Meet the ALLA (WA) Committee 2017-2018: Stephen Griffiths

With a new Committee working hard, we thought it was time to share a little bit about who the Committee is behind the scenes. Over the next few weeks each committee member will answer a few questions so you can get to know them better. Don't forget you can meet them in real life at our events

Stephen Griffiths, ALLA (WA) Vice President 2017-2018

Jonesy, Stephen's cat, with a fidget spinner

Who is a hero who has inspired you in your career?

I’m a big fan of the public service librarians mentioned in the NSW library pay equity case ([2002] NSWIRComm 55) – their actions set a precedent that improved the lot of librarians across the country. And also James Procell, the library director of the Dwight Anderson Memorial Music Library in Rupa Marya v. Warner Chappell Music Inc who unearthed the Mildred and Patty Hill manuscript for “Good morning to all” (aka “Happy Birthday to You”) which helped the court determine that the iconic song was out of copyright and kicked Larrikin Music Publishing Pty Ltd v EMI Songs Australia Pty Limited (No 2) [2010] FCA 698 up to its deserved spot of second-most ridiculous example of current copyright enforcement at large in the world today.

What is the proudest moment in your professional life?
Probably being part of the team overseeing the move of the Department of the Attorney General Library in Westralia Square to its new home at The Law Library, David Malcolm Justice Centre and its merger with the Law Library at the Supreme Court. Those collections merging and the combined resources being made available is a great step forward for the principle of equity of access to legal resources for the profession.

Career advice – what’s your top tip?
For aspiring librarians I always recommend that they volunteer early and volunteer often and keep active within their professional associations. If volunteering doesn’t directly lead to a job at least you are practicing and expanding your skillset and your network. 

What’s your favourite legal research tool?
As a public servant I’m sworn to neutrality in the great CCH|LexisNexis|ThomsonReuters War For All Our Money…
But Legify is free and faster than hitting up AustLII for authoritative legislation.
[By the way, what the heck is up with Google’s lack of a dedicated legislation search engine‽
They used to be cool!
At this rate Pintrest will have something more usable than Google!]

If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?
A program of targeted weeding of local government library stock for legal texts that are out of date and dangerous for use by unwary self-representing litigants/litigants-in-person – those texts are the other asbestos of the public library industry and something needs to be done about them.

Library cliché: What is your favourite book? (Or one of your favourite books?)
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut.

If you were reincarnated as an animal, what would it be?
Those honey badgers seem to have the right attitude, unfortunately I’m pretty sure I’ll have to give greater…care to get my karmic balance to that point.

Why did you join the ALLA (WA) Committee?
I vaguely recall being plied with liquor and delicious cheese served on crackers with the promise of more of the same…also to work on events and projects that benefit the legal information services profession.

Open Access Law

Today marks the start of Open Access Week.

With that in mind, here's a blog post from Cornell University Law Schools VoxPopuLII Blog - home of the Legal Information Insitute [LII] which has been providing open access to American law since 1992. (Those familiar with our own AustLII would see the relationship here).

The blog post, 25 for 25: A Librarian's Free Law Awakening by Sarah Glassmeyer talks about her "free law awakening' and the process of law publishing, and how this challenged her "librarian perceptions of what really matters in publishing Free Law."

It's a nice reminder of the value that free legal platforms do give us as law librarians (and practitioners). For instance,

The public needs to be able to access legal information on the open 24/7 Internet in an easy to navigate, mobile friendly way, since most people – especially lower income individuals – access the web via mobile devices. .... Primary law needs to be published without usage restrictions so that individuals and organizations can create useful adaptations and tools like encyclopedias and citators to assist self-represented individuals in their endeavors.

The ALLA Free Australian Legal Resources list shows a fantastic variety of free legal information resources in Australia. Take a look and see if there is something new to you - or if we've missed something: let us know.

If you are looking for free international materials, see the members of the Free Access to Law Movement.

Event Reminder: ALLA (WA) Spring Breakfast

ALLA (WA) Members are invited to the ALLA (WA) Spring Breakfast.

This event will give members an opportunity to enjoy networking, a lovely spring morning and some good food.

When: Wednesday 25 October 2017 at 7.30 am
Where: Tiisch, 9B, 938 Hay Street (Corner Milligan Street), Perth
RSVP: Friday 20 October to Judy Allan

Please Note:
Tiisch will accept separate billing, and for ease have requested pre-orders.

Please include your order with your RSVP. Tiisch’s menu can be found here: 

Job Opportunity: Part Time Legal Research Officer, Adelaide

This job was originally posted on 

Legal Research Officer

South Australian Parliament Research Library

Part-time (Monday to Wednesday) / twelve-month contract

A Legal Research Officer is required to join a small team who contribute to the Library's research, reference and information services. Duties include the preparation of research reports, and written and oral briefings on a wide range of matters for Members of the South Australian Parliament.

