Friday, January 14, 2011

Expanded Access to "Examples & Explanations"

The Examples & Explanations (E&E) book series are popular law school study aids, and it’s easy to see why: written by law professors, these books give a narrative overview of the key concepts and rules for a particular legal subject, followed by “examples” (hypothetical questions) and “explanations” of the answers. The Goodson Law Library purchases every title in this series (full list), and previously kept them on Level 2, organized by call number. Although normally items in the stacks loan out for 4 weeks at a time, borrowers of E&E books frequently found their due dates cut short by recall/hold requests from other eager readers, making access to the titles a frustrating experience for everybody.

To ensure access to as many readers as possible, the Goodson Law Library has now placed the most current edition of every Examples & Explanations title on Reserve, where they can be borrowed for 4 hours at a time (or overnight if borrowed with less than four hours before the Circulation/Reserve desk closes). We’re also in the process of ordering additional Reserve copies of E&E titles on the subjects of 1L classes, due to the series’ overwhelming popularity with new law students. As new editions are published, the previous editions will be moved from Reserve to the stacks on Level 2, organized by call number, so the older editions are available for lengthier (if slightly outdated) borrowing.

But that’s not all! As the John Marshall Law Library blog first reported last semester, Aspen Publishers has made large sections of this series available for free on Google Books. Although the complete full text of each book is not provided, and the “Limited Preview” will occasionally skip over a page or two, the Google Books preview does allow you to search within a particular book to locate relevant pages, and maybe even skim through the sections you’re most interested in (for example, searching for “consideration” in the Contracts title) . So if someone has already snagged the library’s copy of an E&E title, this online preview might tide you over until the book is returned.

For help locating E&E titles, or for recommendations of similar law school study aids, be sure to Ask a Librarian.