The History of Libraries

From the Bodleian, the Folger and the Smithsonian to the fabled libraries of middle earth, libraries are places filled with magic.

The magic of libraries infected Stuart Kells many years ago, when he picked up a very rare and beautiful book.

Kells has been fascinated since and has dedicated his life to the study of rare and precious books.

Take a look at the ABC Radio Conversations with Richard Fidler episode 'The history of libraries from before stone tablets, to printed books' - I quite like the part where he mentions his wife is a Librarian!

#ALLA2018 Draft Conference Program Out Now

The ALLA Conference Committee has been working tirelessly to bring to you a fantastic program for ALLA 2018.

Next years conference will bring global and local perspectives to beautiful Darwin. So take a look and start planning your trip!

The draft conference program is available from the conference website.


ALLA would like to thank you to our fantastic sponsors:

  • Platinum sponsor: Justis 
  • Gold Sponsors: Gale, ICLR, Thomson Reuters
  • Silver Sponsors: Oxford, Timebase, Wildy & Sons, Wolters Kluwer
  • Bronze: Bloomsbury, Fairfax, FIRST, HeinOnline, Softlink

Want to help make #ALLA2018 the event of the year? The Conference Committee are still looking for more sponsors! 

Fantastic packages are available to sponsor including bronze sponsorship, sponsoring the conference app, lunches and morning/afternoon tea. Take a look for more details

Star Wars and the Law: Was the Treaty of Coruscant enforceable?

For legal minded Star Wars fans, you might be interested in taking a look at Wookieepedia for coverage of "laws and rules across the galaxy.

Or alternatively you could take a look at LexisNexis' round up of the Top 5 Star Wars Verdicts and Settlements.

It has been said by a Toronto lawyer and legal academic,

As provocative as litigation over unauthorized lightsabres and stormtroopers may be, it’s the “animated erotic parody” lawsuit that will have you as confused as a wookie

May the reasonable force be with you.

Hat Tip: 
Thanks to the Slaw post Star Wars, Like All Things, Is Legal by Omar Ha-Redeye

AustLII & The WASC Judgment dates

Great news for those who like WASC judgments from AustLII: The date range has been updated!

AGLC4 Release Date

The release of the 4th edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC4) has been delayed till July 2018.

For those not aware, AGLC is published by the Melbourne Law School (MLS) as a collaboration between the Melbourne University Law Review (MULR) and the Melbourne Journal of International Law (MJIL). After meeting with the current and future editors of the both publications, the AGLC4 committee have postponed the final release date of AGCL4 to 1 July 2018. 

This extended deadline is to allow for adequate time to complete the proofreading and formatting work still remaining. The AGCL4 committee believes that the intended release date of Semester 1, 2018 would have compromised on the quality of AGLC4.

The AGLC4 Committee believes that a mid-year release will also allow for a six-month transition period from July to December 2018 for AGLC3 to be phased out. During this transition period, libraries will be able to train their staff in AGLC4 before the start of the academic year in 2019.

Relevant stakeholders have been thanked by the AGLC4 committee has thanked for their patience in the publication delay.

The AGLC4 Committee is willing to respond to queries relating to the publication delay and can be contacted via email.

Meet the ALLA (WA) Committee 2017-2018: Alice Hewitt

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

Alice Hewitt, ALLA (WA) Secretary 2017-2018 
Alice Hewitt, on set.

Who is a hero who has inspired you in your career? Oh this one is always hard, my career has been a bit varied so far and at the moment I'm doing some very interesting Project Coordinator stuff that even includes video production! (Who saw that coming when I became a Librarian?). 
I'm moving back into law libraries in the new year, and part of that decision was inspired by all the great law librarians in WA (and even those I've met all over Australia and across the globe!). 
I guess I'm easily inspired as every day I'm inspired by something to try something new, make a plan, learn something and sometimes even forget something! 

