Podcasts of interest

An interview with Dr Rosemary Laing, Clerk of the Senate for seven years.

A co-production between Law Report and the University of Melbourne law school, looking at what happens when the jury system goes wrong.

Call for ALLA (WA) Committee nominations!

Do you like to share your ideas?  
Are you interested in collaboration? 
Would you like be part of a professional team?
If you do then the ALLA(WA) Committee is looking for members like you!
The 2018/2019 ALLA(WA) Committee nominations will be sent out soon and all positions (except President) are available for nomination.  
Being a Committee member on the ALLA(WA) is a great way to learn new skills, increase your network and gain a greater understanding of the industry.

There are many areas that you can be involved in, including - 
  • organising CPD events and activities on a professional and social level
  • managing social media and web pages of the ALLA(WA)
  • liaising with legal publishers and other professional bodies
  • monitoring legislative updates that affect our profession
If you would like to know more about the positions please email allawaexec@gmail.com and we will send you the position descriptions.


With a new Committee working hard, we thought it was time to share a little bit about who the Committee is behind the scenes. Over the next few weeks each committee member will answer a few questions so you can get to know them better. Don't forget you can meet them in real life at our events


1. Who is a hero who has inspired you in your career?

It is hard for me to attribute one person who has inspired me in my career.

In the words of the well-known proverb “It takes a village to raise a child”, I can say that many people have inspired me throughout my career thus far: my family and friends, lecturers, practicum supervisor and peers and colleagues – just to name a few!

2. What is the proudest moment in your professional life?

It is difficult to pinpoint one proudest moment in my professional life so far. A couple come to mind:

  • Last year I attended the inaugural WATOL event and delivered a presentation entitled “Delivering Information Literacy Intensively - the FLL Experience”. This was challenging, yet highly enjoyable and rewarding.
  • I always relish the prospect of helping people meet their information needs and it is always satisfying when people say “Thanks so much, you are a legend!”.

3. Career advice – what’s your top tip?

You live and learn! 

4. What’s your favourite legal research tool?

This is dependent on the nature of the information that a patron is looking for and the kinds of IL sessions that I deliver to patrons.

As an academic law librarian, it is important to keep patrons informed on the manner in which they can find correct legal information quickly and expeditiously. Therefore, the tools that I can label as my favourites, are the ones that can achieve this end.

5. If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?

The kind of work that I undertake as a law librarian is a very versatile. I think of each new day as a project. I am happy to take on board new opportunities that arise and I always strive to meet any challenges that I am faced with.  

6. Library cliché: What is your favourite book? (Or one of your favourite books?)

Wuthering Heights.

7. If you were reincarnated as an animal, what would it be?

A cat naturally – after all my name is 1/3 cat!

8. Why did you join the ALLA (WA) Committee?

I am a relatively new law librarian, so joining the ALLA (WA) Committee is an excellent way to learn new skills, network and stay in touch with the ever changing nuances and idiosyncrasies of the law library profession. 

ALLA National [crosspost]: Notice of 2018 General Meeting

[Cross-posted from the ALLA National list]

Notice is hereby given that a General Meeting of the Australian Law Librarians’ Association Ltd (ALLA) ACN 158 242 696 will be held on Thursday 3rd May 2018, at  4.10pm – 4.45pm ACST as part of the ALLA 2018 Conference.

Double Tree by Hilton Esplanade, Reflections Room
116 The Esplanade
Darwin NT 0800


1. President’s Welcome
2. Introduction and remarks of Representatives from International Associations
3. Apologies
4. President’s Update
5. Membership Update
6. Treasurer’s Update
7. General Business
8. Meeting Close


Please note that this is not the ALLA Annual General Meeting and as such there will be no elections for positions until the AGM in September 2018.


As a financial member at the time of the AGM, you are entitled to vote. Every member is entitled to one vote on each matter.
To have a vote at the meeting you must be either (a) present in person or (b) represented via a proxy. Please note that a proxy is not required unless there is an item of business requiring a vote be put to members. In accordance with the Constitution: (i) the Member has a right to appoint a proxy; (ii) the proxy does not need to be a Member; and (iii) a Member entitled to cast two or more votes may appoint two proxies and may specify the proportion or number of votes each proxy is appointed to exercise.

To use a proxy to do your voting for you, please complete the Proxy Form, attach and lodge it no less than forty-eight (48) hours before the AGM, so by 4.15pm on Tuesday September 9th 2014. A proxy form will be available from the ALLA web site and available by email on request.

Australian Law Librarians’ Association 2018 Conference Bursary - Apply Now!

The Australian Law Librarians’ Association Ltd (WA Division), is delighted to offer a bursary of $1500 for one of our members to attend the Australian Law Librarians’ Association 2018 Conference held in Darwin, 2-4 May 2018. 

The successful candidate will be expected to prepare a report on the conference and present it to ALLA (WA) members upon their return.

For details about the conference, please visit the 2018 ALLA Conference website.

