Twenty Essex Chambers is a premier business set of chambers, with great legal brains paired with current and commercial conflicts expertise.
Thier clients include significant multinational corporations, institutions, governments, and their advisers from all over the world.
“I have used many cataloguing and library management systems in different sectors, during my career and have found KnowAll Matrix to be the most lucid and intuitive system.”
Twenty Essex has subscribed to Knowall since 2011 and moved over to Knowall Matrix in November 2021. We have the hosted catalogue, serials, loans and finance modules. Knowall had already been purchased just before I arrived, so I knew Chambers were taking the library service seriously.
I am employed part time, so on the days I am not available, everyone can find the resources they need. The links for online titles are added to the catalogue entry and the user can locate the electronic book seamlessly from chambers, at home or when visiting a client. Links to the databases themselves are listed on the home page of Knowall Matrix.
There are many different reports that can be generated for financial purposes. In addition to reports for the library expenditure, reports can be generated for the barristers’ personal purchases. The settings have been adapted so that the personal purchases are not visible on the OPAC but reports are available when requested.
Loan figures for titles are especially useful showing dates and length of loans, which in a busy library is a good indication of whether a new edition should be purchased.
A barristers chambers differs to a law firm in that the lawyers are self employed. Although, we have a centralised library at Twenty Essex, many barristers still purchase their own titles in hard copy and some group together to subscribe to specialist online databases. Barristers are also very busy, often in court or with clients, so they ask the junior clerks at short notice to find books and other materials for them. There is a need to keep an archive of older or superseded titles, as they are needed for both cases they are working on or articles and books that they are writing.
I purchase resources not only for library but also for the individual barristers. In addition to the chambers library, each barrister or arbitrator is treated as a satellite library with a unique budget code.There are almost one hundred satellite libraries. If I order twenty copies of a title, the details I need are displayed logically and I know exactly who has ordered one, which supplier was used and which invoice it was charged against.
In an ideal world, everyone would be ordering the same title at the same time from the same supplier but, in reality that does not happen. Knowall Matrix allows me to add purchases retrospectively, regardless of supplier and even split the cost between barristers. The White Book purchases are especially challenging because of the many different formats and prices available. Discounts can be applied automatically.
We keep archived books in a separate area using different classification, to eliminate confusion for the user. When I archive the superseded books, it is very easy for me to swap the classification and add any further details to indicate that the book is no longer the current edition.
Knowall Matrix allows the user to not only access the catalogue remotely but also to check in and check out materials. If a clerk returns a book to the library, it may have already been checked in by the barrister. The clerks can also borrow or return books on their behalf.there are almost one hundred
I have used many cataloguing and library management systems in different sectors, during my career and have found Knowall to be the most lucid and intuitive system. It was originally designed by a librarian with a working knowledge of the needs of both the end-user and the admin user, so is very practical, adaptable and timesaving.
As a single, part-time member of library staff, it would be a difficult task to run such a
busy library as efficiently without Knowall Matrix. With so many duties to juggle in a working
day, it is a bonus to find a powerful tool that is simple in both design and application.
KnowAll Matrix makes it easy for your users to find resources whether they are searching for a specific resource or they are discovering what’s available in your collection.
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