Access to Nahum Gelber Law Library during exam period / Accès à la Bibliothèque de droit Nahum Gelber pendant la période des examens

From Tuesday, April 7 to Wednesday, April 29, 2015, the main floor and second floor of the Nahum Gelber Law Library will be open for study to all McGill students during opening hours. During this period, only McGill Law students will be able to access the third, fourth and fifth floors using their ID cards on the card readers installed in both elevators and in access points.

This limited-access policy to the Nahum Gelber Law Library is being implemented a few days before and throughout the exam period and is designed to accommodate Law students who will be preparing final papers and completing take-home exams in the building. In order to prepare for these exams, Law students require non-circulating materials that are only available in the Nahum Gelber Law Library and so require extensive access to the stacks on the third, fourth and fifth floors…

Read the rest of the announcement here.

Legal Databases Training for Law Students

The Nahum Gelber Law Library is pleased to be able to offer again  the database training by legal publishers to McGill Law students. The sessions will take place in the Law Library Computer Classroom (main floor of the library).

  • QuickLaw (LexiNexis)
    Monday, October 27, 13-14:30h
  • Westlaw Canada (Carswell)
    Wednesday, October 29, 13-14:30h
  • Azimut (SOQUIJ)
    Monday, November 3, 13-14:30h
  • CAIJ (Centre d’accès à l’information juridique)
    Wednesday, November 5, 13-14:30h

Sign-up sheets are available in the Law Library Computer Classroom.

Unsolicited Advice: Library Fines and How to Avoid Them…

This is not a literary text solicited by the co-editors-in-chief for this issue of the Quid, but more of a continuation of the re-emerging theme of my column, an unsolicited advice about the library. Today, I would like to talk to you not about a new “cool” rare book or a useful database that we recently bought but about something totally unglamorous and rather dull: library fines. This choice of topic is not random. From the reference desk, I begin to notice the traces of sleepless nights and mid-term-induced stress at the law students’ faces. [Here, a law student harassed by the looming deadlines and incomprehensible mysteries of the Red Book (sorry, McGill Law Journal) should burst into a fit of sarcastic laughter. “She sees how stressed we are, and she wants to speak about WHAT?”] Yes, I would like to talk to you about library fines. Not out of a malevolent desire to fill your life with a bit more stress and to see how you can handle it, but to help you, to make library fines easy to understand, and thus, easy to avoid.

So, library fines and how to avoid them… There are two main types of library fines that might affect a law student:

1. Recall fines for books – $5 per day.

As McGill students, you can borrow 80 books and renew them for an unlimited number of times. Following this logic, it may seem that you can borrow a book and keep it until you graduate. You can… unless the book is recalled. To make it possible for students and faculty members to share library resources (i.e. books and journals), any borrowed item can be recalled. Anything that you have on loan is subject to immediate recall if needed for reserves, or after 14 days from the date of the original loan if requested by another library user. When something is recalled, you receive a recall notice from the Library at your McGill student e-mail. You must return the item by the new due date or you will be charged $5 per day, with a maximum fine of $100 per item.

How to avoid getting fines for recalled books:

  • Check your McGill e-mail every day. When you see a recall notice, bring the book to the library.
  • Before you leave Montreal for vacation, holidays, or a visit, return all the books to the library. If you prefer not to do so, find a trustworthy friend/ classmate/ relative whom you can leave keys to your apartment/ room. Keep checking your McGill e-mail when on holidays (some people love working during Christmas vacation, so the books ARE being recalled even then). If a book is recalled, ask your friend to go to your lodgings, get the book, and return it to the library.  It may sound horribly insensitive, but the fact of being on vacation “up North”, on Bahamas, etc., is not a sufficient reason to waive your library fines (see below about fine waiving).

2. Reserve fines – $0.02 per minute.

First, what are reserves? Reserve materials are books and other items that because of high demand have short loan period. In the Law Library, the reserves are mostly books that are required readings for a class or some ever-popular titles, such as Canadian guide to uniform legal citations, a.k.a. Red Book. The loan period for all reserve items is 3 hours, after which the fines will kick in and will be calculated 24 hours/day. They can be borrowed overnight if they are borrowed within 3 hours before the closing of Library services. Course reserve items borrowed overnight will be due back one hour after Library services begin the next day. This means, if you borrow a reserve book on Thursday after 3:00 p.m., you can have it until Friday 10 a.m. At the Law Library, the reserve books borrowed on Friday after 3:00 p.m. need only be returned on Sunday before 11 a.m.

How to avoid getting fines for reserve materials:

  • Return them on time and to the branch library from which they were borrowed
  • When the service desk is open, return reserve materials to the desk
  • Avoid returning the reserve books borrowed before 3:00 p.m. after the service desk is closed. The mere fact of putting a book in the reserves return bin does not take it off your account because the return bin is really, you know… just a bin. It is not a fancy technological contraption that will check in books once they hit the bottom. It is a simple wooden box that will keep the books safe until the next day when one of our library assistants opens the service desk and checks the books in. For you, this means that the book stays on your account the whole night and the fines keep accumulating until the morning of the next opening day with a maximum of $100 per item.

