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Pitt Law Announces Interim Co-Directors of the Barco Law Library

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law is pleased to announce that Mark Bernstein and Susanna Leers have been named interim co-directors of the Barco Law Library, effective July 1, 2021.

“We are very fortunate to have in Susanna and Mark two accomplished and well-regarded librarians and leaders who are willing to serve the Barco Law Library and our law school community,” said Pitt Law Dean Amy J. Wildermuth. “I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work with this dynamic duo and look forward to all they will do in their new roles.”

Mark Bernstein joins Pitt Law from Drexel University’s Kline School of Law, where he served for ten years as Director of the Legal Research Center. Bernstein has spent 33 years in academic law libraries at institutions including Columbia University, Duke University, and Saint Louis University. He remains a member of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and co-chaired the 2011 AALL annual meeting’s local arrangement in Philadelphia. Bernstein was awarded the AALL Spectrum Article of the Year in 2008 for his article “One Size Fits All No More: The Impact of Law Specialization on Library Services.” He holds both a BA and an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh and a JD from Tulane University. Bernstein will teach Foundations of Legal Research at Pitt Law.

Susanna Leers has been the Electronic Research & Technology Services Librarian at Pitt Law for 18 years. During that time, she managed the law library’s legal databases and helped guide the library’s collection as it grows and evolves from print-based books, journals, and legal information to eBooks, eJournals, and databases. Leers teaches electronic legal research to law students and faculty and helps faculty create and manage online course materials. Leers is an active member of AALL and a past Chair of AALL’s Legal Innovation & Technology section. She has served as the Pitt Law representative on the University of Pittsburgh Faculty Senate and chair of the Faculty Senate Plant Utilization and Planning Committee. Her scholarly interests include digitization, online legal information, and access to electronic resources. Leers received her BA from Columbia University, her MLIS from Pitt’s School of Computing and Information, and her MSL from Pitt Law.

“I am grateful and delighted for the opportunity to work with Mark Bernstein as Interim Co-Director of the Barco Law Library,” said Leers. “Mark and I aim to continue to provide our faculty with the excellent library resources and expertise needed for their scholarship. We are also committed to helping our students navigate the demands of law school and acquire the legal research skills they will need in their professional lives. We want everyone at Pitt Law to know that the library is a welcoming and comfortable place to come for studying, borrowing materials, and getting expert help with legal research.”

Marc Silverman, the much-loved and long-serving current director of the law library, is retiring after joining the law library in 1979.

Pitt Law’s Barco Law Library, which occupies three floors or half of the law building, serves as the “laboratory” for the work of both students and faculty and as an important information center for practicing lawyers and for national and international scholars from many disciplines. A permanent endowment from Yolanda and George Barco ensures that the school will maintain its excellence in law library services and provides access to cutting edge legal research technology and tools.

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