What is the proudest moment in your professional life? I've been proud of the variety. I'm not a one trick pony! 
I've been pretty proud of successfully receiving Public Purposes Trust grants to purchase specialist law texts. I've also been proud of successfully introducing De-Stress Fest to the students of ECU (the day the kittens arrived was brilliant!). I've been proud of my recent project - which although a challenge - has seen me coordinate a cross team group of experts to deliver an awesome (I'm biased) online module for students. I've been proud of going to the ACBD/CALL Conference and representing ALLA Ltd at the AGM there.. I've been proud of revamping LibGuides and watching the usage rates soar. I'm proud of every student who I have helped complete their assignment, their PhD, prepare for a moot, and even just figure out referencing so they no longer need to stress over that! 
Aside from showing the world that being a Librarian is far more varied than what most people believes, I think this shows I take pride in my work, particularly new challenges. But mostly, I take pride because I enjoy it. (So students and graduate librarians, embrace every opportunity!)

Career advice – what’s your top tip? Repeating myself here, but embrace the opportunities. Don't be afraid of new. And most definitely, don't be afraid of failing - you can learn an awful lot from that!

What’s your favourite legal research tool? The one I've never stopped using, even when not working in a law library is Legify - makes authoritative legislation so quick to locate! Another I love is JustCite - particular its ability to link through to the full text on another law database. 

If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be? Next year is a new job for me, so that will be my project. Learning the ropes, and maybe even tying a few in knots to make them easier to handle. 

Library cliché: What is your favourite book? (Or one of your favourite books?) It's not a recent book as I don't really read many books these days (not enough brain power when I get home or is it just and addiction to Netflix?). The book that always comes to mind when I'm asked this is something I read way back when I was in High School : The Raging Quiet - Sheryl Jordan

If you were reincarnated as an animal, what would it be? A Cephlapod. Those guys know things, I mean, who else can rewrite their own genes?  Also, I'm currently allergic to the little buggers and think it would be an entertaining twist. I'll just make sure not to turn into the kind that gets eaten for dinner though - maybe this one.

Why did you join the ALLA (WA) Committee? Feels so long ago now when I joined. Back then I joined because I was a new grad, just starting out in law libraries. It's been a great way to learn, network and develop connections within the industry. I encourage everyone, even if you're not a new grad, to think about joining - so much to know and associations (and the volunteers) are how the library industry moves forward. 

Job Opportunity: Legal Research and Customer Support Officer/Librarian, Supreme Court of Queensland

This position was originally advertised on

Who We Are

The Supreme Court Library Queensland (SCLQ) is Queensland's principal legal information provider, delivering innovative information services to members of the judiciary, legal profession and community. It offers engaging legal heritage and education activities, including exhibitions, lectures, and a highly valued education program.

The Opportunity

The Legal Research and Customer Support Officer/Librarian works as part of a small Information Services team. This position assists with the delivery of a high quality information service to library customers, including research and reference assistance, training and support in using library technology and systems, document delivery, and related customer services. This role spans two salary classification levels to provide opportunities for those new to the field and those experienced within it. More details about responsibilities are available on our website:

Your Skills

The successful candidate will possess the following skills and experience:

  • Demonstrated ability to work productively as part of a customer-centric team delivering timely and high quality information services and promoting the library and its services
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and apply research methodology to meet the information needs of library customers–or rapidly acquire that ability
  • Demonstrated ability to clearly impart information and deliver training, in both individual and group settings–or rapidly acquire that ability
  • Competence and comfort in utilising and assisting others to utilise information technology–or ability to rapidly develop those attributes
  • High level interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to communicate and negotiate effectively with a range of stakeholders at all levels, maintaining a high level of discretion in relation to customer enquiries, and to contribute to team harmony and cohesion
  • Ability to plan, prioritise workloads and negotiate satisfactory outcomes within set timeframes
  • Highly developed oral and sound written communication skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to excellent customer service and to business process improvement and innovation in service delivery
  • Flexibility and good problem solving ability.

Position Description

The position description for this role is available on the Supreme Court of Queensland website.

How to Apply

Applicants must address the items listed under Your Skills and include a covering letter and CV.

Click on the apply button on or send applications to:

More information about SCLQ is available on our website.

Applications close 5pm (AEST) Monday 4 December 2017.

For further information about the role contact Carlo Iacono.

You're Invited: End of Year Celebration!

ALLA (WA) Members are invited to our annual End of Year Celebration.

