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Library Graduate Assistantship

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Former Graduate Assistants with Anne Klinefelter and Lolly Gasaway at AALL Conference 2007

The Graduate Assistantship at the Kathrine R. Everett Law Library is an exciting learning opportunity for a student interested in law librarianship and completing a graduate degree in the University of North Carolina School of Information and Library Science (UNC-CH SILS). Applicants must be students 1) with a J.D. degree and currently enrolled in a graduate degree program of the UNC School of Information and Library Science, or 2) a student in the J.D./MSLS or J.D./MSIS dual-degree program at SILS. The Graduate Assistantship (GA) is designed to prepare the student for the profession of law librarianship through immersion in practical hands-on training in the UNC law library. The holder of the GA position is able to put theory into practice and explore different aspects of law librarianship such as helping library users who ask questions at the Reference Desk, developing guides to research on a topic, preparing to teach legal research, managing print and digital materials for the collection, and maintaining computer systems for the Library.

The strong combination of programs in Law, Information and Library Science, and at the Law Library at the University of North Carolina provide an excellent context for students interested in studying law librarianship. The dual-degree programs consisting of a J.D./MSLS or J.D./MSIS were developed in recognition of the demonstrated synergy of the Law and Information and Library Science disciplines at UNC. These academic programs are further enhanced through the practical guidance of librarians at the Kathrine R. Everett Law Library who have a tradition of active engagement in programs of the UNC School of Law School and in local and national libraries, library associations, and initiatives. All of these factors support the Graduate Assistantship at the Kathrine R. Everett Law Library.

The GA position requires 20 hours of work per week during the academic year. Those twenty hours are divided among Public Services, Collection Services, and Computer Services departments. The GA participates in library meetings and online discussions and attends professional meetings such as the American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting, as practicable.

The Kathrine R. Everett Law Library Graduate Assistantship provides a stipend in keeping with the professional level work expected of the GA. Applications for the Graduate Assistantship are normally reviewed early in the spring semester of each year for appointment in July, although the exact dates of the term of appointment may vary depending on the needs of the library and of the successful applicant. The Graduate Assistant reports to the Law Library Assistant Director for Public Services and to the Assistant Director for Collection Services.

The Law Library's Graduate Assistantship has been in place since 1996. Past participants include:

2013-2014 Nicole Downing
Reference and Instructional Services Librarian
University of Miami School of Law Library
Nicole Downing
2013-2014 Virginia A. Neisler
Faculty Services and Reference Librarian
University of Michigan
Virginia Neisler
2011-2012 Michelle Humphries
Reference Librarian
Louisiana State University Law Library
Michelle Humphries
2011 Dave Hansen
Reference Librarian
Kathrine R. Everett Law Library
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Digital Library Fellow
Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic
UC Berkeley School of Law
Dave Hansen
2010-2011 Ann E. McKay
Staff Attorney for the Corporate Finance and Enforcement Section
Utah Division of Securities
Ann McKay
2010-2011 India Chiles Lesley Whedbee
Career Law Clerk
Chambers of District Judge Terrence W. Boyle, United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
India Chiles Lesley Whedbee
2009-2010 Lisa C. Watson
Reference/Government Documents Librarian
Elon University School of Law
Lisa Watson
2008-2009 Morgan M. Stoddard
Research Services Librarian
Georgetown University Law Library
Morgan M. Stoddard
2007-2008 Todd M. Venie
Head of Reference and Instruction
University of Florida Legal Information Center
Todd M. Venie
2006-2007 Aperna Sherman
Electronic and Student Services Librarian
Texas Tech University School of Law Library
Aperna Sherman
2005-2006 Lisa Boxill Ruth
Academic Personnel Librarian
North Carolina State University Libraries
Lisa Boxill
2004-2005 Matt Braun
Head of Electronic Resources and Computer Services
University of Iowa Law Library
Matt Braun
. . .
2003-2004 Julie Kimbrough
Assistant Director for Collections and Access
Kathrine R. Everett Law Library
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Julie Kimbrough
2001-2003 Ed Beltz
Associate Director for Law Library and Computing
Texas Tech University
Ed Beltz
2000-2001 Donna Nixon
Electronic Resources and Access Services Librarian
Kathrine R. Everett Law Library
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Donna Nixon
1999-2000 Ann Hemmens
Legal Reference Librarian    
Library of Congress
Ann Hemmens
1997-1999 Steven Melamut
Assistant Director for Administration and Information Technology Services Librarian
Kathrine R. Everett Law Library
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Steven Melamut

Comments by Past Graduate Assistants

Julie: "As graduate assistant at UNC Law Library, I gained valuable practical experience that helped me make a smooth transition to my job at the Law Library of Congress. The program gave me the opportunity to work closely with knowledgeable professional librarians in many different areas of library operations. My supervisors proved to be excellent mentors; they encouraged me to pursue independent projects and participate in professional development activities."

Ann: "I would say it was a wonderful opportunity for me as a library student to gain exposure to the real world work of law librarians (particularly reference work) and to get to know several professional librarians and develop mentoring relationships that helped me make the transition from school into a professional position. And these relationships will exist throughout my career. The position also served as a laboratory for the practical application of the theories we were learning in library school - it provided a needed balance of theory and practice."

Matt: "Overall, the GA is presented with a most unique experience to work within three distinct, yet related, operational units in the law library. Truly, the GA is considered an invaluable component of the library's daily existence, and such a role provides the GA with opportunities not afforded a graduate library science student at most other universities."

Law Librarianship is sometimes referred to as an "alternative" legal career. It is a rewarding career because of the stimulating environment, intellectual challenges and the rapidly changing technological environment.

The position's job description (PDF) is available for examination.

How To Apply

Applicants for the 2014-2015 Graduate Assistant position should send a cover letter, resume, and names and contact information for two references to:

Leslie Street
Kathrine R. Everett Law Library
University of North Carolina
CB # 3385, 160 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Applications for the 2014-2015 Graduate Assistant position will be accepted until January 31, 2014, after which time interviews will be held.

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