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Meet Your Personal Librarian

Joan Shear

Joan Shear

Legal Information Librarian & Lecturer in Law


Library Room 254


Intellectual Property Law

Environmental Law

Health Law


Environmental Legal Research

Intellectual Property Research

Advanced Legal Research


Joan Shear has worked at Boston College Law Library since September of 1986. Joan provides research support to students and faculty and teaches Advanced Legal Research, Environmental Legal Research, and Intellectual Property Research. She also serves as the Library Liaison for the BC Intellectual Property and Technology Forum. Joan has served as Chair of the American Association of Law Libraries Access to Electronic Legal Information Committee, Chair of the AALL Copyright Committee, Chair of the AALL Public Relations Committee, Chair of the AALL Readers’ Services Special Interest Section, and the President of the Law Librarians of New England. She also founded the award-winning LLNE Legal Research Class. Joan came to BCLS from the Harvard Law Library. She also worked a practicum at the Law Library of Congress. Before becoming a librarian Joan worked for the U.S. Public Health Service in Washington, D.C. Joan received a B.A. from the University of Minnesota, a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an M.L.I.S. from The Catholic University of America.

Get to Know Your Personal Librarian

What is your favorite legal research source?

I'm a huge fan of I actually ate lunch with the man who designed it a week or two before it went live while I was at a conference.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

I go to folk music and dance camp. During COVID I was able to attend a number of virtual folk dance camps.

What is the last thing you binge watched?

I'm currently binge-watching Rizzoli and Isles, even though I watched it when it was first on. But I love seeing the occasional scenes of Boston.

What is your favorite book?

Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

What is the most interesting research question you have gotten?

An undergraduate once brought me a page he photocopied from one of our books and said he couldn't remember which book he had copied it from. I was able to use the typeface to identify the publisher and the chapter heading to figure out the general call number range. Spotting a spine from that publisher, I pulled out a book and turned to the page number on the photocopy to verify this was the right book.

Where is your favorite place to have lunch near the law school campus?

I frequently take-out lunch from Lobster Wok.