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The Accidental Law Librarian: Anthony Aycock’s New Book Is the First Practical Guide to Law Librarianship to Be Published in Over 20 Years

For Immediate Release
Contact: Rob Colding
Information Today, Inc.
(609) 654-6266, ext. 330
[email protected]

June 17, 2013, Medford, New Jersey—Information Today, Inc. (ITI) announced the publication, in print and ebook editions, of The Accidental Law Librarian by Anthony Aycock, a how-to guide for librarians and information professionals who may lack formal training in law librarianship but are nevertheless called upon to answer legal questions. Aycock’s clear and practical coverage will also benefit new law librarians, attorneys, paralegals, corporate legal professionals, and anyone considering a career that involves legal research and reference.

Most librarians are presented with legal questions at one time or another and may find it a challenge to respond effectively. Where can I find the case Simpson v. Satterfield? What are the laws in Nevada on gun ownership? Can you help me apply for a business license? How do I copyright my name? These types of questions can make a librarian’s head spin. Collection development, too, is challenging for those who don’t work with legal information on a regular basis. As the law touches more and more of our daily lives while lawyers price their services out of the average person’s range, the public increasingly turns to libraries for answers. Now, librarians can turn to this book.

The Accidental Law Librarian is the first comprehensive, non-scholarly book on law libraries in 20-plus years,” according to Aycock. “It is not focused on academic law librarians [but] is a resource for people thrust into the law librarian role. From legal research basics to the needs of legal information seekers, from database licensing to database use, from the history of legal publishing, to the future of law libraries, The Accidental Law Librarian helps public librarians build better collections and deliver accurate, worry-free service.”

“Anthony Aycock has done for law librarianship what James Herriot did for veterinary practice,” said Virginia Tucker, author of Finding the Answers to Legal Questions. “He brings alive the challenges of legal reference work, including the sometimes painful and often hilarious questions that arise. Whether you work in a law library or just appreciate the complexities of legal research, this book is a great read.”

The Accidental Law Librarian has 10 chapters, 2 appendices, the author’s Introduction, an exhaustive index, and a companion webpage at The webpage offers readers links to useful resources, insights and updates on law librarianship, and additional content selected by the author.

Terry Ballard, librarian and author of Google This! Putting Google and Other Social Media Sites to Work for Your Library, called The Accidental Librarian “A brilliant summary of everything a librarian should know before entering the law library profession.” He added, “I wish this book had been around when I accidentally entered the legal library world myself.”

Since 2010, Anthony Aycock has managed the library of the North Carolina Justice Academy, a nationally accredited law enforcement training facility in eastern North Carolina. Aycock’s essays and articles have appeared in the Missouri Review, Gettysburg Review, Creative Nonfiction, ONLINE, Library Journal, National Paralegal Reporter, and Community & Junior College Libraries. He holds a BA in English, an MLIS, and an MFA in creative writing.

The Accidental Law Librarian (272 pp/softbound/$39.50/ISBN 978-1-57387-477-9) is published by Information Today, Inc. (ITI) and is available wherever professional books and ebooks are sold. For more information, contact the publisher by calling (800) 300-9868; faxing (609) 654-4309; emailing [email protected]; or visiting the ITI website at