Published on:

I’m My Own Grandpa: Librarians, Lawyers, and Confidentiality


“I’m My Own Grandpa.” Remember the song? (Link to versions of it here, here, and the Wikipedia entry, here.) Well, small town law librarianship is not unlike the song. You might work half time as the town law librarian and half time for the public defender whose aunt works half time for the sheriff whose chief deputy is the town’s part-time prosecutor, who also happens to work 10 hours a week as the city solicitor. Her husband works part time as county counsel and part time in private practice. Their son is in law school and their daughter used to practice corporate law but came back to her hometown to practice juvenile law. Her husband is a Justice of the Peace, part time of course, and runs the local coffee shop/internet café the rest of the time with the their two kids, one of whom is nothing but trouble. The other works in the law library, after school and a couple hours a month doing odd jobs for the bail bondsman.

Now, you’re the law librarian and all of these people somehow ended up involved in one way or another caught up with the same lawsuit and they are now all showing up in the law library to do research. You can’t leave town and you darn well better know how to keep your own counsel.
This is a little bit exaggerated, though I bet there are some small town law librarians out there who would say, no not in the least – you didn’t go far enough. You left out Uncle Nunzio who blew into town after living in NYC for 23 years, the high school art teacher who was in love with Uncle Nunzio when they were in high school together, her current husband who is co-owner of the company building the new landfill over on the west side of town, his sister who thinks her kids are addled due to wastewater that’s been leaking from the old landfill, etc., etc., etc.

Posted in:
Published on:

One response to “I’m My Own Grandpa: Librarians, Lawyers, and Confidentiality”

  1. Liz @ WCCLS says:

    This is, of course, not limited to towns in the hinterland. Washington DC is a very small town in its way, as evidenced by today’s story on NPR re: voir dire for Scooter Libby’s trial — link – enjoy!

Contact Information