Library Survey and Statement of Standards

The most recent report on the annual SLS / BIALL academic law library survey has just been published in Legal Information Management and is also available on the IALS website at:

The comprehensive report, which I wrote on behalf of the UK’s Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) and British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL), provides a useful snapshot of the staffing, funding, collections and range of services provided in 2013/2014 by university and college law libraries in the UK and Ireland.

Comparative year-on-year data and analysis is provided on student numbers, provision of seating and workstations, law library usage, opening times, support services for distance learning courses, acquisitions expenditure, sources of income, contributions from law schools, staffing levels, qualifications of library staff, the location of the law library within the university library and subscriptions to legal databases, e-journals and e-books. In addition the most popular law databases, e-book publishers, suppliers of library management systems and free websites with legal content and are also identified.

The SLS / BIALL academic law library survey has been running since 1996 and has established itself as the leading survey of its kind for the UK and Irish academic legal communities. It provides authoritative and trusted data which academic law library managers use to benchmark their own services, collections and funding requirements, and law course validation bodies note when appraising the provision of institutions seeking to run law courses. The report also greatly assists the UK’s Society of Legal Scholars in monitoring the continuing influence of its 2009 Statement of standards for university law library provision in the United Kingdom:

David Gee
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
University of London