CS-SIS Member Spotlight: Anna Russell

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:  Anna Russell

Oh, the Places You’ll Go

Here is a list of many of the places Anna has lived:  Wisconsin, Texas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Washington DC and Washington state, Bahrain, Coronado, CA (AKA paradise), and Anchorage, Alaska.

Now, here is a list of a few of Anna’s jobs:  naval officer, FBI intelligence analyst, academic law librarian, and federal court librarian.

How has she fit this all in?  Anna studied philosophy at the University of Notre Dame knowing that she wanted to continue her education, possibly in law.  To secure funding for these future studies, she joined the Navy and spent five years training, traveling, and getting out of her comfort zone.  With funding in hand, Anna looked into law school, although she knew that she had no interest in litigation.  At a prospective law school luncheon, Anna met the director of the law library and was persuaded to become a law librarian.  She attended law school at the University of San Diego while concurrently earning her M.L.I.S. from San Jose State University.  I asked how this was possible, and Anna had two answers.  1) She conceded that she didn’t have a job during her studies.  2) Her library program offered the flexibility of in-person and online courses which enabled Anna to complete law and library science programs at once.

With few law library jobs available in 2010, Anna went to work for the FBI as an intelligence analyst.  Before long, she accepted a job at her law school alma mater as an Electronic Resources Librarian where she worked for six years.  Although she enjoyed her job and supportive colleagues, her family was in transition and ready for adventure and cooler temperatures.  That’s when Alaska called.   The transition has gone well, and Anna has appreciated the warm welcome and guidance she has received from her new colleagues in the federal courts.  She is enjoying the various types of research she’s been assigned as a US Courts Librarian and is one of a handful of public law librarians in the state of Alaska.

 Interest in CS-SIS

Anna has been a CS-SIS member since 2011, and she finds Computing Services members to be a fantastic group of librarians with shared interests.  She appreciates the new and varied areas of technology discussed on the listserv and the helpful fixes members provide for Exam Soft and other software glitches.  She compares notes with others on what she has learned from the Cool Tools Café at AALL with enthusiasm.  Anna noted the strong connection between CS-SIS and CALI for academic law librarians, and she learned much about legal technology from CALI conferences as well.  Now that she is in a court setting, she is interested in web archiving and may look to CS-SIS resources and members for guidance on preserving court materials online.

 Future Plans

After transitioning from sunny, academic days in San Diego to majestic mountain days in Anchorage, Anna is looking forward to getting into a routine.  She is exploring her new role and identifying the best services she can provide in a court library environment.  Anna is also serving on the local arrangements committee for the WestPac chapter of AALL as Anchorage will be the host city for their annual meeting in the fall.  Anna invites us all to attend WestPac’s annual meeting in Alaska September 27-29, 2018.


Thanks to Anna Russell for her 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 tplumb@uwyo.edu.  It is a great opportunity to learn about a fellow member.