A post-graduate qualification from a recognised tertiary institution is essential.

When Parliament is sitting some rostered evening work will be required.

Employment is subject to provisions of the Parliament (Joint Services) Act 1985.  Recreation leave will not be approved on Parliamentary sitting days.  Appointment may be subject to a satisfactory offender history check.

Any person who has been, or is currently, politically active may compromise the strict political neutrality of this position and will not be considered for appointment.

Review the Job and Person Specification.  Applicants who do not separately address the Job and Person Specification in their covering letter will not be considered.

Applications should be addressed to the Parliamentary Libraria. 

Enquiries to the Manager, Research Services.

Details of the Parliamentary Librarian and the Manager, Research Services can be found on the advertisement

Closing date: 9.00am Monday, 23 October 2017.

Job Opportunity, Liaison Librarian (Business & Law), Deakin

Salary Range: $76,585 to $82,706 pa (plus 17% super)
Employment Type: Full-time (36.75 hours per week) and fixed term to 31 December 2018
Location: Geelong Waterfront Campus or Melbourne Burwood Campus

About the Role:

To liaise with staff and students in designated Faculties, Schools and research centres to ensure that the Library is responsive to the teaching, learning, and research needs of the Deakin University community.

This will include:

  • As part of a cross-campus team, initiate and maintain strategic liaison with academic staff, researchers and students in the Faculty Business and Law to ensure Library responsiveness to client needs.
  • Develop collections and identify free scholarly resources in collaboration with academic and research staff and liaison teams to enhance the achievement of teaching, learning, and research objectives of designated Faculties and Departments or Schools.
  • As part of a cross-campus team, to design, deliver and evaluate digital literacy programs to meet undergraduate and postgraduate students’ needs to enhance cloud and campus learning experiences.
  • Provide expert information assistance and faculty outreach to the Deakin University community that reflects a customer service ethos, to maximise the use of Library resources, services and facilities.

About You:

  • Relevant degree and/or post-graduate qualification which qualifies for Associate (Professional) membership of the Australian Library and Information Association.
  • Proven ability to develop, deliver and evaluate digital literacy programs and professional development learning activities for staff and Library colleagues.
  • Ability to provide expert information assistance to enhance cloud and campus learning experiences.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of trends in library and information services, scholarly communication and publishing trends in an educational and research environment.
  • For a full list of the selection criteria please see the position description

Contact for further information: Kim Phu, Tel: +61 3 9251 7017

Closing Date: Sunday 22 October 2017

Job Opportunity: Library & Research Assistant, Sydney

This position has been previous advertised on - visit the original posting for video footage.

Library & Research Assistant

  • Reporting to a Director
  • Exciting challenge - Newly created role
  • Flexible working hours
The Firm

With offices globally and an expanding Sydney office, this reputable firm are located in the heart of the CBD with spectacular views.

The firm maintain a very low staff turnover and provide their staff with; Regular team and firm wide events (lunches, dinners, drinks, Melbourne cup and Christmas parties), health insurance discounts, monthly morning teas and more!

The Role

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced Legal Research Librarian to join their Sydney office. This is a standalone role supporting Australia, Asia and the US.

Your duties will include:
  • Provide reference and research to professionals of all levels
  • Ensure Lawyers are kept up to date on Business development
  • Being the first point of contact and perform in-depth and complex research for the Australian and Asia offices
  • Managing the Library management systems
The Candidate

To be considered for this position, you MUST have:
  • Previous experience as a Librarian within a law firm (Ideally 3+ years)
  • Hold a degree or post graduate qualification relating to Library or Information Services
  • Have advanced written and verbal communication skills
  • Have proved experience working in a high pressured environment
  • Be professionally presented
To be considered for this position, apply on the relevant link. Or alternatively, for a confidential discussion, call Nicola Sparkes on 02 8270 9711 or Claire Booth on 02 8270 9775.

( SK92350A )
( SK918437A )

Job Opportunity: Senior Librarian, Melbourne.

This position was originally advertised on 

Senior Librarian

About Hall & Wilcox

Hall & Wilcox is a pre-eminent independent business law firm with one of the fastest growing partnerships in Australia. We are currently a firm of more than 550 people, including 70 partners. We have offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, Canberra, Perth and Brisbane and act nationally for Australian-based clients and multinational clients with Australian interests. Our leadership team was recognised by winning Managing Partner of the Year at the 2015 and 2017 Australian Law Awards.

