News & Events: GGU Law School: 21st Century Law Librarians

Michael Daw, Law Library Director

The GGU Law Library makes a wealth of resources available to our students and alumni, ranging from microfilm of old legal newspapers and congressional documents, to practice guides in print, to major IP law databases, including IntelliConnect, BloombergBNA, and HeinOnline.

While the physical space and materials are critical to patrons' success, perhaps the library's greatest assets are the people who are dedicated to helping GGU Law students and alumni launch and succeed in their careers.

"What any service organization can offer is good service to our patrons," says Michael Daw, Associate Dean and Law Library Director.

Although library resources have made a dramatic shift from print to digital in the past two decades, the role of the law librarian has essentially remained the same. The primary function continues to be helping patrons access what they need, when they need it.

"Everything is online," says Assistant Director Mohamed Nasralla (JD '87, LLM '03), "and now more than ever, you need someone who can help navigate it -- how to use the web, what's reliable, looking at multiple sources." Sometimes the patrons need assistance beyond navigating a website and locating a resource. "Apart from helping do research," says Nasralla, "we are therapist, advisor, mentor."

"Sometimes we're a coach," says Daw. "Sometimes the best advice we can offer is 'Sit in the chair and write'."

The staff's accessibility was enhanced several years ago with the addition of an online chat service on the library's webpage, and students and alumni frequently send e-mails on specific questions. "It's like of-counsel," says Nasralla, and that's where the reference librarians' backgrounds in specialized fields become beneficial. Nasralla practiced immigration law after graduating, and he continues to mentor students and attorneys working in the field. Daw practiced in tax and in landlord-tenant law prior to joining the staff in 1994, and Jennifer Pesetsky, Reference and Electronic Services Librarian, holds a law degree and a master of library and information science (MLIS).

Looking forward, the staff knows they must be flexible as they respond to the needs of new generations of patrons and the rapid evolution of technology. But one thing that remains constant is their mission to provide a "safe space" and a "safe first stop" for students and alumni who need assistance.

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For two years after graduation, GGU Law alumni may use GGU's Law Library at no charge. Library membership is open to anyone for an annual membership fee; discounted fees are available to alumni. For more information, visit http://law.ggu.edu/law-library/.