Steve Allen

On 23 February 2017, the Bodleian Library and the Law Faculty held a joint event to mark the retirement of Ruth Bird as Law Librarian. Many of Ruth’s friends and colleagues from the Law Library, the Faculty and the wider university came together to celebrate Ruth’s remarkable contribution to the Law Library over the past thirteen years and to wish her well for the future. 

Ruth came to Oxford in 2004 from Melbourne, where she had been working as the legal information manager for a large law firm. The Bodleian Law Library has undergone significant development under Ruth’s leadership, including a reclassification of the text collection, and the provision of improved resources and workspaces for postgraduate students. More recently, Ruth has steered the library through the St Cross Building refurbishment project, working to secure substantial improvements to the library for readers and staff, whilst continuing to provide the best possible reader services during a time of significant disruption. 

Ruth has played an important role in the wider world of law librarianship and in the legal community more generally. She was a member of the Council of the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians from 2008 to 2011, and is currently First Vice President of the International Association of Law Libraries. She was made an Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple in 2010. 

Ruth will be remembered for her passionate advocacy for the Bodleian Law Library, both within Oxford and the wider world, for her inspirational leadership of the library staff, and for her deep commitment to improving readers’ experience. Ruth was presented with some reminders of her years in Oxford, including a Bodleian book-stand and a watercolour of the Law Library reading room, and moves on to the next chapter in her life with the warmest wishes of her friends and colleagues here.