Tuesday 18 March 2014

Two judges visit the Thomas Parry Library in one week

A post by Lillian Stevenson, Academic Services Manager and Law Librarian.

It was a real pleasure to welcome the Rt Hon The Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd,  The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and His Honour Judge D. Elgan Edwards DL, Recorder of Chester, to the Thomas Parry Library, the new home for the Department of Law and Criminology’s library. It was a unique opportunity to discuss the role of legal information and law librarians, within the legal profession and legal education in the United Kingdom and internationally. Students studying in the library also found themselves cross examined but they rose to the challenge!

It goes without saying that in any library “what you see is NOT what you get” because libraries encompass e-resources as well as print collections, and older books are most often in stores. Sources for current Welsh legislation are absent from our shelves as they are delivered almost entirely in electronic format. However, much to the amazement of one of my esteemed guests was finding The Digest (not updated) on the shelves. How many Law Libraries still retain this or has it been replaced by an affordable digital resource, I wonder?

The Judges were visiting the Department of Law and Criminology at Aberystwyth University to meet with staff and students and to deliver lectures. The Lord Chief Justice delivered the annual lecture of the Centre for Welsh Legal Affairs, entitled “Law in the Polity of Wales” which was one of his first speaking events since being appointed to the post. His Honour Judge D. Elgan Edwards gave a careers talk to students, entitled “Qualifying as a Lawyer : Is it all worthwhile?”

Working late on a Friday night is not normally enjoyable and I asked myself - “Qualifying as a Law Librarian : Is it all worthwhile?” *** Of course, my answer was yes. I would like to thank colleagues in the Department of Law and Criminology for the value they place on their university library and library staff.

*** I am happy to speak to anyone interested in pursuing a career as a Law Librarian / Legal Information Professional.  Please contact me and/or the professional body - British and Irish Association of Law Librarians.

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