Name: Rebecca Vella
Course: Bachelor of Laws (L.L. B. (Hons.))
University of Malta
Faculty of Laws
Students are to write an assignment of not more than 1,500 words on their visit to the University of Malta Library highlighting:
(a) The legal materials found at the Library (e.g: Legal books, cases, journals, etc.),
(b) Their location (e.g: Melitensia, Periodicals, Reference, etc.),
(c) Information on the legal databases which can be accessed remotely (e.g: JSTOR, Lexis Nexis, Law Commissions, etc.).
(d) Any feedback on legal material which the student might want to provide.
(e) Difficulties, if any, which you might have encountered with accessing legal material during your studies.
Study-Unit: Introduction to Law
Lecturer: Prof. Kevin Aquilina
DECLARATION OF AUTHORSHIP FOR ASSIGNMENTS
I/We, Rebecca Vella_________________________________________1, declare that this assignment2 MCT1005 ‘University of Malta Library Tour Report’________________ ___________________________________________________________________________
______________________________3 and the work presented is/are my own personal work.
I confirm that:
• The Word Count of the assignment is 1499____________________________________________________________________ 4
• This work was done in partial fulfilment for the master/degree/diploma/certificate in Bachelor_of_Laws_(L.L.B.Hons)___________ 5 at the Faculty/Institute/Centre of _Laws_________________________ 6 of the University of
• Where any part of this assignment has previously been submitted for a degree or any other qualifications at this University or any other institution, this has been clearly stated.
• Where I have consulted the published work of others, this is always clearly attributed.
• Where I have quoted from the work of others, the source is always given. With the exception of such quotations, this assignment is entirely my own work.
• I have acknowledged all sources used for the purpose of this work.
• I have not commissioned this work, whether in whole or in part, to a third party and that this work is my own work.
• I have read the University of Malta’s guidelines on plagiarism
Signed: Rebecca Vella ________________ Date: ___ 27-11-2018________.
Table of Contents
Title Page: page 1
Declaration of Authorship for Assignments: page 2
Main Essay: page 4
Bibliography: page 9
Libraries have been into existence since ancient times as people have always recognised the need of having a collection of knowledge accessible to all, which they can evaluate and develop. And so from this need, the concept of a library began to grow. As libraries began to spread and evolve, one of the libraries which reigned above was the Library of Alexandria situated in Egypt. Today the aim behind the function of a library remains quite the same as libraries are a key source of information which are of great convenience mostly for students who very often borrow books to use them in their studies or to refer to them in their works. And this is the reasoning behind the purpose of library tours carried out for the students of the University of Malta. The University of Malta Library offers a wide range of resources to aid both students in their studies and also to guide lecturers when carrying out their lectures.
The library tour of my group took place on the 1st of November, 2018 where we met up with our tour guide near the Circulation Desk. The guide started our tour by informing us about other branch libraries on the campus such as the Laws and Theology Library. He also informed us about the ‘Reference Department’, the ‘Melitensia Department’ and the ‘Periodicals Department’ which are important for us law students. He continued to advise us that at the area which we were in at that moment was the Circulation Department and this is the area where one can enquire about the library and also where one can bring the books they want to either borrow, return, or renew. One can also easily borrow books by first locating the required material through HyDi and locating it by looking for the shelf mark indicated by HyDi. Once the book is found, one needs to present it to the Circulation Desk along with their I.D or Library Card and from there the book is registered and an email is sent soon after with details such as the due date of return.
There are certain books which are short loan books which are books which are heavy in demand, and such books can only be borrowed for 2 hours. Whenever one needs to borrow a short loan book, they need to fill in a special form and hand it in to the circulation department staff. However, books which are borrowed after 3pm during weekdays can be returned overnight. Also certain books which are borrowed on Saturdays as from 11am onwards can be returned on the following Monday. For us first-year undergraduate students, the entitlement to borrow books is of six books for three weeks. While this may seem very convenient and easy for the students, there can still be difficulties. This is because if someone else requests a particular book which someone is currently borrowing, the borrower will receive an email instructing them to return the said book within a week and hence that student may not have enough time to acquire all the material they need. The library offers other services such as the use of lockers and photocopiers, and even the possibility of working in group-work areas and even silent areas.
The tour guide also advised us about the library`s opening hours which one can easily check online on the university`s website. The library is accessible from 07:00 till 20:00 on weekdays while on Saturday it is open between 09:00 till 12:15 but it is closed on Sundays. However, it is advisable to check online as opening hours may change. For example, during the examination period, the library remains open until 23:00. Also times vary in the summer as for example during the month of July, on weekdays the library is accessible only between 08:00 till 13:15. The library also closes for a short period of time in August.
