How Library Workshops Can Evolve to Prepare Students for 21st Century Practice
Librarians have a wealth of knowledge that we attempt to impart on students during their three years in law school. However, we are constantly competing for their attention. Many schools offer some form of voluntary library workshop series for law students taught by librarians. The UNC Law Library has offered a practice-focused workshop series in a variety of formats over the years, but the topics have always focused on traditional research skills. Attendance at the workshops had significantly dropped off in recent years. However, we still saw the importance of these series both in the knowledge and skills librarians can share with the students and as a vehicle for showcasing how librarians can function as a valuable resource for students and attorneys. This workshop will discuss how we transformed our traditional workshop series into a workshop series with a focus on legal technology. The session will begin with an overview of the various formats the series has taken over the years and a discussion of the suspected causes of decline in attendance. I will then discuss how legal technology was identified to revive the program, how the new topics were developed, how we marketed the series, and how students responded to the new topics. The program will end with a look at some of the workshop PowerPoints used over the last year and the overall benefits of the series for the library.
- Participants will be able to consider the changing views law students have of their information needs and research skills.
- Participants will be able to walk away with ideas for transforming and marketing their own workshop series.
- Participants will be able to reflect on the benefits of continuing to offer voluntary workshops to law students as research instruction within the law school curriculum becomes more robust.