The Computing-Services Special Interest Section is made up of awesome law librarians doing interesting things. The CS-SIS Member Spotlight is designed to shine light on our membership so that we can learn more about each other and stay connected.
CS-SIS Member Spotlight: Brian Huffman
Circular Path to Librarianship
Brian’s exposure to libraries began in a hospital nursing and later medical library when he was an undergrad student at Drake University. He loved his job, embraced the technology involved, and witnessed librarians who survived high-stakes research (paying by the minute!) in a dialup version of Medline. He began law school with the intent to work in environmental law, but after clerking he found himself working in family, criminal, and immigration law instead. Ten years later, Brian’s firm was downsizing, and after careful consideration he opted to begin library school to earn his MLIS from St. Catherine University. With law already under his belt, he secured employment at a county law library which helped support him through library school. Brian wanted to find ways to give back, and he did so by bringing in MLIS interns into the county law library, recruiting students into law librarianship, and serving as a mentor. After working in the Washington County and Dakota County law libraries in Minnesota, he transitioned to academic law librarianship at the University of Hawai’i where he is the Electronic Services Librarian.
As an Electronic Services Librarian, Brian handles anything tech related in the law library. He spends a good deal of time on website develop and database selection, training, and maintenance. Recently, he’s initiated a program to train law students in legal technology competencies. He created an assessment program which was taken by his 1Ls during orientation and then designed a curriculum to teach the needed tech skills. He was pleased with the student participation in the voluntary sessions and saw his students improve their tech ability.
Brian became a CS-SIS member four years ago and enjoys serving as one of our webmasters. He is happy that CS-SIS brings together colleagues with unique interests who think about, brainstorm, and work on similar library projects. He appreciates the networking opportunities Computing Services offers and attends AALL annual meetings seeking out CS-SIS content. He’s also thankful to have programming opportunities available to him while he’s at his sunny desk in Hawai’i, as professional development opportunities are usually an ocean away.
In addition to serving in CS-SIS, Brian is vice-president/president-elect for WestPac and a previous president of the Hawai’i Library Association. He has also been active in LISP and MALL. Locally, he serves as a law school representative for the faculty senate at the University of Hawai’I at Mānoa.
Transitioning from county law libraries in Minnesota to an academic law library in Hawai’i was a fun move for Brian. He loves working with students and finds the electronic services position to be a good fit. He confirms that Hawai’i is indeed a beautiful place to live and work with rich culture and history. When he’s not chauffeuring guests around the island, Brian is actively working toward tenure in 2018.
Good luck and Aloha!
Thanks to Brian Huffman for his willingness to be interviewed for this CS-SIS member spotlight. If you are interested in interviewing and writing a blog post about a CS-SIS member, please contact Tawnya Plumb at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is a great opportunity to learn about a fellow member.