In order to promote their products and services government document provider ProQuest LLC has begun offering LibGuides (electronic Library Guides) through Springshare on a variety of different topics ranging from basic legal research skills to legal topic guides on such subjects as abortion to campaign finance reform, to environmental law, and beyond. As of the date of this post, there are currently 147 guides available and users are given the opportunity to “request new guides” on whatever topic they wish.
The advantage of these guides is that they are kept relatively current (3-6 months), and that they provide links to ProQuest resources that may otherwise fly under the radar. Broken out into eight different categories, ProQuest has the following types of guides: 1. Congressional Guides; 2. Current Bibliographies; 3. Database Guides; 4. Getting Started; 5. In the News; 6. Legal Research Guides; 7. Quick Start; and 8. Statistical Guides. For the purposes of legal instruction the most helpful are the Congressional Guides and Quick Start guides that provide users with information on how to negotiate the different databases along with tips and videos on how best to search, as well as the Legal Research and Current Bibliographies guides that provide users with relevant subject specific information.
While the information contained within the guides is extremely helpful there are some drawbacks that users should be aware of. First is that the authors of these guides are anonymous as such each is authored by only by “ProQuest Outreach.” Consequently the quality of the guides can be a bit uneven. Another issue that arises is that many of the resources are not directly linked. As a result, users have to conduct separate searches using for example, public law numbers which may require the user to flip back and forth between screens. However, by far the biggest drawback to the guides is that while they advertise everything that ProQuest offers, users may not have access to all products resulting in some confusion when, for example, ProQuest Congressional links connect but Statistical Database links do not.
For Pace Law Library students, faculty, and patrons, ProQuest can be accessed through the Pace Law Library Database page on campus or via VPN. Currently Pace subscribes to those resources available through ProQuest Congressional only.