About the role

We have an exciting opportunity for a Senior Librarian to join our growing Knowledge & Library team. This role will provide the opportunity to work closely with various practice groups within the firm across all office locations and will be responsible for supervising two team members.


  • Provide research and reference services to the firm
  • Maintenance of the reference management system
  • Management of the electronic library management system
  • Maintenance of the firm’s intranet content
  • Produce and maintain legal research training materials and documentation
  • Provide training on Library tools and resources
  • Develop the library collection (electronic and hard copy)
  • Manage the library budget including contract negotiation

Skills & Experience

  • Tertiary qualification in a relevant discipline
  • Experience at a similar level gained in a library position, within a law firm environment
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Proven ability to build strong work relationships


At Hall & Wilcox, we practise Smarter Law. This means being smarter across our entire business – by being progressive, by our commitment to excellence and by our focus on building great relationships.

We have a strong values-driven culture - our clients and people choose to work with us because of it. We care about our clients, our community and each other. Whether it be our technology or our business focused approach to the practise of law, we strive to change the legal market for the better. We work hard but we also have fun.


  • Modern, open plan offices
  • Structured learning & development programs for all career levels
  • Extensive health & wellbeing program including healthy start breakfast program, mindfulness training subsidised fitness, team sports and health checks
  • Flexible working opportunities – talk to us about how this role could be flexible for you.
  • Salary continuance insurance
To apply for this position and for contact details, please see the Seek advertisement.

Report forecasts more jobs for librarians by 2022

Our friends over at ALIA have just released the fourth annual ALIA LIS Education, Skills and Employment Trend Report

The report seeks to provide students, educators, employees and employers with an understanding of the national landscape and inform ALIA's work.

The ALIA news post for the Report provides a summary of its findings:

The report shows that over the five years from November 2010 to November 2015, there were 43.5% fewer Librarian positions in the workforce; 16.3% fewer Technician positions, and 12.4% fewer Library Assistant positions. However, looking ahead to May 2022, the Department of Employment predicts a 15.6% employment rise for Librarians, a relatively stable number of Library Technician positions and a drop of 13% for Library Assistant positions.

There is expected to be a modest increase in the number of qualified positions available over the next five years, but a significant decrease in the number of positions for staff without a library and information science qualification. The library and information sector remains an attractive job prospect but there is undoubtedly competition for jobs. The workforce tends to be fairly static, with a relatively small number of vacancies occurring through staff turnover, people leaving the sector and the creation of new positions.

What do you think of the reports findings? Are you going to seek additional qualifications to be prepared for 2022?

Meet the ALLA (WA) Committee 2017-2018: Judy Allan

With a new Committee working hard, we thought it was time to share a little bit about who the Committee is behind the scenes. Over the next few weeks each committee member will answer a few questions so you can get to know them better. Don't forget you can meet them in real life at our events

Judy Allan, ALLA (WA) Committee Member 2017-2018

Judy Allan
Who is a hero who has inspired you in your career?
There are three people who have influenced me greatly and to whom I am grateful for their help and support: Judy Clayden, my lecturer in cataloguing at ECU who made a particularly challenging subject interesting; Megan Evans who gave me my current job and who gently introduced me to law and mentored me to the point where I was competent; and last, but not least, Deb Harvey, my current boss, who is a very warm and incredibly generous person who is helpful and supportive of such aims and ambitions as I have.

What is the proudest moment in your professional life?
There isn’t a ‘proudest moment’ but the moments that I treasure are when clients respond to my efforts on their behalf with a comment such as “you’re a flamin’ marvel!”. We usually receive a “thank you” but we do appreciate it when they take the trouble to let us know that the results of our hard work have been especially helpful.

Career advice – what’s your top tip?
Be prepared to try anything – I went back to study after finding I enjoyed being in my children’s primary school library – but apart from a prac and some relief work while studying, didn’t work in schools. I came to Legal Aid for the tail end of a parental leave contract, which obviously wasn’t coveted by anyone with a permanent position – and I am still here 15 years later. I had thought that work in a law library would be boring – I was wrong!

What’s your favourite legal research tool?
The Australian Digest was my lifesaver when I first began searching for cases and really didn’t know where to start, and when we moved to online searching, I really liked being able to put a citation into First Point and use the resulting trail of index terms to find more cases on point, with the added bonus that ordering the results by Jurisdiction (Reverse) put WA at the top.

If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?
Only one? That sounds a bit boring, unless it was a multi-faceted project. One of the things I like about my job is the variety of tasks but if I could choose just one thing to do, it would probably be to create training materials that can be distributed to our staff who never have time to come to training sessions. The trick then would be to make them find the time to use the materials.

