Posted in Internship

Law Reference Internship, Week 4

It has been an interesting week at the reference desk.  A retired Indiana judge came in with a puzzler of a request, and two of us worked with her for over an hour trying to find references to help her prepare for an upcoming presentation.  Although I was slightly intimidated at first, she was a very gracious patron, and I think we satisfied her needs quite well.

Other patron requests this week were fairly ordinary, although I did spend a half-hour on the phone with a patron trying to fulfill another hard-to-find answer to an Indiana procedural question.  The patron was quite patient with me (I really could not have gone any faster – it was simply a tough question to answer), and in the end I believe I satisfied the patron’s needs.  This interaction also gave me good experience with phone reference which I find to be one of the more difficult forms of reference we are tasked with at the desk.

The most significant development this week was my assignment of a special project for one of the reference librarians.  She is working on a research guide on state constitutional law (all fifty states), and I am helping her find resources on each state in five specific areas of constitutional law.  One of my goals of the internship was to be able to assist with special reference projects, so I am thrilled to have been given this opportunity.

Finally, today I was asked whether I could cover an evening shift next week for one of the librarians who will be unavailable to do it himself, and I gladly accepted, so next week I will have my first turn “flying solo.”  I will report on that experience in the next post.

Lesson learned this week: Especially when looking for the same thing across several jurisdictions, patience and perseverance are key virtues!


I am the Assistant Director for Public Services at Indiana University's Maurer School of Law. My research interests include exploring how emerging and existing technologies can be used to enhance library services and legal education as well as how to address knowledge gaps and meet the educational expectations of today's law students.

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