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2011-2012 Annual Report: Oklahoma City University School of Law Library: Reference Services

Professional Development

218 presentations by reference librarians. This included guest lectures, research instruction, and presentations to professional organizations.

30  presentations made by reference librarians outside of the law school environment.

766 hours spent on professional development and service

Types of Questions Asked

The first chart below reflects and compares the types of questions asked in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. Question tracking methods changed November 2010 with the implimintation of Gimlet therefore some data prior to that date is not available. Instruction and law review related questions were not specifically tracked during the 2010-2011 fiscal year. Categories of questions not in this data set are those related to electronic services, course reserves, and other requests. Overall reference and directional questions asked by library patron increased this year. 

A high percentage of questions are directional in nature including questions about the location of materials, rooms, and campus offices.

Research and Instruction Questions

The reference department's primary focus is providing instruction and research assistance to faculty and students. The reference department also serves members of the community and the local bar. Pro se patrons also rely on Law Library print and electronic resources for important legal information.

Reference services were available 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday -Friday, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Saturday, and from Noon to 9:00 p.m. on Sundays totaling 85.5 hours of reference service per week. Reference hours were reduced during holidays, breaks, and the summer.

The reference department answered a total of 1519 instruction and research questions this year varying from basic questions to semester long projects involving the work of both a reference librarian and a reference assistant.

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Faculty Reference

The Law Library is proud of the relationship we have built with the faculty over the years. Librarians aim to provide a high standard of service in support of faculty scholarship and instruction. Specific reference services offered to the faculty include research assistance, resource instruction, providing topical legal research training to students during a faculty member's class, and training faculty research assistants.  Learn more about our faculty services and review some comments from our faculty.


Where we reference

Reference librarian doors are always open to provide reference assistance to patrons. They also spend a significant amount of time each week at the reference desks, in the clinics, and other locations. 

Mobile Reference Desks
Two mobile reference desks were built for the library and deployed on the first and second floor lobbies. These replaced the small reference desk located in I North. Reference librarians spent 6 hours per week on the first floor lobby reference desk and 9 hours per week on the second floor lobby reference desk. Reference assistants spent 30 hours per week on the first floor lobby reference desk. The number of questions asked at the reference desks increased  275% from approximately 100 questions asked in 2010-2011 to 377 questions asked in 2011-2012. Increased presence has allowed reference librarians and reference assistants to better connect with students. The positive response to the desks will lead to new outreach initiatives for 2012-2013.

Legal Clinics
Reference librarians began offering targeted services to the law school clinics. During the fall and spring semester librarians 36 hours of instruction and reference assistance was provided in the clinics. Read more about our clinic services in the Outreach section.

Roving Reference
104 roving reference questions were answered this year. This includes research related questions at law school functions, while in Sarkeys Law Center, and out and about in the library and on campus.

Research Guides/ LibGuides

Reference librarians are responsible for the creation and curation of the topical research guides. In 2010 conversion of bibliographic style guides to interactive multimedia guides hosted by LibGuides began. Many guides are prepared by our law student reference assistants under the supervision of a reference librarian. Librarians promote the guides in classes, at the circulation and reference desks, on the library website, and through social media. As a result guide usage continues to grow.

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Top Ten LibGuides by Usage

LibGuide  2011-2012 Views
Administrative Law Research     1720
Legal Treatises by Topic 1007
Reporters 692
PCDC Research Guide 535
Free and Low Cost Legal Research 512
Form Books and Drafting Resources 464
Empirical Legal Research 435
Mental Health Resources for Law Students and Lawyers    299
U.S. Immigration Law Research    260
Researching in Islamic Influenced Jurisdictions    238

Reference Assistant Projects

4 law student reference assistants were employed in Fall 2011 and Spring 2012. In the summer 3 reference assistants were hired. These students worked on a variety of projects under the direct supervision of a reference or access services librarian. Reference assistants completed research projects, staffed the reference desk, answered patron questions, designed displays, and created and updated LibGuides and bibliographies.

Continuing Reference Projects

The reference department is currently working on a number of long range projects. Conversion of the print bibliographies into LibGuides began in Fall  2010. In addition to converting the bibliographies many new LibGuides have been added. The conversion project will be complete in  Fall 2012. Also concluding in Fall 2012 will be the inventoring of Robert H. Henry's judicial and political papers. After the inventory project is complete the items will be reorganized, a finding aid will be created, and several items will be digitized. Outreach efforts will continue and new outreach iniatives will be explored.

The Award of Accomplishment in Legal Research Skills program and instruction services will continue in 2012-2013.

800 N. Harvey Oklahoma City, OK 73102 405.208.5271