We all knew that law libraries were shrinking. No one suspected that they would be totally “done in” by a virus. Law libraries have been “going digital” for at least 20 years, but few firms tossed out their last “pocket part” update. But as firms plan their post-pandemic re-openings, retaining a collection of shared books is frankly a biohazard. Should librarians develop systems for sanitizing and quarantining books? In today’s digital world -– is it even worth the trouble?
Does anyone really want to take on the backlog of updating books that are nine months out of date next January when lawyers begin returning to offices?
For the past two decades, many law librarians have been assessing products and developing in-house solutions to support virtual library resources.
There is no universal solution. The law firms which have the foresight to invest in strategic information professionals are most likely to have had substantial digital libraries in place last March when COVID-19 brought the world to a screeching halt. Many firms are running parallel digital and print libraries because they are supporting both the last of the “baby boomer partners” and the “born digital” generation of lawyers. COVID-19 has been an unprecedented tipping point which exposes the importance of completing or starting a digital library transition plan.
12 Building Blocks Of A Digital Library