunch was midday because that’s what corporate culture expects. Dinner remains our only anchor
Continue Reading Lost Lunch

It’s performance review time in our organization. It’s always an odd experience, as we tend to start annual reviews at month 10, which I think creates its own issues on what counts. I gave 9 reviews this year, reflecting the team management I absorbed mid-year after a retirement. And then I had mine too, which I find to be a
Continue Reading Lonely At The Top

There are times that you really have to search to understand whether it is better to stick with something or not. I’m experiencing a workflow break down – what was working well now isn’t – and it creates tension. At what point, in a project or an operational workflow, do you make changes to fix something that is broken?

Continue Reading To Stay or To Go

We have been open for a month. For those of you whose law libraries have reopened – sometimes multiple times – our experience is probably not much different from yours. As I had expected, it has highlighted some new challenges. But it has also enabled a re-connection to our patrons which has been gratifying.


Our organization – of which
Continue Reading The Door is Ajar

One of the aspects of our pandemic work experience coming to an end that is most interesting to me is one’s ability to transition. You might say “transition back” but I’m not sure that’s a safe assumption. Law library leaders have had 18 months to rethink our work and how it’s done. It has been interesting to look at workplaces
Continue Reading The Office is a Format

A law library director is a bit like a train engineer. The future is ahead of us, on the rails on which our train runs. It is a flight of fancy to think a library can go in any direction. Funding, guild pressure, legislation. We all have constraints that make it difficult to change course and leaving the tracks isn’t
Continue Reading Create a New Track