Academic Law Librarian

Theresa Buller – Kaitiaki Kaupapa | Subject Librarian for Law and Criminal Justice. University of Canterbury - 2014 to present


BA (History)

Master in Library and Information Studies

As part of my professional development, I am currently studying towards an LLB with the support of UC Library. This study is very part-time alongside my full-time professional Subject Librarian role


Previous roles

I started as a Library Assistant at Christchurch City Libraries (2005-2007) and then moved into other Library Assistant roles at the University of Canterbury (2007-2009).

In 2011, I was appointed as an Information Librarian at Christchurch City Libraries. In this role I was a member of the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre team and was responsible for the collection management of the Official Publications and Legal Collections within Central Library, Gloucester Street, and support for community library management of the same. I developed a collection and retention policy for this collection to ensure this material was retained and made accessible to library users. As part of my role, I contributed to the delivery of a library reference service especially for New Zealand specific and family history enquiries.

Present role:  University of Canterbury

In 2014, I was appointed as a Law Liaison Librarian. My role (and title) has changed since then - I am now a Subject Librarian responsible for subject expertise and support for law and criminal justice.

My role has three parts:

 1. Building relationships with our academic staff and studentsI believe that librarianship is a profession of relationships and service. At UC I have built a strong relationship with the academic and administrative staff in the School of Law in order to promote the role of the Library as an integral component of their teaching and research. I have also worked hard to ensure students are aware that I am knowledgeable, approachable and accessible in order to support students one-on-one at their point and time of need.

2. Managing our collectionI am responsible for the expert subject matter knowledge of our law and criminal justice collection. I am the library point of contact with the legal publishers and work with our acquisitions team to ensure that our print and online collections support teaching and research at UC. 

3. Teaching legal research skills. During my time at UC, I have led significant changes to the library’s legal research skills teaching for LLB and BCJ students. I have led work to move towards an embedded largely online delivery of legal research teaching to LLB and BCJ students that contribute to student success within these two degree programmes. This work has included advocating for the move towards embedded online legal research teaching at second year for both LLB and BCJ students. In response to this advocacy, I have delivered online written and recorded content in line with an agreed pedagogy which has received high engagement and positive feedback within the School of Law. As part of the 2022 UC Teaching Awards, I was recognised with a Hapori Community of Practice award for this work.

I have been heavily involved in the NZLLA since I started in this role. I was encouraged to sign up on my first day and promised the benefits of a collegial professional association. I have served as Secretary, Vice-President and President. As Immediate Past-President I am currently mentoring and supporting the current President and National Executive to continue the work of the NZLLA in delivering the mission, goals and objectives of the Association.

My LinkedIn Profile: Theresa Buller | LinkedIn


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