Beyond Yirka: Reimagining Our Footprint in the Workplace

Recorded On: 07/18/2022

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In 2008, Carl Yirka asked his law school dean of finance what librarians can stop doing to prioritize more valuable activities. Fourteen years later, in the wake of COVID and the great resignation, it is time to stop asking administrators what we should be doing and take the helm in prioritizing more meaningful work. Whether an increased teaching or training role, scholarly publication, or curating an accessible collection, prioritizing our own goals works to the benefit of both librarians and the enterprise. At this important crossroad, we should confront the great resignation with the great reimagining of what our roles should be. Representatives from four different institutions, one private law school librarian, one public law school librarian, one federal court librarian, and one private firm librarian will describe the changes they have made and address audience suggestions and questions.

Recorded at the 2022 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference. Please note the opinions shared during the programs represent the views of the speakers and not of AALL.


Anyone working in a private or public academic library, the federal court system, or a private law firm would likely benefit from this session, whether they are mid-career, a manager, or a newer librarian


  1.  Participants will recognize three ways in which their work potential is limited by institutional design, such as outdated workplace rules and lack of awareness of librarians’ education and skills.
  2. Participants will identify three ways to expand meaningful activities in the workplace, including ways that might stretch us beyond our current comfort zones.
  3. Participants will identify three workplace communities or committees to target for appointment or increased engagement that will benefit from our insights and increase our exposure.


  • Cynthia Brown, Littler
  • Suzanne Corriell, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • Aaron Kirschenfeld, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Laura Scott, Goodson Law Library, Duke Law School


  • Jane Bahnson, Goodson Law Library, Duke Law School


  • Wickliffe Shreve, Goodson Law Library, Duke Law School

AALL BODY OF KNOWLEDGE DOMAINS: Professionalism + Leadership At Every LevelMarketing + Outreach

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Beyond Yirka: Reimagining Our Footprint in the Workplace
Open to listen to or download MP3 audio.
Open to listen to or download MP3 audio.