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.

Some resources on the United Kingdom leaving the European Union

Here are some links to resources which might be of use to those interested in the processes, administrative and policy details of the UK no longer being a member of the EU.

Official Papers UK:
BREXIT, BREXIT, BREXIT! A non-exhaustive collection of online resources and source information dealing with the UK leaving the EU.

Scottish Parliament Information Centre:
UK decision to leave the European Union Hub. Impartially selected materials for those seeking information of the on-going progress of the UK leaving the EU.

House of Commons Briefing Papers:
Legislating for BREXIT: EU directives. A paper detailing (and linking to) all EU directives implemented in UK legislation as of 5th April 2017.

Inner Temple Library:
A history of the EU. An interactive timeline of the EU with accessible relevant source documents.


Many thanks to SWOP and our members, Sharron and Andrea, for highlighting these sources to us.


SLLG guest lecture at University of Strathclyde, 16 March 2017

The Group’s ongoing outreach activity continued earlier this month in Glasgow. Our Secretary, Faye Cooke, returned to her alma mater to address postgraduates on the Information and Library Studies programme.

On a trip down memory lane (ie Rottenrow), I noted changes on campus – new shops, a large mural and Glasgow College looming above. Then again, it’s been six years since I took my last exam at the University of Strathclyde and entered the world of special libraries, the subject on which I had been invited to talk.


View from Livingstone Tower to Graham Hills Building

I made my way to the 14th floor of Livingstone Tower where all was reassuringly familiar, including the seminar room. No doubt testament to David McMenemy, Lecturer and Course Director, it was a great turnout for an afternoon session and I was relieved to be greeted by a friendly audience.

As they were to discover, I used to work in careers information and if I learnt one thing, it’s that students want practical tips and insider info. I therefore followed a rough plan:


  • Special libraries – definition and sectors
  • Special librarians
  • Law libraries – workforce stats
  • Law librarian role, eg budget and collection management, current awareness, etc.

My experience

  • My CV
  • Pros and cons of role/sector


  • Gaining experience
  • Professional bodies, incl. SLLG student project
  • Finding jobs and looking ahead

The slides can be viewed here (PDF)

I tried to be as honest as possible, admitting that when I began my postgraduate diploma, my understanding of potential sectors was pretty narrow. The opportunity to do a placement at a law firm, however, completely opened my eyes to special and, indeed, law libraries.

The main takeaway was the importance of professional engagement. Alongside hard work and a bit of serendipity, a good support network has been key to my career development thus far. As librarians in the Scottish legal sector, we often work either alone, remotely or small teams. Membership of professional bodies has helped me to gain knowledge and skills, and to feel part of something bigger.

One last tip for our future librarians: save all those thank you emails. Positive feedback is evidence of the impact our roles and services have. It’s also a reminder to me that I get to help someone and be a know-it-all at the same time. That’s why I go to work with a smile on my face (most days)!

The committee would like to thank the Computer & Information Sciences department at the University of Strathclyde and David McMenemy for allowing the SLLG to present a talk to their students.