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      Maggie Stewart Adams, Reference Librarian at Delaware Law

      Maggie Stewart Adams

      Maggie Stewart Adams

      Reference Librarian at the Widener University Delaware Law School

      Delaware Law School reference librarian Maggie Stewart Adams loves learning from the people who come to her for help.

      Her job involves assisting students, faculty and the legal community in conducting high-level legal research. That means everyone and anyone looks to her for assistance – from professors looking to confirm their novel legal idea has yet to be published, to staff with the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law looking to verify article citations, and faraway corporate attorneys calling with a Delaware corporate law research question.

      Each day brings new people and new questions.

      "Law touches on every area of life, so you get to learn and research so many different aspects of it," Adams said. "You never know what kind of question you're going to get from a faculty member or a student, or what you're going to learn."

      Adams' skills to get to the bottom of a project, question or task are remarkable. Her most frequently used tools are Westlaw and Lexis and a database of law journals known as HeinOnline, although she is proficient in a number of more obscure sources, too. She has team taught a two-credit advanced legal research class as an adjunct professor, and faculty sometimes ask her to guest lecture about research in their classes.

      As one of the largest law libraries in the region, Delaware Law School also generates foot traffic from members of the general public seeking to do legal research for cases in which they are representing themselves or trying to help a loved one. Adams can assist to a point; she's ever mindful of professional limits on dispensing advice without a law degree. "You want to help them as much as possible without crossing that line," she said.

      Adams earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Delaware in philosophy with a minor in legal studies. She came to the law school in 1998 as an administrative assistant in the library director's office and went on to earn a master's degree in library science from Syracuse University in 2002. She earned the degree through a hybrid online-seated student program that allowed her to study while still working at the law school.

      When she's not working, Adams and her husband, Ken, enjoy biking and antiquing. She also looks forward to Tuesday night gatherings with her knitting group. She and Ken live in Newark, Del., with their two cats.


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