Law Librarians Explained, a Law School Toolbox blog post

Link: Law Librarians Explained: Everything a 1L Should Know 

Although the context is for American law students, this is a good little introductory blog about law librarians.

Respect your law librarian—they are not just there to reshelf your books

John Passmore’s post includes quotable lines which are worth taking away for any of us explaining our law information service.

….don’t doubt a law librarian’s ability to dig just a little deeper and search just a little more precisely than you can

Even if it might have mentioned loose-leaf updating a bit more, it’s only an introduction to all the amazing stuff we do, after all, so I suppose not everything could fit in it.

Having a highly educated and experienced legal information professional in your corner is huge

If anyone has a comment on the Toolbox blog post or has one (or more!) blog posts they’d also like to share with the group, please let us know.

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The Advocates Library: telling our stories through infographics

As a contribution to #librariesweek, Helen and Jane from the Advocates Library write about their use of infographics for highlighting library workings to service users.

There is always a need for libraries, of any sort, to look at ways to raise their profile and remind users of the value they offer.

Back in the spring Helen was thinking about ways to raise the profile of the library. As a result of a 3am light bulb moment she came into work with infographics on her mind. Co-incidentally Jane had also been looking into this method of communicating information in a gorgeous and eye-catching manner. We got quite excited.

As it is Libraries Week we thought we would share our recent experience of using infographics to promote Advocates Library services to our members. Two of our recent infographics are featured below. Save the images to view them larger.

Heart of the Advocates Library

The librarians at the heart of the Advocates Library

Helen saw infographics as an opportunity for marketing and raising awareness of the Advocates Library services with a method of displaying content in ways that would catch and hold our members’ attention. It was not going to present new or particularly complex information as such. It was felt best suited to information that can be given in a bite-sized form, wrapped in pretty packaging.

Jane assessed various infographic sites at the start but has settled on piktochart.com which provides an incredible level of content and functionality for free (more is available with a subscription). Piktochart offers a variety of templates but she tends to start from scratch with a blank page and build up our story for the month.

Each month Helen comes up with a theme idea. As it is discussed, a ‘story’ evolves about the message we are trying to convey. While Helen gathers statistics and information on the theme from departments within the Advocates Library, Jane lets the story develop in her mind.

By the time Helen has a factual outline of the infographic, Jane can get to work with a clear idea of what imagery she wants to create with it.

When Helen and Jane are happy with the result, the new infographic is disseminated as part of the Library news ebulletin and printed out for display at the main Enquiry Desk and remote library rooms.

The industry of the library

The industry behind answering an enquiry in the Advocates Library

Our member feedback has been very positive about the infographic series. We hope that on some level this approach to marketing our library services will improve their understanding of the “library” work done by library staff, much of which is undertaken behind the scenes and probably otherwise unawares by our members.

Libraries are always looking at ways to promote their services. For us, working in quite a traditional environment, we have found doing something relatively unexpected quite effective. We have had a chance to use our latent creative skills and think about alternative ways of communicating with our members. It has been a rewarding experience. We have ideas for the next few months but our challenge will be to keep telling our Library stories in interesting and attractive infographics in the months beyond.

Helen Robinson, Reader Services Librarian & Jane A Condie, Reader Services Assistant,
Advocates Library.

Library skills CILIP infographic: a law librarian context.

This is the skilled workforce inforgraphic taken from CILIP’s Public Library Skills Strategy 2017-2020.

CILIP public library skills figure

CILIP infographic for library workforce

 

Law librarians will recognise their skills and relate to activities in more than one segment. Indeed, this entire “workforce” of front-line service provider, specialist, leader and manager is often found in an individual law information professional.

It tends to go unsaid, and occasionally unnoticed, so thought a typical Scottish summer’s Monday morning is a good time to share this with SLLG members.

AGM and social: 11 May 2017

SSC lounge 2017 SLLG AGM

Venue readied for the SLLG 2017 AGM

This year the venue for our AGM was the SSC Members’ lounge in Parliament House, Edinburgh. All agreed it was a perfect setting for our business meeting and relaxed social aspect thereafter. Many thanks to Christine, SSC Librarian, for organising.

A good turnout of 16 members attended the SLLG AGM, 2017.

Chairing the meeting, Convenor Alison spoke of her pride in a group which has adapted successfully to the challenge in a currently shrinking professional world.  The group’s enthusiasm for the new programme of free, short, topic-focussed events run during the year as SSNaPs has noticeably reinvigorated the SLLG during a time of reduced resources.

Alison also marked out activities which have taken place since the 2016 AGM, many of which have been recorded over the year in this blog: visits and social events – the outreach of the group in promoting the law library sector to library students being a particular highlight.

On behalf of the committee, Alison thanked all those who sponsored events, provided venues, engaged in our social media and everyone who kindly gave up their time to arrange, host or attend something of the SLLG in the previous 12 months.

Christine stepped down from the office of Secretary, but happily continues as a committee member. Faye was warmly welcomed as the new incumbent of the office by those in the hall.

Due to recent and impending reduction of committee members means there are at least 2 opportunities open for members to join the committee. Alison made the importance of the committee clear: The committee cannot run as strong a group itinerary when not at full strength. Anyone interested in taking up one of the seats should get in touch with a current committee member.

The Treasurer’s report from Debra expertly summarised the group’s finances as healthy and concluded with no questions.

With all that there was no other business from the room other than for Alison to formally close the business side of the afternoon.

The committee then put on an excellent selection of light bites and coloured liquids for those who were able to stay a while and catch up on the latest sector news.

The committee look forward to another 12 months in supporting – and having the support of – the membership.

Group members are reminded they can read AGM reports and minutes on the ‘member publications’ page of the SLLG website in the member’s only section.