We then moved to the ‘Periodicals Department’. This area houses around 60,000 electronic journals and around 134 titles in printed form dating from 2005 onwards. These journals cannot be borrowed but must be consulted on sight and can also be easily located through HyDi. Also journals written prior to 2005 can be accessed by asking a librarian.
The tour than proceeded to the ‘Reference Department’ which is a silent study area. In this area one can find bibliographies, encyclopaedias and other materials such as legal dictionaries, including:
“Words and Phrases Legally Defined” – Shelf mark: Ref. S1.
“Legal Thesaurus” – Shelf mark: Ref.S1
One also finds a number of single and multi-volume encyclopaedias including:
“The Oxford Companion to Law” – Shelf mark: Ref. S1
“Encyclopedia of Law and Society” – Shelf mark: Ref. SAB1
It also includes other legal materials such as:
“The Word of the Court” Mandate Judgements by Philip Farrugia Randon – Shelf mark: Ref. S1A.
There are also materials which are kept in the Cabinet which can be consulted on request. It includes legal texts including:
“Subsidiary Legislation” – Shelf mark: Ref. S1A
“Acts of Parliament” (available in Maltese and English languages) – Shelf mark: Ref. S1A
‘Melitensia’ is also a silent study area where one can find books related to Malta mostly in the context of its history and culture, written by Maltese authors. Such writings include:
“Maltese Constitutions (1921, 1936, 1947, 1959, 1961, 1964, 1974)”
“Superior Court Decisions (1854-2004)”
“Inferior Court Decisions (1939-1989)”
In this area one can also find a number of print journals such as:
“The Law Journal (1947-1973)”
“Id-Dritt: law journal (1975 onwards)”
“Law and Practise (2000-2014)”
One also has access to a variety of dissertations which include:
“M.A. Human Rights”
Law students may also make use of the law notes available in this area which are made by authors like J. Anastasi Pace, A.J. Mamo, Adrian Dingli along with that of others.
There is no doubt that in today`s world, technology has revolutionised our search methods for knowledge and the University of Malta Library is of no exception. The library has adopted various legal databases which are easily accessible online. ‘De Jure’ is one of these databases and this contains case law, abstracts and judgments which relate to the courts of Italy. Another database is ‘HeinOnline’ which provides around 200,000 resources relating to historical and governmental records. Important materials can easily be accessed on this database such as:
“Law Journal Library”
“Early American Case Law”
Among these databases, there is also the ‘Lexis Library’ which offers a variety of UK law reports along with 80 full-text journals among other legal sources. There is also the ‘LexisNexis JurisClasseur’ which is a French legal database which provides a variety of French legal sources. There is also the ‘Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law’ which contains a number of articles on all characteristics of public international law, and there is also the ‘ProQuest Criminal Justice Periodicals’ which provides information on criminal law and other crime-related materials. Another database is the ‘ProQuest U.K. Parliamentary Papers’ which covers various policies to show how legislation is made. Some of these papers include:
“Bills and Acts, 1695-2015”
“House of Commons Papers, 1715-2015”
Other databases are ‘Westlaw UK’, ‘Academic Search Complete’, ‘SpringerLink’, ‘Wiley Online Library’, and one also cannot not mention the various prominent websites related to law, for example:
http://www.gov.mt/en/Pages/gov.mt%20homepage.aspx . This website is mainly focused on the Government of Malta and on various legal services.
http://www.icj-cij.org/en which gives information on the International Court of Justice which is the judicial aspect of the United Nations.
In conclusion, the University of Malta Library is of great benefit to students. It not only offers a vast variety of resources in printed format but also a great variety online making it extremely flexible for the student to consult materials. In my opinion the library is very student-friendly both in its abundance of resources and in its environment which allows students to study and work both in groups and also in silent study areas. This tour, for me, was of great benefit as it helped me get familiar with the environment of the library and also introduced me to the various legal materials which I can consult and study throughout my journey in the law course.
The University of Malta Library
‘Library Of Alexandria’ (En.wikipedia.org,)
;https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Alexandria; accessed 26 November 2018
‘The Library – The Library – University Of Malta’ (Um.edu.mt, 2018) ;https://www.um.edu.mt/library; accessed 26 November 2018
‘Heinonline |’ (Home.heinonline.org, 2018) ;https://home.heinonline.org/; accessed 26 November 2018
Hydi – The Library – University Of Malta’ (Um.edu.mt, 2018) <https://www.um.edu.mt/library/notices/archive/hydi> accessed 27 November 2018
‘Opening Hours – The Library – University Of Malta’ (Um.edu.mt, 2018) <https://www.um.edu.mt/library/about/openinghours> accessed 27 November 2018