Prizes may be claimed between the hours of 10am – 3pm, Monday through Friday, from the staff at the Circulation Desk.
Charlotte School of Law Library opened its doors in 2006 to an inaugural class of 86 students. In the early days of building our library stacks, we absorbed a collection belonging to the Mecklenburg Law Library that was no longer maintained by the local public library system. Our first home for the collection was in a repurposed three-story law office, and, while the building itself was a beautiful Gregorian-style mansion situated in the upscale urban area of Dilworth, it soon was deemed too small to meet the physical collection needs of our exponentially growing incoming classes and subsequent staff additions.
West Side Story
In the summer of 2008, we simultaneously cataloged and processed an extensive collection purchased from the former National Judicial College and packed up house and home, destined for a new location. The space was part of new development meant to bring rejuvenation and urban redevelopment to an area of Charlotte that had been the victim of urban blight and serve as a flagship of renewal for the area.
Unfortunately, soon after our move, the recession hit and the development of the area stagnated. Our law library space on the second floor of this building was designed with little input from the library staff and leadership, and the owners of the building resisted creating an interior that was too specific in meeting our needs. As the years passed, our student body grew to more than 1,500, and staff and faculty grew as well. The demands placed upon the law library’s facilities and infrastructure by this influx of patrons, in addition to our attorney members and public patrons, meant that our space was ill-suited to accommodate such demands.
Moving, Part Deux
In late 2012, we learned that Charlotte School of Law was destined for uptown Charlotte, taking over nine floors of a premier center city office complex, Charlotte Plaza. This time around, we were fortunate to participate in planning our new library, and many of our suggestions were incorporated into the final design. Our main objective in designing the library was to meet the needs of students and faculty alike. We analyzed how our space was currently being used and tailored our new space to increase access and use.
Study rooms in our old space were highly sought after, so in our new space we increased the number of study rooms from 21 to 39 and scattered a number of these study rooms outside the library on other floors at Charlotte Plaza. Many students also appreciated the quiet study space at our old location, so we designated our entire space on the fourth floor as a quiet area. Our reference librarians are highly engaged with our students, so we created a reference hallway dedicated to these librarians’ offices in short walking distance from the reference desk. To enhance collaborative study among students and between librarians and students, we added two distinct Research Zones in the reference area, equipped with computer hook-ups and large monitors.
In order to make all areas of the library easily accessible to students and faculty, we included an internal staircase to connect the fourth and fifth floors. The circulation desk, reference desk, and information technology help desk are all situated directly off the staircase. Focusing on accessibility, we transitioned all of our treatises, state materials, journals, and regional reporters from compact shelving to static shelving.
Free to a Good Home
Although doing away with compact shelving and opening up the library space for our patrons was a welcome change, it did leave us with a conundrum on our hands. Space constraints had been few and far between in our old building, resulting in a somewhat unwieldy collection that had no business moving to our new building en masse. Second copies and non-updated materials abounded, especially reporter volumes, ranging on and on ad infinitum. Once we moved to our uptown building, discard projects would take on a life of their own, requiring use of a freight elevator and possibly even professionals. So, despite the fact that it made our inner librarian bones cringe and twinge, a large number of books needed to be sent away to the “farm” to while away their days in the sunshine, or, more preferably, be rehomed.
Beginning in the 2013 spring semester, we began preparing for our move with a massive book giveaway initiative, reducing our collection as well as allowing us to serve our law student and local legal communities. Over the course of a semester, the library team came together to identify redundant materials, remove them from the collection, and find them good homes. An online database was created via Google, displaying cover art and details of each title. Books were offered in phases, first and foremost to students and alumni as both resource materials and window dressing, well-suited for new lawyer offices, and then to faculty, staff, other local libraries, and the community. Through this project, more than 13,777 books found loving families, with only a few minor hiccups, and we were left with only 2,000 books remaining for the “farm.”
I’ve Got 99 Problems, but My Team Ain’t One
After celebrating our successful discard project, we began planning the spacing and organization of our newly culled collection. We spent days poring over blueprints, wandering the stacks with measuring tapes, and crunching linear feet measurements into calculators. Similar to many other law libraries, our collection is organized primarily into categories, such as regional reporters, journals, federal materials, and treatises, and, within each of these sections, by Library of Congress classification numbers. We also have a dedicated reference section focusing specifically on North and South Carolina law. With two floors and a wide range of shelving in addition to these divisions, simple planning turned into a strange logic puzzle, attempting to preserve our categories and maintain a natural flow of the collection across the floors. Once the final calls were made, we congratulated ourselves and moved on with our regular day-to-day duties.
