Documenting Law Library Strategy

Does your law library have a strategic plan? Is the plan available, aligned, and has it been shared? Is process measured against the plan? Is your plan in a document, embedded in your budget report, unwritten?

I have some work to do this January to assemble the strategy of my firm library into a working document that can be referenced by my team and by other members of the firm. While we have a strategy and we are executing it, it is less available than it should be.

Confidence in our library team is high, we had excellent response to a recent survey, our budget and other plans for 2012 were approved without question, and we are very busy with a high volume of work. Why spend time documenting the library strategy when we are very, very busy and there is no present external demand for it? I have a few reasons:

  • It is easier to make quick decisions if you have a written strategy to test options against.
  • A written strategy is useful for questions where the answer is “No, because…”
  • In a commercial enterprise very, very busy can suddenly become not so busy and can also become swamped to the point of adding staff. Having a written strategy will give clues on how to manage volume spikes and dips.
  • We have made some significant changes to our library strategy going in to 2012

Does your law library have a strategic plan?


  1. Interesting discussion, Shaunna.

    The challenge a number of law firm library managers face when drawing up strategy is when the firms themselves (the partnership or the staff management company) do not have overall strategies including things like a stated vision or objectives. Any advice on how to handle this? What do you align with? What do you use to give direction?