Thursday, 19 February 2009

Birmingham Central Reference Library - Law Department

The Central Reference Library has a number of historic law reports and local acts that my be of interest to ALLICE members.

They have local and some private acts, Statutory Instruments and Acts of Parliament , and Parliamentary Papers from 1800 onwards, as well as Halsbury's Laws & Halsbury's Statutes . Although they used to have an extensive collection of loose-leaf legal texts, because of financial constraints they ceased subscriptions five years ago, moving to CD Roms and On-line subscriptions where they could afford them.They are just coming to the end of a three year deal with LNB which gave them access to LNB's "primary service" (All ER, Halsbury's Laws, Statutes, EF & P as well as one or two modules such as employment law and education law, as well as discounted hard copy Halsbury's Laws, etc. They may well change to Justis for some provision later in the year. Financial constraints caused the termination of their subscription to hard copy Weekly Law Reports at the end of 2008. Additionally no new books/material have been purchased for the library since November 2008.

They face some hard budgetary choices in 2009 and will cancel any hard copy if it is available electronically. They are also going to be moving the balance of their purchasing to monographs in line with official city policy.

As far as historic material is concerned, they have a number of nominate reports as well as some Private Acts, Local Acts complete from 1946, - those prior to this date are not complete, local statutory instruments, and some local and canal acts in the local history library.

The Reference Library as a whole is starting to plan now for it's move into the new building in four years time. This will entail discarding a significant amount of stock as well as re-directing services. They are keen to have customer's views.

Hazel Hewison has suggested inviting Steve Wood, Service Manager for Information Services at the Reference Lbrary to a future ALLICE meeting to learn about the provision they make for law, and future service patterns when the new library building is finished. I think this is a good idea and I am sure you will too.

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