This is my reflection on the ALIA Continuing Professional Education Course called – Law Librarianship – Legal Research.
The aim of this course is to help librarians to develop their knowledge and skills in legal research. The Law Librarianship – Legal Research course was held online over ten weeks. The Law Librarianship – Legal Research course was open for all Australian and Pacific Law Librarians and Library Students from QUT.
Legal Librarianship – Legal Research includes three assignments:
- Assignment 1 – Presentation on a legal print resource,
- Assignment 2 – Finding Acts, Bills, Regulations and Cases, and
- Assignment 3 – Report on online legal resource and user guide
All participants must do assignment one but to accredited you need to complete all three assignments. In addition, to help participants with assignment two legal monitors are allocated. The monitors came from law libraries and represent each state and territory of Australia.
This year was the first time that The Legal Librarianship – Legal Research course was done online. For this reason there were a number of issues that hopefully, will be addressed in the future:
- Program timetable: QUT Library students who have no knowledge of law or have worked in a law library were able to enrol in this course. The course work in the Master of Information Technology (Library and Information Science) has a very heavy work load and the final assignment worth 60% of the marks was due when all the other assignments were due. This caused more pressure on students to be able to fulfil the requirements of assignment 3.
- If you have never worked in a law library or understand online legal resources assignment 3, was very difficult. It would have been great if there were more support and instruction on how to fulfil the requirements for assignment 3.
- Allocation of session times. It would be great if each session ran for three hours instead of two. This would provide students an hour to ask questions about the legal system and the role of law librarians from their peers.
However, the course was professional run, organised, and was worthwhile to participate in. For law librarians it would benefit them in refreshing their knowledge of legal matters. The Legal Librarianship – Legal Research course would also help Library students who would like to know more about being a law librarian. In addition, they can talk to other law librarians about their experiences.
The Legal Librarianship – Legal Research is a great course and providing it online allows more Librarians to participate. Next time the course is offered there needs to be more thought for students who do not work in law libraries, so that they can fulfil the requirements of assignment two and three.