Our original plan to place our shorter book shelves on the fifth floor to provide a clear line of sight was short-lived. It became apparent that our architects weren’t necessarily familiar with the nuances of library design. The reinforced flooring necessary for taller stacks was only available on the fifth floor, due to the third floor being occupied by a different company, which made it impossible for engineers to reinforce the fourth floor as well. Suddenly our logic puzzle was back with a vengeance, requiring reallocation—meaning more hands on deck, more face palms, and more desperate cravings for margaritas at lunchtime.
The library was the last department scheduled to move on Friday, August 2. However, at this point, both the fourth and fifth floors in our new building were still under construction due to the reinforced flooring required and the labor-intensive installation of the floating stairwell between the two floors. As a result, the library would have to make do with a much smaller temporary space until our permanent location was complete. We rallied and proved our flexibility, rising to the challenge of separating our essential collection for the temporary space and leaving the nonessential materials on the shelves in our old building for the duration of the semester.
A Team in Transition Stays in Transition
August 2 came, and we packed our offices with much fanfare, planning to start work on our temporary floor the following Monday. However, on the way back from a staff lunch outing, management was informed that our temporary library floor was not ready and that our staff would be spread out into unused offices throughout the building for approximately one week. Thankfully, this “temporary-temporary” arrangement lasted only the one week.
In our temporary library space, we proved that we were a team time and time again. We were only in this location for one semester, so the school was reluctant to incur any expenses renovating the floor for such a short period of time. As a result, four members of the circulation staff shared a small work space, all of our technical services staff was confined to one room, and reference librarians were spread out two to an office. There weren’t enough shelves put up for the course reserve collection, one of the doors didn’t even have a door handle, and students were frequently locked out of study rooms due to the way the door locks had been constructed. The library staff had to adapt to tightly packed spaces that housed our work desks, book carts, and overflowing book collection. Students were less than impressed with the temporary library. Library staff frequently had to remind students and faculty that the space was not permanent.
At Long Last, Welcome Home
After the semester closed and the holidays arrived, we went to our homes happily while movers and builders feverishly worked on preparing our new floors, and we were able to welcome in the New Year in our permanent space. Our students, faculty, and staff have all been impressed with our new facilities, and we all believe that it was worth the wait. Finally, we’re here to stay!
~Ashley Moye, Brian Trippodo, Erica Tyler & Kim Allman~
During National Library Week, the library conducted a survey polling our current students about their favorite study aids.
The results have been tallied and sifted through, and we are proud to present the official word on Charlotte Law student’s preferred study aid materials!
Our top five study aids are:
Here’s the full breakdown:
Want to know why people prefer one type of study aid to another? We’ve got a graph for that too!
“I use The Black Letter Outlines for supplement reading because they provide a solid overview of the specific material and key terms that I should be pulling out of the cases I am assigned.”
“This study aid speaks in regular language. It breaks down concepts to make them very simple to understand (Emanuels).”
“I am an audio learner. It allows me to think visually while I listen to the subject I’m studying (Audio CDs).”
“I’m not one to use study aids, but I like the Examples & Explanations because they’ve been consistently recommended by professors and because they give an opportunity to test your knowledge rather than just rephrasing.”
“I find that most professors suggest this series as a supplement to their teaching. Additionally, I have found that the explanations are very clear and helpful to explain complex theories (Examples & Explanations).”
“The Understanding Series breaks down the subject material in terms in which you will understand it better.”
Want to take a closer look at our study aids collection? Check out our Academic Success LibGuide, and as always, don’t hesitate to contact the library with additional question or feedback!
~Ashley Moye & Erica Tyler~
Welcome back, Charlotte School of Law!
The library is now in its permanent home on the 4th and 5th floors. The circulation desk, featuring your course reserves and study aids, can be found on the 5th floor. The 5th floor is also where you will find the Reference Librarians. The 4th floor has been designated as a completely quiet study area.
The new library has state of the art collaborative study spaces and more study rooms – all designed to improve your user experience. Everything is shining and new!
