Training: Welcome to the Library!

A pair of converse trainers stand on wooden boards, in front of a door mat which says 'welcome on board'. There are silver coloured bolts on the floor next to the mat which imply that this person is standing on a dock.

Image from PXfuel, licensed for re-use

It’s almost the start of the new academic year which means it’s one of the busiest times of year for Academic Support Librarians. We offer a range of introductory training sessions for students joining the university, and we have some bespoke sessions arranged for each level of study in the School of Law.

14th September: Postgraduate (online) – Using the University Library

22nd September: Undergraduate: Using the University Library

23rd September: Postgraduate (all) – Using the University Library

29th September: PhD – Sources, Materials & Bibliographies

These training events will all be run online using the Collaborate platform, and are often very popular. To find out more and register please use the MyEd Events Booking system and enter the titles above in the search box. Alternatively watch out for direct booking links being circulated via the UG, PG or PhD offices. We will also record these sessions and upload them to our Media Hopper Channel after the event.

When the semester begins we’ll offer one-to-one appointments which you can use to get additional advice to support your studies. These are also available to book via the MyEd Events Booking system, just search for “Literature search clinic” and select the Law specific event, or search for “Law” and select provider group “IS Library and University Collections” to find all our Law related training.

If you have any questions about these or any other training you’d like, please contact us by email: law.librarian@ed.ac.uk. We look forward to welcoming you (or welcoming you back) soon!

BIALL Conference 2021

Although we intend this blog to provide an update to news and services offered by the University which are related to the work of the Law Library, we also would like to let you know what we get up to in our work across the law library sector. Earlier in the summer I attended the British and Irish Association for Law Libraries (BIALL) conference. I was delighted to be awarded a bursary which meant I could attend with a funded place, and so I wrote up a short piece about my experience and the sessions I attended.

Poster for the BIALL 2021 conference. The top half of the image consists of the BIALL logo in white writing on a dark blue background. Under the logo there are the event date and details, and the tagline: Bodies in the library: sleuthing, plotting and making the case. The lower half of the image shows three small figures reading an oversized book, placing a book back into a bookshelf on a computer screen, and a third small figure is sitting on a pile of oversized books. The books and people are colourful and are set on a white background.

BIALL 2021 conference poster

I was delighted to be able to attend the BIALL conference this year with the backing of the GlobalX bursary. As a massive Agatha Christie fan I loved the theme of Bodies in the Library and the event really lived up to my expectations! I enjoyed the parallel sessions on running online escape rooms – which has inspired us to create just such an event with our own library later this year – the courtroom presentation of online vs print resources, and the speakers from Parliamentary libraries. However my favourite speaker was definitely Greg Bennett of Goldsmiths, University of London, whose session ‘A new body, a new library’ spoke to both my interests and experience of working in the Sheriff Courts library service, and my time at the University of Edinburgh.

Greg told us how he’d built a legal library from scratch with a limited budget. He’d had to make tough decisions about which publications and resources were essential, and begged or borrowed withdrawn and duplicate items from other libraries. I recognised many of his struggles and viscerally felt the pain of some of the decisions he’d had to make as in my former role at the Sheriff Courts I was responsible for managing a collection across 37 library sites which had never been managed before! Greg was candid while reflecting on some of the difficulties of justifying his decisions to stakeholders who had only limited understanding of the massive task he undertook. He concluded with some realistic considerations of what will come next for his collection. I think everyone in attendance was astounded by how much he’d done with so little – as fellow law library professionals we could appreciate that his budget for the entire collection barely scratched the surface! I also found it cheering that I could so closely relate to colleagues from different parts of the world with different roles – the usual benefits of networking in-person reached me even in this entirely online event.

Overall I had a really positive experience at this year’s conference and I feel that the organising committee pulled out all the stops presenting a varied programme using an relatively new platform – EventsAir – which I know the University of Edinburgh has also been using for it’s Open Days. It was interesting to use it as an attendee rather than a staff member. I am grateful to have been able to take part in this online conference experience and look forward to my next BIALL event.

 – SarahLouise

Event: House of Commons Library and Briefing Paper Research

If you are interested in legal information and the research that goes into official publications, you may find this upcoming event hosted by the Scottish Law Librarians’ Group to be of interest.

The Scottish Law Librarians’ Group Presents, in association with the Advocates’ Library, Edinburgh:

The House of Commons Library and Briefing Paper Research

Thursday 1st July 2021. 7pm-8.30pm

The SLLG Committee and Advocates’ Library are delighted to introduce the inaugural event in our new online lecture series which we hope will be of great interest to law librarians, legal professionals, law students and anyone with an interested in professional legal research.

