Last week there was a a challenge and a follow up thread at 3 Geeks and a Law Blog. The challenge was a plea from Nina Platt that law librarian bloggers write about issues that would be useful to us (as opposed to writing about the future of law or legal publishing news). The challenge was answered with a list of themes and ideas that I urge you to read.
Nina identified law librarian issues, including topics like these
- How we can support changes in the legal industry?
- What technology will help get us through these changes?
- What staffing, research resources, services, processes, etc. will we need to have in place?
- How we will need to deal with licensing, copyright, budgets, marketing, management, and other issues that face administrators within law firms?
- What skills will librarians need to have that they don't have now?
- How will library education need to change?
- How will libraries need to be staffed in the future?
My first contribution to Nina's something useful idea is to add to her list of themes with a focus on the mundane and practical.
Law firm librarians should be asking themselves what they are doing today to meet tomorrow's challenges. Some specific questions to ask:
- How are you measuring your services so that your metrics will be useful in decision making?
- What are you doing now that you should stop doing?
- Do you and your team have the right skill set, and if not, how are you going to fix that (starting right now)?
- Do you have the right network? Are your LinkedIn connections only library people, law library people, or are your stakeholders there also?
- Do you understand your organizations business goals and challenges?
- Do you know who your firms key clients are?
- Are your procedures, processes, best practices and services documented? Have you shared them so that everyone in your organization knows about your skills and specialties
- How do you market your law library in your firm?
- How does what you do help the firm be successful?
My list is about actions we can focus on to be successful within our firms. I identify these action questions because thinking and writing about law firm librarianship is interesting and fun, but doing law firm librarianship is even better.
Members of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries will be talking with lawyers about what law librarians do at the CBA Legal Conference in Saskatoon. I will be at our booth on Sunday August 18. Hope to see you there.