On this episode, we interview Alameda County Law Library Director, Mark Estes, and get his insights on how modern county law libraries support their communities, and how their communities support them.

Marlene and Greg were interviewed by Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway for The Digital Edge Podcast.

Should vendors put out surveys which they directly sponsor and write? If they do, it might not pass the sniff test.

Marlene (@gebauerm) discusses the creepy ideas behind Augmented Eternity, as well as the proper methods behind YouTube apology videos.

Marlene is also speaking at the ARK Group Knowledge Management conference in New York, October 23rd-24th.

Greg (@glambert) recommends listening the CBC’s new podcast, Undercover: Escaping NXVIM, and the ideas behind a manipulation process called “Engineered Epiphanies.” Plus, why you shouldn’t name buildings after people who are still alive.


marlene gebauer 0:00
How do you say it

Greg Lambert 0:01

marlene gebauer 0:01
That’s easy enough. Director of Alma dia, Director of Almaty, Director of Alma DEI, Director of AALL, maintenance director of the ALMA dia, Director of Alma,

Greg Lambert 0:12
I can’t look at you

marlene gebauer 0:18
all right.

Welcome to The Geek in Review, the podcast designed to cover the legal information profession with a slant towards technology and management. I’m Marlene Gebauer.

Greg Lambert 0:38
And I’m Greg Lambert.

marlene gebauer 0:39
So Greg and I are officially famous. Yes, we are. We were interviewed on the digital edge podcast with Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway on the legal talk network discussing things you didn’t know about information professionals.

Greg Lambert 0:51
Yeah, the working title of this interview is the wizardry of law librarians. And I’m telling you right now, Marlene, I’m staking a claim to the slithering house. I don’t care what that stupid sorting hat said. I am not a Hufflepuff. Well, Hufflepuffs

marlene gebauer 1:04
are known for being hardworking, loyal, and trustworthy. So you could do worse. Yeah, could

Greg Lambert 1:09
be a Ravenclaw. Yes. Hey, now. Hey, speaking of interviews, you get the chance to sit down with Mark Estes this week and the law library director for Alameda County Law Library, which includes Oakland, California. I’m looking forward to hearing about what Mark’s doing out there in California to bring awareness to all the awesome things that law libraries do and how they need to be funded adequately. As you are well aware of Marlene, I think the county and other government law librarians are the ones making the biggest impact on especially on access to justice issues. And at the same time, they get very little credit for the awesomeness of what they do. Yeah,

marlene gebauer 1:47
that’s true. He talked to me about some of the political and infrastructure challenges they face getting funds. And as someone who works in the private sphere, it’s really interesting to me to hear how complicated it is to facilitate change in a government library. And it’s equally inspiring to hear some of the creative thinking that the librarians are doing to make positive changes happen regardless. Amen. So Greg lexblog, who we need to mention is the platform used for three geeks and a law blog has launched a new legal news and commentary platform. Yes. So lexblog was founded in 2004 by Kevin O’Keefe, who recently hired attorneys and Bob Ambrogi. Is the editor in chief. Yeah, you know, we love Bob. Yes, we do. And it’s free, free, free, free. Yeah, we love we love free, I love free. Any legal blog pastor can post and comment now. 19,000 bloggers participate. And that’s lawyers, professors, journalists, legal industry executives, students, and legal technologists. And it’s free, free, free, custom built syndication engine, they have one which allows aggregate law content from any source, whether hosted or not, you can get featured articles, real time news feeds from blog members, and also feeds organized by legal channel. Oh, and you can also get email subscriptions for this too. You can get profiles on all the publishers and Fastcase research services via your bar membership. And Greg Say it with me. It’s free. It’s free, right?

Greg Lambert 3:16
I like free. So

marlene gebauer 3:17
let’s see if this crowdsourcing model can liberate legal news from the subscription model.

Greg Lambert 3:21
Yeah, I’ve actually signed up for a couple of the email newsletters. It’s not quite the Cryptocurrency model that you talked about with the civil news platform over the past few weeks. But it seems to be a good start in the right direction, I signed up for a few of the feeds. And I’m curious to see how it’s going to work out so far. I have to say it’s a little too much of like an RSS feed, how it looks. But I know that lexblog is seeking editors for these platforms. So hopefully there can be a little bit more of a news magazine feel rather than an uncurated RSS feed that it looks like right now. So I think it’s gonna I think it’s going to improve.

marlene gebauer 3:59
Yep, sounds like a work in progress. Let’s talk about surveys, shall we, Greg?

