Rachel Hradecky's ePortfolio

Graduate School Course Work

Government Information and Law Librarianship

As a Masters of Library Science student I focused my work in the field of law and government resources.  It is my passion to do legal and government research.  I have successfully learned to navigate through print and electronic government and legal resources, and feel very comfortable doing so.  I have also learned how to weigh the importance of print versus electronic resources and how to decide which material would be most beneficial to the library collection.

I believe the most important skill I have learned is what resources are available.  This depends on the nature of the reference question asked by the user.  It is imperative to understand what the user is looking for to be able to accurately assess the best resources available (on a case by cases basis).  A good reference interview will allow a librarian to find the best information possible.  This makes the reference interview a vital part of a government/law librarians job, particularly for those of us that are still establishing ourselves in the field.  Throughout my course work, as well as professional experience working in a law library,  I have been trained in using (or identifying how they could be used) the following resources:

Corporate and Business Intelligence resources: Bloomberg, Hoovers, corporate company websites, Edgar, Forbes, Harvard Business Publishing, etc.

Case Law Research: LexisNexis, West Law, Georgetown Law Library resources, FindLaw, AtLaw, MegaLaw, etc.

Legislative Histories: FedSys, THOMAS, PACER, OpenCRS, GAO website, GPO website, USA.gov, Google Uncle Sam, Open Congress, etc.

As librarians we may not know the answer to every question that presents itself.  What is tremendously important, however, is to have a vast knowledge of the resources available (whether print or electronic) that can be used to answer any diverse set of questions.  I am confident in my working knowledge of the information out there, and my ability to find it.   As a young professional I am also aware that some things will be new to me, and that I may not know the answer too.  However I am not afraid of learning.  In fact, I thrive on challenges.  My answer to a question will NEVER be, “I don’t know.”  My answer will be, “This is new for me, but I will find the best possible answer for you.”  I am confident in my ability to learn quickly and effectively and I am dedicated to becoming the best librarian that I possibly can.

I would like to include some papers that I have written that demonstrate my knowledge of the fields of government and law librarianship.

1.  This is a paper that I wrote for my class in Government resources.  The paper is written about one specific piece of legislation that became law in May of 2009.  It is meant to be a resource guide/finding aid on how to track legislation as it is working its way through the United States government.   I explain how legislation is passed, as well as providing resources for creating legislative histories. 

LIS 744- final paper

2.  This is a paper I wrote for my class in Legal Research.  It focuses on the difference between the print and online version of the title Wright and Miller’s Federal Practice and Procedure and how to determine which version would be of most use to your library.  I believe that this evaluation would be beneficial to any material that comes in both the print and electronic form.

federal practice and procedure

3.  And finally, this is a paper specifically discussing the changes in collection development policies in law libraries.

LIS 770



During my time as a library student I was able to perfect my skills as a researcher.  Being able to find materials that are authoritative, as well as beneficial to the client or user is an absolutely necessary skill for librarians to have.  My love of research is what brought me into the field of librarianship (I bet most other academic librarians would say something similar).  Aside from finding immense joy in finding an answer to an obscure

I have attached three papers that I feel exhibit my abilities to research and interpret materials for the library user.

1.  This paper is about the history and development of public libraries in Australia.  It also contains information on the current trends and issues that the profession faces.


2.  This is a paper that I wrote specifically for my Reference course.  The paper itself is about the 51-day standoff between Federal Agents and the Branch Dividian compound in Waco, TX in 1993.  However, the paper details different reference sources that I have learned to use including reference interviews, indexes, abstracts, dictionaries, biographical resources and encyclopedias.  It also includes a summary of reference materials.


3.  This is a paper that I wrote for the course Crisis Informatics. In this course we learned the importance of the Library infrastructure and their role in dissemination of information during a crisis or natural disaster.  I really enjoyed this course.  My paper focuses on the HIV/AIDs pandemic, with a specific focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. I evaluate the current issue and also provide a prevention strategy.

Crisis informatics


Library Issues

As a student in Library and Information Science I have taken some time to reflect on the current trends and issues within the field.  It is important for professionals to reflect on the impact that they are making, as well continuously make sure you are prepared to give the best quality service to your users. 

Here are some papers that I havent written throughout my course work that further demonstrate my thoughts on the field of librarianship.

1.  This is a paper regarding the theory of Library 2.0  and how the manage and implement its ideas within the public library sector.


2.  Librarians are often asked the question, “Is there a future in reference work?”.  As a young professional I do believe that reference work will continue to be the pinnacle of the library profession, however there will be a shift in it’s focus.  here is a paper that outlines my thoughts on the subject.

future of reference

3.  For the LIS 808, with is the GSLIS Seminar, a group of students and myself were asked to create a policy for a public library.  We chose to tackle the issue of contestation to library materials.  Here is our policy statement.



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