The closing date for applications is 5pm Monday 16th April 2018.  

The successful applicant will be notified by Friday 20th April 2018

We apologise for the short turn around. 

Applications addressing the selection criteria can be emailed to  Stephen Griffiths.  

Good luck!

Time to update your bookmarks - State Law Publisher WA URL change

On Friday March 16th the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office took over the hosting of the WA legislation website from the State Law Publisher.

The new web address for WA legislation is now www.legislation.wa.gov.au.  

The website functionality is unchanged, but it is now badged as Department of Justice/Parliamentary Counsel’s Office rather than Department of Premier and Cabinet/State Law Publisher.

Queensland Judgments website in Beta

The Queensland Judgments website has just been launched by the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for the State of Queensland and the Supreme Court Library of Queensland.

It contains a complete set of the Queensland Reports, published in both its original format (PDF) and in a searchable online format.

The website also contains a number of other valuable features:
  • a complete set of recent unreported Supreme Court judgments (from 2002), which is being gradually expanded as the Library’s full print collection of unreported Supreme Court judgments is digitised.
  • an appeal database, which provides current and historical data about appeals from judgments in the collection.
  • a new UCPR service, which seeks to identify the leading judgments on civil procedure in Queensland.
The website is currently being published in a beta version, to give users an opportunity to suggest improvements.

I encourage all members to visit the new website and register to obtain full access to all its features.  The website is to be found at – www.queenslandjudgments.com.au.

Easter Breakfast invitation

When: Tuesday 27 March , 7:30 am.
Where: Miss Maud Restaurant, 97 Murray Street, Perth
Cost: $27.00 per person, please bring cash as no split billing.

RSVP: Judith Allan by Friday 23 March


ALLA(WA) invites Western Australian Law Library professionals to participate in our Employment and Salary Survey for 2018. 

The survey will be open from Thursday 22 February and closes Friday 16th March and takes no more than 5 minutes to complete. 

In the past, the survey has proven useful to law library professionals in their annual salary negotiations. Please respond to the survey only once unless you work in multiple organizations.

Please click the following link to access the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RMLGWPR

Please contact Stephen Griffiths with any questions.

Advanced Feedback Talk with LexisNexis

When:  5.00pm (for a 5.15pm start), Tuesday 13 March 2018
Where: LexisNexis, BGC Conference Centre
              Ground Floor, BGC Centre
  28 The Esplanade, Perth

RSVP:  By COB 9 March 2018 to Judy Allan

Following advocacy from ALLA (WA), this session is an opportunity for ALLA (WA) Members (excluding publishers) to have their concerns and experiences with Lexis Advance heard.

Presenters from LexisNexis will include, Simon Wilkins (General Manager, Australia), Jo Wade (Head of Project Development, APAC) and Cormac Maguire (Customer Experience Manager, Australia).
LexisNexis will be hosting a catered 90 minute session that will take the following format: 
  • A snapshot based on the most common questions LexisNexis receives;

o   Authentication
o   Content
o   Upgrade Timeline
o   Review of the platform enhancements since launch

  •         What’s next on the roadmap for 2018
  •         Q&A session

If members have any feedback or concerns they would like addressed at the session, you can email them directly to Belinda Cusack, or if you wish to remain anonymous you can provide them to Judy Allan with your RSVP.

Got your ticket to ALLA 2018 yet?

May is fast approaching... Have you got your ticket for the 2018 ALLA conference yet?
Discounted Early bird registration rates are available till 2 March with a range of full registration and day registration options available. 
In addition two days of fantastic speakers, you can also register for pre-conference workshops and tours. 
The registration portal is available at http://allaconference.com.au/2018/index.php/register/ 
We can't wait to #seeyouinDarwin 
Have you seen the line up?
In addition to an exciting program, the Conference Committee is delighted to bring to ALLA 2018 three keynote speakers who represent the conference theme of Local Footprint, Global Impact:
·        Ruth Bird, EIFL ‘elibrary Myanmar Project Capacity Building Manager’ and former Bodleian Law Librarian
·        Danial Kelly, Senior Lecturer in the Charles Darwin Univerisity (CDU) School of Law
·        Sue Tongue, Special Counsel in Minter Ellison’s Canberra office
Come to ALLA 2018 to hear from these fantastic speakers.
Details on each keynote is available here 

Parliamentary tour event report

The Parliamentary Library hosted a fantastic demonstration and tour for ALLA (WA) and Curtis students on February 7 2018.

We heard from Niamh Corbett and other members of the of the library team who do reference, including late nights when parliament in sitting, maintain a fantastic media database for the members, keep biographies of members current and do collection development in an environment where the requirements of the parliamentarians can vary according to the latest policy directions. The service this team provides was mind blowing!

The team shared a delicious and generous morning tea with us

Afterwards most of use went on a tour of the parliamentary chambers, and learnt some tidbits that can be new even to experienced law librarians, such as a detailed information on notable women in parliament.