Greg Lambert 4:03
Oh, I love surveys.

marlene gebauer 4:06
So this week, Lexis made a public statement challenging the findings of a CaseText and National Legal Research Group Study, claiming they had significant concerns about the methodology used. Now we have a link on the blog site that goes into the details, and I am sure we will hear more discussion about this. Now my point is, can we please get some standardization around this? Can we get Susan Neville and mark to run it? I’m being completely selfish here. This isn’t good for information professionals. This sort of controversy makes our jobs more challenging. It confuses people, and then we have to try and explain and perhaps justify purchasing decisions around this.

Greg Lambert 4:45
Yeah, I don’t necessarily think there was evil, any evil intent here. Now, it’s just that sometimes you have to worry about if you’re, you know, the survey model passes what I would call the sniff test. I’ve actually floated the idea around the American Association Should have law libraries that they should play a role in these types of vendor comparison surveys so that there’s some uniformity and a little less of a bias spin that you might get from these vendor sponsored surveys. Yeah, that’s

marlene gebauer 5:12
actually a great idea having a neutral third party so you have my vote.

Greg Lambert 5:16

marlene gebauer 5:16
I like boats. You like everything? I do?

Greg Lambert 5:19
I do. I’m in a good mood today. For some reason. I think it’s because it may be cooling down a little bit. Marlene, you’ve, I know, you’ve heard the phrase, you should never meet your heroes, right? So I have a similar saying kind of in that is you should never name a building after someone who’s still alive. So I can give you a prime example. Out in Katy, Texas for years, there was the Ken Lay Family YMCA. Just just putting that out there. So that’s

marlene gebauer 5:52
not a good decision?

Greg Lambert 5:55
Well, there’s millions, there’s millions of reasons to do it.

marlene gebauer 6:00
And millions of reasons to take it down exactly.

Greg Lambert 6:01
Well, the Financial Times reporter Michael’s Spinnaker, he wrote a piece last week, which expands upon that problem of placing too much praise on individuals. And he gave three really good reasons. First of all, remember, these people are human. That the more we try to turn successful businessmen and women into some kind of deity, the harder it is to justify it when they do something that shows the Hey or not. The second one was that the more you praise their successes, the more it hurts when you find out something about their past, especially those mistakes true. I think we’ve seen some news around that recently. And three, remember that behavior is situational, how they act in a certain situation, may not be how they act all the time. Right. So right, it really I thought the key takeaways from the article was to rephrase the oft asked question of industry leaders of you know, Hey, who are some of your heroes, and instead, modify that and be more situational and ask what have you learned from some of the people whom you admire, I think that’s a good way to identify good traits and individuals without turning it into some type of hero worshipping. So I’ll put on a pedestal and I’ll put a link to the Financial Times article on the blog notes wellness.

marlene gebauer 7:22
So I wanted to share something from the world of AI. It’s called A E, augmented eternity. Here’s the story of the untimely death of Eugenia kite. His friend Roman inspired Roman baht and Roman baht is a digital history of her interactions with Roman before he died. So Roman bot allows her to communicate with a digital recreation of her friend,

Greg Lambert 7:45
nothing creepy there,

marlene gebauer 7:46
nothing creepy. It gets better. And the AI learns it inherits speech patterns, and will also grow over time understanding current events and forming new opinions. Now, Roman baht is part of a larger field called augmented eternity, as I mentioned before, which involves the exploration of how the human mind can be downloaded, recreated and transferred. Now Greg, I immediately thought of some sci fi novels that I’ve read, altered carbon by Richard Morgan and Neuromancer by William Gibson, where that in fact occurs. So if you have not read them, I’m not going to spoil the plot for you go and read them. I’m

Greg Lambert 8:33
going to read altered carbon on Netflix, I hear that it’s

marlene gebauer 8:38
altered carbon was actually written in 2003, and Neuromancer was in 1986. And here we are, and it’s somewhat a reality. Now apparently, there’s still challenges with imaging and mapping the complexities of the brain go figure, but eventually the mind will become migratable information, just like files can migrate from one device to another and live in the cloud. And that is a quote from Michael Graziano, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Princeton University. Call me old fashioned, but I’m a little creeped out about this. Not only the dead brought back to life concept, but the idea that our minds can be so easily swapped out. I mean, cool, but creepy. So listeners if you have any opinions on this, share them with us.

