Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Champaign-Urbana, IL, home of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (yes, really). My parents are university professors/administrators, so I spent a fair amount of time in university-run schools and walking around campus.
What year did you begin working for LLTC?
Where did you work prior to LLTC?
Immediately before I started working at LLTC, I worked at the University of Illinois Law Library helping to process withdrawals, shelf pocket parts, and design a website to display new books by subject area. Before that, I worked at the University of Illinois-Chicago assisting the Dean of the College of Educaton with education policy research, including making maps, database/data analysis, and marketing. Prior to that, I taught elementary school, including special education and gifted classes; worked in tech support (Mac and PC); helped create online communities at a dot-com back when they were booming; created websites; was a stringer for a newspaper's youth section; and graded/tutored calculus and statistics.
What do you do at LLTC?
As the Deputy Director, I work with Technical Services, Outreach Services, Circulation, and Reference to help the library run smoothly. I also help faculty with their research, teach students how to do all different kinds of research, help figure out what books to buy for the collection, teach/design workshops, present in classes, and help Eric stay sane.
What do you like best about your job?
I like that, when I go into work in the morning, I never know for sure what the day is going to bring. I'm constantly learning something new and problem-solving and even when I get asked the same question repeatedly, I'm always learning new ways to answer it. I also love teaching and that my curiosity is constantly being rewarded.
What is your proudest accomplishment on the job?
There are two accomplishments that I'm really proud of.
One is that I was able to help a 1L who was really struggling to understand how legal research worked get on the right path after she came into my office panicked.
The other is revitalizing the faculty liaison program and creating materials for faculty about what the library could do for them. We've already seen some increased activity from faculty (and students) due to the marketing and I think it will be useful for everyone.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Exercise-wise, I enjoy swimming. There's just something wonderful about being in the water.
Additionally, I am a news junkie and a prolific YA (Young Adult) Fiction reader.
Last, but not least, my best friend Pam and I, along with our cats Wilbur and Kato, enjoy watching some TV shows like Royal Pains, Dr. Who, Glee, and Castle.
Strawberries, broccoli, and chocolate.
There are too many books to choose from! Lately, I have been trying to get everyone to read the Hunger Games by Susan Collins. Terry Pratchett's Interesting Times, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Alice in Wonderland, The Phantom Tollbooth, and the Jell-O Syndrome would all top the list. My secret vice is that I also read everything by Katie Macalister.
Is there any particular advice you would like to share with students?
Breathe. Remember that eating, sleeping, and taking care of yourself can play as much a role in your success as studying. There is life after law school. Always use advanced search. WestlawNext is not Google. Everytime you don't ask a question that you should have asked, I am very sad. And, lastly, one of my favorite quotes:
"Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" -- she always called me Elwood -- "In this world, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." -- Elwood P. Dowd, Harvey