Scholar David Post has a Washington Post piece today about the free version of the Bluebook:
“War is brewing over the most boring piece of intellectual property imaginable: the “Bluebook,” the 580-page quasi-authoritative source of proper legal citation formats published by the Harvard Law Review…”
… that law students want spaces, furnishings, and amenities that facilitate and encourage studying, research, and collaboration consistent with UCI Law’s open, collegial atmosphere.
Here’s a brief overview of the results of the Law Library’s three-part study comprising: 1) survey responses from 125 law students 2) interviews with 6 law students and 3) a 1-week “detailed headcount,” a 3-times-per-day tally of where library patrons sit.
Survey results – chart
Three-part study summary – themes
Noise. Law students want effective soundproofing between quiet spaces and spaces where people talk. They also want clear communication about appropriate noise levels, in the form of signs or other design elements. Having plenty of space for collaborative work is important to survey respondents, and patron counts show that study rooms are very popular in the current law library. However, noise from noisier areas (e.g. study rooms, collaborative space outside study rooms, and service counter and reference desk areas) shouldn’t disturb students in quiet-study spaces.
Light and openness. Lighting is tremendously important. Survey respondents and interviewees say they want a space with lots of natural light, as well as adequate light for studying at night. Survey respondents and interviewees also say they want as much window seating as possible, and patron counts demonstrate that people in the current Law Library prefer to sit in open areas near windows with indirect light.
Physical and psychological comfort. Law students want a variety of furniture options. They want to be able to spread out at big tables that can easily hold lots of study materials, with chairs that are comfortable for sitting in for long stretches of time. They also want soft seating options, including footstools. Survey respondents and interviewees want standing options—although these options were not used as much as other seating during our patron-count week. Students want individual study spaces of some kind, because they serve an important role in improving focus. But these individual spaces and furniture (like study carrels) should be designed to be consonant with UCI Law’s open, collegial atmosphere.
About 75% of study respondents said that “private individual study spaces” are important, but only 42% of respondents chose study carrels when asked “What kinds of furniture would you like to use in a law library?” Some respondents left very positive comments about the sample photo of study carrels, e.g., “These study carrels look awesome!” But other respondents called carrels “claustrophobic,” “depressing,” and “not very UCI.”
Research and study functionality. Students also voiced opinions on other issues: ensuring the reference office is visible, but has the option for privacy and noise reduction; providing plentiful access to power to charge devices; providing access to technology for group collaboration and work on multiple screens; and extending the hours that the library’s open.
More opportunities for feedback
In case you haven’t seen it yet: you can leave a note for the designers! Post-its are right outside the doors of the Law Library. Let everybody know what you want to see in a new building.
The library-specific survey is also still available. Note that we’ve already given away the $20 gift cards. See: goo.gl/forms/jIv0suLtyE (@lawnet ID required)
Exact print-replica versions of Oxford University Press Scholarship Online monographs are rolling out this month. Print-replica PDFs for all UPSO law titles should be available by the end of March, 2016.
This development has been implemented primarily to ensure that UPSO titles conform to the requirements of the Bluebook citation rules in the United States, but also benefits those of our users worldwide, whether they be students, scholars or practitioners, where the issue of citing a print work is also important.1
If you plan to research and write for scholarly publication, chances are you will save time by staying organized with a citation management tool.
These tools work directly with scholarly databases, and allow you to save and share documents, create citations, and build bibliographies. One of the more popular tools supported by UCI is called Mendeley.
Stop by the law library anytime to get tips on staying organized. Together, we can come up with a system that works for you!
Librarians are here to help students develop positive research habits, stay organized, and produce quality papers, reports, and memos! We can work with you and your students, whether in special sessions, by appointment, or at the Reference Office. Contact Lisa with questions, or to schedule a training, email@example.com
Students: Ask questions before you spend too much time looking for information. We can help save you time and make you look even more awesome! Stop by the library, or email at Refdesk@law.uci.edu
The reference librarians are here to help you successfully participate in pro bono projects! We can help you find forms, model documents, practice guides, and so much more. Check out our guide with resources for some of the more research-intensive projects: UCI Law Library – Pro Bono Projects.
Come by the Reference Desk with questions during the weekdays, email RefDesk@law.uci.edu, or call (949) 824-6746. Librarians are also available for longer consultations by appointment – just reach out to your liaison librarian to schedule a time. (Note: your liaison is usually the librarian who taught your legal research course.)