The Virtual Law Library: Still Here to Help

The law library space may be closed due to COVID-19, but our online services, digital resources, and remote reference desk are very much open for business. UVA law librarians want you to know that we’re still here to help!

Our COVID-19 Guide to Library Services explains how to access library resources—from online study aids to streaming films. For research assistance, contact our reference librarians at refdesk@law.virginia.edu. If you need more in-depth assistance (for example, if you want to talk through your research plan for a seminar paper) schedule a research consultation, and we’ll set up a meeting over the phone or via Zoom. And if you just want to relax, try an entertainment resource like Kanopy or an ebook.

Students: we miss you, and we’re sorry that you can’t come see us in person. We know that digital resources can’t replace the library’s physical space, where you come to collaborate, interact with librarians, or simply study beside a friend. But we hope that our “virtual library” will provide the next best thing, by making you feel welcome, providing access to materials you need, and making it easy for you to get research assistance from law librarians.

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library

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Your End-of-Semester Survival Guide

If you’re studying for exams or finishing up a seminar paper, the Law Library staff is rooting for you! Here are some resources to help you get through the end-of-semester crunch.

Study Guides

The Law Library has a room full of books to help you review for finals. Browse them online and in person in the Reserve Room next to the Circulation Desk to find Examples & Explanations with short hypos and answers, Nutshells with straightforward narrative overviews, more detailed Hornbooks, and Sum and Substance audio CDs. Check them out from the Circulation Desk before you leave with them (three-hour checkout period). Access detailed BARBRI class outlines from the comfort of your couch or other favorite study spot through Lexis Advance.

Study Breaks

Even though the Library will be open longer starting December 2 (6am-2am weekdays, 8am-2am weekends), we encourage you to take regular study breaks and get a good night’s sleep. To help you take some deep breaths and manage exam stress, check out the audio guided meditations in the Reserve Room’s low shelves and the meditation mats and cushions in the second floor Collaborative Classroom. The UVA Mindfulness Center’s website has free study-break length guided meditations – try the 5-minute mindful breathing one between class outlines, the 10-minute kindness one when the “how could I have missed that practice exam answer!” thoughts come, and the 16-minute body scan if you’re having trouble getting to sleep at night. For more peace and quiet, CALI earplugs are available at the Circulation Desk. Head to MyLab for coloring books and puzzles and keep an eye out for surprise toys throughout the Library.     

Grilled Cheese Night

If comfort food is more your style than meditation, stop into the Law Library on Wednesday evening, December 11, for grilled cheese sandwiches prepared by librarians Ben Doherty, Micheal Klepper, Rebecca Hawes Owen, and Tim Breeden. Grilled Cheese Night is guaranteed to take your mind off of exams for at least a few minutes!

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Kristin Glover

Kristin Glover is a Research Librarian at the Arthur J. Morris Law Library.

Kate Boudouris

Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library

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Registration Opens for Third Annual Digital Archives in the Commonwealth Summit

Registration is now open for the third annual Digital Archives in the Commonwealth Summit, which will take place at the Library of Virginia on December 6, 2019. Registration is free.

The Summit is an interdisciplinary conference focused on the creation, management, and use of digital archives throughout Virginia. Building on the success of previous Summits in 2017 and 2018, this year’s gathering will focus on digital projects that address the legacies of slavery and freedom in Virginia. We welcome individuals from various fields—archivists, scholars, librarians, museum specialists, and technologists—to attend and join the conversation.

The 2019 Summit is a joint effort between the University of Virginia Law Library, the Library of Virginia, George Mason University, and the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.

You can register for the Summit here.

Panels this year include:

  • Virginia Untold: African American Narratives at the Library of Virginia
  •  Show & Tell: New & Upcoming Digital Projects from Around Virginia
  • The Stories We Tell: Complicating Institutional Narratives Through Archival Expansion
  • Community-Engaged Learning through Oral Histories and Community Archives
  • Positioning Digital Archives as Scholarly Endeavors
  • A lightning round with the opportunity for audience members to present

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Arthur J. Morris Law Library

The Arthur J. Morris Law Library is the home of research for students and faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law.