Library cliché: What is your favourite book? (Or one of your favourite books?)
It is ‘one of’; A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry still tugs at my heart. It truly is a fine balance between happiness and sorrow that I was unable to put down.

If you were reincarnated as an animal, what would it be?
Definitely a cat – I could, absolutely, spend the whole day on a cushion in a sunny window. I’d want to be a cat-who-could-read though.

Why did you join the ALLA (WA) Committee?
There was a call for committee members and I felt that it was about time I stepped up and did my bit after being a non-contributing (i.e. enjoying the benefits) ALLA(WA) member for so long.

Conferences & Journals: Calls for papers

Have a desire to write a journal article? What about present at a conference? We've found some opportunities from all over the world.


CALL/ACBD Conference 2018

The Canadian Assocaition of Law Libraries / L'Assocation Canadienne des Bibliotheques de Droit Conference will be held on 27-30 May in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Submissions for Conference Sessions and Lighning Talks are open until October 20. The theme is Build Bridges | Broaden Our Reach. See the conference website for more details. 


Australian Law Librarian Journal

The Australian Law Librarian  is seeking  contributions for the upcoming issue. 

Centred around the theme of professional development, issue 4 of the journal is the place to share your experiences in mentoring, being mentored and growing as a professional.

As a professional, you never stop growing. With this issue, we invite you to share your experiences, learnings, and thoughts on mentoring and professional development.

Articles outside of this theme are also welcomed. 

The deadline for submissions is 25 October. 

Questions? Contact

IFLA Journal

IFLA Journal and IFLA’s Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE) Advisory Committee has put out a call for papers for their special issue on privacy.

IFLA Journal invites papers for a special issue focused on privacy, libraries, and information professions across all continents. The issue will be published in the summer of 2018 as Volume 44:2. In particular, the main goal of the special issue is to gather the latest theory, research, and practices from libraries and information professions to further the professional discourse on the definition and provision of privacy in the 21st century.

The deadline for submission is 15 January 2018. For more information see the announcement on the IFLA Website.

84th IFLA General Conference Assembly - 2018, Malaysia

Registration for the 2018 IFLA World Library and Information Congress is now open.

The 84th IFLA Conference will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 24-30 August.

Attendees can register via the Congress website.

Please note that if you registered for one of the previous IFLA Congresses since 2012 via the online registration system, you can use the same login username and password for IFLA WLIC 2018.

Should you have a group booking of ten or more attendees please contact: for further information on how to register your group.

Job Opportunities: University of Melbourne

Two positions are available in the Law Library at The University of Melbourne:

Applications for both positions close 19 October 2017.

Meet the ALLA (WA) Committee 2017-2018: David McDowell

With a new Committee working hard, we thought it was time to share a little bit about who the Committee is behind the scenes. Over the next few weeks each committee member will answer a few questions so you can get to know them better. Don't forget you can meet them in real life at our events

David McDowell, ALLA (WA) Committee Member 2017-2018

David McDowell
Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Who is a hero who has inspired you in your career?
My family always encouraged me with my career choices despite them not always being the most lucrative or having the best job prospects. I worked a few different jobs before settling on a career working in libraries. I can't identify one person alone who influenced that decision but the people I have worked with along the way have made me feel that this was the direction I was meant to take. 

What is the proudest moment in your professional life?
Does staying consistently employed in the library field count? I guess the same can be said about a lot of industries but starting out in the library field these days can be pretty rough. I was very fortunate to get paid work from my university practicum which provided me with the experience to get other library jobs. Therefore I'm proud that my skills and attitude towards work have provided me with a variety of opportunities in the field.
Career advice – what’s your top tip?
Allow your career to takes unexpected twists and turns that could never have imagined when you first started. When I started working in libraries I only wanted to be a public library librarian. I enjoyed my time doing that immensely but I have been challenged by taking up opportunities in academic and law libraries. I have developed a whole range of research skills that I wouldn't have been capable of a few years ago. 

What’s your favourite legal research tool?
CaseBase & the abbreviation guide was a lifesaver when I was first starting at Jackson McDonald and didn't know the acronyms for law reports. While I wouldn't recommend people using it as their only legal research tool - it is user friendly.   

If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?
I like learning new skills and updating old ones. I haven't be required to do any computer coding since my university days so a project that involved me picking that up again would be good.  

Library cliché: What is your favourite book? (Or one of your favourite books?)
Tomorrow, when the war began by John Marsden. This was the compulsory high school read that encouraged teenage boy me to read the rest of the series for pleasure.   

If you were reincarnated as an animal, what would it be?
An elephant. I used to love watching Babar as a kid. 

