Visit the Law Library… virtually!

students exiting the Law Library building in Old College quad

Law Library exterior, Old College

As the semester gets going you may be keen to visit our beautiful Law Library at Old College to find materials, use a study space, or generally just soak up the atmosphere.

However we know that after the past year some students may be anxious about coming on to campus, and may be worried about what to expect. In order to help with that we’ve prepared a short Sway as a guide to the Law Library. It includes information on what’s in the collections, photos of the library, and links to other helpful resources you may want to use. You can find it here:

Law Library Library Orientation Guide

We’ve made different guides for each of our site libraries which you can find on the Library Orientation Guide page on our website. You’ll also find a guide to Using the Library Online, which we think will be helpful for our online or distance students, or those who are self-isolating or in quarantine.

Other preparations for visiting campus may include looking at maps ahead of time. Did you know we’ve got an interactive campus map? If you visit the Maps page and use the key to select the Layers tab, and then click the eye icon to make Libraries and Study Spaces visible, you can see all our locations across the city! We’ve highlighted the Law Library icon in the image below in pink.

Map of the central part of campus, with buildings highlighted in a variety of colours. Several black circles featuring white book icons are visible on the screen, to indicate the location of libraries.

We look forward to seeing you on campus soon!

Note: The Microsoft Sway platform uses moving images in their templates, and each of the above Sways use one moving image at the top of the page. If you require the information in an alternative format please contact us by email: law.librarian@ed.ac.uk.

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

Library of Congress Law Library

Whilst searching for material you sometimes find a resource that you want to tell other people about! On this occasion it is the Library of Congress  Law Library.

It is based on a print book collection, which is not accessible to us. However as with most libraries today they are digitising their collection. Access may be limited but it still offers alot of interesting material for students of this topic.

One of the sections of most interest was the Indigenous Law Portal, which allowed PDF downloads of some of the materials. This included maps, Constitutions and by-laws, Corporate charters of native villages and Laws.

All in all a treasure trove of material.

If you find any resources you’d like us to share on the blog, please let us know by emailing law.librarian@ed.ac.uk.

You made it! End of AY 2020-2021

Three snails are in a line, and look like they are crawling across concrete strewn with leaves. At the fore of the image there is a banner indicating the finish line, though the text is partially out of shot and out of focus.

It’s felt like a sluggish crawl to the finish line, but we made it! (Image by Jarmoluk via Pixabay)

Monday 24th May 2021 marks the beginning of the summer vacation, meaning that for the majority of students teaching has finished for the year and exams are over. Everybody who has completed a period of study during this confusing, stressful, and difficult year deserves recognition of the incredible effort they’ve put in. We want to acknowledge the great flexibility and adaptability our students in the School of Law (and across the University) have shown by managing to work on, submit assignments and complete courses of study. We’re proud to have played a part in keeping your education on track.

Library Services has been working incredibly hard behind the scenes to make swift transitions as seamless as possible, and while we know it hasn’t been an entirely smooth ride we appreciate the patience and grace shown to us by staff and students while we managed the changes as best we could.

Although the pandemic isn’t over yet we hope that when the next academic year begins in September we’ll be looking at a very different landscape, with a robust vaccination programme, more freedom and therefore a much anticipated return to normal opening for our beautiful and well-used libraries.

We recognise that many staff and students will be continuing to research throughout the summer and would like to highlight that we’re available to support your work all year round, not just in term time! If you require support or have questions about resources during the summer months please use our email address (law.librarian@ed.ac.uk) to contact us.

~ Donna and SarahLouise

Re-Opening of the Law Library

As many of you know the rules on lockdown have begun to change. From the 26th April 2021 this means that library services can offer more access to premises – including the Law Library.

It is not a return to business as usual!

Staff and students will be able to access the premises and collections, with self-issue machines being available so that self-service borrowing can resume.

All users will need to adhere to the rules relating to Covid-19 restrictions including physical distancing, wearing a face covering (unless exempt) and the booking of study spaces before coming to the library. Full details on study spaces and how to book is available on the Study Spaces pages.

The opening hours are available at the Law Library pages.

As access to the library starts the Click & Collect service will come to an end, but any requests made before the 19th of April will still be processed.

For students who have not had the opportunity to visit the Law Library this short presentation will give you an idea of what is available during usual service: Law Library Tour

The Library staff look forward to seeing you again!

Click & Collect comes to the Law Library

The Law Library now is part of the Click & Collect Service!

The Click & Collect service has been expanding since it’s launch in Feb 2021. As of 29th March 2021 staff and students are able to place Click & Collect requests for print material from the Law Library collections.

The Law Library resources are in addition to those already available from the Main Library, New College Library, ECA Library and University Collections Facilities. Items based at other site libraries are not yet available for Click & Collect.

To order a book collection using the service:

  • Place your request through DiscoverEd.
  • You can order up 3 Click & Collect items at any one time. The maximum number of requests covers your total current Click & Collect requests.
  • All items requested should be collected from the Main Library as the Law Library remains closed.
  • Staff will undertake retrievals of items requested from the Law Library once a week (Tuesdays). So depending on when you place your request it may mean that it may take over a week for you to receive an email notification that your requested item is available for collection.
  • Once you have received an email notification that your requested Law Library item is available you should make a booking to collect your item from the Main Library.

Full details of the service are available on the main Library Click and Collect Service webpages:

https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/library-museum-gallery/library-services-update-2020-21/click-and-collect

Don’t forget that the Scan & Deliver Service is also available to you!

https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/library-museum-gallery/using-library/request-resources/scan-and-deliver%20

 

The Law Library, Old College

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Have you visited the Law Library this year?

This is a really unusual year for staff and students at Edinburgh and it can be disconcerting not knowing which facilities are open on campus, or what to expect when you get there. We want to reassure any students who are keen to visit the Law Library at Old College that there will be a warm welcome for you there. Our Helpdesk Team are working hard to make sure the library service is as safe as possible while still providing the excellent support you need to access the resources and study spaces in the building.

We’ve asked our Helpdesk Manager, Fran, to offer a few words of advice for anyone wishing to visit the library:

Library Helpdesk staff would like to welcome you back to the Library! We are here to help with guiding you to the study space that you have booked, card replacements and general enquiries. We do ask that you follow the guidelines for things that have been put in place to ensure the safety of all library users and staff. This means that you must wear a face covering (unless you have an exemption) at all times, even when you are sat in a study space. We have put a lot of cleaning material and hand sanitiser in the library, if anything is missing please let us know. There is a well marked out one way system which is there for you to follow and ensures that we all can maintain social distancing.

Our Helpdesk staff are ready to assist you in the library.

Fran and her team are ready to greet you during the library’s open hours, which are currently as listed below:

Monday 21 September – Friday 4 December 2020
Days Opening hours
Monday – Thursday 9am – 9.50pm
Friday 9am – 6.50pm
Saturday 9am – 4.50pm
Sunday 12noon – 4.50pm

These hours may change from the 5th December 2020 in preparation for exams. For more information on this and other changes to the service, check the Law Library pages on the university website:

Law Library Information
Law Library Opening Hours
Booking a study space

We hope that you stay safe and know that the Law Library will be ready to welcome you back whenever it is safe for you to be on campus.

Students sit in armchairs on the mezzanine level, visible in the top half of an archway. Students browse books in the library stacks on the ground floor.

View of the mezzanine from the Senate Room