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What’s New This Fall

Welcome back, returning students! While you were away, the Law Library added some new resources that we thought you’d like to know about.

Washington Post Access

Law students can now sign up for free online access to the Washington Post. To request an account, navigate to the Student Services tab on LawWeb and select “Washington Post Academic Access” (or use this shortcut). This will bring up a form for you to fill out. After submitting the form, you will receive an email with further instructions for creating your online account.

As in past years, the Law Library also provides online access to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Bluebook. If you signed up for these resources last fall, note that two of them require annual renewal. You’ll need to reactivate your NYTimes.com account and get a fresh registration key for the Bluebook Online. (To renew your NYTimes.com account, you must be on-grounds or using a VPN.) First-time registrants can sign up for these resources by logging into LawWeb and following the links provided on the “Student Services” tab.

ProQuest Regulatory Insight

The Law Library has acquired a powerful new resource for researching federal regulations. ProQuest’s Regulatory Insight compiles regulatory histories for federal statutes and executive orders by assembling pertinent Federal Register notices, rules, and proposed rules. It also provides links to related pages in Supreme Court Insight and Legislative Insight (a legislative history resource). Use Regulatory Insight to help make your regulatory research more efficient and complete.

A New Digital Resource for Legal History Research

Law Special Collections has launched a new website for its Scottish Court of Session Digital Archive Project. The Project is an initiative to explore everyday life in early America and the British Atlantic world of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries through Session Papers, which were submitted to Scotland’s supreme civil court as part of the litigation process. Explore the archive to find material for your next legal history paper!

UVA Law at 200 Exhibition

In honor of the University’s Bicentennial, the UVA Law at 200 exhibition by Law Special Collections highlights a rotating selection of Law School alumni/ae who broke local and national barriers, mastered the campaign trail, issued judgments from the bench, and transformed the legal landscape. The exhibition includes photographs, old yearbooks, historical documents, campaign buttons, and more. Exhibit cases are located on the first and second floors of the library.

Updates to Study Spaces

The tables in Caplin Reading Room now have power outlets! With this addition, most seating in the Law Library provides a place to charge your phone or laptop. Additionally, new skylight windows have been installed over the study space in the Reference area.

As you embark on a new academic year, remember that the library is here to help you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at refdesk@law.virginia.edu or to stop by and ask us a question.

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library

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Registration Opens for the Second Digital Archives in the Commonwealth Summit

Registration is now open for the second annual Digital Archives in the Commonwealth Summit, which will take place at George Mason University on November 30, 2018. We’re excited to be co-sponsoring this event along with our colleagues at George Mason University Libraries, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

The Summit is an interdisciplinary conference focused on the creation, management, and use of digital archives. We welcome individuals from various fields to attend and join the conversation—archivists, scholars, librarians, museum specialists, and technologists are all encouraged to participate. Building on the success of the inaugural Summit in 2017, this year’s conference seeks to facilitate information-sharing and reflection on the practical and theoretical considerations that shape digital archives.

Panels this year include:

  • Institutional Opportunities and Challenges in Building or Re-Imaging Digital Archives
  • Finding the Hidden in Plain Sight: The Enslaved Children of George Mason and Mason’s Legacies Projects
  • A lunch workshop on The Library of Virginia Transcription Initiative
  • Revealing Hidden Histories and Rebuilding Lost Spaces with Digital Technology
  • A lightning round with the opportunity for audience members to present

You can register and read more about the Summit here—and if you’re unable to attend in person, follow along on Twitter using #DASummit2018.

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library

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Fitchett “Graduates” Summa Cum Laude

This week Taylor Fitchett retires – or “graduates,” as she calls it – from twenty years at the Arthur J. Morris Law Library. Taylor leaves behind a legacy of excellence in expanding the library’s research capabilities to include empirical research experts, building a Digital Collections department and a Legal Data Lab, digitizing significant historical materials from our Special Collections, and publishing books about the Law School’s history and architecture.

