Dr. Tucker Updates Text of Legal Resources for Non-Law Librarians


The updated version of Finding the Answers to Legal Questions by Dr. Virginia M. Tucker, an assistant professor at the San José State University School of Information, and co-author Marc Lampson has been published by ALA Neal-Schuman.

The second edition text, which received an impressive starred review by Booklist indicating it is a work “judged to be outstanding in its genre,” reflects the continuing changes from physical to online resources since its original publication date in 2010. The Booklist review reads: “Highly recommended for public, academic, and law libraries.”

Finding the Answers is a comprehensive guide for librarians, paralegals and law students looking to better serve users’ legal needs. In addition to providing an overview of the U.S. legal system and primary law, the reference text includes essential resources and guidance, such as Internet-based tools and how-to instructions for finding and evaluating sources.

“Non-law librarians, particularly those working in public libraries, frequently encounter questions that are legal in nature. It is challenging to handle these legal questions (similar to how it is tricky to handle medical reference questions) because they can straddle the line between legal information and legal advice,” Tucker explained.

The second edition of Finding the Answers also has a companion website where Tucker maintains and updates resources: www.getlaw.net

Tucker and Lampson (who is a former part-time lecturer at the SJSU School of Information) worked in public law libraries located in county courthouses where members of the public can receive assistance with legal research. Lampson previously taught INFO 220 Legal Resources, and now Vicki Steiner instructs the course using Finding the Answers.

Tucker teaches several courses in the ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science degree program: INFO 202 Information Retrieval System Design, INFO 244 Online Searching, INFO 246 Information Architecture, and INFO 289 ePortfolio culminating course. In addition, she serves as the associate coordinator of the San José Gateway PhD program.

To learn more about Finding the Answers to Legal Questions Second Editionread an interview with the authors conducted by ALA Editions and visit the ALA Store.