Anyone who has studied law knows law libraries are a lawyers’ laboratory. The UNE Law Library is no exception to this as it provides both the physical and technological products that lawyers’ need. At the UNE School of Law we are also blessed to have very knowledgeable and experienced staff working in the Law Library. These staff are able to assist with legal research queries from both experienced and novice lawyers.

One example of the experienced and knowledgeable staff UNE employs is Annette Messell. Annette has recently joined UNE as a Learning and Teaching Services Librarian.

Within this role, Annette provides support in teaching and learning to members of the School of Law- that is both students, staff and in some instances, community members. Annette is well acquainted with legal databases and is invaluable in terms of providing assistance with legal research. Interestingly, Annette likens acquiring legal research skills to learning a different language.

Annette Messell in front of books at a library

Annette Messell’s ‘shelfie’

Annette moved to Armidale from the Gold Coast and is so far handling the colder conditions admirably. She had never spent much time in Armidale, so she moved to the area with no expectations. So far, she has found Armidale beautiful and she can’t believe there can be so many shades of red on a tree in the autumn months! Since moving to Armidale, Annette has discovered the delicious craft beer at The Welder’s Dog and has started exploring the many hiking areas around Armidale.

Before moving to UNE, Annette worked in the law library at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). During her time at QUT, Annette learned valuable legal research skills. Whilst living in Queensland, Annette also worked at Hickey Lawyers’ on the Gold Coast in their law library. She assisted the practising lawyers by devising current awareness updates. For example, if there was an important legislative change or a new court decision handed down, Annette made sure the lawyers knew about these developments. She also helped train the lawyers in the most effective use of legal databases.

At the start of her tertiary studies, Annette did not intend to be a librarian. In fact, she first completed a Bachelor of Arts where she majored in religion and writing. After completing her BA, Annette successfully completed a graduate diploma in high school teaching. Annette soon realised, high school teaching was not for her and chose to move to Korea and teach English. Annette’s mum was originally from Korea, so this was a natural fit for Annette.

Annette Messell in Korea

Annette Messell in Korea

After a stint in Korea, Annette decided to study again. She chose to study librarianship as she always loved spending time in libraries, and when looking at job sites, she always found herself looking at jobs in libraries. Studying librarianship and becoming a librarian has satisfied all of Annette’s values in life. These are knowledge, critical thinking and the importance of people having access to information.

On reflection, these values are important to most worthwhile endeavours!

If you are a law student and choose to ask a question via UNE Law Library’s webpage, chances are Annette will be the person who helps you with your query. If you need library help always remember you can Book A Librarian (face-to face) or Ask A Librarian (via email/phone). The Research Services Librarian- Gilbert Meyns , is also available to take care of postgraduate students and researchers.