What to do if you have already accumulated library fines?

The answer is simple. You will have to pay them. Fines can be waived only in special circumstances, for example, a documented medical situation. The lack of awareness of library policies or failure to receive a reminder email notice is not an acceptable reason for waiving a fine. Unfortunately, if you have $30 or more owing to the library or one overdue recalled item, will block you from borrowing ant library materials and from getting any diplomas and transcripts. To see if you have accumulated any fines, you can sign in your library account at http://catalogue.mcgill.ca/F/?func=login-session

Bill 52, An Act respecting end-of-life care

Yesterday, Quebec has become the first province to legalise doctor-assisted death as part of comprehensive end-of-life legislation. Bill 52, An Act respecting end-of-life care, received broad support from nearly 80 per cent of MNAs of the National Assembly. If you are interested in learning more about the legal and ethical issues of euthanasia and the state of right-to-die legislation at different jurisdictions, the McGill Library offers a wide range of publications on the subject.

Changes in Access to Electronic Resources

The McGill Library is making important changes in the access to electronic resources.

On Wednesday, June 4, 2014, the electronic resources (e-books, e-journals, databases, open access resources) will be removed from the Classic Catalogue.

  • The Classic Catalogue will continue to contain all the items in our local collections, including print books and journals, DVDs, microform, etc.
  • E-resources will be removed from the following sub-catalogues: full, audio-visual and journal titles
  • The McGill Theses sub-catalogue will not be affected by this change, and will still contain both print and electronic materials.
  • eExams will not be affected by this change, and will continue to be available as they were before.
  • Course Reserves will still display e-resources on reserve for McGill courses.
  • You can continue to access all our e-resources through WorldCat.

On Monday, June 9, 2014 the eResearch Gateway will be taken off-line.

  • The eResearch Gateway was an alternate way of searching for articles, databases, and other electronic resources. This functionality is now provided for the most part by WorldCat and the Library’s subject guides.
  • The Law Subject guide includes all the legal databases to which the McGill Library is currently subscribing.
  • If you have used saved articles using the My Research feature, you’ll need to export those article references before June 9. You can find more information about how to export the articles here.

In June, our link old resolver (“Find It”) will be migrated to OCLC’s WorldCat Link Resolver service.

  • For the most part, the change in link resolver will happen automatically and will not require any intervention on your part.
  • If you use Google Scholar to search for articles, you will need to configure it to use the new WorldCat Link Resolver to access articles that are available through the Library. You can find the information about configuring the Google Scholar here.

If you have any questions regarding upcoming changes, please do not hesitate to contact any of the liaison librarians for Law.

New Look for the Law Subject Guide

During the holiday break, we migrated our subject guide to a new tabbed layout. We hope that this design that uses tabs instead of subheadings to divide the subsections will be more conducive to the resource discovery. It allows to avoid vertical scrolling and provides more visibility for the resources that were previously “buried” at the bottoms of the pages.

ILL username and password

Effective Thursday February 7, 2013, all McGill ILL borrowers have to log in to the Colombo ILL system using their McGill username and password (first.last@mail.mcgill.ca for students or first.last@mcgill.ca for staff). Old Colombo usernames and passwords will no longer be accepted. For more information about Colombo click here.

Not-Totally-Unsolicited Advice about Footnotes

Last week, I saw a number of 1st year students seeking an advice of a librarian on how to cite the sources that they used in their first memo. Thus, I decided to give you some not-totally-unsolicited advice on this matter.
First, when your TL gives you a piece of paper, a pdf, a photocopy of something, etc., do not hesitate to ask what this is and from where it is coming. This will save you quite a bit of time when you are pressed to finish your work but discover suddenly that this photocopy is in fact a book chapter, and you have no idea about the book title and/ or author. Second, do not wait until the last minute to make your footnotes. Everybody works differently, but my experience shows that if you ‘cite while you write’, you will save time. You will have your paper AND your footnotes ready, save for the final proofing, when you finish writing the last paragraph. On the contrary, if you leave all your footnotes to be done when your paper is written, you will end up trying to figure out where you found this or that quotation and, pardon me, freaking out about supra(s) and idem(s) when you are totally short of time. Third, use the Red Book in conjunction with your common sense and with some reasoning. Do not just scan and skim the text of a section, expecting that a correct form of citation will jump in your eyes. Red Book is not the Bible, so do not expect that it will necessarily have an answer to your particular question. When you have something to cite, think about what rule fits the best your type of source and then, apply this rule.
Last, to cite a source, proceed as follows:

  • determine what it is that you have to cite
  • find respective chapter (Jurisprudence for cases, Secondary Sources for books and journal articles, etc.)
  • READ General Rules section 
  • find the section corresponding to the source that you have
  • READ this section
  • apply the rule to cite the source making analogies if necessary
  • repeat as needed:)

More about scanning

Last year, Nahum Gelber Law Library got a new Spirit Book Scanner – a self-service machine that gives you a real time preview and saves your scanned documents directly to a USB key. The scanner is located in the copy room at the 2nd  floor. To learn how to use, this device you can watch the video: http://youtu.be/NtFzvvZcaXY