Author Spotlight: Michelle M. Wu

Author's Spotlight jstanley

This week we feature Michelle M. Wu, Law Library Director and Professor of Law at Georgetown Law Library, author of Academic Law Library Director Perspectives: Cases and Insights, and contributor to Trends Interactive: A Dialog on Law Libraries and Technology.

Michelle M. Wu on Academic Law Library Director Perspectives: Cases and Insights: 

In the coming generation of law library directors are librarians who have relatively little experience in the politics, ethics, and management of libraries, simply because the rapid retirement of directors has forced an unusually rapid ascension for new leaders.  It is easier to jump from a “head of” position to a directorship than it has been for many years, and that means that the preparation provided by assistant director or associate director positions may be absent in many cases.  To provide a resource for directors in these situations, Perspectives of Academic Law Library Directors seeks to bring to life the voices of successful, experienced directors as they wrestle with common law library issues, concepts, and changes. 

They do so in frank, thoughtful analyses of case studies, common unvoiced questions, or emerging challenges. By highlighting different approaches to similar issues, the book aims to illustrate the most important principle of law library directorship: there is no single right answer or single right way to do something.  Not only do institutional cultures change but so do staff, user expectations, and leadership priorities.  The commentaries provide tools for readers but it’s up to the readers how, when, or whether to use them.   

I consider myself very fortunate in my career, in that I’ve had regular opportunities to work with some of the giants in our field as well as newer visionaries pushing boundaries in data mining, privacy, and information delivery.  Perspectives is my attempt to share that good fortune with others, and I thank the book’s wonderful chapter authors who made the book a possibility.  I hope that readers find Perspectives useful and thought-provoking, and they discover in it a helping hand in understanding the nuances of directorship when they need it. 

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Academic Law Library Director Perspectives: Cases and Insights

9780837740133This book serves as a supplemental guide to educating new or aspiring law library directors. Practical in nature, it focuses on the pieces of directors’ jobs that are not explicit in any written description of the job. Most chapters focus on one of the director’s roles (e.g., mentor, mediator, fundraiser, opportunity seeker, politician, or committee member). Each starts with a case study to provide a realistic context in which to examine the subject, followed by analysis and commentary by successful, sitting directors. When possible, more than one commenter on a fact pattern was provided, to allow for a diversity of opinions and to highlight idea-generation over any specific solution. Other chapters cover basic issues such privacy, finances, data, and when (and how) to say no.

Academic Law Library Director Perspectives: Cases and Insights
Price: $95.00
Item #: 1002745
ISBN: 9780837740133
Distributed: Buffalo; William S. Hein & Co., Inc.; 2015



Trends Interactive: A Dialog on Law Libraries and Technology

Trends Interactive: A Dialog on Law Libraries and Technology is replacing the current Trends in Law Library Management and Technology. Trends Interactive will appear regularly as a column, here on the Hein Blog. The blog posts will cover various topics of interest to law librarians.


Michelle Wu is our first contributor to Trends Interactive. Click here to read Michelle Wu’s Trends article »