Taylor’s influence will long be visible throughout the library. She reclassified all of the books, spearheaded the building of myLab and the Collaborative Classroom, renovated the reference area, and diversified study spaces by adding standing desks, carrels, and group study rooms. We expect that she’ll turn that creative design impulse toward her garden now. We can’t wait to see the results!

The library staff will remember Taylor for all of these accomplishments, but also for so much more. Here are some of our reflections  —

I treasure Taylor’s heartfelt dedication to students, and to our staff. She has taken good care of us in so many ways – from enhanced study spaces to taking time to chat. She leaves a great legacy of warmth, and always good humor.

– Kristin Glover

Taylor started me walking for exercise. When she started here, she let everyone know that she liked to walk and hoped to get a group to join her. It took a while before I joined her and one other co-worker, but that started our almost daily walking. The other co-worker only lasted a few times, but she and I continued for years. Most of our walks were also chat times, usually personal stuff but sometimes work issues. She conned me into more extra chores because she had me cornered. She would ask me for ideas and then tell me to go ahead and do it (grrrrr).

– Diane Huntley

When I was out sick with pneumonia, Taylor would call just to see how I was doing and to make sure I was taking care of myself. She cares about everybody here like family.  

– Carol Sue Wood    

Olive

 

I am definitely going to miss how Taylor makes fun of how “ugly” my dog is…..she’s done it with each of my three bulldogs, including this stunning girl, Olive.

– Cathy Palombi

 

Taylor always listened and was always open and encouraging of new ideas. Many of the major accomplishments within the law library during her tenure were because she trusted and encouraged the people around her to be creative, try things out, and be successful.

Taylor also always had a wonderful sense of humor. She took her job seriously, but never took herself too seriously. Unfortunate encounters with carpet glue, slips on the stairs, getting in costume for presentations at professional conferences, accidentally being popped in the nose by one of her employees: she was able to laugh with us no matter what happened. That was central to her leadership. She taught us that we were important and our work was valuable, but that nothing we encountered in the library was ever so serious that we could not be forgiving of ourselves and see the humor in our own mistakes or the mistakes of others. She would sometimes say, when she saw someone smiling at work, “Obviously you have no comprehension of the seriousness of the situation. . . .” Then she would smile herself. 

– Ben Doherty

 

Taylor Fitchett - Grilled Cheese Night

Taylor Fitchett- Halloween

 

Wait, who?  The library director??  Taking me to lunch???  Gulp.

I had applied for a position here at the Law Library and was taken aback that Director Fitchett wanted to meet me as part of the interview process. After all, it wasn’t a faculty position. Why would she—the library director—make time in her schedule for me, a Circulation Assistant candidate? As I was to learn, starting with that delightful lunch and in the eleven years since, that’s just Taylor. She cares.  Really cares. And the library, the people it serves, and the staff who run it, are all better thanks to her.

– Tim Breeden

I’ve admired Taylor’s ability to delegate and trust us, and let us to figure out by ourselves how to do something that we wanted to do or thought should be done. I’ve admired her generosity.  I’ve liked and enjoyed her sense of humor, our long talks and her making fun of me when looking for my glasses and the keys. She will be missed.

– Cecilia Brown   

Before Taylor, we were often daunted by the immensity of changes that would make us a better library. We needed to convert from an archaic classification system to the widely used Library of Congress system, but it was too big a job. We needed to reorganize our book stacks, but there were too many books to move. Taylor saw possibilities, not obstacles, and she convinced us that we could do these things. And we did.

– Kent Olson

I’m deeply grateful for the excellent leadership that Taylor has provided over the past ten years. She’s spearheaded many remarkable achievements, all with a sense of humility, humor, compassion, and grace. As Maya Angelou observed, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I doubt any of us will soon forget what Taylor has done, nor many of the things she’s said! But I know for a fact that I’ll never forget how she’s made me feel from the day I first walked through the Law Library door — like family.

