“More pure thought less word search” – SWOP event with talk on the lawyer’s use of a law library, given by Lord Carloway

For SLLG members and lawyers, this posting is especially informative because of the full text link to Lord Carloway’s talk on the lawyer’s use of print and online resources in the law library: past, present and future, presented at the SWOP event.
Click on ‘view original post’ link below.

SWOP Forum

There was  a good turn out for our SWOP meeting at the Supreme Courts yesterday.  We were delighted to welcome Alison Young from the Mitchell Library in Glasgow to the meeting as well as Kelly, Sarah Louise and Rebecaa from the  library service for the Scottish Courts.

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Attendees enjoyed a tour of the Courts’ buildings which included the original cells, now used for storage and the ‘piano store’ which as well as a piano housed a coffin!

Jennie Findlay, Scottish Courts Services Library Manager, was our guest chair and introduced Lord Carloway, Lord President of the Court of Session.

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His speech reflected on the fact that the Scots Legal System is based upon principle and not precedent  and whilst databases certainly aid research they must be used with caution and not replace research of core works and texts by legal greats. He has kindly made his speech availablefor those unable…

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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.

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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:

Intro

  • 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

Advice

  • 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.

SLLG talk to Robert Gordon University librarian students, 9 March 2017

As part of SLLG’s desire to conduct outreach regarding information professionalism in the law sector, Maria very kindly agreed to be our emissary sent to Robert Gordon University to talk to library students. Maria has provided us a short report of her mission and link to the full talk.

On Thursday 9th March, SLLG member, Maria Robertson, addressed 16 library studies students at Robert Gordon University. Whether in law firms, academia or in the public services, law information professional roles are vital but often not well-known to students thinking about their career direction.

Maria explained the role of law librarianship as a concept as well as the practical day-to-day work law librarians will be regularly employed in.

Maria used her own experiences (and slides!) to tell the students what it is like being a law librarian behind the job description. Maria also told the students of her own Library Route – from student to Executive Secretary and Librarian at the Society of Advocates in Aberdeen.

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Maria (right) readying her talk and slides at RGU – note SLLG promotion too!

SLLG leaflets were made available and the wonders of the SLLG were extolled.

Maria was also able to offer a student place on the SLLG committee for any volunteer. A great way to add to an information profession CV, the SLLG committee is welcoming a student onto the committee. Working to organise events and assessing the SLLG lines of communications (learning how and why we support each other), this could be suitable as part of an MSc or simply good experience. Any interested student should contact the SLLG Convenor with notes of interest or further questions.

Maria’s full talk can be read here. (PDF)

The slides can be viewed here. (PowerPoint required)

The students all listened, and laughed at the appropriate places, and several even took business cards and leaflets at the end. Hopefully they found it was a useful session and will consider law librarianship as an option when their formal studies are over.

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Students at RGU getting settled to find out more about the exciting world of law librarianship

Head of School Peter Reid sat in on the session – and provided the accompanying photography of the event. Maria enjoyed speaking to him again as he had been there when she herself was a student at RGU when she did the full four year degree (which is no longer available).

It is hoped SLLG members can make similar presentations at other university library related courses to spread the word of our work, and that of our profession.

The committee would very much like to express their grateful thanks to Maria for agreeing to and then writing and presenting her career experiences to the students. The committee also wish to note their appreciation to the iSchool at Robert Gordon University and Dr Konstantina Martzoukou for allowing the SLLG to present a talk to their students.

Supreme Courts Library visit: via SWOP

SWOP and CILIP GIG were recently given a tour of the Supreme Courts Library by Jennie, Supreme Courts Librarian, SWOP and SLLG member.

Jennie took the groups through some of the (at times, macabre) history of Parliament House and the work of Advocates, as well as revealing some of the practical challenges she is currently tackling in the Supreme Courts Library service and discovering the added roles of the Librarian position since taking over from retired previous librarian (and SLLG honorary member) Elizabeth.

Fiona Laing and Helen Costello both have written about the visit on the SWOP blog. Helen uses her post to reflect more on the differing roles Jennie has and on the need of information professionals to network when thinking about the varied roles many ‘solo’ librarians occupy.

Perhaps better known as “The Judges’ Library” to most SLLG members, our members should also find these posts about the Supreme Courts Library of interest. Please click on the links underlined below the excerpts to read more.

I had the pleasure of organising and attending a joint SWOP/ CILIP Government Information Group visit to the Supreme Courts Library at the end of last month. Scotland’s Supreme Courts are based in Parliament House in Edinburgh…

Source: The Supreme Courts Library (SWOP Forum, 21 July 2016)

I’m glad to say I have never been in a court room before but when the opportunity arose to visit the Supreme Courts for the afternoon my curiosity was peeked.  I was keen to find out how the scales of justice work and see for myself how the library and information service supports the day to day activity of the Court of Session and the High Court.  Jennie Findlay was running the library almost singlehandedly (save an enthusiastic volunteer)…

Source: Sharing knowledge – visit to Supreme Courts 24th June (SWOP Forum, 22 July 2016)

Well done SWOP for arranging a visit and reporting on this law library!