Friday, 12 September 2008

Sue Hill session

Sue Hill is visiting Birmingham on 23rd October and has offered to run a lunchtime session for ALLICE members on that day

It's a bit close to the EIA event, unfortunately, but it would be good to set something up if we could.

Sue has suggested a session based on areas such as changing information management roles in law firms and recruitment trends in legal information.

Can you say if you would be interested in attending this session and, if there is sufficient interest, we'll firm things up with Sue and look for a venue.


Phil Uttley
Direct line +44(0)121 222 3487
Direct fax +44 (0)870 443 4103

Proposed Company/Business Information event

At the recent ALLICE meeting it was felt that we should investigate the possibility of setting up some form of Business/Company Information training for members.

I was asked to request that members register their interest (or otherwise) in this idea before I approached organisations/individuals with a view to developing this idea

Can you say, then, whether you would be interested in a dedicated session, possibly along the lines of the EIA event, that covered access to, and use of, sources of company and business information.


Phil Uttley
Direct line +44(0)121 222 3487
Direct fax +44 (0)870 443 4103

Minutes of ALLICE meeting 10th September 2008

Meeting held at :

St Philips Chambers, 55 Temple Row, Birmingham, B2 5LS

Normal business

1. Apologies

Lisa Anderson, Jon Beaumont, Margaret Brittin, Adele Champken, Andrew Clarke, Helen Dunn, Joanne Dunn, Zoe Durrant, Erica Foster, Sally Hassall, David Houston, Mandy Hulme, Sue Kendall, Caroline Mosley, Christine Newlove, Toyin Olanrewaju, Bev Preece, Pat Pritchard, Jackie Sellars, Karen Skiffington, Mike Troon, Barry Vickery, Denise Watkins, Louise Young

2. Officers & Committee

Little feedback had been received on election of officers but the committee thought that this should take place formally at a future meeting to give members the opportunity to submit nominations.
[Action: Committee]

Martineau have offered to join the committee to assist in things like event organisation. DH will lead for them.

3. Charities

Two nominations received and a general view was that the donation should continue but the amount should be reviewed.

In response to a suggestion that funds would be better spent on events, CC pointed out that the subscription was originally intended to cover meeting costs only but, as most hosts have not charged ALLICE, funds in the bank had grown and the committee had felt that it could continue to donate to charity without compromising the financial health of the Association. Current subscription levels would, in fact, be insufficient to cover costs of regular events like the upcoming EIA event as this had cost over £1000.

4. EIA event

Currently 25 applications to attend had been received.

5. Subscriptions

CC informed members that subscriptions were due and that these would again be held at £15. Members were asked to send their payments to CC as quickly as possible and, if possible, pay electronically to avoid bank charges. [Action: All]

6. Future meetings & events

DLA Piper are hosting December meeting on 10th December. Members were asked for ideas on topics for discussion, speakers, etc. Host also required for March meeting

7. AOB

Update on Birmingham Law Society library – not much was known – PU was asked to send members a report on the current situation [Action: PU]

College of Law job vacancy – F/T Information Officer post is about to be advertised at the College (to provide 12 month maternity cover from November) AA reminded members that a similar vacancy will exist at No 5 Chambers

BIALL website re-design – HH asked members for thoughts on the BIALL website and the current communication facilities so that she could feed this into the web re-design project. [Action: All]

Business Information courses – AP asked if members knew of any upcoming courses. DH was attending a CILIP course in London in October. Members discussed the possibility of running this sort of event in conjunction with CILIP/BIALL/ASLIB, etc. PU was asked to make contact with these organisations and other local law librarians groups to access the possibilities. AJ suggested that members should be asked to show what level of interest existed for such an event before this was carried out [Action: PU]

Round table discussion – Print v Electronic resources

Christine Lambert (Academic library)

Her book fund had reduced while costs of electronic resources had increased by 66% and hardcopy costs by 30% over three years (excluding textbooks). Significant duplication existed between print and ‘e’ resources and she estimates that she could achieve 75% savings by moving to ‘e’ journals where this was possible and 85% savings by moving to ‘e’ law reports and legislation. Other schools within the University were already going down this route and she felt that she would have little option but to follow.

Although the majority of students preferred using ‘e’ resources, she wondered whether employers would still want them to be trained in the use of hardcopy versions.

A project entitled UK Research Reserve was encouraging HE institutions to dispose of their hardcopy runs of journals in favour of stock held at the British Library. Wolverhampton were joining this initiative soon

The Society of Legal Scholars have recently issued a report entitled ‘A Library for the Modern Law School’ in which they set out a Statement of Standards. This is also having an impact of her future planning

Caroline Covington (Bar library)

St Philips had to balance the needs of barristers who worked predominantly in Chambers with those would worked remotely. They also had to take into account the differing levels of computer literacy that existed. For this reason they held significant runs of hardcopy law reports and Halsbury’s Statutes and Laws.

Barristers still liked to have pdf version of law reports and, although these were now available on WestLaw for ICLR series and this had allowed them to cancel their Justis subscription, she felt that they never dispense with their hard copy versions.

Moving to ‘e’ resources brought with it significant training requirements and setting up successful training sessions for barristers was proving difficult.

General discussion highlighted another risk associated with moving to ‘e’ resources. Once a subscription to the hardcopy version was cancelled, it would be very difficult and expensive to re-establish this if the need arose.

Alison Parker (Larger firm library)

Eversheds priorities when considering ‘e’ versus hardcopy resources had been fully supporting fee-earners at minimum cost and maximum efficiency.

Additionally, the firm offered a 24 hour service to clients and the IS team were unable to offer staffing to support this.

Consequently, all hardcopy resources were centralised in Birmingham and access to a significant range of ‘e’ resources were provided firm-wide. This resulted in a significant reduction in hardcopy stock. The centralised stock is rarely used.

Training was also a problem for Eversheds given the large turnover of staff and constant recruitment and each IS team had dedicated trainers who trained at least one day every week.

Whilst access to legal ‘e’ resources was firm-wide, access to ‘e’ company resources was restricted to the IS team.

RR informed members that the budget for hardcopy resources at Pinsents had recently reduced by 20% and the increased cost of these resources had compounded the impact of this on her ability to purchase stock of this type

Tricia Wyspianska (Smaller 'out of town' library)

Needham and James also faced a difficult balance to meet the needs of fee-earners with differing needs and levels of computer literacy.

Some fee-earners preferred hardcopy resources and expected their trainees to be able to conduct research using these resources. She felt, therefore, that colleges and universities should continue to retain the means to carry out training to develop these skills.

It was difficult, however, to justify the cost of duplication between ‘e’ and hardcopy resources within the firm and this was being addressed gradually.

General discussion followed and points were made about space savings that could be achieved through adopting ‘e’ resources over hardcopy and the impact on printing of using ‘e’ resources. JH informed members that printing had risen fourfold following the College’s migration to ‘e’ resources