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Editorial

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 August 2023

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Abstract

Type
Editorial
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by British and Irish Association of Law Librarians

The world is changing. Fast. Not just in terms of the technology that makes our lives and our work easier, but also in the philosophy behind our work, and chiefly the fundamental ethics at the core of collections and methodologies. These days it's not enough to go about your work without a thought for others, whether they are co-workers or sections of society that have been marginalised in some way or other, while the work that's being done and the technology used can also have far-reaching consequences that we all really should consider.

With all this in mind, in this edition we have three articles which take a deeper look at the work information professionals do and the way the ethical base for this is shifting. Firstly, on page 55 Marilyn Clarke looks at decolonisation, a topic that's been at the heart of academic libraries for some time, where collections have been appraised and changed so that they better reflect the history and stories of all people. Marilyn asks, in her article, whether this process now needs to start in earnest within the world of legal knowledge, and also within the law library.

On a not unrelated topic, on page 60 Narinder Toor and Julia Bhojoo introduce us to the BIALL D&I Working Group. Diversity and Inclusion is central to all BIALL's activities going forward, so the setting up of this group was very important for the organisation. Here we're talked through how this initiative came about, it's main goals and the progress it's made so far. Part of that progress was the inaugural BIALL wellbeing event that took place in November, and this piece also passes on some of the tips from this event, including how to deal with stress – which is always useful!

These two articles are both hugely thought-provoking, as is our interview with Stephanie Hare (page ???), the author of Technology Is Not Neutral: A Short Guide to Technology Ethics and an extremely popular keynote speaker at last year's BIALL conference at Wyboston Lakes Resort. Stephanie talks us through the main arguments in the book, and makes a very strong case for the initial statement in its title. The points she raises in the interview are very interesting and, when you fully take onboard the message she is relaying, maybe just a little bit scary …

Jas Breslin

Mike Breslin

Another thing that can be scary is to be presented with a document from a few centuries ago. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes an old manuscript may need to be deciphered. Barbara Tearle, once the Bodleian Law Librarian, who since retiring in 2003 has kept herself busy with historical research, is an expert on deciphering old documents, and on page 68 – in a very interesting and, ironically, very readable article – she gives LIM readers the benefit of her knowledge on the subject, including pointers on what to do if a dog-eared manuscript in illegible handwriting and a language you can't identify just happens to land on your desk.

Sticking with the Bodleian connection, elsewhere in this edition Helen Garner, the current Law Librarian at this august establishment, and Felicity Staveley-Taylor, formerly of the Bodleian, reprise a course they delivered for BIALL on the Moys Classification Scheme. This in-depth guide also came to us with a cracking headline – turn to page 73 to see it and don't blame us if you then have that song in your head for the rest of the day!

Meanwhile, on page 81, BIALL's Irish Group talks us through the genesis and development of its ‘Lawyering Toolkit’, which addresses an apparent shortfall in the skills and knowledge of lawyers coming into law firms. Its specific aims are to ‘ensure a more collaborative and consistent approach to legal information literacy in the Republic of Ireland’, but this is not just about Ireland, and information professionals everywhere could learn a great deal about how to present information clearly and concisely from this article.

There are actually many bodies and organisations, beyond law firms and colleges, where the skills of the legal information professional can be used to the full. Indeed, on page 90 Fiona Fogden explains how she has switched from law firm to professional body by taking on the role of Knowledge & Information Service Manager at RICS – the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. As well as describing her work at the RICS Fiona also gives us a history of the institution and its well-known headquarters – including an image of a Lego model of the latter!

Meanwhile, elsewhere in this edition Barry Vickery sits down with Sam Lloyd, a director at CRO Info, who has worked with Companies House for over 40 years to talk about the newly incorporated Register of Overseas Entities (ROE), working through the many challenges this has faced and the benefits it brings. It's an in-depth discussion, so if there's something you need to know about ROE, then turn to page 94.

REGULARS

Our regular features start off with a subject and resource guide for finance lawyers, written by Ian Hunter and outlining the work that is done by the lawyers in what is very often the largest group in a City firm. It's packed with information and is a must read for anyone with an involvement in this exciting sector.

Meanwhile, our product focus this month is Lexis+, and the company's product marketing manager, David Algae, talks you though its main features on page 105, while LIM co-editor Jas Breslin reviews Knowledge Management in Law Firms: Challenges and Opportunities Post-Pandemic on page 110.

On page 112 we look back on all things 1983 in Raiders of the Lost Archive and finally, Current Awareness starts on page 115 – our thanks to Katherine Read and Heather Memess for doing such a great job in pulling this all together.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND AN OPPORTUNITY

There are other people we would like to thank, too, not least the proof-readers, who have been quick to turn around copy and as always very professional. We would also like to thank our other colleagues on the LIM Editorial Board, as well as our contacts at Cambridge University Press, Craig Baxter and Jamie Davidson.

And the opportunity? That's for you, our readers. We're on the lookout for new ideas and new writers. So, if there is something you would like to see in the pages in LIM, then please get in touch. Even better, what about having your own work published in the journal? It will do wonders for your professional profile and look great on your CV. So if you have an idea that could be turned into an article, then email us on . We look forward to hearing from you.