April 2015: Wilhelmina Randtke
1. Why did you join AALLc?
One of the professors here at St. Mary’s, Chenglin Gary Liu (a former law librarian!), had created a Globalex guide to free trade agreements in the South Pacific years ago. He is busy with his current research, and offered me the opportunity to maintain the guide. This has been pretty interesting. I’ve maintained it through the past few years, at first with my colleague Brian Detweiler and now alone, and can now follow trends in free trade agreements in Asia. For example, the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement wasn’t such a big thing several years ago, but is now pretty significant. Following free trade agreements in the South Pacific got me interested in law and politics between Asian countries, so I joined AALLc to keep up with the field and to be in touch with other law librarians who are interested.
2. What do you do as a law librarian?
I am Electronic Services and Reference Librarian at St. Mary’s in Texas. My primary role is reference. I am always on call to help students with research. I also had the opportunity to co teach Advanced Legal Research, which has made me more adept at Texas legal resources. For the electronic services part, the law library has a separate eJournal locator and proxy server from the main campus library, so if a subscription changes or configuration for a database changes, then I troubleshoot and fix it. I also led establishment of an open source institutional repository and gathered material for the first online collections at the law library.
But… this is a time of transition for me. This month, I will change jobs and leave the law library to work in the digital library section of Florida’s statewide library consortium, the Florida Virtual Campus. What I look forward to in the new job is being able to work with IT on really big systems and with a team of people who all know more than me about things I am curious about. I will miss law, but I think law and technology will eventually intersect on our academic end (they already have on the vendor end).
3. What do you enjoy most about your job?
I like that it is a small law library with only a few librarians. This means everyone must do a little of everything. That’s important to me, because I am early career and I can explore different aspects of law librarianship and see what tasks I like and dislike.
4. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Right now I have a toddler, so that takes up lots of time. In the past, I’ve worked out a lot, and done geeky sports like fencing and juggling. I will still juggle sometimes to relax. I also used to read comic books, especially stand alone and biographical ones, and I still get advanced reader copies from when I was reviewing a lot.
5. What is your favorite travel destination in Asia or other parts of the world?
If I could go anywhere in Asia, I would go to Malaysia. I used to work with several people from Kuala Lumpur, and I would try to meet up with them.