AALL Spectrum

AALL Spectrum / March/April 2020 / Volume 24, Number 4

AALL Spectrum / Published by American Association of Law Libraries

Issue link: http://epubs.aallnet.org/i/1212687

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Page 28 of 55

MARCH/APRIL 2020 | AALL SPECTRUM 27 in the same department and we both had jobs working in the library," notes Williams. "I always tell people that I fell in love in the library." After receiving her master's from Marquette University in philosophy, she attended law school at Syracuse University College of Law as a joint degree student in public administration at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs with the intention of becoming a public interest lawyer. She received her JD in 2002. After working for a couple of years practicing law in Maine, she decided to go back to library school. "Library school was always in the back of my head even as I was studying for the bar exam," says Williams. While taking a break from studying for the bar she came upon an article by American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) member Mary Whisner titled "Choosing Image © iStockPhoto.com/maxsattana/Feldman "There is no better way to learn something new than to try and teach it or to try and figure out how to write coherently on the subject." Beth Williams BETH WILLIAMS 3 SENIOR DIRECTOR OF THE LIBRARY 3 SENIOR LECTURER IN LAW 3 STANFORD UNIVERSITY 3 ROBERT CROWN LAW LIBRARY 3 STANFORD, CA Columbia University, teaching graduate courses in information and digital archive management. After six years at Columbia, she became the director of the law library and information tech- nology at Louisiana State University's Paul M. Hebert Law Center. In 2015, she transitioned into her current role of senior director of the Robert Crown Law Library and senior lecturer in law at Stanford, where she teaches Advanced Legal Research and courses about information law and policy. Her research interests, publica- tions, and presentations focus on free and open access to legal information and on digitization and preservation efforts in law libraries. Williams currently serves on the Board of Directors of LLMC Digital and recently finished a three-year term as a member of the Depository Library Council, an advisory board for the Director of the Government Publishing Office on matters related to the Federal Depository Library Program. An active member of AALL since 2005, she is also an active member of the Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section (SIS) and the Social Responsibilities SIS. She was also a co-organizer and presenter at AALL's inaugural Innovation Bootcamp in spring 2019. Here, she discusses innovation, her experi- ence at AALL's Innovation Bootcamp, and the evolution of law librarianship. How important is innovation to your organization? At Stanford, innovation is baked into our DNA. It's not just part of the culture, it's part of the structure of the organization, both within the law school and the university. Often, when out- side people hear the word Stanford, they imme- diately think innovation because you really have a tremendous amount of freedom and a man- date to think about things in a new way here. It's just a fantastic environment to work in. There's a lot of different definitions for innovation. How would you define it? I think of innovation as being a clear-headed way of looking at the world and seeing new solu- tions to old problems. Innovation doesn't neces- sarily have to be the next shiny, bright toy. Many times, innovation can be using existing resources in a new way. I think it's really just a creative way of looking at tools and applying them to real-world problems. Without meaningful Law Librarianship: Thoughts for People Contemplating a Career Move," published in Law and Technology Resources for Legal Professionals in 1992. "I had that thought in the back of my head that maybe I shouldn't be taking the bar exam. I practiced law for two years. It did not take me long to figure out that I wanted to go back to school and become a law librarian." Williams earned her MLIS degree with a special certificate in law librarianship from the University of Washington iSchool in 2005. Her first job in law librarianship was as at the Arthur W. Diamond Law Library at Columbia Law School (CLS) in New York as a reference librar- ian, a position she held for four years before rotating into the head of public services position. She taught legal research throughout her time at CLS. She also held an appointment as lecturer at

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