Mission of the Library and Information Service
The aim of the Bar's Library and Information Service is to provide a cutting edge, professional, efficient and timely information service designed to meet the actual and anticipated needs of members of the Bar of Northern Ireland.
The Main Library in the Royal Courts of Justice houses the entire hard copy collection, some 60,000 titles. The Library collection contains all Northern Ireland legislation, UK primary legislation and some Irish and European legislation. It also holds Northern Irish, English, Scottish and Irish case law in the form of a varied series of law reports. All unreported judgments of the Northern Ireland High Courts are received. The Library also subscribes to various series of European case law. Textbooks on a wide range of legal and allied topics are provided, many in looseleaf form ensuring members have the most up to date material available to them. Journals represent a significant part of the Library Collection covering a broad range of legal practice areas.
The Collection is strictly for members' use only and the catalogue is not available externally.
The Bar Library subscribes to many cutting edge electronic databases on behalf of its members providing them with the most up to date legal information straight to their desks whether in the Bar Library, at home or elsewhere.
Every full member of the Bar Library has personal access to the entire LexisNexis Butterworths platform, Westlaw UK and Jordans Family Law Online.
All desks in the Old Bar Library are also fully networked allowing members to use all of the electronic resources whilst researching in the Old Bar Library.
In addition, members of the Bar have the advantage of having access to OLIB a database of Northern Ireland law. OLIB is unique and provides members of the Bar with a one stop shop for access to Northern Ireland legal material. OLIB is maintained by Bar Library staff adding fully abstracted case law and legislation within 2 hours of it being received.
It is not physically possible for the Bar Library to purchase and store everything its members may require so it maintains close links with other libraries and institutions to supplement Bar Library stock. The Bar Library is a corporate member of both Queen's University Library and the Linen Hall Library. Such membership confers borrowing and document delivery service benefits. The Bar Library can also obtain copies of documents from a world wide range of libraries and commercial agencies.
Bar Library staff operate an enquiry/ research service for members where staff will source and retrieve information that is required within the time frame that is available. Library staff have the expertise of knowing where and how to get information quickly and effectively.
Current Awareness Service
Library staff ensure that members of the Bar are kept fully up to date across all practice areas by disseminating information as soon as it is received to the Library. All case law, journals, legislation, practice directions and lecture notes are indexed and abstracted on receipt and posted onto the website on a regular basis. This information is also periodically distributed in hard copy.
Bar Library Authority Gathering Service - BLAG
The Bar Library Authority Gathering Service – BLAG – provides members with the facility to manage their list of authorities and bundles for court efficiently and effectively. Lists can be submitted in person, by telephone, by email or by using the proforma on the Bar Library website, www.barlibrary.com . On submission of a list of authorities LIS staff will source, collate and deliver the case law to members and aim to do this within 24 hours of receiving the list. A flexible choice of format of delivery of cases is offered. This professional and reliable service allows Members to save significant time by outsourcing authority gathering.
Online Book Shop
Bar Library staff maintain an online book shop for the members. All new and key titles are brought to the attention of the members who can then place their order through the Library avoiding all of the administrative issues encountered when placing the order with the publishers themselves.