– Amy Wharton

Even though she was only going to give me a B for my library snowman [Editor’s note: the snowman was a true work of art!], Taylor definitely deserves an A+ from me. She has taught me what it means to work in a library, which goes beyond just the books on the shelves. This little pipsqueak is forever grateful! 

– Rebecca Hawes

Whenever a staff member completed a project, Taylor was likely to assign them a grade. She was a notoriously difficult grader and a B+ was considered high praise. Taylor has earned so many A+’s  from the members of her staff that she now “graduates” summa cum laude. We wish her all the best as she turns the page to a wonderful the next exciting chapter in her life.

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Arthur J. Morris Law Library

The Arthur J. Morris Law Library is the home of research for students and faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law.

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Wharton Takes Over as Law Library Director

Reposted from University of Virginia School of Law News & Media / February 1, 2018Mike Fox

A new chapter is being written at the University of Virginia School of Law, with UVA Law librarian Amy Wharton taking over as the fourth full-time director of the Arthur J. Morris Law Library.

Wharton, who earned a bachelor’s degree from UVA in 1987, had been a research and web services librarian who joined the Law Library in 2008.

“This appointment has added personal significance for me as an alumna of the University,” she said. “My UVA education has served me well throughout my career, so it’s gratifying to be able to give back to my alma mater through this important leadership role. I can’t imagine serving as library director at a better law school or library.”

Taylor Fitchett, who had served as director since 2000, announced her retirement in December but remained in the role through the hiring interim. An internal six-member committee chaired by professor George Rutherglen conducted the search for a new director.

Wharton holds a master’s in library and information studies from the University of Oklahoma and a J.D. from George Mason University.

Wharton has practiced law in Virginia and the District of Columbia, and is an associate member of the Virginia State Bar. She is also a past president of the Virginia Association of Law Libraries.

Wharton’s duties in her most recent position included providing research support to faculty, training and assistance on using databases and software, and evaluating research databases for acquisition.

Wharton has provided research and reference assistance and serves as a library liaison to first-year law students and summer research assistants. She has also taught legal research.

“Through its services, collections and space, the Law Library contributes to the key things that make this a great law school: research, education and community,” she said. “I have a great deal of pride in who we are and what we do.”

Wharton said getting to direct library operations will be a meaningful experience and that she looks forward to continuing to foster the library’s relationship with faculty and students.

“The Law School has long succeeded in promoting an exceptionally strong sense of community,” she said. “When alumni visit, it’s clear from the interest they show in our library that it was an important part of their experience.”

She said UVA Law’s leadership under Dean Risa Goluboff and Fitchett, as well as the faculty’s support as a whole, have set up both her and the library for continued success.

“That Amy is one of our own is a testament to both Taylor and Amy,” Goluboff said. “I am confident that Amy’s vision, experience and diligence will make the library’s future as bright as its past.”

Her predecessor leaves a legacy of being a model manager, Wharton said, and has recruited and retained a talented team.

“She’s been a strong advocate for making sure that the library has what it needs to succeed in fulfilling its mission to the Law School,” Wharton said of Fitchett. “Taylor genuinely cares for each member of the staff and everyone here with whom she’s worked, and she’ll be greatly missed.”

Managing the Law Library’s growth and transition into the digital age has been a top accomplishment, Wharton said. “We’ve come a long way.”

“The one thing that can always be counted on is change,” she said. “The Law Library is interdependent with a number of rapidly evolving ecosystems involving higher education, legal services, publishing and technology. We’ll adapt to change where we must and lead where we can and should.”

Moving forward, Wharton said, staff are taking a close look at library support for education and scholarship around emerging technologies that affect law and society, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.

“We’ll have a lot of conversations in the coming months with stakeholders at the Law School and experts beyond our walls,” she said. “I expect that we’ll see new library initiatives emerging from these conversations.”

Media Contact
Director of Media Relations
mfox@law.virginia.edu / (434) 982-6832

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Arthur J. Morris Law Library

The Arthur J. Morris Law Library is the home of research for students and faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law.