Greg Lambert 9:23
I’m not a little creeped out about this. I am a lot creeped out about that. That’s it’s That’s crazy. That’s just insane. So, speaking of insanity, I’ve been listening to this podcast on the Canadian Broadcasting company’s podcast called undercover. Escaping next VM. Next, it’s, it’s not as creepy as your well, maybe it is. It’s creepy. So I have to say that I’m totally hooked on this thing. So it covers the cult that you may have heard about, which involves former Smallville actress Allison Mack Oh yeah, so the whole thing is just mesmerizing, because this group of people that are sucked into this are not just some group of idiots off the street. These are highly intelligent people. And you wonder how in the world is it possible to get sucked into this, but one of the things that happened in the early episodes of Maven, episode one, it walks you through the recruitment and the initial introduction process. And there’s this one piece that just really caught me because I’ve seen this played out time and time again, at business and leadership trainings that I’ve attended. And it’s, oh, no, it’s really put a spin on us. So they call it very nervous. So it’s called an engineered epiphany. And so this is where the instructor starts telling personal stories of how they’ve overcome some fear or hurdle in their life by changing some habit, or taking some leap of faith. That was the impetus for overcoming that deficiency in their life. And the idea is to make the audience relate and personalize the speaker’s story and make it their own. So it’s fascinating to hear about how the engineered epiphany is used to manipulate people. And so in a good way, like therapists use this. And so it’s not in of itself, it’s like technology, technology of itself is agnostic, it’s not good or evil is just what it is. It’s how people apply it. therapists will use this to help you kind of uncover something in your childhood or some experience that you’re relating that’s causing you to have some type of negative feel, well, they use it in order to just totally manipulate you. And so what I immediately started thinking about was, how can I use this when I’ve got this great idea, but I, you know, I gotta turn it so somebody else wants to make it their idea. So, you know, I’m gonna I’m gonna figure out how to how to, you know, become evil with the engineered epiphany.

marlene gebauer 12:05
It’s almost like using the force you know,

Greg Lambert 12:07
exactly that. That’s it. That’s it. So anyways, this podcast is just insane. So I, I got to listen, I highly recommend it.

marlene gebauer 12:18
So Greg in the category of social media does have influence YouTube apology videos. So those

Greg Lambert 12:25
are awesome. I love my kids turned me on to those are my two my two right? Wait, wait, wait, don’t do it. I don’t know where to start. Exactly. First, I want to first apologize to you my listeners. If they all start that I’ll start that way. Sorry. Go ahead. Go ahead.

marlene gebauer 12:52
So in addition to my kids, I heard about this via the Reply All podcast and it’s number 126. Alex Jones drama get in. And I’m just going to recommend this episode because the first half about Alex and his banning from various social media outlets is hysterically disturbing. I think the impact of someone like Alex Jones, who relies on social media for his messaging is pretty clear. And he seems pretty desperate to continue to get his message out based on this podcast recording. Now the second half of this segment is where they do yes, yes, no. And what that is, is the two hosts read a tweet to their producer to see if he knows anything about it. Spoiler alert, he never knows anything about it. So he’s the No. Okay,

Greg Lambert 13:32
I love that segment.

marlene gebauer 13:33
This one had to do with a blow up in the beauty YouTube universe over alleged racial and bias speech. So

Greg Lambert 13:41
this is also known as beauty to YouTube. You know, you’ve done some research on this I have makeup wares in the house.