David Torrance is an experienced researcher at the House of Commons Library and has worked on briefing papers relating to both Scottish Independence and current events in Northern Ireland.

In this talk he will introduce the work of the House of Commons Library, explaining the resources available, how research is conducted, and how briefing papers contribute to the work of the House. We will look at some of the briefing papers David has authored, specifically with reference to issues of relevance for legal professionals in Scotland such as the legality of an independence referendum. The event will also include time for questions after David’s presentation.

This is an online event which will be hosted on Zoom. A link to the event will be sent out to registered attendees two days prior to the talk. The event will be recorded and a link will be circulated to attendees along with additional resources relating to David’s work following the event.

Register on Eventbrite

Training and dissertation support

We know it’s that time of year where dissertation research is many students’ top priority so we have scheduled some events that we hope will help you prepare for the project ahead. These are all happening over the next few months and are released for booking about three weeks ahead of the event date. The first two are now live and the others will be coming onto the system over the next few weeks.

Wednesday 5th May 12.00 to 13.00– Dissertation support: Referencing for Law (bespoke for School, 50 minute session.)

This session is designed to help students learn to reference into larger research projects such as dissertations. We discuss specific referencing systems such as OSCOLA and Edinburgh Law Review, and highlight key issues which students at the School of Law will need to be familiar with. Booking open at

https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=46811 Now Live!

Wednesday 19th May 12.30 to 13.00 – Using Law Databases (Library Bitesize, 30 minute session open to all)

This session covers selecting the appropriate database for your needs, locating sources of full text information for legislation, case law and commentary and tips and tricks for how to record and revisit searches.

This session will focus on the use of Westlaw, Lexis UK and HeinOnline.

https://edin.ac/2FXpv1q Now Live!


Thursday 3rd June 09.00-09.30– How to Reference and Avoid Plagiarism (Library Bitesize, 30 minute session open to all)

This session covers the basics of referencing and why it is important, tools to help you : Cite it Right, EndNote Online

[Please note : this is a short introductory session. For detailed help on this topic, see Managing Bibliographies with EndNote, Using EndNote Online to Manage your References Sessions]

Link will be at https://edin.ac/2FXpv1q (Not yet live on events booking)

Wednesday 16th June 12.30-13.00 – Choosing a reference manager (Library Bitesize, 30 minute session open to all)

This session covers the differences between reference management products, using with MS Word and how to create references using the software.

Link will be at https://edin.ac/2FXpv1q (Not yet live on events booking)


We also continue to offer individual research support clinic appointments which are available to book via events bookings (http://edin.ac/3bvd78B). Our next available appointment is on the 20th May, and once a fortnight thereafter.

Alternatively if you have questions or would like for us to schedule an appointment for a different day, please get in touch by emailing law.librarian@ed.ac.uk.

Literature search clinics: one-to-one sessions

Do you need help with your research? Have you got yourself into a muddle using legal resources online? Do you just need to know what you need to know?

Book a one-to-one meeting with one of the Law Librarians to discuss your research issues or library problems. In previous one-to-ones we’ve helped students with:

  • search strategies
  • using our subscription databases
  • finding international case law
  • finding historical Scots material online (specifically the Institutional Writers)
  • referencing (specifically using OSCOLA)
  • setting up news alerts for cases or legislation

We arrange appointments once a fortnight using the MyEd booking system. Search for “Literature search clinic” and select the Law specific event, or search for “Law” and select provider group “IS Library and University Collections” to find all our Law related training. Future dates include:

  • 18th March (currently booked)
  • 6th April
  • 22nd April
  • 3rd May
  • 20th May

We release appointments approximately three weeks before the meeting, and all meetings are currently held online via Microsoft Teams with links sent out the week before the appointment. If you cannot see an available meeting slot that suits you please email law.librarian@ed.ac.uk and we will arrange an appointment to suit.

Two silver coloured tin cans are connected by a string. The open end of one can faces the viewer, while the open end of the other faces the right side of the picture. The cans are lying down on a cream marbled background.

Chris Potter, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Dissertation Festival: Monday 8th – Friday 19th March 2021

  • Do you want to find out more about the library resources available to support your dissertation question?
  • Are you interested in learning how to manage the bibliographic and research data you’ve found?

Join us in a fortnight of online events and find out what the Library can do for you to help you succeed with your dissertation.

  • Make your dissertation something special : find out about the fantastic collections available at the Centre for Research Collections
  • Discover the full range of digital resources that you can access via the University
  • Take the first steps to learn new skills in managing your bibliographic references and your research data

We know that in Law your dissertation period starts later in Semester Two, but it’s never too early to start planning and see what resources are out there! We’ll also be recording many live sessions which will be available to watch back at a time that suits you.