We are most grateful to Niamh, for Judy Ballantyne for setting it up, to the team for spending their time sharing what they do, and to Sarah, our guide for the tour.

The eFuture is coming…yeah, but when is it going to be real?

In a Legal Insight post from 2014, ‘The Future of Law: Disappearing Legal Library and Virtual Firms’ an infographic showed that by 2044 45% of respondents surveyed believed that their legal library would virtually disappear.

Ignoring the opportunities to analyse the phrase “virtually disappear”, I’m choosing to assume that this is in reference to physical floor space. Sure, there’s our physical collections will continue to shrink – but even by 2044, I doubt that everything we hold in print will be available electronically. Or at least in a functional way.

A more recent Thomson Reuters Whitepaper, Law Libraries’ Digital Revolution, discusses the benefits of moving to eBook collections. 

Now, I’m pro eBook in theory. If only they worked the same as a hardcopy. 

  • Mental topography, or, when we read on dead trees, do we retain more? (See: The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens).
  • eBooks don’t necessarily equal a saving in money (or time).
  • Speed of retrieval: catalogue-shelf-read v log in to website-borrow book-log out of website-download and install app-log into app-download book-read (streamlined to avoid the wifi won’t connect matters).
  • Many publishers only sell eBooks to individuals, so the Library is left out of the bargain.
  • The ability to mark up, tag, refer to in court, not electrocute yourself when you drop it in the bathtub….
  • The availability of indexes – sure I can search the electronic encyclopaedia but what if I just want to browse for a topic?
  • Delays in the new edition of a book becoming available in eBook, out of date materials are a big danger in any practice.
  • Inter Library Loans. Libraries have fewer avenues for access to legal materials held in other collections. This of course has a great impact on the public who have restricted access to legal information already by virtue of case report series sitting behind publisher paywalls.

 What else do you want to see an eBook or other electronic resource be able to do?

Alice Hewitt,

ALLA (WA) Secretary 2017-2018

AAL Spectrum on coding and library workflows

The latest issue of AALL Spectrum has a great article about how law librarians can use coding to create customisations within their work flows. The article doesn’t focus on any advanced coding languages (think Python or Ruby) but instead focuses on the codes that form the building blocks of the web and how these can offer real-world applications for libraries.

In ‘Coding with the building blocks of the web’ the author, Nick Szydlowski, offers advice on how to use, learn and maintain coding all while leveraging existing skills. Szydlowski suggests that “law libraries may benefit from embracing a culture in which staff are encouraged to invest in foundational technological skills. … there can sometimes be more emphasis on learning consumer-level tools, in the form of new vendor products and features, and not enough emphasis on the type and fundamental skills that can be re-used project after project.”

The article presents a great think piece for those considering branching out their skills into coding, while this issue of AALL Spectrum provides other articles on supporting your own career development and increase your own productivity.

Legal Library jobs 7/2/2016


Event: Parliamentary Library Tour 7 February 2018

Ever wondered what goes on within the walls of Parliament Library? Come and learn about Bills, Hansard, retrieving EMs, investigating committee papers and much more in the 1st ALLA (WA) event of 2018!

This event will include a tour of the Parliamentary Library, followed by morning tea and a tour of Parliament House and the Chambers.

When: Wednesday 7th February, 2018, 9am – 11.30am

Where: Parliament House main entrance

RSVP to Alice Hewitt – alice.hewitt@cdpp.gov.au by Friday 2nd February, 2018.

Please confirm if you are intending to attend the tour of Parliament House (start 11am).

ALLA (WA) thanks the WA Parliamentary Library for hosting this event. 

Two existential library articles

Worried about your library and your job? Despite frequent gloomy predictions, the demise of the library sector hasn’t happened – and as one article reveals, sloppy research can be the cause of the faulty prediction.

A widely shared article declaring libraries and archives to be among the fastest-declining industries in America has been debunked.

Takeaway message – make sure you have all the information before extrapolating ….

While this article is about public libraries, and how, despite predictions that they will wither and die, they are still around and generally growing, there is a message that is relevant to all libraries:

The key to continued support of libraries is engagement equals ownership. As humans we have an innate need to feel wanted and valued, to know that what we say matters. When libraries engage communities by asking for their input and then report back to them how that input was incorporated into their programs, activities, or design of the spaces and buildings then the community gains ownership which translates to increased support.

So do you have sufficient engagement with your community? That can be a lot of time and effort that might seem impossible to squeeze into your already crowded day but the ROI might just be worth it.

CALL FOR PAPERS: LAW VIA THE INTERNET CONFERENCE 2018, October 11-12, 2018, Firenze, Italy

The Institute of Legal Information Theory and Techniques of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR-ITTIG) is calling-for-paper (abstract only) for participation in the LAW VIA THE INTERNET CONFERENCE 2018, to be held 11-12 October 2018, in Florence, Italy.  

All details of the call for papers are available here.