March 2015: Alex Xiaomeng Zhang
Reference Librarian, University of Michigan Law Library
1. Why did you join AALLc?
I joined the Caucus in 2009, immediately after I started working at the University of Michigan Law Library.
2. What do you do as a law librarian?
Reference, Teaching and Collection Development are my major responsibilities.
With Reference, I supervise the Reference Desk including hiring and training about 11 to 12 Law Students (and LIS students with JDs, if any) per semester and monitor all Reference Transactions on a daily basis (Email, Chat, Phone, and in person), among other things. I also participate in the Reference Desk rotation as a Reference Librarian. With Teaching, I co-teach Advanced Legal Research Class at the Law School. With Collection Development, I select and review the Law Library's collection, specializing on FCIL Collections, print and electronic. I also perform faculty research projects as needed and assigned.
3. What do you enjoy most about your job?
The interaction with students and faculty members is what I enjoy the most. Over the years, I have supervised, trained and taught at least over 60 or 70 students if not more. They are very smart and creative. They are also very different from each other. Everyone has a different personality and perspectives when it comes to problem solving. Close interaction with law students helps me to improve my teaching and supervising styles constantly. I also try to get more involved in the Law School events, such as by regularly teaching a session in the SJD seminars, attending faculty talks, judging in the moot court competition and auditing a class when I am not too swamped. This helps to keep me updated with current legal development and to improve any analytic skills, public speaking skills and communications skills.
4. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I enjoy reading a lot recently. Right now, I am focusing on legal fictions, works by Scott Turow and John Grisham.
5. What is your favorite travel destination in Asia or other parts of the world?
Despite the fact that I was born and raised in China, I have not traveled a lot in Asia outside China. I would say Shanghai is my favorite city in Asia.