Find out more at: https://edinburgh-uk.libguides.com/dissertation

For more information about how the library can support your dissertation or research project, contact us by emailing law.librarian@ed.ac.uk, or book a one-to-one appointment with us using the MyEd booking system: search for ‘law’ and find the listing for ‘literature search clinic’.

A person is standing in front of a wall with his back to the camera. The wall is covered with bits of white paper showing images, notes and text, suggesting he is organising his thoughts and constructing a plan.

Forward planning is important! (Image from pexels on pixabay)

New Scan & Deliver Service

The semester has been a busy start for everyone!

Due to government restrictions there have been limits placed on accessing our print resources, but as of the 18th January a new Scan & Deliver service is in operation.

The service offers staff and students of the University of Edinburgh the opportunity to request scans of one book chapter or 10% (whichever is the greater) or one journal article via DiscoverEd. The library will then email you a link which you can use to view and download the material. There are some limits (as we have to abide by copyright law), but it is worthwhile considering as an option for initial access to key section(s). Full details of the service are available on the dedicated webpages:

Scan & Deliver pages.

It is also worth remembering that for material we do not have within the library collections there is the interlibrary loan service (ILL). As with many library services we are operating within an online environment at the moment, but for book chapters and articles it may be possible to request a copy through this service.

Interlibrary Loan Service (ILL) pages

1-2-1 Librarian Meetings

The Law Academic Support Librarians have arranged some 1-2-1 bookable sessions for students. The time can be used for any library related query. Sessions will be advertised about 3 weeks in advance, but details of the upcoming ones are available on the MyEd Events Bookings.

Welcome back, and the Law Library during Lockdown

A pair of hands hold a tablet with an image of shelves of books displayed on the screen.

Digital Library, from Geralt on Pixabay

Hello, and welcome back! This semester is set to be another strange one as we begin in ‘lockdown’ conditions in line with Scottish Government restrictions. This means that for the next few weeks the library will be running an online service with many physical buildings closed or with only very restricted access. Full information about the availability of library sites can be found on the Library Service Updates page.

If you feel a bit stressed about the availability of materials over the coming weeks and months, rest assured we will continue to work to make sure that all core material is available electronically and that we have as much ebook access to the things you need as possible.

We’re running a few online sessions in the coming weeks to help you refamiliarise yourself with online library services. One of these is a refresher session on the 27th January 2021, between 9.30 and 10am, and is open to students at all levels. We will provide a short update on library services, some key resources that you may not already be familiar with, and will have time to answer your questions too. You can book a place for this online event here, or by searching in the MyEd Events Booking system for ‘Library Services Refresher Session – Law’

We’ll also be running an introductory event for new PG Online students beginning in January 2021, and a repeat of our popular PhD Using the Library session which we last ran in September. For booking information please follow the links or get in touch with us via law.librarian@ed.ac.uk.

Finally you can also attend the Library Bitesize sessions which we’ll be running in the coming weeks, focused on Using the Online Library. For links to this and all other Library Bitesize sessions please see the Events Booking system.

We hope that you managed to enjoy your festive break and that you’re managing to proceed with your studies as planned. We look forward to helping support your studies online over the coming semester. As ever if there’s anything we can do to set your minds at ease please let us know!

Referencing and Beyond Reading Lists

Last week the Law Librarians held a Referencing training session- focussing on OSCOLA!

If you didn’t get a chance to come along then don’t worry as we will be uploading the recording on to the Law Librarians Media Hopper Channel very soon.

 


Another date for your diary….

On the 2nd December at 9am there will be a Beyond your Reading List session- looking at where else you may find useful and relevant information.

Details are available on the events booking at https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=44060 

screenshot of presentation

Dissertation Festival: 26th October – 6th November

Dissertation Festival promotional image, including dates of the event and a link to Subject Guide. Are you writing a dissertation this year? Do you want to find out more about the library resources available to support your dissertation?

From the 26th October to the 6th November 2020 we have a fortnight of online events which will highlight what the Library can do for you to help you succeed with your dissertation.

One of the events we’re holding is a Dissertation Fair which showcases library resources and services which support CAHSS students specifically on Thursday 29 October. You can:

  • Make your dissertation something special : find out about the fantastic collections
    available at the Centre for Research Collections
  • Discover the full range of digital resources that you can access via the University
  • Take the first steps to learn new skills in managing your bibliographic references and your research data

For details of how to book this or any of our other events please visit the Dissertation Festival Subject Guide: https://edinburgh-uk.libguides.com/dissertation

Not available to attend live sessions, or feel that your dissertation is still too far away to plan for? Don’t worry! Most live sessions will be recorded and made available after the Dissertation Festival to be used asynchronously at a time that suits you. The Subject Guide will be updated after the events have taken place with more information.