On January 1st Anne Ellis a former Chair of the Private Law Libraries, SIS and the first Director of Librarian Relations at Thomson Reuters retired after a long and distinguished career as a professional leader. I thought it would be interesting to get Anne’s thoughts on her career and the challenges facing law librarianship.Tell
me about your career prior to going to Thomson Reuters?

earned my MLS in 1975 from the University of South Florida. My first job was in
public libraries. In 1984 I got my first law firm position as a reference
librarian and later as the Director of the Library at Carlton Fields in Tampa.
After ten years at Carlton Fields, my family relocated to Denver and I took a
reference librarian position at Holme Roberts working for Mark Estes. Then I
got the opportunity to be the Library Director at Holland and Hart. I became
PLL Chair in 1997 and was recruited by Andy Prozes at Thomson Reuters to start
the Librarian Relations Program for Thomson Reuters.


made you leave a traditional career path and pursue the opportunity at Thomson


had the opportunity to meet many of the TR executives by being on the Westlaw
Private Firm Advisory Board. Brian Hall, the first CEO of Thomson after the
acquisition of West Publishing, wanted to build a librarian relations team to
show the company’s continuing support of law librarians and challenge the one
that Lexis had had in place for several years. It was a very exciting
opportunity to build the organization from the ground up.


as the PLL chair also made me recognize that there were important ways to
support the librarian profession from the vendor side.I regard my move to TR as
the greatest opportunity of my career.


the first Director of Librarian Relations, what was your greatest challenge?


firms and corporations are very different environments. Law firms are like a
little community. It was a big transition to get used to being in a huge
organization. I relocated to Minnesota and worked in the corporate
Headquarters. That move helped me understand the various business units in the
organization. Being agile was the most important quality for succeeding in my


do you regard as your greatest accomplishment?


the librarian relations team and then helping that team develop wonderful
educational offerings for law librarians.


you encourage other librarians to work for legal publishers?


think it is a great career path. It requires a specific skill set. You need to
be able to build relationships both inside the publishing organization and with
practitioners in law firm, law school, and government environments.


skills should the next generation of librarians and Knowledge professionals


need to learn how the technology behind legal online products work. It is no
longer enough to be able to use the technology. We also need to know more about
how the technology is built. The technology that is behind the information
resource is as important as the content needed by legal practitioners.


you have any thoughts on the passing of Dwight Opperman?


was no longer at Thomson when I went to work there, but I had met him as a
member of the Advisory Boards. He remained completely beloved by the people at
Thomson Reuters and would visit the offices from time to time. I respect the
fact that he built a superior company in West Publishing and expanded it from
print to the addition of online resources such as Westlaw. The acquisition by
Thomson continued that expansion and led to huge investments in research and
development which resulted in the transition of Westlaw from a software
platform to Westaw.com
and now WestlawNext.


 What are your plans?


am already retired and am enjoying having time to go to “the Y” for
exercise, volunteer work, and having more time with my family. I also am
enjoying taking a break from extensive business travel. I am pleased with these
changes, but would consider taking on challenging opportunities if they arise.
I will continue to proudly call myself a law librarian.