Why did you join the ALLA (WA) Committee?
It's great to get to know the people that make up our law library community better and to work on events or projects that benefit us all. 

Job Opportuntity: Researcher/Librarian Sydney

This position was originally posted on

An exciting new opportunity exists for an experienced Research Librarian to join our well established Sydney Office. As a member of a high performing global team, the Research Librarian is responsible for providing reference and research library services to lawyers, paralegals and support staff on a Firm-wide basis. This is a full time position reporting to the Director of Firm Research & Library Services and the Australian Director of Operations.

The responsibilities of this role include the following:
  • delivering high quality legal and business research services to the Firm;
  • performing in-depth and complex business and legal reference and research duties, including responding to user requests for information from internal and external resources, onsite and offsite materials, and print and non-print media on legal, business and general topics;
  • ensuring that lawyers are kept up to date on all legal and business development relevant to the practice groups and their clients;
  • being the first point of contact for the Australian and Asia offices;
  • performing all job duties with a commitment to providing superior service to clients, producing quality work product and maintaining an atmosphere of teamwork and continuous improvement.

The ideal candidate will:
  • have demonstrated work experience performing online searches using external databases and services including, but not limited to: Westlaw, LexisNexis, Bloomberg Law, MergerMarket, Capital IQ, Connect14, D&B Hoovers, PitchBook, etc.
  • hold a degree or postgraduate qualification in library and information services/management
  • have a minimum of two - four years of law firm library experience
  • display a commitment toward continual learning and development
  • have advanced communication skills and the ability to produce clear and logical written work
  • be pragmatic and able to work to tight deadlines
  • work effectively both on an autonomous basis and as part a team

This position joins the global Research and Library team while sitting with and working closely with the supportive and collaborative Sydney office administration and management team.

Positions on the ALLA Ltd. Committee: Seeking Nominations

Following the 2016-17 Annual General Meeting the Board are are seeking nominations for the following positions:

  • Treasurer
  • CPD coordinator and Director 

The positions are an opportunity for any member of the Association to expand their professional skills over the course of 1 year with the option to extend for a further 2 years. With the support of the ALLA Board the Treasurer and CPD coordinator undertake the following duties:

Responsible for ALLA Ltd financial reporting, and liaison with professionals engaged for financial services. The role of the Treasurer includes assisting the Board to ensure the Association’s compliance with all financial and governance requires. The Treasurer oversees the disbursement of funds to the divisions and the expenses incurred by the Association.

CPD Coordinator & Director
The CPD Coordinator manages the national CPD calendar. Working with members, non-members and vendors the CPD Coordinator organizes events to be held via teleconference and online.
The CPD coordinator also liaises with the Divisional Committees regarding National and Divisional CPD opportunities.

Any members wishing to nominate for the Board are encouraged to complete the nomination form.

Please submit your nomination by 30 October 2017. The Board position descriptions are available here. Any questions regarding the roles can be directed to Trung Quach at

Career Progression in Academic-Professional Hybrid Roles

Last week The Guardian (Australian Edition) published an interesting article about the potential downsides of being professional services staff with an academic background at a higher education institution.

The article, Work in an academic-professional hybrid role? Say goodbye to career progression was written by an "anonymous academic", highlights the position that many academic librarians face. We blur the lines of professional staff and academic staff, something that tends to not fit will within the traditional career paths of Australian universities.

I now realise that some academics see me as someone who is just there to help them, while others see me as purely academic. But it’s also an inherent feature of the job: it’s hard to focus your work when you spread yourself thinly. Moving up within the institution is difficult when others are specialised, and you feel you do a bit of everything.

Of course not all librarians want to be on an academic career path, but the structures should better recognise the work that we do on both sides of the academic-professional line.

Give the article a read and tell us what you think? What has been your experience working in higher education?

Well, that's one way to start a judgment

Introduction: Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.

When the reasons for decision starts with "Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear." you know it's going to be good. Just wait til you get to the end.

Full decision of AF v SWP (DLA) (No. 2) [2017] UKUT 366 (AAC) available on BAILII.

You're Invited! ALLA (WA) Spring Breakfast

ALLA (WA) Members are invited to the ALLA (WA) Spring Breakfast.

This event will give members an opportunity to enjoy networking, a lovely spring morning and some good food.

When: Wednesday 25 October 2017 at 7.30am
Where: Tiisch, 9B, 938 Hay Street (Corner Milligan Street), Perth
RSVP: Friday 20 October to Judy Allan

Please Note:
Tiisch will accept separate billing, and for ease have requested pre-orders.
Please include your order with your RSVP. Tiisch’s menu can be found here: