Monday, September 28, 2009

Just Ask!

There are many library-related services that the Law Library staff may be able to provide to you if you ask us. A case in point occurred last week in relation to the Labour Law assignment.

A student asked if she could read the Employment Relations Authority decision in a particular case. Problem was the case at the Employment Court and Court of Appeal level was suppressed name-wise and we did not know the names used in the ERA level. Nor did we know which ERA it was held in (ie the location) or the date (or even the year!). Despite this, we have managed to locate a copy of the decision and get it to the student.

Everybody is happy and it shows that sometimes, we can do the almost impossible. All it takes is you asking us if it is possible.

And for those wondering what decision we are talking about – it is the ERA decision in A Worker v A Farmer and is available electronically at

or in a paper copy in our Employment Relations Authority decisions housed on the 8th floor at KG348.E38 2007 CHCH 111-160

Friday, September 25, 2009

Last Dash for Law Library Refurbishment

The final section of the Law Library - 9th floor central block - is almost complete!

Thank you to all users of the Law Library for being so patient this year.

All books and journals are now in their permanent areas, and will be spread out a bit during the summer break.

Please expect a little more concrete drilling early next week, and by early October, the ENTIRE library will be finished!


New Zealand law journal

Still working with the last post's theme of hidden gems: here's a few clues to finding the New Zealand law journal.
It's in print, on the shelves in the magnificently refurbished Law Library at K211 N333 - most recent issues on Reserve. Plus it's available elsewhere around the system - check the library catalogue for details.
It's online (from 2006) at the LexisNexis NZ site. And this is where it gets a bit tricky.
  1. If you access the LexisNexis NZ site via the Law Subject Guide, you won't see the journal (NZLJ) in the Sources list; but click the Journals tab anyway to get to the Journals search template. You still won't see NZLJ in the Sources drop-down menu, but if you search "All subscribed journal sources" it will include NZLJ from 2006. Or if you know the citation, you can use the Browse option to the left of the search template, and drill down to the year and issue that you want.
  2. If you access the site via the NZLJ library catalogue record (look for the Electronic resource - online options), you get taken straight to the search template and yes, New Zealand law journal appears in the Sources field - at least until such time as you navigate away from the search template, at which point you are in the same situation as at (1) above.
Seriously weird, and apparently LexisNexis have been working hard to solve the problem all year. Any day now.
If you really want to explore the idiosyncracies of electronic access, try searching the CD-based NZLJ archive, (1925-2001), which you can get to via the Law Library computers: Start menu>Library resources>Law databases>NZ law journal archive. It has its own user guide - you'll need it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Zealand law review

We've had a bit of a run on the New Zealand Law Review recently. It's available in print (K211 N355) or online. There are a couple of quirky things about the online version, which have caught a few people out.

1. getting to The simplest way is via the library catalogue - search by title, select the 1995 "electronic resource" record, then follow the link. You can also get there via the Law Subject Guide, but remember that you'll find it in Lexis and not in LexisNexis NZ- doesn't make a lot of sense but that's how it is.

2. navigating your way through It's vast, and US-centric. From the front page, scroll down to the Find laws by country or region section - you're looking for New Zealand, which you'll find via the View more sources link. Once you're in the New Zealand section you should be able to see the New Zealand Law Review link.

3. using the search template.

Try an Easy Search. It's a full-text search, so use distinctive but simple terms, like a combination of author (surname only is the most reliable option) and title keywords.

Or try the Terms and Connectors search. Segment searching allows you to specify where (in the document) you want your search terms to appear. Useful for author and title. And you can use the CITE segment to find a specific article (e.g 2005 NZ Law Review 1); or to find all articles published in a particular volume (e.g. 2005 NZ Law Review) effectively giving you a table of contents for that volume.

You get some examples of segment searching via the information icon (i-in-a-box) next to the journal title in the breadcrumb trail.

4. One more thing. You'll only find articles if they are there. Some aren't - looks like they've missed a few issues here & there.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Refurbishment: the final phase is nigh!

Progress is being made to complete the 9th floor refurbishment before exams begin.

From Friday 18th, Property Services will start working on the 9th floor central block, and textbooks (KN) will be 'staff retrieval only' from Friday 18th to Wed 22nd.

On Wed 23rd, KN texts will be moved to their final resting place in the south tower of the 9th floor.
On Thur 24th, KL-KM texts will be moved from the 7th floor up to the 9th floor.

More desk spaces should become available on the 9th floor by early next week. Access via the south stairs.

There will be intermittent conctrete drilling this week. Our apologies. Earplugs are available.

Speculative requests

Locating the book or document you want traditionally goes something like this:

you get a reference (from a footnote or a lecturer, or a subject search); you search the library catalogue to see if and where we have it; and if it's a book we don't have, you search the Borrow Direct catalogues to see if you can request it from one of those libraries - and if there are any steps here that you're not sure about, you ask us, OK?

If you can't find what you want, you fill out a document delivery request form, and we'll see if we can get it from another library for you. Basically, we use catalogues and indexes to verify that the item exists, then work out where to get it from.

It works pretty well most of the time.

But sometimes we resort to a "speculative request" if we can't find the item you want in conventional indexing tools - maybe because it pre-dates online tools, maybe because it was never formally published, maybe because you have an incomplete reference, maybe because it's an unreported case from a lower court. A speculative request involves us making an educated guess about which library might have the item you want, and it relies on the staff at that library knowing their collection well enough to locate it (if they have it). We recently used this method to get a copy of an early NZ bill - not surprisingly we got it from the Parliamentary Library. Fortunately someone kept the bill, even though parliament threw it out.

So if there's something you want, just ask. Even if you don't have all the details.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Eeee! e-Books!

The Library has recently added 44000 eBook records to the Library catalogue, including a fair swag of law-related material. It's a package deal.
You can discover what's there as part of your usual catalogue searching.
Or you can search specifically within the eBook Library - start from the Library's homepage, go to the Article Databases link, browse the letter E and select EBL Ebook Library. Or click this link to take you most of the way. Money changes hands so you'll need to do the username-password thing. Once you're there, the search interface is pretty intuitive. You can browse by category (e.g. Law), or use the Advanced Search. You may need to consult the online manual as well. Let us know what you think of it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

BriefCase just got beefier

Apparently Brookers got some feedback about the new system and have acknowledged the desire for a 'one-stop-shop' by including all available PDFs in ViewCase (the full-text limb of BriefCase). Here's hoping we clearly expressed the desire for an affordable one-stop shop.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

BriefCase just got briefer

Brookers/Thomson Reuters have just excised the full-text PDFs (a.k.a. ViewCase) for lower courts (District Courts & tribunals) from Briefcase. Why? Because those judgments are now included in their all-new topical case law databases - ACC, Civil procedure, Family, Fisheries and a few more - which we can purchase (but haven't yet) at additional cost.
BriefCase still has the case summaries, just not the full text. We can probably get the judgment for you, so fill out a judgment request form, available at the Law Library desk.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Printer/Download button in HeinOnline has moved

The Print/Download icon in HeinOnline has moved from the extreme right to nearer the middle of the page

LegalTrac search alerts

We've added a new guide to the collection - LegalTrac search alerts. Search Alert saves your search, runs it periodically to see if any new material meets those criteria, and emails the results to you. Sweet.

LegalTrac magazines

LegalTrac is a great way to identify useful journal articles. And when you get your search results there are tabs for different kinds of literature, which is useful as long as you understand that "Academic journals" means journals produced by academic institutions and "Magazines" (which sounds like the glossy stuff other people get at the supermarket) includes valuable material like the New Zealand Law Journal.