Director's Corner: Fall 2021
This article is from the fall 2021 issue of Hearsay, the semi-annual newsletter of the Wheat Law Library.
Welcome to the fall 2021 issue of Hearsay, the longstanding newsletter of the Wheat Law Library. We are pleased to bring you this new edition as our stacks and study rooms are once again filled with the in-person conversations, interactions, and laughter that had been largely virtual or hybrid for so long during the pandemic.
Things may not be entirely back to normal yet, but it has certainly been heartening this semester to see so many friendly and familiar faces return en masse to Green Hall. Though masks and the occasional Zoom meeting are still with us, the pivot to a more traditional educational setting has been a welcome and reinvigorating development for all of us.
The challenges of recent years have revealed important lessons in numerous areas. These include lessons about legal education and shifting research strategies, but also lessons about the importance of community and what makes the library a special place in so many ways. Things that might have been taken for granted in the past, like the serendipity of browsing the stacks or a brief discussion with a friend at a study carrel, are now recognized for the unique opportunities they represent. I think it is safe to say that students, faculty, staff, and public patrons have all been struck by just how irreplaceable our library is, as a place for learning and also as a place for community.
In this issue, we hope you will enjoy catching up with us and meeting our new student workers, and also learning more about our efforts to reimagine the legal research component for the Lawyering Skills program.
With a renewed sense of optimism for a promising new academic year and beyond, the Wheat Law Library faculty and staff remain committed to serving our constituents and fulfilling our crucial mission of connecting people to the legal information they seek. Now more than ever, it is clear that both elements of that mission are entirely reliant upon the other. Information is of little consequence without the people and connections that make it meaningful. This longstanding principle of librarianship is not simply an academic axiom, it is now an insight of practical significance for us all. And it is also why we, as always, hope to see you in the library.
Christopher L. Steadham, JD, MLIM
Wheat Law Library Director