marlene gebauer 13:49
Oh beauty vloggers who used to be friends had a falling out and a very ugly and public tweeting incident involving alleged racist comments, or do they find these people? I don’t know fan communities weighed in and ultimately, some of these beauty pros have been damaged by the incident. Now you’ve already indicated you’re familiar with beauty blogging, but for those of our listeners who aren’t, it’s how to create certain makeup looks along with makeup reviews, and this is a huge industry and I can tell you, you probably know somebody who has watched one of these videos. It is a huge industry and some of the people involved in this controversy are the biggest names in the business now. The unique thing about this situation at is that has sparked a whole series of these apology videos. So video again, for those of you who don’t, who aren’t familiar with apology videos, they are a thing on YouTube and this has happened since Logan Paul, who’s another YouTuber made one earlier this year for doing a video including images of a dead body at the Oak era forests which is a popular place for suicides in Japan it’s become such a thing that there are articles written on how to do these apologies right and community These weigh in audit if you do it right or wrong. So I looked at a couple of them and I have to say some feel very staged, some feel very heartfelt. In this particular instance, it’s been opined on social media that Laura Lee, who’s one of the bloggers did it wrong. Now she’s been dark on social media since the apology and her sponsor beauty line has been pulled from Ulta. I think this story highlights the power of social communities they can make or break business and people even around what some may consider non essential things like beauty trends and makeup. It’s also a cautionary tale of how missteps and abuse on the social platform can backfire. Honestly, just how arbitrary that can be once it’s out on the Twittersphere all bets are off. That

Greg Lambert 15:40
is crazy, but those apology videos are gold. So it’s time to jump into our guest interview. I don’t want to give anything away on this interview. But I did notice that if you listen closely, you’ll hear apart where Marlene gives. Mark est is a great marketing idea about how to get people into the county law library is speaking a gold that ideas gold Marlene.

marlene gebauer 16:09
I’m here to help.

Greg Lambert 16:11
All right, well, let’s jump jump in and hear your interview with Alameda County Law Library Director Mark So.

marlene gebauer 16:29
Today we’re welcoming Mark Estes, Law Library Director at the Alameda County Law Library. Welcome to the podcast. Mark.

Mark Estes 16:36
Thanks. Glad to be here.

marlene gebauer 16:37
So back in 2006, you co authored an article in WWL spectrum magazine that talked a little bit about the challenges facing government law libraries and those type types of libraries are ones that serve courts that serve government agencies, state law libraries and county law libraries that can also serve the public. And you talked a little bit about the challenges and funding that we’re facing these types of libraries. Can you tell us a little bit about that, and also kind of where things stand now and why this happened

Mark Estes 17:12
back in 2016, Jen and Dan, were working on this article, they sent it to me for some comments,

marlene gebauer 17:18
and those being your co authors who were also who were also going to talk to,

Mark Estes 17:22
I did some editing and some suggestions, and then they roped me into being a co author.

marlene gebauer 17:28
Funny how that happens. Right? Yeah,

Mark Estes 17:30
it seemed the genesis of library funding issues is not unlike any library funding issue. It’s whether the stakeholders recognize there’s a value in the services the library provides in law libraries, public law libraries, whether their government and whoever they’re serving, they have a different challenge because of the funding. Most often, our funding is disconnected from our actual users, particularly in California, is that the case because our findings started with a portion of a filing fees back in 1891. When all libraries were in the courthouses, 95% of the users were lawyers, and judges. But in the 1980s, maybe 90s, the judges in California started getting their own books. So they didn’t need to come to the Law Library, coupled with a change in the law, that changed how much they removed the ability of the county board of supervisors to raise the amount that law libraries got for being open for each civil filing. So since that time, we haven’t had a filing fee increase other

marlene gebauer 18:39
states, if that’s a long time, it’s a long time. Other

Mark Estes 18:43
states have taken different approaches where the funding is an actual line item out of the budget, or it’s coming out of traffic fines, or in some cases, property taxes. And sometimes the library is part of a public or parcel tax district. So

marlene gebauer 19:00
in some of these instances, it’s kind of a silent payment, like you said, I mean, it’s it’s disconnected from from what the library does. And people may not even realize that the money is going towards the library. And that I think could be a problem in terms of understanding the needs in terms of funding of a library by either users or the public. I’ve

Mark Estes 19:22
long said here in California, we’ve got three problems about public law libraries. One People don’t know we exist to they think we’re just for lawyers, and three, they think we’re paid for by public dollars by taxes, and all three of those were false. Of course, we do exist. For most California county law libraries. 80% of our users are not lawyers, and probably 30% of those people are not filing a lawsuit. They’re using a library to do research, to transfer property to start a business all doing things that don’t involve a civil filing fee. And let’s not forget mandatory arbitration, which takes the key He’s just out of the court altogether and means we don’t get any money for that dispute. So we’ve got this triple whammy of why people don’t recognize this why we don’t get enough money with the fourth one in California until just last year, the number of cases filed had plummeted by 40%. Since since 2009, it picked up last year, but I don’t know that we can rely upon it to continue to what

marlene gebauer 20:25
what have you done to address that lack of funding coming in?

