Looking for material on the history of the Convention on Biological Diversity? Interested in Chinese statutes, Danish regulations or German and Austrian brewing laws?
If you have an obscure request about international law, Vincent Moyer can help you strike gold.
Shortly after Moyer received his J.D. from the University of Illinois, he realized that the actual practice of law didn’t interest him nearly as much as researching and writing about law, so he doubled down on his graduate studies and obtained his Masters in Library Science.
“I started working at UC Hastings in 1996 as a part-time reference librarian. During my first few years, I learned a lot about international and comparative law from Professor Stefan Riesenfeld and Librarian Veronica Maclay,” recalled Moyer. After the death of Maclay in 2000, Moyer became the school’s first Foreign, Comparative and International Law Librarian.
Moyer relishes learning new things from the faculty and students he assists. “We have such amazing scholars as part of our faculty. Over the past few years I’ve continued to learn from Professors Joel Paul, Bill Dodge, Chimène Keitner, Naomi Roht-Arriaza and Keith Hand, who each provide a different perspective on international law,” said Moyer.
Moyer is quick to note that the stereotypical librarian is a relic of the past. “We don’t sit behind a big dusty desk collecting and reading books. Our focus is threefold: we create, maintain and manage a research collection of print and online resources; we assist faculty and students with their research; and we train faculty and students to research efficiently using print and online resources.”
With the proliferation of online materials, Moyer has seen a rapid evolution in his job. “So much of what we do is behind the scenes and completely transparent to faculty and students,” remarked Moyer. For example, the library staff spends a considerable amount of time cataloguing online resources such as law review articles and e-books, which allows immediate access to full-length content instead of abstracts. The library also boasts its own YouTube channel, devoted to video tutorials on legal research techniques, and has published a series of comprehensive legal research guides.
Moyer’s dedication has not gone unnoticed. “Vince has played a key role in supporting the development of our East Asian Legal Studies program. He has provided crucial research support for students and faculty, and has worked tirelessly to expand our library collection on East Asian legal systems,” said Professor Hand. Professor Keitner added, “Vince is a treasure. He’s dogged in his pursuit of hard-to-find materials, dedicated and accessible to students, and wonderfully helpful to our international and comparative law faculty's scholarship.”
“As a foreign law librarian, there’s no way I can be an expert in all the laws of every country in the world. But I try to understand the multitude of resources that are available so I can find the information students and faculty require for their research,” said Moyer.