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Our Annual Art Show, “We The People”

On Thursday night, the Law Library will hold a reception to express gratitude to the sixteen photographers whose work comprises this year’s art show, “We The People.” Curated by Stacey Evans, the exhibit features works from photographers from Charlottesville and elsewhere in Virginia and D.C..

The show looks at different ways that photographers document and photograph people. Says Evans, “[F]or a photography exhibit, [We The People] seemed an all-encompassing title to give me the opportunity to look at different ways that photographers document and photograph people throughout the country.” In selecting the individual images, Evans looked at different topics – race, religion, borders, personas, and identities – featuring people throughout the United States. Some images capture people engaged in the “daily actions that we go through as a citizen,” such as riding a train or a bus. At the north end of the exhibit is the “Mangini Studio Series,” a collaborative project of Gordon Stettinius and Terry Brown. Over an eight-year period, Stettinius in various reinventions of his persona, and Brown chronicled the transformations in a series of studio portraits. The subject of a TEDx talk, the series explores “how attitudes and impressions toward people can shift based on their appearance.” 

Says Evans, “As people walk through and look at the exhibit, I want them to look and question at the different perspectives … and the different way that we interpret, look at images, look at people, and embrace differences … and understand that we might come from a different place, but that there is a ‘we’ in “We The People.” But … question who is that ‘we,’ and redefine, “Who is your ‘we’?”

The reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on the second floor of the Law Library. It is open to the public.

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Amy Wharton

Amy Wharton became Director of the Arthur J. Morris Law Library at the University of Virginia School of Law in February 2018. She was previously Research & Web Services / Emerging Technologies Librarian. She has taught Advanced Legal Research and is a past-president of the Virginia Association of Law Libraries (VALL). Amy joined the Arthur J. Morris Law Library in 2008.

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A Brief Reflection on Difficult Times for Our Community

The Law Library stands with our Dean and all in our community who are trying to grapple with the horror brought here last weekend by white supremacist groups. We’re deeply grateful for the many expressions of care and concern we’ve received from so many this week, including our colleagues at the American Association of Law Libraries and the Virginia Library Association, vendors, friends, and current and former students working in the U.S. and beyond. Knowing that others stand in solidarity with us is a gift that can’t be measured. 

candlelight vigil
Community members left their candles at the base of the Jefferson statue at the end of last night’s candlelight vigil.

Our hearts go out to the families and friends of Heather Heyer, who lost her life while defending our core societal values of diversity and equality, and to those of Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the rule of law in our community. Many others – some with whom we have personal ties — were severely injured during these incidents, and we extend our hopes for the swift and complete healing of their wounds.

It is hard to express our sentiments with any greater eloquence than did Law School Dean Risa Goluboff:

“It is not only our values but our mission that puts us at the center of the struggle to do better. We are in the business of educating and equipping the next generation of lawyers to promote justice, equality, and the rule of law. At my most optimistic, I believe that this weekend will prove galvanizing for our students, as they enter a profession committed to testing ideas through dialogue and persuasion, rather than violence and intimidation. Now more than ever, the mission of the Law School and the values we hold dear are critical to healing and bettering this city and this nation.”

Our librarians and staff are preparing to welcome our new and returning students this year. We stand ready to do our part to help equip them with the knowledge, skills and resources they need to become facilitators and leaders of tomorrow’s better society. We are honored to serve both an institution and a profession that enable that possibility.

 

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Arthur J. Morris Law Library

The Arthur J. Morris Law Library is the home of research for students and faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law.

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Jefferson Trust Award to Facilitate Digitization of Jeffersonian Law Book Collection

Congratulations to our Digital Collections team, which was just awarded a grant from the Jefferson Trust to fund the Digital 1828 Catalog Collection Project. The project seeks to assemble and digitize all of the law books that were hand selected by Thomas Jefferson for inclusion in the 1828 Catalogue of the Library of the University of Virginia.  

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Arthur J. Morris Law Library

The Arthur J. Morris Law Library is the home of research for students and faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law.

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