Mark Estes 20:29
We’ve got to change the funding model. Why are we user fee based? It doesn’t make sense. The Public Library is not user fee based you don’t pay to go use a library. You don’t pay a fee to borrow but many libraries even dropping overdue fines yet, no. Public Law. Many public law libraries are funded significantly. Alameda County 90% of our funding from civil filing fees portion, and it’s a user base that just doesn’t match who’s really using it.

marlene gebauer 20:59
So are there some Is there a movement, you know, in terms of you know, alternative types of funding or people talking about creative funding in California? Think about it, what are some of the ideas?

Mark Estes 21:11
Well, some of the ideas involved? Why do we need to have as many law libraries as we do, I mean, to have as many libraries as we do,

marlene gebauer 21:18
particularly consolidation. Yeah.

Mark Estes 21:20
And that’s, that’s an idea that gets a lot of people really uncomfortable. I think about the Alameda County Law Library, which is located 12th and oak in downtown Oakland, the Oakland Public Library, main branch is two short blocks away. The Alameda County Library not associated with us, is about 15 miles away in Fremont between Fremont there’s San Leandro, which has another public library course, we have Berkeley Public Library, to the west, we have Alameda City Library, all these libraries are doing things that duplicate each other. Everybody’s got an HR department, everybody’s got bookkeeping, everyone is ordering books, cataloging books, and everybody has an administrative and Executive Director, I really don’t know that we need all of those things overlapping that’s disruptive and disconcerting for my colleague directors. But we need to be able to be more efficient about how we do things a lot of law firms have when they have multiple branches of centralized library processing to one place. That makes sense. And they are both a centralized purchasing as well, county law libraries, we’ve got 58 county law libraries, somewhere between 25 and 38 are active yet we’ve all got individual subscriptions to the big publishers, we’ve got some shared contracts, but for the most part, we’re each going our own way. Because we haven’t been able to stop until the publishers, we want to consolidate our contracts get on the same subscription term, and you’re going to have to save us money by allowing us to do this, you’ll have to just send one invoice.

marlene gebauer 23:02
So it sounds like a you know, a thoughtful approach to sort of workflow, you know, amongst the libraries, as well as a consolidation of duties might be, you know, a feasible alternative. You How do you get that done? How do you? How does it get accomplished? Do laws have to change? Yeah, the public have to weigh in? Yeah,

Mark Estes 23:25
the public, there has to be pretty much a groundswell, I think, on thinking about on how to make this change, because the law is from 1891. And then, if we were to go the same breadth that I’ve described, it really consolidating library types, it would change governance of county law libraries. Now, that means that would disrupt Board of Trustees who have their own interest in wanting to go to a board meeting. They seem to have they like to socialize at at board meetings. It’s it’s some social activity. It’s a it’s a social good a cultural good contribution that they make, yet the structure of our boards are five judges and two non judges and attorney or somebody living in the county. And those two people are supposed to be appointed by the board of supervisors, the judges, great people, but they’re disconnected from the library use and they have their own schedules to manage of trials. And in a county like Alameda, or Los Angeles or San Bernardino, or San Diego, that traffic is onerous, so So expect them to actually physically attend a monthly meeting and statute requires us to meet monthly is silly. Besides, they’ve hired professional library directors to manage the things that statutorily the board was established to do when established the boards approved every invoice. I’ve got board minutes where you can see that the judges approved every invoice for every part pocket park. Now can you imagine your partners doing that now?

marlene gebauer 25:14
Hey, our group is once again sponsoring their excellent knowledge management and illegal profession seminar on October 23 through 24th. At the New York Law School, there is a fantastic line of speakers and I’m really looking forward to attending we have a link for you to check out the lineup and the topics. Now I heard yesterday there were only 65 seats left and I can’t hold one for you. So sign up quick. And I’ll see you in October.

