Associate Dean Message
The Law Library plays an integral role in supporting the School of Law in its goal of becoming a premier student-centered nationally recognized law school. In support of the law school’s mission “to prepare individuals for the effective and ethical practice of law in a rapidly changing, diverse, and interconnected world,” the Law Library faculty conducted 130 different instructional sessions covering various professional skills, with over 2,000 total student participants. That is an average of 2.5 teaching sessions each week of the year, reaching nearly 16 students per session.
Moreover, in 2015-2016 the Law Library staff and faculty engaged in several far-reaching behind-the-scene initiatives. The Law Library staff moved nearly 100,000 books to organize the print collection for better usage. We also evaluated our collection holdings over the course of several months with multiple faculty input opportunities, resulting in a reduction of over $250,000 from our materials budget—yet retaining the integrity of the core collection. The logistics of this project entailed countless staff hours to realize. Also, while the cancellation project was in full gear, the Law Library staff found themselves in the throngs of a massive migration from one integrated library system (ILS) to another. In small part, involving a total reorientation to new procedures and workflows for all staff, likewise accounting for numerous hours of staff time and dedication.
Finally, our institutional repository (IR), ScHOLAR, reached around the world. ScHOLAR is a tool that researchers can use to access the School of Law’s scholarly materials. ScHOLAR ranked 30th in North America by the “Ranking of Web Repositories Website.” Our IR was viewed nearly 1,300,000 times—that’s about 3,500 views each day! The number of views that ScHOLAR receives is remarkable considering that the site is not yet fully populated with the School’s full scholarly production. Its global visibility will only increase when it is completed.
The highlights above account only for partial glimpses of the entire work done in 2015-2016 by the Law Library staff and faculty to support the School’s mission. I encourage you to continue reading this annual report for more details about what we have been doing in the Law Library.
Library Administration staff are the backbone of the Law Library. They are the staff responsible for making sure the library functions smoothly and supports the work of the Law Library and School.
Library Administration staff managed 416 room reservations or over 1.5 reservations per workday of the year! These reservations were for rooms located in the Law Library and include the Rare Book Room, the Computer Lab (Lab 228), and the Library Break room. Law School groups use these rooms for various purposes including meetings and trainings.
A minimum of 39 events were coordinated and supported including: faculty/staff farewells, faculty research series, faculty librarian interviews, Technology CLE, PB&J demos, various meetings, Holiday Potluck, ELR info session, National Library Week, faculty/staff training & retreats, and many other Law Library events. Each event is unique for support required to ensure a success. In part, this work entails reserving rooms; adding events to a calendar; contacting and working with various vendors; ordering supplies and materials; managing the events by setting-up, monitoring, and cleaning-up; and other needed activities ensuring a successful event!
The equivalent of approximately 64,497 bottles of water filled from filtered-water fountain stations in the Law Library, helping the environment by eliminating the need to purchase additional bottled water. This is nearly twice as many water bottle refills as the previous fiscal year!
The Law Library manages and processes 581 Law School & Law Library work orders. This equates to about 2.3 work orders per workday of the year. Of those work orders, 64% or 370 were Law School specific!
Work orders include lots of behind the scenes work to complete these jobs. Including tasks like contacting and reporting a problem to the right department and making sure there is a thorough understanding of the issue, reporting the problem accurately to University Building Maintenance, and many other involved steps for each project. Any one of these steps can be a very time consuming process!
Susan Kitten, our Manager of Library Operations, received the 2016 Law Library Employee of the Year award. Susan received the award for outstanding service to the library, particularly for her excellent work supporting the Law School and Law Library staff.
Electronic & Digital Services
The Electronic & Digital Services Department is responsible for the implementation, maintenance, promotion, and training of a wide range of electronic and digital projects, such as the Law Library’s webpages, the Law School’s digital repository, and hundreds of electronic databases.
In FY2015-2016, the Law Library added two new databases including:
- Tax Analysts – contains Tax Notes, which has unsurpassed tax news coverage, alerts, and archives containing over four million documents.
- Subject Compilations of State Laws (HeinOnline) – refers the user to various compilations of state law comparisons by topic. The perfect place to start research on how laws vary by state.
Without a doubt, HeinOnline is one of the premier databases in our collection. This resource contains several different library collections including the Law Journal, the Early American Case Law, Code of Federal Regulations, and the States Statutes: A Historical Archive, to name a few. Our faculty and students extensively use HeinOnline for their various research projects. In 2015-2016, library users downloaded 14,805 articles. Our users downloaded more than 40 times each day of the FY2015-16 year.
Other selective database collection usage include:
- RIA Checkpoint, which contains tax resources, saw 274 sessions with users spending almost 135 hours using this source!
- ProQuest, a database, which includes access to many Congressional and Administrative documents, received 20,115 searches!
- BNA, which contains tax and HR information, reported 5,378 page views, a total of 802 visits and 456 e-mail alerts sent to Law faculty and staff.
