Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Focus on Law & Official Publications Librarian, Hugo Kelly

Hugo Kelly is the Law and Official Publications Librarian and has worked in NUI Galway since 2000. Prior to that he had worked as Humanities Librarian in Dublin City University.

In his current role Hugo is responsible for Official Publications and managing the information and research needs of Law. Hugo's role is primarily concerned with three core functions:
  • Training
  • Reference support
  • Developing and Managing Collections
“There is a popular maxim that the Library is Law’s laboratory”, Hugo says. “And that is an important idea that we want to continue to promote”.
The training role in particular is an essential role in the modern library environment. Every semester Hugo spends many hours training students at various levels in using the electronic and print resources available. When possible, this is carried out in conjunction with the School of Law.
“Without academic support, I would get nowhere”, Hugo admits. "They understand that, with the impact of electronic information, legal research is broader and more challenging. The methodology of legal research has not changed but the means has”.
The Law Reference Service
Given the complexity of these sources there will always be a need for a reference service where students can drop in and ask for help in locating resources or get some help and advice on researching assignments.
 Gabi Honan, is the Information Assistant for Business and Law. Her focus is on helping students.
“The personal touch is still very important," Gabi says. “There can be confusion about online resources and their coverage.  A quick chat and a demo can clear up problems and misconceptions instantly”.

Law Collections
A major challenge with falling budgets is maintaining the collections both in print and electronic form. Law books in particular are always heavily used and are still the most borrowed items from the entire Library Collection.
“The book collection is still fundamental to us, particularly in terms of Irish material. I would love if we had a wider collection with more depth. Maintaining  an up-to-date has become our biggest challenge”.
Finally over recent years Hugo has worked to improve access and storage of the Library’s often forgotten Official Publications and European Documentation resources. These are relatively small collections but  many of the key State reports and publications can be found within them.
“In OP in particular there are many reports here that chart the development of the State. For the first time much of this material has been catalogued. It would be great to see it get used more".
Hugo and Gabi are based on the ground floor of the James Hardiman Library next to the Law Collections. Check out  the Law Subject Page for contact details and more information about the various LawOfficial Publications, and   European Documentation resources available.

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