Whenever we give legal research training to law students one of the sources of valuable up-to-date commentary that we emphasize are papers from continuing legal education seminars. This type of material provides valuable local commentary, often on changes to the law, that is specific, succinct and to the point.
In Alberta, we are lucky that the cataloguers at the Alberta Law Libraries create a comprehensive search of the table of contents for material in their catalogue. In addition to finding tools from the publishers of conference papers, a keyword search of the library catalogue will find the title or author of a paper within the seminar materials. This time consuming, but extremely useful content created by ALL library staff is not duplicated in house in my shop. Instead, we use the ALL Library Catalogue to determine the seminar title and then we search in our collection to see if we own the material.
My tip today is SHARE. Sharing the conference papers with your in house library team makes it quick for your colleagues (and also you) to find the gold nuggets in these useful sources while you are looking for other material on the topic. Even if the conference papers are on a memory stick or available through an email link, I bet that your organization’s library staff have a plan for how to make this content accessible.
Hat tip to my colleagues Jon and Michelle who, without prompting, recently sent papers from a conference they attended to my library.