Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Me and My Law Librarian Friends But Were Afraid to Ask: Zanada Joyner

By Shira Megerman

In the second post of “Everything you always wanted to know about me and my law librarian friends but were afraid to ask,” I spoke with Zanada Joyner, Senior Reference Librarian at NC Central University School of Law, and Notes Between Us contributor, on how she became a law librarian. 

1. What attracted you to being a law librarian?

Initially, I was drawn to law librarianship because I had a desire to help unrepresented litigants connect to the information and tools they needed to represent themselves. Since joining the profession, my attraction to the profession has grown to include the variety of projects, people, and skills we have the opportunity to develop at our institutions or within our professional circles.

Zanada Joyner
Zanada Joyner

2. How do you positively impact your community as a law librarian?

I represent a very small number of black librarians who work tirelessly to serve our patrons, expand research, and encourage more people of color to join our ranks. Representation is critical to diversifying the profession to better reflect the communities we serve.

3. What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?

As cliché as it sounds, I really enjoy spending time with my family and friends who are now family. There has been so much loss over the past few years that in all the craziness of the world I find the most comfort when I can sit in the company of the people I care about and just be present.

4. What have you learned from your law librarian peers?

Everything. I honestly could name a hundred things but I will focus on a few. Humility. The talent and efforts of the library professional that I have met and worked with is vastly underestimated. Yet, these professionals continue to do more, learn more, and become even greater examples of excellence. I am continually amazed. Grace. In spite of the perception that librarians enjoy stress-free employment; the work, the environment, the conditions can be challenging. In spite of the fire burning bright behind us, we show up for our patrons with competence and a willing spirit.

4. Who is your library hero?

I have several people I admire, and this is how I think of them: Living legends: Ron Wheeler, Carol Watson, Carla Hayden, Carol Avery Nicolson, Marjorie Crawford; and, Legacy of greatness: John Hope Franklin, RBJ, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ruby Bridges, Maya Angelou.

5. Where can people usually find you at the AALL Annual Meeting?

Chatting with colleagues at the convention center (before, after, and ahem…during programs).


Notes Between Us (NBU) is a blog about conversations and topics of interest to the writers. The writers are expressing their personal opinions solely. The essays represent their personal beliefs and not that of their workplaces or any organization they are associated with.