The Harnish Law Library’s website was voted as the Best Library Faculty Service Site, as recognized by a Social Science Research Network (SSRN) article published in April. The article, Law Library Faculty Services Websites: Top Sites and Services Advertised, which will also appear in the Legal Reference Services Quarterly, referenced an empirical analysis and review of the 200 American Bar Association accredited law school library web pages that evaluated communication of library services with law school faculty.
“This truly is an honor,” said Herb Cihak, associate dean for library and information services and professor of law. “What we’re doing with respect to our website services in not being commonly done in law schools.
The preface to the article noted “the top 11 library sites in the analysis were identified using criteria such as research support staffing, publishing support, teaching support, and research services. Additionally, library research services, research support staffing, publishing support, and teaching support were evaluated across all 200 schools.”
Cihak said that the Harnish Law Library offers broader services in comparison to most law school libraries. Among those services is the management of instructional technology, a program designed to bring technology into the classroom to create a richer learning environment for the students, and an overall better teaching environment for the professors. Additionally the staff at the library offer a liaison program to monitor student learning outcomes; a faculty liaison program in which a member of the library staff is assigned to work closely with each faculty member in documenting scholarship and providing overall support; and a monthly “Tuesday Cafe” in which a member of the faculty meets with students for lunch in the lobby of the library, providing an opportunity for the students to become more engaged with the professors.
“We are continually adapting to the needs of the faculty,” Cihak said. “And we will continue to make any necessary changes to provide the best and most effective services possible.”