Greg Lambert 25:34
Now of course, you know, Marlene is one of those awesome speakers, right? I am I have, those are fun, I always enjoy the art group meetings.

marlene gebauer 25:57
It seems like you’re you’re hamstrung to do any types of reform, you’re you’re somewhat hamstrung by forces outside your control. So absolutely.

Mark Estes 26:07
And to get to get beyond that is going to take a lot of time in building the building to support across a wide base to consider a different approach. And we’re all too busy in our day to day lives or in our work to be able to spend any time with that. And it’s not gonna be enough to rewrite the statute is going to require getting it sold. That will require a lot of talking to county law libraries, Law Library boards of trustees, and lots of other politicians and librarians

marlene gebauer 26:42
to sell the case. But that indeed is the first step. Right? Yeah,

Mark Estes 26:46
we’ll we’ll see if I can get it done. That’s a project it’s gonna take a long time. In the more immediate situation, the legislature, we were successful in getting a legislature and the governor to give us $16.5 million as a one time allocation. We’re going to get that sometime soon. And it’s divided up among all the law libraries based upon how we how much money we’ve lost as it were between filings of fiscal year nine. And last year for Alameda County, it’s over $100,000 that we’re gonna get collectively that’s a Yeah, it’s a big chunk of money. But it’s just how much money we we lost between fiscal year nine and fiscal year 17. Yeah, the group, the Council for California county law libraries is already working on how do we sell the legislature on making this an ongoing basis? So we’ve asked everyone, how do you think you would spend your money got a really interesting set of responses on because we focused on seven priority areas of that included rural populations, populations at risk immigrants, sounds like return to workforce and housing issues and a couple other things, if we can build the case that this is an ongoing need, and that we’re making good use of the money, we can win. But we got to start doing this now. And that’s why at our meeting on Monday, we’ll be talking about this. And we’ll see how whether we can get the governor to include it in his budget come January, and if not in his budget in January, then we’ll be going to the legislators for them to include it in there. But revised budget, and we’ll see. So we’re it’s not a one prong. It’s multiple efforts. Other things we’re trying to consolidate and cooperate together with you guys do some immigration work, right. And you saw the new edition of Kurzban, it came out with huge expense, what 1512 of the county law libraries got together to buy it, and we got like $75 off the price of each one. So that’s, that’s a small bit, but it’s something we’re also building shared catalogs. There are now four of us soon to be five and maybe six that are all using co ha by Bywater solutions, right as a very inexpensive online catalog that will lend this lead us to the point of being able to share books across the state more easily similar to how public libraries use Link Plus in California, where it’s, it’s an Interlibrary Loan between the libraries at no additional cost to the public. I don’t know if we can do that. But we’re looking at different ways. Well,

marlene gebauer 29:14
those are all, you know, innovative approaches to to address costs and to address waste, and again, will impact the bottom line. And that’s exactly what you’re trying to do. Yeah, this is really I mean, the the work that’s involved in terms of making the change happen, you know, really interesting stuff, but we can talk later if you have a few minutes. Let’s talk about revenue generation,

Mark Estes 29:36
what we do, because every every facility is different. We are not in a courthouse so we can rent conference rooms. We do that we rent conference rooms out to lawyers, to mediators to corporations for training sessions. So and that’s a small bit of revenue. We can’t do trial rooms and I’ve lost the word for it. Because we’re not like what work, there we go, the lawyers about to leave when we close. So it’s not perfect in that regard. We hold education programs. Yesterday, we did one on transfer on death workshop, and we had 25 people attend. So it’s an opportunity for lawyers to make the presentation to promote their wisdom. We get some money out of it. And we do document deliveries. Well, not a lot. But any place that there’s an opportunity, we’re trying to find a way to exploit it. Yeah.

marlene gebauer 30:28
Because, you know, again, we that’s what you have to do when the traditional funding is drying up. Yeah.