Speaking of shining and new-we’re friends, right? And friends can talk to each other about touchy subjects, right? I’d like to broach a touchy subject: our bathroom conditions. I will refrain from making toilet paper puns because they are tearable.
The problem is not the Charlotte Plaza janitorial staff. We can all do our part in maintaining a high level of bathroom etiquette. I can only speak to the deteriorating conditions in the ladies room. I don’t know how things go down in the men’s room. Nothing can be proven, at least, and those records have been sealed.
I do believe that the following helpful tips can be applied to both men’s and women’s bathrooms:
It’s a new year, and time for new beginnings! Let’s all do our part in keeping all aspects of the new building clean.
Being selected is quite an honor. Charlotte Law Library News recently asked Tyler about her background and the Emerging Leaders program.
First, could we have some information about you? What is your background and how did you get to Charlotte School of Law?
I have lived in Charlotte for about 13 years. I am originally from Southern California. I graduated from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte cum laude in anthropology and Japanese. I have worked for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system in the past. I was very happy when I saw a position open with the Charlotte School of Law Library. I have worked for the law library as a circulation assistant since August 2012.
Please tell us about the Emerging Leaders (EL) Program?
I am also working full time on my Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) through The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I heard about the Emerging Leaders program from the LIS department. Emerging Leaders is a career development initiative sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA). EL began in 2007 to address the need for grooming a new wave of ALA leaders. The program is aimed at providing LIS students and new professionals with leadership and networking opportunities. Emerging Leaders accomplishes its goals through collaborative projects.
How are Emerging Leaders chosen for the Program?
Applications are accepted annually from late spring until summer. Applicants must submit responses to five essay questions, reflecting the American Library Association values. For example, I was asked to describe my philosophy about effective leadership and how I would bring diversity to the Emerging Leaders program. Only fifty applicants are chosen for this opportunity and represent the ALA’s commitment to diversity in the field of librarianship.
What happens next?
Program participants will meet for the first time at the ALA Mid-Winter Conference in January 2014. Emerging Leaders will have the opportunity to review potential projects and rank the ones that interest them the most. Ultimately, Emerging Leaders are assigned to a project based on individual job skills, personal interests, and library type. The finished product of these collaborative efforts will be showcased at the annual ALA Conference in July (Las Vegas this year!). Each group will present the results of their projects, and write up a report of the project’s accomplishments. The Emerging Leaders program is a year-long engagement. Afterwards, Emerging Leaders are expected to join one of the various ALA committees for a 2-year commitment. I am particularly interested in the ACRL (Association of College & Research Libraries) and its associated Anthropology and Sociology Section (ANSS). I would love to work on long-distance collaborative social science based library projects! Since I am already a distance learning student and also completing an internship as an embedded librarian, I am very comfortable with long-distance collaborations.
Emerging Leaders are involved as a team in completing a project. What types of projects have been completed in the past?
I am very excited about the prospect of working with other new LIS professionals. It will be an amazing opportunity to become more familiar with the ALA organization and to provide direct input to current ALA leaders. Some of the projects that Emerging Leaders have worked on in the past have included video and library wiki creation. Other project teams have developed a “curricular design” for ACRL’s 101 program and presented success stories of the best practices from institutions that have received the “Grow Your Own @ Your Library Institutional Scholarship” program administered by the Public Library Association (PLA)
I am particularly interested in library ethnography and would love to design a case study project on student user behaviors in academic libraries.
What is the final result of the program?
The goals of the program are to provide new professionals and current LIS students the opportunity to gain confidence in their leadership skills, become familiar with the ALA organization, enhance their collaborative skills, and develop these skills with innovative uses of technology.
~Betty Thomas & Erica Tyler~
Wondering how to determine what study aids are available in the library? Consult this amazing walk-through, created by our Circulation Assistant, Erica Tyler, to learn more about accessing the catalog from the Charlotte Law website, using availability and format to limit your results, determining the location and status of the materials you’re looking for, and even identifying older versions of study aids that allow you longer check-out times.
You asked and we listened!
We have new upper level study aids available for check-out in the library. These are some of the new arrivals that can be borrowed for 3 days or 3 hours.
Real Estate Finance & Land Use
Wills, Trusts, and Estates
To view all of our study aids and their current check-out status, refer to our Academic Success LibGuide!