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Jingwei Zhang

Bitner Fellow
2013
The 2013 Bitner Fellow is Jingwei Zhang of Shanghai, China. Zhang holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from Fudan University in Shanghai, an LL.M from Cornell Law School earned in 2011 and an MLIS from Rutgers earned in the winter of 2013. Zhang started to shadow the work of Cornell Law Librarians in August 2013, creating and contributing to various projects in the law library and for the Legal Information Institute. Immersing herself in all aspects of the law library’s operations, she performed reference and circulation services along with creating various research guides designed to aid first-year and international students’ familiarity with the law library. Zhang also expanded her work beyond traditional library roles by collaborating with the Legal Information Institute in developing a Chinese language component of its online legal encyclopedia, “Wex” and assisted in teaching the research portion of the LL.M. curriculum where she was once a student. In all of her various roles, Zhang’s experience and understanding of the student perspective in the research context proved to be an invaluable asset to the law library. Zhang concluded her fellowship by conducting a law library workshop in January 2014, exhibiting her work and discussing the information needs of the student body, particularly those with diverse cultural backgrounds. Highlighting the challenges and barriers international students face when arriving on campus, Zhang outlined a plan to meet their information needs through proactive engagement, encouragement and small group or individual instruction. Zhang ended her workshop by touching on her inspiration for entering the field of law librarianship, her passion for legal research and the role Cornell played in shaping her path. She expressed gratitude to the Cornell Law Librarians’ for originally inspiring her as a student and for providing the opportunity to learn from them as a fellow member of the profession. “When I first arrived back here … it was emotional,” she said. “To be able to come back to the place that originally inspired me, it was very exciting.” Following her Fellowship, Zhang accepted a position as Reference and Instructional Technology Librarian and Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee in June 2014. Her learning experiences and contributions perfectly capture the spirit of law librarianship the Fellows program were designed to foster and serve as a lasting tribute to the legacy of Harry Bitner and the Cornell Law Library.