Mark Estes 30:33
And the, the conference rooms are, I created three conference rooms by repurposing underused space to the conference rooms used to be librarian offices and other conference room, which is where we hold the education programs was once the copy center, microphone room and typewriter room, which of course, weren’t paying us very much. Two years ago, I took about a 10th of the space up on the second floor of our library, remove shelves and carols and rented it to the local bar association and other area bar associations to go on to create the Bay Area Legal incubator. Legal incubators replaced where baby lawyers were recent graduate, pass the bar, get to learn the business and practice of law while serving low and modest income individuals. So great concept. And we’re the first one that’s actually in a library. So they have the advantage of being able to talk to reference librarians, right use the law law books, as well as the things that they get themselves as recent mentees to the bar her graduate. So it’s and that was a 10th of my space that was being underutilized. Just because people weren’t using the books, there are more empty aisles next to shelves that aren’t being used that I want to be able to exploit further and do more library remodeling so that because there’s a crunch on Office,

marlene gebauer 32:01
make a walking track through the stacks. Hmm. These the thinking about it. Well,

Mark Estes 32:09
actually, you know, that’s interesting, because they’re on the fourth floor of our building. department in the county actually holds Zumba and Yoga classes. See, there you go. And there’s there was talk about some walking in the library and so close we could do that. That’d

marlene gebauer 32:26
be one dude in the mall. Why not in the library? Yeah. And

Mark Estes 32:29
they’d have to, they could use a stair. So there’s some stair climbing episodes. Walkers can be quiet.

marlene gebauer 32:35
We’re gonna ruminate on this. Yeah, I

Mark Estes 32:38
mean, I, I’m liking that, man. It’s not it’s not a revenue generator, but it gets people into the library. And getting people into the library is key. That’s why we hold rotating art exhibits. Because it’s important. It’s a gorgeous space. It was built to look like a large law firm library in the 1990s. And it does.

marlene gebauer 32:57
Mark, thank you so much for speaking with me today. It’s been a really fascinating trip. And good luck on all the work that you’re doing. All right, thank you.

Greg Lambert 33:14
So that was Alameda County Law Library Director Mark Estes. And I have to say, even though I don’t think Mark said it in here, he’s retiring at the end of the year. But it sounds like he’s going to be working hard to market and sport his library right up to the end of his tenure there. I’m telling you, government law librarians are the heart and soul of this profession. And they deserve much more praise than they get.

marlene gebauer 33:34
Yeah, it was great to speak to mark. And you know, after the interview, he emailed me with another idea that we didn’t get to and this one concerned fundraising and how sustained effort and customer service and access to justice yield surprises. So what he wrote is last year, a paralegal I met at a local bar association lunch meeting presentation, persuaded her law firm where she is the office manager to adopt the Law Library, as they’re in lieu of client gift fundraising campaign, and donated $10,000 to restore hours that we had to cut in 2017. We raise 33,000 of our 50,000 goals. So we could extend hours on Tuesday evenings until eight and open on Saturdays nine to three. All

Greg Lambert 34:16
right. Well, that should give the walking track that Mark’s going to install little more time for the public to come into the

marlene gebauer 34:24
local time. I’m out there. I’m going Yeah, yeah, that

Greg Lambert 34:27
was great. That was a great idea.

marlene gebauer 34:28
So now my Reeboks, and I’m going Oh, man. So

Greg Lambert 34:31
wanted to say you know, thanks to all of our listeners for The Geek in Review, we hit a personal milestone this week that we’ve had over 3000 downloads and listens to our show. So this is pretty cool for a podcast, which has a pretty niche focus. So thanks all the listeners. Don’t forget to thank you. Thank

marlene gebauer 34:52
you. Thank you. Thank

Greg Lambert 34:52
you. Thanks. So don’t forget to click the subscribe button on iTunes or wherever you listen, as well as rate and review that geek and review so that others can find us. And of course, you can tweet your complaints to gave our M or your compliments to glambertpod If you have any, anything to say to us, so wrong, so wrong. So

marlene gebauer 35:13
I’ve just given up saying anyways, thanks again to mark as its director of Alameda County Law Library for joining us. And also thanks to Kevin MacLeod for his original music. All

Greg Lambert 35:25
right, that wraps up another one. Talk to you later. Bye

Transcribed by https://otter.ai