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2011-2012 Annual Report: Oklahoma City University School of Law Library: Law Librarians as Instructors

Award of Accomplishment in Legal Research Skills

261 students participated in the Award of Accomplishment in Legal Research Skills in 2011-2012. 31 of those students completed the program during 2011-2012. The remainder of the participants will have until they graduate to complete the program. Review Outcome Measures and Assessments as well as Praise for the Law Library for student responses to the program.

 

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Award of Accomplishment in Legal Research Skills Offerings Overivew

Type of Course Points earned # of Offerings

 

# of Participants

Brown Bag 1 Hour Training Session 1 7 55
Presentations to Student Groups 1 3 34
Law Review/ Moot Court/ Clinics 1 8 40
Librarian Substantive Course Guest Lecture 1 9

142

1.5 Workshop with assignment 4 54 262
Total NA 81

533

Award of Accomplishment of Legal Research Skills 4 Point Workshops

Brown Bag and Student Group Training Sessions

In addition to the 1.5 hour workshops offered, several 50 minute training sessions were taught throughout the year and students self selected to attend. Some trainings were a collaborative effort with student organizations and law school departments. All participants in these trainings earned a point towards the Award. Practice oriented courses such as Texas Legal Research and those conducted with student organizations were the most popular. Attendance rates from 2011-2012 will inform the 2012-2013 offerings.

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Advanced Legal Research

Reference librarians team taught Advanced Legal Research: U.S. Law and Advanced Legal Research: Foreign and International Law during the fall and spring respectively. Due to construction the Advanced Legal Research course was taught in Sarkeys instead of the law library in the fall of 2011.

Guest Lectures in Law School Courses

Reference librarians are often called on to provide topical research training in substantive law courses. 9 faculty members invited reference librarians to guest lecture in their class. Selected topics from 2011-2012 include administrative law research, immigration law research, law of alternative dispute resolution, practice resources, trial practice, contract form books, and federal income tax.

Legal Research and Writing

Historically reference librarians have been invited to provide library training to students enrolled in select Legal Research and Writing classes. This year all 1Ls in Legal Research and Writing classes received librarian instruction on the following topics:

  • Secondary Sources
  • Researching Statutes
  • Researching Case Law
  • Using Citators
  • Legislative History
  • Administrative Law Research
  • Using Low Cost and Free Legal Resources
  • Summer Associate Training

Reference librarians answered 247 questions related to Legal Research and Writing exercises.

Specialized Research Instruction

Clinics
T
his year librarians offered targeted clinic trainings in both the spring and fall to clinic students in the Oklahoma Innocence Project Clinic and the Immigration Law Clinic. Read more about our clinic iniatives on the Outreach page.

Law Review
Every year librarians offer specialized instruction during the law review new member orientation. Access services librarians train resource editors in locating materials not found in the Law Library collection. Reference librarians work closely with student authors and editors during the tech check process.

Moot Court and Trial Practice
Targeted outreach to all of the moot court teams began in 2010 and continued in 2011. Librarians provided specialized 2 hour training sessions to the NALSA, ABA, and Jessup teams. A reference librarian was embedded in the trial practice class.

Reference Assistants

The reference department employs several reference assistants each semester. Reference assistants help patrons and work on in depth research projects. Reference assistants spent a combined 1210 hours working in the library gaining hands on legal research experience.

Reference assistants receive formal training at the beginning of each semester. They review research areas key to the first year legal research and writing course, explore the skills involved in conducting a proper reference interview, learn to use and show others how to use the library databases, complete the circulation student worker training, and complete research exercises both in print and online to reinforcing their training. The student's training continues throughout the semester using a more on demand model. Students are encouraged to seek formal training from a librarian when they are asked questions about unfamiliar topics.

Informal training also occurs throughout the semester. An important training tool is Gimlet, a question and answer tracking system that library staff members use. Each shift reference assistants are required to review Gimlet and read the questions asked by patrons and the librarians' responses. This procedure allows for informal training across shifts and makes all library staff aware of commonly asked questions in the library. Gimlet also allows the reference assistant's supervisor to observe where some additional training may be neeed.

The reference assistants play an  important role in building relationships with the student population. New law students often feel more comfortable approaching other students when they begin utilizing the library. The presence of reference assistants helps to reinforce the librarians' belief that all students and their questions are welcome.

800 N. Harvey Oklahoma City, OK 73102 405.208.5271