When: Tuesday, 19th December 2017
Time: 5.30pm-7.30pm
Where: Great Southern Room, State Library of Western Australia

RSVP to Judy Allan by COB Monday 11 December 2017.

Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements.

This fully catered event is exclusively for ALLA (WA) members.
If you are not a member of ALLA and would like to join to take part in these, and other important ALLA (WA) initiatives and events, see the ALLA Ltd. website.

Meet the ALLA (WA) Committee 2017-2018: Anne Young

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

Anne Young, ALLA (WA) Treasurer 2017-2018
Anne Young

Who is a hero who has inspired you in your career? I've mentioned my initial mentor, Margaret Quill,  in a previous post , so I'd like here to praise the team at Murdoch University back in 2002-3 - Anne Greenshields, Soun Wong and Helen Bromleigh.  They were a very welcoming bunch and I particularly enjoyed the lunch simulating discussions at lunch times there!  I learnt a lot from helping Anne run information literacy to the students, which at that point included looking up legal encyclopedias  in print.

What is the proudest moment in your professional life? While proud isn't quite the word I'd use, I was very grateful (and secretly surprised)  that after my first baby, when I 'd been thinking about milk and nappies etc for 7 months, that I  was able to slip back into the law library world (at UWA, that time) within a day or so. It was an encouraging  experience I drew upon in 2013, when I returned to the law library world at HSF after an 8.5 year gap away in the country.

Career advice – what’s your top tip? Get as much experience as you can - volunteering and  work experience can be helpful

What’s your favourite legal research tool? Last time I mentioned Jade, which I enjoy for pinpoint references. I'd like this time to give a shout-out to  Lawone by Timebase. I like its quick links to explanatory material, and tables of amendments and commencements. And there's some great features on Lexis Advance, which I'm  looking forward to talking about at our next ALLA (WA) CPD Event. 

If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be? Improving the search capabilities of the WA Government Gazette.  I'd like someone to do this anyway!

I'm not really a one project sort of librarian as I prefer having lots of research requests coming in.

Library cliché: What is your favourite book? (Or one of your favourite books?) My favourite novel is Middlemarch, by George Eliot. I love her ambitious range and characterization.

If you were reincarnated as an animal, what would it be? Love running, so some speedy creature that would let experience running much faster than I can now.

Why did you join the ALLA (WA) Committee? As a solo librarian I appreciate the chance to meet up regularly with other librarians and to contribute to helpful activities for the profession.  I had already been a committee member in the early 2000's, prior to my move to the country,  so I knew about these benefits when I was asked to join again.

Job Opportunity: Part Time, Library Manager, Perth

This job was originally posted on Apologies for Cross Posting.

Library Manager (Executive Level 1) Library Services - Perth

Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) is a group within the Attorney-General’s Department. It is one of Australia’s most significant national legal services providers with offices in every capital city and approximately 320 lawyers who cover some 40 different areas of law related to government. AGS provides legal services through 3 national practice networks: AGS Commercial, AGS Dispute Resolution and the Office of General Counsel.

For further information about AGS practice networks and our business please visit

For further information about the Department please visit

About the role

The library provides a highly valued service for legal research and resources to the lawyers within AGS and across the whole of the Attorney-General’s Department nationally.

The role of the Library Manager will be responsible for managing the libraries and services to the Perth office and remotely to the Adelaide and Darwin offices. Operations include: training and reference, collection development and maintenance; procurement; budgeting and accounts; cataloguing; circulation; interlibrary loans; current awareness and other library activities.

The position provides an after-hours reference service to the eastern state offices. The position may also include a minor portfolio responsibility for library services to the team nationally.

Candidates should have:

  • high level of legal reference skills
  • demonstrated experience in library management 
  • knowledge of legal materials, collection development and online legal resources
  • demonstrated experience to perform under pressure and to tight deadlines
  • experience in using all aspects of library management systems.

For further information about the requirements of the Library Manager position, please refer to the role description available on the Department's recruitment portal.


This is a part-time position and will be offered on an ongoing or non-ongoing basis. Salary will be negotiated with the successful applicant within the AGS Legal Practice Support, Executive Level 1 range depending on their skills and experience.

The successful applicant will be covered by the Attorney-General’s Department Enterprise Agreement 2016.


This is a position for a Library Manager based in Perth.

