One of the many services available to the BLS community is our interlibrary loan program. Using the World Cat service, students and faculty can expand their research beyond Brooklyn Law School and searches the catalogs of thousands of libraries around the world. If you find something you like, a copy of the article or the physical book can be sent to you upon request. To enable you to run these searches, the Library purchases “blocks of searches” in bulk. In this academic year, we have purchases 4,500 searches to date. Last year, for the entire academic year, we purchased and used a little under 2,000 searches. The year before, the number was under 1,000.
So what is going on?
There are a few possible explanations.
First, our students and faculty are just busier than ever. Your research takes you in many directions and often involves scholarship in disciplines outside the law.
Second, prior to last year, the physical virtual location of the World Cat database was known, primarily, only to journal students who were source checking and law librarians. A liaison program between the library and the faculty at BLS has brought the World Cat database to light. Now professors, as well as their research assistants, are happily plugging away on World Cat (well, I am not sure how happy the research assistants are but their professors are happy about it).
A third contribution to the growth of World Cat use at BLS is our new web site.
The new BLS Library web site was rolled out right before Thanksgiving with a search box for World Cat placed squarely in the middle of the Library web site. You cannot miss it! In the period following Thanksgiving, more than 1,000 World Cat searches were performed at BLS.
Getting the word out and the redesign of our web page makes finding these resources easier than ever and is evidence of just how busy our students and faculty are these days. The Library is happy to be the onramp to your successful research mission!