The winners of the LexisLibrary Awards 2016 were announced on Friday 10th June at the BIALL Annual Conference in Dublin. The awards were presented by Karen Palmer, President of the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians, and Eugene Kumeyko from LexisNexis.
LexisLibrary Award for Best Information Service (Winner): Bar Library, Belfast
This winning team attracted glowing reports from both new and experienced practitioners alike, with nominators commenting on their speed, thoroughness and professionalism. 'Exceptional' is a word which appeared consistently throughout the recommendations, with librarians recognised for going the extra mile, using impressive initiative and producing such high quality work in challenging circumstances. They are seen as saviours within their community; doing high level research across sometimes niche areas, finding cases the members didn't know existed and compiling authorities - one great quote noted how they had 'saved my bacon and my blushes'. They were also recognised for their ability to move with the times, to innovate. The authority gathering service is clearly valued tremendously and one user cited how, since the loss of a major publisher in the jurisdiction, library staff had pulled out all the stops to provide alternate texts, out-of-print books and information they compiled themselves to plug the gaps.
LexisLibrary Award for Best Information Service (Runner-up): Law Society of Ireland Library
This team were nominated across diverse categories, being praised for their excellent service, going above and beyond their duty, and helpful can-do attitude. Significant numbers of small firms and organisations with limited in-house collections were grateful for the role this library plays in ensuring they are not at a disadvantage against larger firms of counsel with vast resources. Their email updating bulletin received particular appreciation from nominators, as did the way the service has adapted its offerings to help members with a visual impairment. A lovely recommendation came from a community law centre who noted the support this library has given them in running their own small library collection, assisting in the battle to provide access to justice for all.
LexisLibrary Award for Best Information Service (Highly commended): Research and Information Unit at the Legal Aid Board
This team were recommended not only for their sourcing of relevant information for enquirers, but also for how they make their findings accessible and user-friendly. One part of the organisation has had to take on a whole new body of work around criminal legal aid and notes how, without this library service, they would have been lost and, unable to grapple with this whole raft of new practices and procedures, let alone the subsequent updating required. Another user notes how without the help of the library service they would simply not have been able to produce a new publication for professional staff and private practitioners. The speed at which they can turnaround requests was praised by those nominating, as well as the quality of the collection they provide and the expertise of the whole team.
About the Awards
Now known as The LexisLibrary Awards, formerly The Halsbury’s Awards, these awards were established in 2007 by the BIALL Awards & Bursaries Committee and LexisNexis. They replaced the previously named BIALL Awards for Excellence which were presented in 2005 and 2006.
The LexisLibrary Awards were conceived in order to recognise, celebrate and reward the dedicated performance and outstanding service given by legal information services, law libraries and those teams managing legal collections and resources. These awards are particularly unique as they are the only legal information service awards that recognise the value and importance of dedicated team work within our sector.
2007 marked the centenary of Halsbury's Laws of England, the definitive authority of the law of England and Wales. BIALL and LexisNexis chose to celebrate the centenary by establishing these awards in association with BIALL for the Best Legal Information Services in the UK and Ireland. The inaugural presentations were made at a special event held at The Inner Temple on 16th October 2007.