Now that we are about to welcome our 11th director in the history of the Villanova Law Library, it is a great time to look back at the many people who have stepped in to lead our library through the changing landscape of law schools and legal research since 1953.
Note: All quotations are taken from The Villanova University School of Law (A History), by Harold Gill Reuschlein, J. Edward Collins, and Robert P. Garbarino, published in 1991. The full book is available in our digital repository here.
Arthur Pulling 1953-62
Upon joining Villanova Law School as its first law librarian, Arthur Pulling had no university degrees, “yet he was justifiably recognized as one of the greatest and most respected law librarians in the United States. That he acquired such eminence is a tribute to his keenness of mind, dedication, extraordinary capacity for work, and his warm and friendly personality which attracted and retained friends. He was ever ready to offer invaluable assistance to all using his libraries – student, faculty, and practicing lawyers.”
Jane Hammond 1962-76
During the time Jane Hammond served as law library director, “she figured prominently in the work of the Association of American Law Libraries, serving as the Association’s secretary and later, as its president.” In addition to Villanova law, she had experience in the libraries of Harvard Law School, Drexel University, and Cornell Law School until her eventual retirement from Cornell in 1993.
Charlie Harvey 1976-81
Ms. Harvey served for five years, during which “the collection increased to over 200,000 volumes, and the first document retrieval system, LEXIS, was installed and training was afforded students in its use.”
Regina Smith 1981-82 (Acting)
Regina Smith’s tenure as acting director of the law library was relatively short, but she went on to be director of Jenkins Law Library in downtown Philadelphia, a position she still holds today.
Alan Holoch 1982-87
Under Alan Holoch’s guidance in the 1980s, the law library saw a great deal of updating and computerization: “The collection of microforms was expanded and computer facilities were augmented by adding an additional LEXIS terminal and subscribing to the WestLaw Computer Assisted Legal Research System. Significantly, an extensive training program in the use of computers in legal research [was] available to all students.” Alan went on to be the director of the Ohio State University Law Library after leaving Villanova.
Elizabeth Devlin 1987-88 (Acting)
Alan Holoch once said of Elizabeth Devlin: “Her record is excellent. She has shepherded us through some rather dramatic and traumatic times : architectural renovation, installation of a new security system, computerization for the students and some library functions, reorganization of the Technical Services Department, revamping of the legal research program, and upgrading of much of the reference staff from single-degree to dual-degree status. I truly enjoy working with Elizabeth … her reaction is always one of wisdom and reasonableness.”
William James 1988-2011
William James came to Villanova Law after serving for 11 years as the director of the Law Library at the University of Kentucky. Leading the library for 23 years during the rise of the internet, the planning and move to a new building for the law school, and many other changes in the legal profession, he had the longest tenure of any director of Villanova Law Library.
Lynne Maxwell 2011-12 (Acting)
Lynne Maxwell served for many years at Villanova in many roles, including reference librarian, legal research instructor, assistant director for Technical Services, associate director for reader services, and briefly as the acting director, enabling a smooth transition. Lynne also taught English composition for 14 years at the University of Pittsburgh before crossing the state to Villanova in 1997. She went on to West Virginia University College of Law, where she is now a Visiting Associate Professor of Law.
Vicenç Feliú 2012-17
Vicenc Feliu took the reins at the law library in a tumultuous time, and through his vision and innovation, he changed the perception of how the law library fit into the law school community. Under his supervision, the library became involved in planning for a law school website redesign, created a repository to store and access law school scholarship and history, and tirelessly advocated for the library in the administration.
Amy Spare 2017-18 (Acting)
Amy Spare is our current director, and she has been a member of the Villanova Law community since 2005. Prior to Villanova, Amy clerked for the Chief Judge of the Alaska Court of Appeals, worked for the Alaska Public Defender’s Offices in Bethel and Anchorage, and served as the head the Government Publications Department at Rice University’s library. She has been an excellent leader in the library, developing our relationships with the law school’s faculty and staff, and working hard to improve the teaching of legal research at Villanova.
Amy Emerson 2018 –
The law library is delighted to welcome Amy Emerson as our new director starting this July. She is joining us after 10 years at Cornell Law Library, where she was Associate Director, as well as the director of Cornell’s legal research clinic. Amy also has significant experience in the practice of law, and we look forward to seeing what ideas and changes she brings to the resources and services we offer in the law library.