Ian Edwards – Manager, Law Library, Bond University
In 2017 the Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLE) at Bond University merged with the Centre for Legal Education (CLE), formerly based at the University of Technology Sydney and later Western Sydney University. The CLE was originally established in 1992 and in its early years was extremely active, engaging in some important and impactful projects including studies into the career intentions of law students and the career destinations of law graduates. The CPLE inherited the CLE’s business name, its goodwill, and a set of legal education resources.
This post discusses the activities undertaken by Library Services and the Law Library at Bond to facilitate access, raise awareness and enhance the discoverability of these resources, and thereby make a valuable contribution to law teaching and legal education scholarship in Australasia.
There were approximately 250 titles transferred from the CLE’s legal education collection and the first step was to divide these into two manageable collections: the first, a miscellany of reports, papers, pamphlets and journals numbering approximately 100 titles, and the second, a collection of roughly 150 monographs relating to legal education.
An initial analysis of the collection was undertaken to determine which resources, if any, had previously been digitized and were available online.
From the analysis it was discovered that:
- 38 titles were not recorded in Trove;
- 27 titles were held by fewer than 10 libraries in Australia;
- 11 titles were held by only a small number of libraries in Australia;
- 9 titles were already held by Bond University, or a later edition of the title; and
- 11 titles were duplicate titles.
The review confirmed the value of these resources, making an important contribution to the available body of literature on legal education, including 38 previously uncatalogued works. Many of these works are of considerable historical significance, including:
- Christopher Roper, Career Intentions of Australian Law Students (1995)
- Gordon Joughin, A Framework for Teaching and Learning Law (1996)
- Mark Wojcik, Introduction to Legal English: An Introduction to Legal Terminology, Reasoning, and Writing in Plain English (1998)
- Phillip Jones, Competences, Learning Outcomes and Legal Education (1994)
- William Duncan, Skills Training (1991)
The full list of legal education resources can be accessed HERE.
Excluding titles already held, the remaining items were added to the Bond University Library collection and in the process, bibliographic records were uploaded to the National Library of Australia’s Trove database. With Trove a go to location for researchers, this significantly increases the likelihood of these items being discovered by researchers, law teachers, legal education historians and others. Accessibility of these resources is also improved through institutional resource sharing schemes.
During the cataloguing process, a general notes field was added to the record identifying the item as belonging to the Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLE). This was necessary to manage the items as a single collection, a requirement when creating the digital collection.
The Library’s digital collections provide a quick and easy means of viewing the collection in its entirety. Once an item is selected from the collection it opens the record in library search which provides bibliographic information, the location of the item and for authorised users a quick means of requesting the item. Other users are presented with the necessary information to make a resource sharing request through their institutional library.
The Library Search record also provides two virtual bookshelves. The first displays similar legal education resources, and the other a complete view of the Legal Education Library collection. These resources can now be searched individually through Bond Library search and Trove. They are accessible through the Library’s collections page and can also be found in the resources section of the CPLE website.
The Library Services teams involved in this work included the Information Resources team, the Digital Library Systems and Services team and the Law Library team.