Posts Tagged ‘Wake Forest’

In the Limelight: Our New Director – Knott a Stereotypical Librarian

August 15, 2012 Leave a comment

When you hear that the Professional Center Library has a new Director who is an avid gardener, specializing in roses and orchids, do you imagine a person who looks like this? If so, you are in for a surprise.  The PCL’s new director, officially the Associate Dean for Information Services and Technology, is Professor Christopher Knott.   Aside from the fact that it would not be a flattering look, his hair is too short for a bun and he looks more like someone who would tackle a quarterback than “shush” a patron.  Professor Knott comes to Wake Forest from the University of Maine where he has been since 2006, most recently in the position of Vice Dean and Professor of Law.  Prior to his time in Maine, Professor Knott has worked The Columbia University Law School and the Georgetown University Law Center.   Before his career in academia, Knott practiced law and specialized in corporate transactions and commercial ligation.  Currently his interests are more in the area of legal research and legal information, and he is the co-author of the text Where the Law Is: an Introduction to Advanced Legal Research, soon to appear in its 4th edition.

Professor Knott’s interest in gardening could be said to be an inheritance from his father.   As a boy in Iowa, Knott and his brother returned home from school one day to discover their backyard, which had always doubled as the neighborhood playing field, transformed into a giant rose garden.  Admittedly shocked at the time, Knott’s positive outlook eventually won out and he is now a dedicated gardener himself, with a particular interest in orchids and roses.  Knott is also dedicated to his wife Maggi, with whom he is raising (but hopefully not pruning) an energetic first grade son and an teenage daughter who is an aspiring actor.

Those wishing to stop by to talk roses, research, or to just say “hi,” can find his office behind the Reference Desk, room 2201C.

This is not Knott

This IS Knott

Justice Older Than Law… In the Limelight

September 8, 2011 Leave a comment

With the beginning of each year, faculty and students get together for an evening of fun and literature.  This year, the 1L Book Discussions are centralized around the book, Justice Older than Law: The Life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree.  Behind the story: Katie McCabe & Dovey Johnson Roundtree wrote an amazing book together published in 2009.  Justice Older than Law is one of  those books you don’t forget – it’s one that details the story of a woman that tells the story of a nation.

So here’s a snippet of what to expect (I am going to apologize in advance for any injustice done to Katie McCabe’s voice and Dovey Johnson Roundtree’s story in this excerpt).  For an audio excerpt by McCabe, click here.

Dovey Mae Johnson was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, and her story begins at that the lowest vantage point: her grandmother’s feet.  Johnson tells the story of how her grandmother’s feet were deformed and mangled by fighting off one of the slave masters of her childhood.  The story tells of how her grandmother fought off the white man, but left her permanently scarred by the attack.  The scarring had to be soothed daily as her grandmother’s feet were never healed.  Throughout the book, Johnson refers back to this story of injustice, the constant pain of the battles fought for justice, and the courage and ferocity she learned from her grandma Rachel.  “Like a mighty stream, her courage flowed through [Johnson’s] childhood, shaping [her] as rushing water shapes the pebbles in its path” (p. 5)
Johnson’s quest for greatness started simply: her eighth grade teacher, Miss. Edythe Wimbish.  With the love and support of her mother and grandfather, Johnson found her way through education.  Whether reading the encyclopedias bought penny by penny by her grandfather or her own mother’s vision of Johnson’s greatness, Dovey found a way into a different world: Spelman.
At Spelman, a literature professor named Mary Mae Neptune became her mentor, encouraging Johnson to think critically and question world events through scrutizing newspapers, with particular attention to the articles detailing Hitler’s rise to power in Germany.  According to Johnson, “the New York Times was our Bible, and [Miss Neptune] expected everyone who crossed the threshold of [the Campus Mirror newspaper office] to read it — not quickly, not at a glance as we typed up our stories, not on the run, but closely and carefully and analytically” (p. 28). In those years, Johnson “learned a truth [she] would carry with [her] in the years to come: what had cowed those half million folk upon whom Hitler had set his sights was the same kind of intimidation [she] had known every day of [her] life” (p. 30).
After Roundtree’s adventures with the military, she found herself at Howard Law School right at the heart of the civil rights movement.  Roundtree witnessed first hand oral arguments that forever changed America.
That’s all for now folks, because I don’t want to spoil the book for you.  We have a couple copies of the book in our collection available for our students, staff and faculty to check out. Also, Katie McCabe wrote an excellent article in the Washingtonian that parallels the book, She Had a Dream, The Washingtonian (March 2002).  Look forward to more reviews and insights after this week’s 1L discussions!