Closing date

Applications close on 17 November 2017.

For details on how to apply, and for addtional contact infromation, please see the original posting

Public Access to the Law Library at the David Malcolm Justice Centre

Over the past few weeks, ALLA (WA) has received some queries relating to access at the Law Library at the David Malcolm Justice Centre. It has come to the committees attention via these queries that some people had thought that ALLA (WA) is the authority which decides access to the Law Library – that assumption is incorrect.

Access to the Law Library is determined by the Western Australian Parliament as per the Legal Profession (Law Library) Regulations 2016, specifically regulation 8. The committee referenced in regulation 7 is not the ALLA (WA) committee, rather it is the Library Advisory Committee. 

The Library Advisory Committee is a separate body comprised of 2 Judges, a Law Society representative, a Western Australian Bar representative, a Legal Practice Board representative, and two persons nominated by the Director General of the Department of Justice.

The Legal Profession (Law Library) Regulations 2016 are best read in conjunction with the Legal Profession Amendment Act 2016 – the purpose of that Act was to amend the Legal Profession Act 2008 to relieve the Legal Practice Board of its obligation to provide and maintain the Law Library at the Supreme Court of Western Australia. 

The Act was also amended to provide the State with the power to establish and manage a law library for the use of judiciary, local lawyers and other prescribed persons. Groups that were deprived of access by the 2016 changes in law include self-representing litigants (also known as litigants-in-person), law students, and other members of the general public.

Second Reading speeches for the Bills for these amendments reveal that access to the library was debated in parliament. Concerns were raised by Margaret Quirk, MLA about information regarding access to the library not being detailed in the Bill but left to regulations. 

At time of writing, the ALLA (WA) committee been advised by the Department of Justice that it is exploring options for providing legal reference service access to the groups that were deprived of access to the Law Library by the 2016 change in law. 

You can see our previous blog posts about this matter here and here



Western Australian Parliamentary Debates (Hansard)

CPD Event - Lexis Advance Roundtable

ALLA (WA) Members are invited to our next CPD Event: Lexis Advance Roundtable.

This round table allow attendees (no publisher representatives) to demonstrate the issues and solutions they have discovered using Lexis Advance.

This is a BYO Brown Bag Lunch session.

Please RSVP early as places are limited.

When: 1-2pm Friday 24th November 2017
Where: Jackson McDonald, Level 17, 225 St Georges Terrace, Perth

RSVP by Wednesday 22nd November to David McDowell

Save the Date - End of Year Celebration!

It’s getting to be that time of year again! Project deadlines, present shopping, and time to celebrate the end of another year!

The ALLA (WA) Committee is proud to ask members to save the date for the 2017 End of Year Celebration!

When: Tuesday 19 December, from 5.30pm.

More details to follow!

Meet the ALLA (WA) Committee 2017-2018: Natalie McDonald

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

Natalie McDonald, ALLA (WA) President 2017-2018

Natalie McDonald
Who is a hero who has inspired you in your career? My Father.  What ever I did through life (ie sport, education) he would support me and say ‘whatever you start you have to finish’ (because I’m paying!) Especially in sport .  This was ingrained in me through my career and life that you need to keep perservering to achieve your goals.

What is the proudest moment in your professional life? Receiving my Degree

Career advice – what’s your top tip? Don’t sweat the small stuff! 

What’s your favourite legal research tool? JADE Professional.  So easy to use and the function of uploading documents is a great tool.   This is a great function to have authorities and legislation checked in submissions.

If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be? Before my term finishes as President, my project is to work with AustLII and have the WASC judgments accurately represented on their website. 

Library cliché: What is your favourite book? (Or one of your favourite books?) The series of ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ (a series of inspirational true stories about ordinary people’s lives). My favourite ‘Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers Soul’.

If you were reincarnated as an animal, what would it be? Penguin – I loved watching Happy Feet and Pingu – both were strong willed (and occasional throwing tantrums).  In the industry I’m in – this sometimes help!

Why did you join the ALLA (WA) Committee? I first joined the ALLA(WA) Committee in 2000 when I started work in law libraries.  It was a great way to meet fellow law librarians and gain an understanding of the industry.  How times have changed since 2000!