- CCH Intelliconnect the library subscribes to; Health & Human Resources (2,596 page views) and Academic Legal Professional Online Library (1,605 page views). Together they had a combination of 4,201 page views!
Students use West Online Study Aids to help prepare for exams and to gain a better understanding of a legal subject. There were 176 unique students using the West Online Study Aids. The most popular resources used were the Nutshells (696 views) and Gilbert’s (372 views). Theses two study aids accounted for 52% of the total views.
ScHOLAR – The Law School’s Digital Repository
The ScHOLAR website uses ranking indicators, which demonstrates that documents from our repository are easily accessible through Google and Google ScHOLAR, indicating that ScHOLAR is easily discoverable on the Internet.
Online users viewed ScHOLAR 1,293,882 times during the past fiscal year. That is 107,824 views per month and 3,545 views per day. Below is a visualization of ScHOLAR activity.
- Searches performed – number of times an individual searched the ScHOLAR repository.
- Community Views – number of times an individual visited a “community” or a large overarching collection with multiple smaller collections of documents.
- Collection Views – number of ScHOLAR visits.
- User Logins – number of times individuals have used a login, like an eRaider, to access ScHOLAR.
- Item Views – number of document views (document may or may not have been opened).
- Bitstream Views – number of document file visits (may or may not have been viewed or opened).
Law Library Web Pages
The Law Library home page had 6,288 page views with OASIS, the online catalog, having the most views with 6,296 views!
Faculty Services & Scholarly Communications
The Law Library’s Faculty Services & Scholarly Communications Department continued its stellar service record in 2015-2016.
Overall, there were 470 total requests from faculty with the vast majority of faculty taking advantage of library services. In fact, an amazing 37 of 38 full-time faculty/VAP (or 97%) made requests.
“I have been very satisfied with the responses to my faculty research requests. I am extremely grateful that the library provides this service to faculty members. Thank you.” ~Annual Faculty Survey
The Law Library dedicated nearly 780 hours or 97.5 (8 hr.) days fulfilling faculty requests; including scholarly research,
database assistance, classroom instruction, document delivery, and book order purchases.
On average, each request took approximately 1.7 hours to complete, which equates to over 1/3 of the entire year’s business days fulfilling faculty requests. Ultimately, nearly 65 hours per month facilitating faculty requests.
To support faculty research and teaching, the Law Library added 533 books to the collection that are pertinent to these endeavors.
In addition to these direct-service statistics, the Faculty Services & Scholarly Communications Department also held a monthly research series for the faculty that focused on instructional design, course management systems, and formative assessments. Another service point that the Faculty Services & Scholarly Communications Department undertakes is to track full-time faculty scholarship and impact to promote the law school’s mission of engaging in meaningful scholarship.
Operation & Collection Services
The friendly faces you see when entering the Law Library belongs to the Operation & Collection Services Department. The staff in Operations provides a variety of services to the Law School community; they are responsible for each step in getting an item from a vendor to getting on the shelf to the user, as well as circulating these items to our students, faculty, and staff. Including a myriad of other behind-the-scenes activities.
Selective Operations department projects in 2015-2016 include:
- Merging the Law Library’s integrated library system (i.e. OASIS, etc.) with the University’s system;
- Customizing the online study room reservation system after merging with the University Library;
- Merging Law Library’s interlibrary loan (ILL) with the University’s Inter-Library Loan (ILL) system (March 2016).
A change of this type is a huge undertaking that involved all staff. Staff had to learn a new system and new ways of performing all of their duties. Kudos to the staff for doing this seamlessly causing little disruption of Library services!
The Law Library circulates many types of items to students and faculty to help with research, studying, and intellectual activities. Some of the types of items circulated are books, study aids, laptops, and various types of equipment. The Law Library circulated over 13,600 items during 2015-16! That is a circulation of almost 41 items each day the Law Library is open.
Surprisingly, the single most circulated non-book item was our laptop adapters, which are power cords for laptops. Our laptop adapters were checked-out 834 times! We have 57 laptop adapters that circulated an average of 15 times per adapter.
Study aids continue to be the most popular non-equipment items we circulate; in FY2015-2016, we circulated 8,478 total study aids. The most circulated study aid title, Emanuel’s Contracts had 273 total circulations. Our most popular non-study aid title was The Texas Lawyer, which in total circulated 4,476 times.
The Law Library received over 247,530 visitors last year. The majority of our visitors are students and faculty using the library. The Law Library provides students and faculty both quiet places to study and a collaboration area for group work.
Peak times for visitors to the Law Library are in the early fall during September and October and right after spring break in March and April.
Students also have access to 5 small group study rooms in the library that are reserved for up to 4 hours at a time. The small group study rooms can be reserved online in ALMA, the Law Library’s online circulation system. This is in addition to the Collaborative Commons on the first floor, which is for groups of various sizes to study together. These areas provide students locations where they can work, collaborate, and study together.
InterLibrary Loan services are available for faculty and students who need materials not immediately available through the Law Library. This service allows us to provide material from other libraries both nationwide and internationally that are not available in our local collection. The Law Library provided 332 items to faculty and students through InterLibrary Loan. *NOTE: InterLibrary Loan services merged with the University Library in March 2016.
Law Library staff processed and added 6,419 items to the collection. This includes new books, government documents, videos, and other material.
The Law Library managed a materials budget of $888,826. These monies allowed the Law Library to collect a variety of materials including; books, audiovisual material, CDs, periodicals, databases, continuations, and microforms. Over half of the Law Library’s materials budget went to continuations or updates to various loose-leaf and other updating materials. Updates are items like loose-leafs, pocket-parts, stand-alone supplements, and advanced sheets. These items are vital to the collection, in that they keep our collection current and maintain the value of the set. The next largest expenditure was for databases subscriptions for the Law Library.
Reference, Instruction, & Student Services
The Reference, Instruction, and Student Services Department provides reference and research assistance, offers a wide assortment of legal research courses, and conducts various assorted types of supplemental classes and one-on-one instruction.
The Law Librarians answered 373 reference questions using a variety of methods, including telephone, e-mails, instant messages (IM)/chat, and live interviews.
The Reference Librarians provided a regular-hours schedule of 45 hours per week. During non-regular times–holidays, intersession, and summer–the Librarians provided a reference schedule of 40 hours per week.
The Reference department’s busiest time was in September when we answer many questions on how to use various resources which supports our Legal Practice assignments. We also see smaller peaks in activity in April and in August.
The Reference and Instruction Department has produced 100 research and service guides. A LibGuide is an online pathfinder to help patrons find their way to information. Each guide is devoted to one topic and all are available online at the Law Library’s webpage with more created as needed. Our most popular LibGuide, with 3,407 views, is for Texas Pattern Jury Charges and the second most popular, the Vernon’s Texas Codes and Statues Annotated guide, had 1,710 views.
The Law Librarians were also very busy with giving instruction. The Law Librarians gave 130 instructional sessions. They reached 2,136 total participants during these sessions, an average of about 16 students per session.
Each of the law Librarians also taught at least one for-credit law course. Librarians taught 45 classes, for a total of 75 hours. Law Librarians also spent 30 hours giving guest lecturers in 19 Law School classes, reaching 299 more students.
Law Librarians also helped support the Law School through other types of instruction, including providing faculty training, participating in 1L Orientation, conducting library tours, and providing database training sessions.
The Student Services Department also provided student support through the award-winning Excellence in Legal Research (ELR) program, as well as other programming aimed at students, including the Peanut Butter & Jelly and a Demo, Scribes Student Writing group meetings, and the Student Services Fair.
Librarians taught 17 ELR courses, over 49 hours of instruction, to 195 students this academic year. With over 35% of new attorneys’ time spent conducting legal research, this instruction is vital as it helps prepare students to be practice-ready lawyers. In May 2016, 18 students graduated from the ELR program after completing 30 course hours and an assessment for each class.
Texas Tech University School of Law Strategic Plan 2016-2019
The Law Library provides superior customer experience through leadership, innovation, service, and teamwork.
The Law Library plays an integral role in supporting the School of Law in its goal of becoming a premier student-centered nationally recognized Law School by: adopting change as needed; nurturing lifelong relationships with faculty and students; creating a congenial, collaborative, and inviting environment; supporting scholarly and professional endeavors, and providing research and technology skills to help law students become practice-ready, ethical, effective leaders and decision makers. Additionally, in pursuit of a better-informed public and legal community, the Law Library collects, develops, organizes, and makes its resources available to the State of Texas and the region.
In its provision of legal information, research, and service, the Law Library strives to exemplify the following values:
- Leadership through inclusiveness, diversity, humility, transparency, and vision to guide and inspire others.
- Innovation through adaptability, imagination, and awareness to explore new and effective services.
- Service through proactive action and effort to create value for our users and community.
- Teamwork through collaboration and mutual respect to work as a group to achieve our goals.
Provide organizational leadership through;
- Developing new and innovative ways of supporting student learning.
- Developing and maintaining excellent marking plan and strategies.
- Promoting the activities of the Law Library and its staff.
- Developing new ways to support the activities of the faculty in the classroom.
Provide innovative activities through;
- Investigate new ways of providing a quality library environment.
- Promote and develop excellent access to electronic and digital resources.
- Maintain an innovative and responsive Excellence in Legal Research program.
- Recognize and reward Law Library employees who excel in their work.
- Investigate ways of improving constituent access to reference services.
Support Law School activities and initiatives by providing excellent service through;
- Reach out to constituents for suggestions and improvement to Law Library services through surveys and other appropriate means.
- Maintain quality Law Library service through implementing a system to formally follow-up on incidents and provide the means to ensure problems do not continue.
- Develop an electronic/digital focused collection.
- Review the Law Library’s collection looking for ways to improve and streamline materials.
Support Law School activities and initiatives through a coordinated team effort through;
- Training programs for staff members to encourage both group and individual learning efforts.
- Developing core legal bibliography competencies for staff. Including competencies based on legal research, Law Library departments, and Law School departments.