law library management

Once Again We Must Ask –What business are we in?

Over the years when speaking to library and knowledge management audiences, I have often invoked the importance of knowing what business we are in.

,I became a librarian because “I loved books.” Yet on the day when I started my first law library job, a hulking piece of equipment was rolled through the door of the Pace University Law  Library. This was an omen, like a comet across the night sky, my career path would pivot in unforeseeable directions. The Lexis DeLuxe research terminal was the size of a washing machine, and it connected to Mead Data Central computers in Ohio via a dial-up modem. This “state of the art” equipment provided access to Ohio statutes and cases. Within 10 years the Lexis and Westlaw WALT terminals would shrink, the World Wide Web would be born and the stacks of books would be compressed into bits of data accessible on everyone’s desktop.

I love the “Black & Decker marketing strategy that recognized that their customers “don’t want a drill they want a half-inch hole in a board.” And librarians who thought lawyers and law firm administrators only needed books became flotsam in a surging tide of technology. Librarians and knowledge managers need to be aligned with what lawyers really need and  that they have the unique expertise to deliver: information that gives them a competitive edge, new clients, happy clients, predictive and  actionable insights , efficient workflow, and tools that make their lives easier. (Read the full post at Legal Tech Hub)

Seizing the Technology of the DayContinue Reading AI and the Future of Law Libraries : Opportunity or Armageddon

This survey is intended to  gather feedback on both products and projects which you started or stopped during the past year. I had added additional questions related to the emergence of generative AI.

Please take a few minutes to respond to the survey at this link. The results will be summarized and posted here in

Even lawyers who have been the most ardent print advocates have loosened their grip on their favorite treatises and deskbooks. The pandemic-enforced remote work environment drove most print holdouts to online resources. In 2023 many law firm libraries are completely digital while others have shifted significant amounts of their budgets from print to digital.

Although the large enterprise platforms such as Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Law represent a significant portion of most budgets, library directors and knowledge managers also manage dozens and sometimes hundreds of other digital licenses. There has been a proliferation of specialty products targeting specific practice areas or workflows from topics as diverse as credit default swaps, social media monitoring, and predictive litigation analytics. The acquisition and management of these specialty products involves a different kind of licensing analysis, even though many issues may be similar to the large platform licensing issues.

If you are new to the world of digital resource licensing, this checklist will highlight some of the key issues to address when reviewing a license. The first thing you need to understand is that most license agreements are one-sided in favor of the vendor. All the liabilities and risks are on the purchaser. That is why it is so important for you to understand the risks and opportunities associated with digital licensing.

The ground rules. If you are new to your organization, there are several issues that should be addressed in advance. Identify the standard practices and procedures in your firm for procurement, contract review, and security review.

Work with your procurement team. If your firm has a procurement team, you should still be involved in the licensing process. The procurement team needs to understand how the product will be used and who will need to have access. If there is no procurement team, there may be a designated contract attorney who reviews the contracts for the law firm. Develop a collaborative relationship with those professionals. They can be important allies in the process.

Security. Determine if your firm has a specific security review process for vendors. Security compliance can be a complete deal killer. Many firms now require vendors to answer security compliance questionnaires and to disclose their security standards in advance of any trial or contract. Security issues should be addressed in advance of the licensing process. Confirm that the vendor is willing to provide security documentation.

Common Licensing Issues. Below are a sampling of licensing issues that should be considered for all types of digital licenses but are particularly important when assessing a niche product with a limited license. Read the full post at LegalTech HubContinue Reading Checklist for the Negotiation of Digital Subscriptions – Budget Control and Risk Management Strategies

We kicked off Wednesday’s webinar with each of the panelists sharing  a quote which describes their approach to innovation or which  was inspired by an innovation challenge in their career. Here are the panelists quotes:

Competence is the enemy of change, look to the incompetent for innovation – Martin Korn

  • An expert can be blind

If you are at the Special Libraries Association Conference in Baltimore next week, I will be speaking on the following panels sponsored by Lucidea:

SLA Convention Location:

SLA Conference (Baltimore Convention Center) June 11 – 13. Link: https://www.sla.org/attend/sla-2018-annual-conference-2/

  1. Hot Topic Session: Don’t Just be Integrated: Be Integral.  9:00 am – 10:00 am – Room: 330

Steve Martin, Jean O’Grady, Scott Baily, Greg Lambert
 

On February 1st, the first panel of the new Legal Pros track at Legal Week– 
New Ways for Law Librarians & Knowledge Managers to Become Indispensable
brought in a standing room only crowd.

Steve Martin, a Principle and head of legal design practice at Gensler provided an overview

Today American Lawyer posted an article about what the author described as a “growing trend in law library outsourcing.”  Nuance doesn’t grab headlines, and this article
raises more questions than it answers.  A  few key clarifications are in order.  Are law firms throwing away institutional intelligence instead of just tossing the books? Will they pay

For the third year, I have offered readers the opportunity to contribute to the “Dewey B Strategic Start/Stop Poll.” Although it is a very informal and unscientific poll, prior annual polls have been among  the post popular Dewey B Strategic posts each year. Thanks to everyone who responded to this year’s poll. I will be reporting